Pasquale Rotella, the promoter/producer who brought the Beyond Wonderland event to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sept. 29, has a troubled track record in the event industry.
Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac, is facing felony charges of embezzlement, conspiracy to commit embezzlement and bribing a public employee in connection with a multi-million-dollar Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum scandal that came to light earlier this year.
In addition, three people have died while attending, or soon after attending, one of Rotella's events over the past three years.
Insomniac's Beyond Wonderland event Saturday night prompted hundreds of Alameda, San Leandro and Oakland residents to call area police departments with complaints of extremely excessive noise. City of Oakland and Coliseum officials issued a joint apology Sunday evening for the noise levels that kept local residents on edge from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday. The event included three outdoor stages with amplified music.
Rotella was indicted by the Los Angeles County Grand Jury on March 20, 2012, on four counts of embezzlement and one count each of conspiracy and bribery. (You can see the indictment here) He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently free on $2.625 million bail, an amount Rotella agreed to in exchange for the lifting of a freeze on his assets, according to California Border news.
L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley alleges that Rotella and another event promoter, Reza Gerami, paid millions to former L.A. Coliseum events manager Todd DeStefano to limit the amounts they paid for use of the Coliseum, according to this Los Angeles Times article.
Cooley also said the payments ensured that Rotella could continue to hold events at the Coliseum following the drug-overdose death of a 15-year-old at Insomniac's Electric Daisy Carnival there in 2010, the Times reported. Insomnia Inc. agreed in court to pay the girl's family a settlement of $175,000, according to NBC Los Angeles.
The Electric Daisy Carnival moved to Las Vegas the following year, and in June of 2012, two people died following the three-day Las Vegas event, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The Sun also reported that the Metro Police were unable to complete a background report on Rotella — required for licensing a temporary event such as the Daisy Carnival — because of his lack of cooperation. Insomniac Inc. received the license anyway, the Sun said.
Meanwhile, Rotella and girlfriend Holly Madison (of Peepshow and Girls Next Door, and a former girlfriend of Playboy's Hugh Hefner) are thrilled to be expecting a baby, the Huffington Post reported in August.
"My better half and I really appreciate all the love and congratulations! Thank you! We can't wait to meet our beautiful baby," Rotella tweeted on Aug. 29.
See a brief interview with Rotella in the YouTube video above.