The Troubled Career of Beyond Wonderland's Producer

Pasquale Rotella, the man behind Saturday's ear-splitting event at the Oakland Coliseum, is under indictment for bribery, conspiracy and embezzlement.

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.

Sunday he tweeted, "Thank U for welcoming @InsomniacEvents & @BeyondWland to the Bay w/ so much love!" (See his thank-you card here.)

See a brief interview with Rotella in the YouTube video above.

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Eden Keywise October 01, 2012 at 02:23 PM
No surprise. Anyone who would force earth shaking music on communities 5 miles within an event would only care about 3 things: Himself, money, and getting away with it. The later he will not do.
j'adoube October 01, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Nothing like enriching an indicted criminal at the cost of our children's sleep. Hey, THAT is America, my friends!
Matatiouz October 01, 2012 at 06:20 PM
i left the event at 1am and by the time i was across the bridge to the bart station the music was barely a concern. 2am on a saturday morning for a one time event is a blip on the radar. my group had a great time, thanks!
Warren D. Serkin October 01, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Maybe the local news outlets should do some investigative reporting and find out how this sleeze was able to even able to get a permit.
Steven October 01, 2012 at 06:39 PM
This guy brings joy to more people than the people who have died. It's only the careless people who have died of overdosed & it's themselves who are responsible for their own fate.
Warren D. Serkin October 01, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Read the headline. He's a crook.
Karen Strachan October 01, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I think those people who claim that the noise didn't bother them have already lost a fair amount of their hearing. The promotor knew exactly what he was doing. Taking advantage of young kids while he is stuck in a mid-life crisis trying to be something he isn't. No matter how you look at it ----- it is ABUSE and that seems to be how he makes his money. What a sad commentary on mankind.
Warren D. Serkin October 01, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Sounds like just another selfish, juvenile, childish, punk who thinks only of himself and doesn't care about anyone else. Must be one lonely SOB. Grow up, child.
Anonymous October 01, 2012 at 11:27 PM
I think its hysterical that somehow people would hold an event promoter responsible for the death of their children. How can he control what drugs people choose to take? Apparently this country has stopped believing in personal responsibility (except when its convenient). I live in Oakland, the sound was not that bad, this is just another example of the press and government spreading lies about Rave culture.
Warren D. Serkin October 01, 2012 at 11:33 PM
You've obviously never heard of a sound phenomenon know as "sound skip". You can be two blocks from the Coliseum and not hear a thing but you can also be 2 miles away and hear it like they're right outside your window. I live on the east side of Alameda and the bass was so loud, it was rattling widows and making the walls shake. No lies, punk, truth. The newspapers got it right. The only thing I'll agree with you on is that anyone who od's at a rave, it's on them unless the promoter is selling the stuff.
weenie wankerstein October 02, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Idiots excusing abusers. Tie the idiot to the front of one of those speakers for an hour and ask him about "Skip"!
CryMore October 02, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Hes taking advantage of young kids? I'm not too sure about that....
CryMore October 02, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Yeah man, he's a crook. Don't let him make events anymore. That'll show him. All those hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who went to and had an incredible time at his events will just have to suck it up. He's not doing anyone favors, he's a CROOK guys. A freaking CROOK.
Ray October 02, 2012 at 05:08 AM
this is too funny....you're really blaming a promoter for the poor decisions of a fe idiots??? WAKE UP PARENTS THEY'RE YOUR KIDS!! Stop making excuses because your idiot kids did drugs and overdosed (like the 15 year old girl that caused the LA fuss who btw jumped a fence to get in) or the girl who died because she jumped from her circus circus hotel after taking too many drugs and deciding to leave the event. Or the dumbass who tried to walk 15 miles from the Las Vegas Speedway to the strip on a road with a high speed limit. These three made their choices and unfortunately paid dearly for it. In my opinion if you don't hold the dumbass accountable for the action you're a dumbass too. As far as the noise...a promoter is only as good as the community that allows him. They will make adjustments. probably end it at 11 next time. Reza and Go Ventures are scumbags which is why Pasquale stopped doing partner events with him. End of story. Go find your scapegoat elsewhere.
Warren D. Serkin October 02, 2012 at 05:49 AM
Then why has Pasquale been indicted by a federal court for bribery, fraud and embezzlement. Doesn't exactly sound like one of your basic good citizens to me.
Derek Strachan October 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Wow CryMore, a bit of an exaggeration...the event was attended by 19,000...a far cry from "hundreds of thousands ,if not millions". Like the Million Moms, you are vastly overestimating your numners.
Mr. Cat in the Hat October 02, 2012 at 07:22 PM
You have absolutely no idea what Rotella cares about. Educate yourself first on Dance Culture and then on Pasquale before making such hasty statements.
Mr. Cat in the Hat October 02, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I'm with you Steven. Owl at heart till the day I die, and I'll be dancing and raving every minute of this lifetime.
Mr. Cat in the Hat October 02, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Makes sense that YOU, Karen, know exactly his life story after reading a biased article. YES, he MUST be "stuck in a mid-life crisis trying to be something he isn't," cause man, he's just started throwing these events, he must know nothing about the culture that surrounds them, and he's only in it to take our money! Our poor youth, what will they do when he takes all of their money and provides them with experiences that they'll never forget? Christ, take 30 minutes to educate yourself before corrupting this public forum with uneducated statements.
CryMore October 02, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I'm talking about ALL of the events that Pasquale Rotella has held. Not just this one. Those numbers I said are probably low in fact. Sorry, I know what I was saying.
Warren D. Serkin October 02, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I'm feel very safe in saying that the vast majority of those who attended the "rave" last Saturday night are all very nice people. I'm also certain that you all had a great time. That being said, the people who put on the event had no right to inflict loud, obnoxious music and others who didn't pay for it, didn't attend the event and didn't want to listen to it. It's very easy for someone reading the posts of most of those here supporting the event that they're all self-centered, insensitive, rude, obnoxious, arrogant punks. Right or wrong, that's the impression you're giving everyone else, doing a real dis service to the majority of those who attended the event and who posted here.
Unsilent Minority October 03, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Since when does indicted mean guilty? Last I checked, you are innocent until proven guilty in this country. Theses are trumped up charges by a politically motivated D.A.. Pasquale has maintained his innocence and I happen to know the guy personally and believe him. He is an incredible businessman who cares a lot for other people and has dedicated his life to the promotion of a very legitimate music scene that is always being attacked by ignorant people like some of you in this thread. Hip hop experienced the same sort of attacks as did Rock and Roll. Ever hear of a guy named Elvis? Some of you need to get a hobby that lets you vent your negative energy and you definitely need to get laid.
matt October 15, 2012 at 06:31 PM
There's alot of people that don't know what they're talking about and some of the people that know what they're talking about are in denial. I will go to every insomniac massive within 200 miles till I'm too old for the scene cuz they are literally the MOST FUN THAT A PERSON CAN HAVE AT ANY EVENT FOR ANY OCCASION. Concerts are obviously fun, but insomniac massives are on another level of cutting loose and enjoying life, but, they are incredibly expensive and intrusive to the general public. Besides the noise, the after math of an insomniac event is brutal. EDC dallas 2010 sent my gf to the hospital along with 45 others, not to mention the two people that died in dallas that day, countless car wrecks, arrests, and a repertoire of associated crime from people attending the show strictly to sell drugs, rip people off, and break into cars. They are fun as fuck but we've got to be honest with ourselves about these things and practice personal responsibility.


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