Risky Raves: Turning up the heat in the desert

- For years, partiers from all over Southern California have driven out to the remote desert of the Antelope Valley to attend exclusive and illegal desert raves.

The raves are only known about through word of mouth, and are full of underage partiers where drugs and alcohol are handed out like candy.

FOX 11 has gone undercover to several of these raves over the years, and for the very first time, we are pulling back the curtain on this underground scene that few people even know about.

The journey begins on an unpaved road in total darkness far northeast of the city of Lancaster.
Faint music off in the distance lets you know you’re getting close, and once you find the doorman and pay a ten dollar cover, it’s time to party.

FOX 11 cameras filmed several underage partiers drinking and using drugs, while promoters counted through wads of cash.

Ecstasy and cocaine were two of the most popular drugs of choice, and several partiers were also seen indulging in nitrous oxide, also known as noz.

FOX 11 attended the raves five separate times, and on one of the trips, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was with us when the rave moved to a different spot in the desert, almost near the Kern County line.

LASD raided the rave, which is illegal without a county permit.

“The intent is to stop this,” said Lt. Larry Gregg of LASD. “We’re in the middle of the desert, high winds, 115 degrees during the day, approximately 24-36 hours of alcohol and drug abuse, and that becomes an issue.”

Deputies shout the rave down immediately. All equipment had to be packed up, and drivers weren’t allowed to leave without confirming they’re sober.

After searching numerous bags, deputies found drugs on some of the party goers, including a large amount of ecstasy.

Two people were arrested on drug charges, and several citations were handed out.

Lt. Gregg told FOX 11 it would take an ambulance at least 45 minutes to get to the location if anything went wrong, and now that they know where to look, the raves won’t be happening again under their watch.

“This type of activity is not condoned in the Antelope Valley,” Lt. Gregg said. “So we’re gonna continue to do this throughout the summer, we’re gonna continue to try and shut down these parties.

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