Fireworks were not the illegal things popping off in Las Vegas on the Fourth of July—there was also a non-socially distanced rave in the middle of the desert.
An illegal rave in an empty North Las Vegas lot drew hundreds of Independence Day revelers who did not practice social distancing or wear masks around Covid-19, video footage from KVCW shows.
A flier for the rave, called ‘The Final Fuse Phase 2,’ showed it took place from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. and apparently directed attendees not to post about it on social media. Meanwhile, promotions for the event were all over social media and with no mention of rules to comply with Nevada’s pandemic health and safety guidelines.
The desert rave broke out within 24 hours of Nevada seeing 840 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to more than 22,400 cases including more than 18,400 in Clark County where Las Vegas sits.
In an interview on KVCW, Dr. Christina Madison of the Roseman University of Health Sciences said the public should try to refrain from such large group gatherings as a rave because “it’s a super spreader event just waiting to happen.”
“Please, please take responsibility for yourself. Do not spread this to others,” Madison said. “Do not fill up our E.R.s and our ICUs and get people to the point where they have to require a ventilator, please, I’m begging you.”
Anyone who was attended the illegal rave should get tested for Covid-19 and self-isolate for at least 14 days, she advised.
No state business license for the company behind the rave was found.
Putting Legal Raves At Risk
News of the illegal rave generated lengthy discussion on the r/aves subreddit on Monday.
One Reddit user commented: “This gives the rave community such a bad look. Stay home y’all! If not raves and festivals will not be happening any time soon.”
Indeed, mass gatherings including the desert rave with people not wearing masks or staying six feet apart from each other are high risk for spreading the virus, which leads to halting reopening plans and puts legally organized events at risk of not happening in 2020. Namely, Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is the most massive dance music festival in the U.S. and was rescheduled for October 2 to 4.
The Fourth of July was not the first holiday weekend during the ongoing pandemic with non-social distanced parties emerging. Over Memorial Day weekend, clubs and bars in Scottsdale, Arizona, opened their doors and videos showed no social distancing and few masks. Partygoers also flocked to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for Memorial Day and a couple of attendees at pool parties tested positive for Covid-19. That didn’t stop partiers from going to the Ozarks for the Fourth of July weekend.
Five months into the pandemic, quarantine fatigue is real and obvious all over the world, including at illegal forest raves in the U.K. last month that ended with arrests, violence, drugs, and even death.
As coronavirus case numbers surge in places not practicing social distancing and mask-wearing, keep in mind that instant gratification jeopardizes the satisfaction of a legally organized, premier production like EDC Las Vegas.