In Face of Pushback, Wet Electric Organizers Vow "The Show Will Go On"

Officials are concerned about rowdy crowds in the same city where riots broke out after the U.S. Open of Surfing

By Hetty Chang
|  Monday, Sep 9, 2013  |  Updated 9:11 PM PDT
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The city of Huntington Beach has filed a suit to stop the daytime music festival from taking place on Saturday. With a minimum entrance fee of $75 dollars benefiting the Giving it Back to Kids charity, Robert Kalatschan, president of the charity, said if the event is canceled, it is not just the ticket holders who will miss out, but ultimately the kids. Hetty Chang reports from Huntington Beach for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2013.

Hetty Chang

The city of Huntington Beach has filed a suit to stop the daytime music festival from taking place on Saturday. With a minimum entrance fee of $75 dollars benefiting the Giving it Back to Kids charity, Robert Kalatschan, president of the charity, said if the event is canceled, it is not just the ticket holders who will miss out, but ultimately the kids. Hetty Chang reports from Huntington Beach for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2013.

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A popular music festival expected to attract as many as 10,000 revelers to the Huntington State Beach Saturday may not happen if the city has its way.

Huntington Beach has filed a suit to stop Premiere Media Group's Wet Electric music festival.

In its video trailer on YouTube, the 21-and-over event is promoted as a way to say goodbye to summer with electric music, fun and food and drinks. What it is not is a "rave," according to organizers.

"It's all about the music," said Steve Thacher, of Premiere Media Group. "It's a day-time music festival. It ends at 9 p.m.

"The show will go on, there's no turning back now."

But despite approval from the state, the show may not go on. The city has filed for a temporary restraining order, to be considered on Wednesday, according to city officials.

"It's an alcohol-fueled party all day long with people then spilling onto our streets and drinking all day," said Huntington Beach Mayor Connie Boardman.

The event will be staffed with private security and 25 state officers, according to Premiere Media Group. It says Wet Electric is a safe event, and completely different from the U.S. Open of Surfing event, where at least 10 people were arrested for wreaking havoc in city streets.

"Our minimum ticket price is $75," Thacher said. "Theirs was free to everybody and all the problems they had happened on Main Street. We are at a very remote section of Huntington State Beach property."

Caught up in the middle of all of this is the "Giving It Back to Kids" charity -- a Huntington Beach based group helping needy children in Southeast Asia. The group was chosen as the benefactor to receive part of the proceeds from the event.

It's "a fun end of year party with some music and dancing," Robert Kalatschan, the charity's president describing, said of his understanding of the event.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in Santa Ana. However, the state, which has already approved the event, had not been served with court orders as of Monday evening.

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