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'Countdown 2012' so-called Rave event forced to flee fairgrounds

Original post made on Dec 21, 2011

An event that had some residents worried about potential problems was booted from the Alameda County Fairgrounds after an investigation by Pleasanton police.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 6:03 AM

Comments (50)

Posted by Mr Cranky, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Dec 21, 2011 at 7:53 am

Wow, who would've thought that Pleasanton would be so tight. Why don't we just outlaw dancing here too?

What do the cops think will happen at an event like this? Drinking, maybe drugs? How's that different from any other New Years Eve event any place else in the world?

Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 21, 2011 at 8:02 am

Mr. Cranky, certainly you are not naive and are just looking for a reaction. These events always draw drug dealers, gang members, general troublemakers, mostly from other areas that have no respect for this community. Thankfully, our city officials and the fairgrounds stepped in and averted an potential debacle. This time, sanity prevailed, but you have wonder about whoever entertained date the notion that this might have been a good idea in the first place. No doubt the money was a factor, but it probably didn't outweigh the cost of repairs to the area, additional security required and the public ill will that these events generate.

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 8:11 am

Thank you Mr. Spiller/Police Department for your diligence. The community is better for it.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Dec 21, 2011 at 8:22 am

I'm glad that they kicked this group out. There is a similar event that was in Las Vegas this year, but last year they were in Los Angeles. LA is not allowing them to return---a kid died from a drug overdose and there were so many drug transactions taking place that the police couldn't keep up with it all. Wait until New Year's Day when we read the article about all of the trouble that happened in Tulare at this event. You will be happy that we didn't have them here.

Posted by PTown Dad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:28 am

Thanks to Dave Spiller and Rick Pickering for looking into this further and making an informed decision. I hope nothing bad happens in Tulare, but it wasn't worth the risk here in Pleasanton.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

Some people in this town are so stupid. The same ones who complain that BART brings in the gangsters from out of town think a rave at the fairgrounds is a good idea.

Posted by Not so long ago..., a resident of Livermore
on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

I remember just about a year ago when there was a rave at the Cow Palace and several teens and young adults died after drug overdoses. The city of SF will no longer allow raves there. Why would the city of Pleasanton and county of Alameda want to open themselves up to potential law suites after such history? I am glad that they would not allow it.

Posted by Common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hey Mr. Cranky,

Take a hike. If you bothered to check out their website, it clearly states, "This event will have a carnival theme with outdoor festivities such as...gogo dancers."

Um, sorry, but 'gogo dancers' aren't what I'd call part of a "holiday family-oriented music festival."

Oh, and btw, check out the video on that site, too--yeah, lots of "families" in the crowd. Please, spare me.

Good riddance, and good job by PPD to keep this crap out of our town.

Posted by Vanessa, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

My husband and I were having a good laugh when we drove past the Fairgrounds and saw the ads for this event. We figured PPD would just post up outside of the fairgrounds with a DUI checkpoint and have a field day. However, I am really glad they pulled out and forced this event elsewhere. Not trying to be a stick in the mud but Pleasanton doesn't need a Cow Palace type of disaster to occur. No thanks!

Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Hooray for the Pleasanton PD. Finally officials that use common sense.

This event would only attract the type of hooligans that shot up the fairgrounds in 1998.

Posted by Good , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Alameda County should have cleared the rave with the police chief first because regulation 6.44.020 in the Pleasanton Municipal Code requires the police chief to sign off on these types of events.

Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Clearly the promoter tried to pull a last minute switch. He booked a family oriented event for 5,000 people and then advertised it as a 20,000 person rave. Blogs on the promoter's website even said young people were looking to go to the rave at the fairgrounds. Compliments to the fairgrounds and Police for not allowing this unsafe event in our community. Hopefully no one will be injured at the new location in Tulare!

Posted by D W, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Love it, Chief Spiller! Raves a family-friendly event? Tell that to the families who lost loved ones at the Cow Palace the past few years! Some revenue events are just not worth the neighborhood headaches for a great city like ours! Let other areas host such pathetic parties like these! We're far classier than that! Thank you, Chief Spiller!

Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 12:48 am

Especially good job PPD on this one. This had rave written alllll over it. I was wondering how they had sneaked this event in since terms used in their ads are associated with rave - even though they don't call it "rave" these days.

Posted by Parent in Pleasanton, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 22, 2011 at 7:14 am

Thank you, Chief Spiller.

Posted by Claudette, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 9:39 am

It would be nice to have a Real Family, Festival with Music, Food.... 4H animal races, Chili Cook Off... at the Fairgrounds for the 2012 CountDown... Anyone Game? Wish I had the bucks, I'd do it ~

Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

Good idea Claudette.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I've been to about 20 underground, warehouse-takeover raves in my younger days and no one ever died, I never took drugs (although they were certainly around - just like any bar or concert), and the crowd was not unruly. It's not a rap or heavy metal concert. It generally doesn't attract gangs. The music isn't geared toward the violent crowd. Listen to some Trance and you'd see what I mean (like Armin Van Buuren for instance) The event also advertised heavy security to keep out the bad element.

It's odd they would list it as a family music event, because it's certainly not meant for anyone but the 16-24 crowd. If they had been more upfront about that, I don't see why everyone should be so worried.

"Aura" (that used to be on Hopyard near Chilis) has held smaller events much like this all the time, but no one ever complained.

Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

Thanks for your comments, Steve. It's not like we need one more reason to oppose this event that is not appropriate for this area, but you just managed to provide one. Anyway, that ship has sailed....I'm sure they'll be back, because there's money to be had, regardless as to who gets hurt.

Posted by Greg, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 24, 2011 at 4:24 am

While it may make for a less than vibrant nightlife, this is why I love this town! Having city officials willing to step in and shut things like this down is what makes this city so great. I admit it's kind of weird living in a town that shuts down at 10 PM but actions like this keep the city safe, clean and "pleasant." Thank you Dave Spiller and everyone else at the police department for standing firm on this one! Happy Holidays since we all know many of you will be working them....We all appreciate what you do!

Posted by Contrarian , a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 24, 2011 at 10:28 am

Enjoy your little bubble Pleasanton. Who cares that while you are home, being boring and old, that some people are having fun at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. NOT IN OUR COMMUNITY!!!

Oh yes, by all means, praise the police force, who are really earning their huge pensions and giant salaries driving around the little P-town bubble, intimidating high school kids and pulling over any shady looking minorities that happen to wander off the freeway.

Saw some guy get pulled over last night for being black on a Friday night, can only imagine the amount of extra work they would have to put in on New Years if this event took place. Perhaps they might even (gasp) EARN THEIR HOLIDAY PAY by having to do policing, you think they would jump at the chance. Nope, more than content to just cash it in, and collect their giant pensions thanks to the community that praises them for not doing their job.

Posted by Greg, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I like the bubble. It's cozy :)

Posted by S. Walker, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Did the police realize that the ticket holders can't get a refund? The tickets were $64.00!!

Was there any consideration given to the people who planned to attend this event - which someone out there decided to call a rave - fear mongering at it's best. We checked into this before allowing our college age daughter to buy a ticket. It was always billed as 18 and up, but with rides , etc. We never saw anything saying it was for families - would families actually take little kids out until 2am to an event with multiple band stages?

Finally there was going to be an event in Pleasanton that our older teens could attend. Now we have 6 very disappointed kids out of $64.00 a piece because we gave them permission to go to an event here - not 4 hours away. We checkedit out and thought that it must have been approved to be held here. We relied on the fairgrounds and the police to have their act together.

It seems to me that instead of kicking the event out that some sort of conpromises should have been made. Assuming that drug dealers and "gang members" are going to an event in Pleasanton is a bunch of suburban racist paranoia and not befitting this city.

Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2011 at 1:04 am

S. Walker,

Maybe the people putting the event together shouldn't have lied on their application to the Fairgrounds?

Blaming the police, the fairgrounds, and the people that were concerned with this are the wrong people to blame. All the events ads were and still are consistent with a rave - even though they don't actually write the word.

That was nice you "allowed" your older teenage daughter to go, but at 18 she can go to the event without your permission since she's an adult. Your only recourse if they deny returning your money is small claims court.

