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Party organizer defends so-called 'rave'

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Dec. 21, 2010 at 6:05 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The man who put on a party at the Salt Palace over the weekend, where police seized drugs, says it was not a rave. But that's how Salt Lake Police described it.

The event drew 3,200 people to the Salt Palace Saturday night for a party called "Naughty or Nice." The organizer says it was a safe place for people to party.

Guga Valdovinos, who owns KI events, says it was widely advertised, including a no-drug policy. He says he got the proper permit from the city, had security and followed fire code. He also says everyone had to go through metal detectors.

He says the party was not a rave, which he describes as an underground party with no security.

"There's always a black sheep out of the group, whether you go to a rock concert or an electronic concert, whether you to anywhere, you're always going to get a bad person. And we are ready to deal with those kinds of persons," said Valdovinos.

Salt Lake City Police say they classified the event as a rave because of the potential for illegal drug activity, including the use of Ecstacy.

Calls from parents concerned about drug overdoses at past rave parties in the city prompted officers to make undercover buys there Saturday night.

They seized 85 Ecstacy pills, 4.3 grams of cocaine, 2.8 grams of marijuana and $430. Three juveniles and one adult were arrested for dealing Ecstacy.

Police say there were other misdemeanor arrests and at least two overdoses.

On Monday, the manager of the Salt Palace told KSL, it is a public venue that can be rented out.

Valdovinos says he organizes five or six parties a year at places like the Salt Palace and the Utah State Fairpark. He says there have been very few problems.

E-mail: syi@ksl.com

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Sandra Yi

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