As far as the concerned people being "racist" because drug dealers may be there - what exact race sales drugs? I didn't know drug users and drug dealers were now race specific.

Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2011 at 1:06 am

Also, it is not the fairgrounds and the police who in charge of providing security for something like this. The event organizers are responsible for organizing it and providing it.

Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 27, 2011 at 6:36 am

I'm not going to comment on some of the misinformation in these posts, but just point out the work the Pleasanton Police have been doing if you pay attention. Remember a year or two ago when you started to see gang graffiti being tagged around town in different areas? Notice that you rarely see it now? That has been due to the hard work of the Pleasanton Police department. And I thank them.

Posted by jaycee, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2011 at 9:35 am

I know kids that are/were planning to attend this "family event" HA! and trust me, they were not going to enjoy some good clean fun. The age for admission was upped to 18 only weeks ago so that tells you something. And Steve, any event you went to "in your younger years" is most likely not what you would experience today. I too was at those event years (and years!) ago. I am glad to hear they are providing shuttles to and from the event though and I hope those who are still going take advantage of that. Happy New Year everyone!

Posted by contrarian , a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 27, 2011 at 11:42 am

Between this, the bong battle over nothing, and the drug sniffing dogs, I think it is evident which direction this town is headed. Enjoy your prison state Pleasanton.


First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Posted by Tianna Martinez , a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

I live across the street and completely understand the neighborhoods concerns. I attend events like this last year and yes there will be majority of young people mostly drunk and on E. And since we've got the new safeway we've had young people on the park at the apt property drinking and fighting late at night. I would hate to see what its like that night :(

Posted by Tianna Martinez , a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

Pro law-

Clearly you are very naive to think there wont be drug dealers there. I attend events like this, I'm 22, and I know for a fact that there will be plenty of ppl there on and giving out drugs. Also this is a rave. Just cuz its in Pleasanton does not mean ppl wont be coming from all over the bay to go. And how is anyone racist? You are racist for assuming anyone is talking about one race and actually at these events the drug dealers majority of the time are white. Lol so clearly you have no idea what to expect from these events but I bet your daughters are expecting all this already.

Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Hi Tianna,

Thanks for joining the conversation late in the game, not reading or comprehending everything in this post and the previous post, and then calling me racist. Real class. You obviously (I hope) didn't read the previous posts on this: Web Link

Of course there would be drugs at a rave. I never said there wouldn't be. In fact, I said there would be. We agree 100%.

As far as me being "racist", I was responding to "S. Walker" who essentially said, "Assuming that drug dealers and "gang members" are going to an event in Pleasanton is a bunch of suburban racist paranoia and not befitting this city."

I was sarcastically pointing out that while S. Walker is calling all of us racist for assuming drug dealers and gang members would be at the event, that he in effect was making a racist statement by saying all drug dealers and gang members are a certain type of people.Sounds like that was over your head though.

Let me know if I need to clarify anything else for you.

Posted by Me, a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Hey "pro-law"

You might want to brush up on your English because Tianna wasn't talking about you moron. I truly hope you aren't in law enforcement with a brain like that. On second thought, with a brain like that I'm sure you are.

Posted by Right Back At You, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Hey "Me"

You might want to brush up on your salutations. Tianna's post certainly was directed at "Pro-law" look at her introduction; She specifically addresses it to "Pro law-"

Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2011 at 8:48 am

Hi Me (to be clear I'm directing it to your post),

I appreciate you adding to the name calling and somehow coming up with the idea Tianna wasn't addressing me even though she specifically mentions my username at the beginning.

If Tianna wasn't addressing me, as you seem to be so sure she wasn't, then who was she addressing?

Posted by Miss C, a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm

THANK YOU PLEASANTON POLICE CHIEF & OFFICERS!!!! We don not need anything like that in Pleasanton. This is a peaceful city!!

Posted by An old person, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm

This is disappointing. The County Fairgrounds is an appropriate location for a New Years celebration for young people. Once again old people win, young people lose in Pleasanton.

Posted by Joe, a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2012 at 2:09 am

I did security at this event Only 30 guards in Tulare and we didn't have one single fight. It was am awesome night and first party like this I've been too! I loved it! your loss you Sticks in the mud!

Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2012 at 5:47 am


Good to hear. Tulare can keep it.

Posted by Pro-Rationality, a resident of Parkside
on Jan 1, 2012 at 7:10 am

Yikes. Go-go dancers. Probably wearing white boots and shaking to musical vibrations. Pleasanton should be the first to pass a law against go-go dancing in public. If the south can pass Jim Crow laws, why can't P-towners pass Hootinanny laws? It's just that simple.

Posted by Joe, a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

Lol. Wow. I'm not trying to be anti-your community needs. But it was a good show.. And the gogo dancers were the best part. Outfits were awesome lights all over them. Ive never been to Pleasanton but reading the comments on this page really make you all seem kinda... Um.. Well boring? Pass laws against gogo dancing? They weren't naked... Why not outlaw alcohol? Or.. Make all the women cover their faces.. Have fun ppl in the new year live life. It won't hurt.

Posted by BAjk, a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Jan 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

"Yawn"... The official motto of Pleasanton.

Posted by Dianna, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 1, 2012 at 11:36 am

As a mature person who pays property taxes in Pleasanton I am embarrassed by the close-minded attitudes of this community. I was happy to have an age appropriate event for my 18 and up kids that they did not have to travel to for a change. The COUNTY Fair grounds serve more than just Pleasanton, a lot of young people were robbed of a New Years Eve event.

Posted by Peace&Love, a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I read all the comments and understand the concerns in hosting an event like this due to what has shown up in the news. The news aren't always accurate with how they portray certain things. Sometimes they just show you their side or a side they want you to believe.(I'm speaking in all aspects, not just these "raves." Look at 911 as an example)Anyways, to get back on topic I want to start off by saying that at these music festivals or "raves" there is more than what meets the eye. The presence of drugs are bound to happen, just as drugs are EVERWHERE both licit and illicit. It a personal choice that people make. I've been attending these "raves" for a couple years now and I have seen the changes. Don't always believe the media, at times they can structure it in a way to make you believe otherwise. For example, last year Los Angeles held Electric Daisy Carnival and there was a lot of commotion due to the young girls death at EDC. Just to clarify, there is a youtube video of the father speaking and he mentions picking her daughter up and taking her to the hospital because she didn't feel well. She died the next day at THE HOSPITAL due to taking an illegal drug. Once again, her personal choice. "Ravers" live up by the term plur. Which stands for PEACE, LOVE, Unity and Respect and it is such a beautiful experience to be in an atmosphere where certain people share love towards non-mainstream music and dance to the music of their favorite Dj's. As usual, slowly but surely the music started getting more popular that now MAINSTREAM music TRY to replicate the sound of it. This brought in a different crowd and raves became the "scene." I was extremely sad and disappointed to see all these trend following people give "raves" a bad face. I watched people jump fences and get hurt at EDC and trust me, they looked immature and "their" actions should NOT justify the meaning of a rave. The Dj said "People, I know you want to get closer to the stage but there is no room. Stop jumping fences and provoking fights. That is not what we are about, stay peaceful." I always meet people at the events and we always talk about how the "trend followers" are giving the PLUR "ravers" a different face or even pushing us out of the scene. I know the correct term for these music festivals is not "family-friendly event" but I can somehow see why it would be promoted like that. My family members and I go, and my friends and I have built such a strong bond that they even feel as a family now. I don't like Clubbing, unless one of my favorite Dj's is going to be there. I don't like the atmosphere of people dressing to impress and sometimes just stand around and criticize. I wait three or four months and just work and go to college and then when one of my favorite dj's performs at a rave, I throw on some comfortable clothes and shoes and dance all night long. I truly feel like "yes" your town is looking out for you, but I dislike the introverted one way of thinking and believing everything in the media. I'm not saying these places are HOLY either but many people seriously just go sober because they have love for the music and atmosphere. I also want to point out that simply because you attend these events does not mean you don't have "class." So perhaps the people who mentioned they are "classier" than the event need to read books on how to expand your way of Free thinking.

By the way, I attended the one last night in Tulare, which I had to travel 4 hours for, and there was not a single fight. The atmosphere was very chill and staff was great.

Happy New Year!!!

Posted by Joe, a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2012 at 1:31 am

Well said. And I agree. The atmosphere was very peaceful. I would love to attend another mainly due to the views "plur" it really was that way. In the central valley I've worked many parties in which their have been fights and big issues honestly due mainly to alcohol, and gangs. None of which were present here. All I'm trying to say here is that the people I met here, the production, artists, were all very decent and friendly people. I guess I felt a need to speak up for them because honestly before the event I read all of this and was a little concerned. So after the event I just wanted to pass the word that they were good people, and were maybe misinterpreted. Thanks for reading and happy new year Pleasanton.

Posted by Momo4, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 2, 2012 at 8:51 am

I am a Pleasanton parent of young adults who attend these events. This is the same philosopy that they have about these music parties, they feel it is a connection of positive energy. A group of 8 Pleasanton young adults refunded their tickets and were very disappointed with nowhere to celebrate New Years in Pleasanton.
Pleasanton if you think you have supported the youth of this community you are wrong. What do you offer them in exchange?

Posted by Livermore Resident, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

I believe that one reason the Tulare event was so peaceful was because of the last minute location change and long distance from Pleasanton and the greater Bay Area. We heard from a 24 year old relative (now living in another state) a few weeks before Christmas who asked to stay with us so she could see some of her old friends for New Years and party with them. She has attended many raves and when we looked up this web site we knew what she had in mind. After the location was changed, she decided not to come after all.

No one should be fooled that this "family event" was going to be anything but an excuse to experiment with drugs and drink heavily. I am glad that the Tulare location did not bring in bus loads of young people as I imagined that 4 hour drive back to Pleasanton may not have been a pleasant one for the driver as all those sleepy intoxicated and stoned passengers may not arrive home alive.

Posted by Joe, a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2012 at 11:30 am

They actually did bring buses in.

Posted by Joe, a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2012 at 11:33 am

Which I believe were provided free of charge due to the change in venue.

Posted by Pro-Rationality, a resident of Parkside
on Jan 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

It starts with go-go boots. Then it progresses to beer. Then wine. And after that the sky is the limit. There's a fine line between hell and here. The path to wickedness is lined with discarded go-go boots. Speaking for myself, if switching raves can be used to keep my in-laws at bay, all the better. God bless.

Posted by Peace&Love, a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Livermore Resident,

You stated "No one should be fooled that this "family event" was going to be anything but an excuse to experiment with drugs and drink heavily."
-First of all, i'm sure you are an adult and are not naive enough to stereotype every single person's actions who attended that event. If you are, then you need some serious help because you are offending my friends and family because we go sober to these event, we love the music and atmosphere. I'm not saying there weren't people on drugs, but drugs are everywhere. Tylenol, Day'Quil, Ibuprofen, and many over the counter drugs, i'm pretty sure at one point in your have been present to one of those and there are many more. In addition to your statement: "family-event was going to be anything but an excuse to do drugs and drink heavily." I believe that excuses are everywhere and if someone wants to do those things, they sure don't need an event. They simply need a house, a lonely street or any place.
Your second statement:
"I imagined that 4 hour drive back to Pleasanton may not have been a pleasant one for the driver as all those sleepy intoxicated and stoned passengers may not arrive home alive"
-Once again, STEREOTYPING is ignorance.
Take a look at History and look at the damage that stereotyping did.
The Salem Witch Trials for instance. It's so utterly sad to see that as a nation we have grown but some bad habits and way of thinking are still there.

Just to be clear, i'm not defending the people who did do drugs. Once again, it's their personal choice. Just as it is my personal choice right now to not take any medicine even though I caught a cold. I am against drugs, INCLUDING the very bad prescription drugs from your personal doctor. I take natural remedies that the world provides, such as antioxidants and immune system boosters. I just find it very sad and feel bad that in this world we have and I know will continue to have people who only see what they want to see. I hope that your NEW YEARS resolution is to be more open-minded and stop stereotyping everyone. Choose your words wisely.

Have a beautiful year!!

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