Authorities have linked a second death to last weekend's Electric Daisy Carnival in Dallas, news that broke Thursday while journalists toured security at the Las Vegas Speedway, where the traveling event will have a much larger rave this weekend.
Security patted down reporters head-to-toe, something that will be done to all 80,000 ravers entering the speedway each night of the three-day electronic music festival, which starts tonight .
Pockets must be turned out, purses emptied. Even performers and their equipment will endure the thorough search, not allowing lip balm or eye drops.
It's the same drill that happened in Dallas but for four times the crowd.
Authorities reported that a 22-year-old man probably ingested drugs at the Dallas rave on Saturday and began acting irrationally during the car ride home with a friend. He ran onto U.S. Highway 75 near Sherman, 60 miles north of Dallas, where a truck struck and killed him.
A 19-year-old man also died at the rave from causes yet to be determined. Medics took 30 other people to the hospital for heat-, drug- and alcohol-related issues before shutting the event down.
Event promoter, Insomniac, instituted extensive pat-downs and ID scanners in a "zero-tolerance" drug policy for this year's Electric Daisy Carnivals after coming under heavy fire for a 15-year-old girl's ecstasy overdose death in Los Angeles last year. The minimum age of attendees was 16; it has been upped to 18 this year.
News of the second Dallas death hasn't prompted changes in security for the Las Vegas rave. Insomniac is "extraordinarily confident" it can handle the event safely, spokeswoman Erika Raney said at the speedway Thursday. Insomniac and local authorities have been planning for three months. Nothing more can be done, she said.
Insomniac is paying for about 160 Las Vegas police officers to patrol the speedway. It also hired 1,000 private security guards.
On the medical side, a building marked with a red cross sits in a corner of the speedway's infield, housing a temporary hospital of about 40 beds. About seven nurses will be on site all night -- the rave runs from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- plus three emergency room doctors, said Mark Calabrese, operations manager for MedicWest.
MedicWest will have 14 ambulances on site, 10 ready for immediate transport. All in all, 80 caregivers will be on site during the rave's late-night peaks, not to mention two fire engines, he said.
In a further effort to limit drug use, organizers aren't allowing rave attendees back into the speedway once they leave the event for the evening.
"We'll have pretty much everything we need on site," he said, adding that he doesn't predict the rave will get out of hand. "It's not much different than what happens in Vegas on a regular basis."
Raney echoed this sentiment, saying the year's main rave moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas because of the city's ability to handle something as immense and wild as this. Insomniac also was facing opposition in Los Angeles and couldn't book the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum despite its 14-year run there.
The speedway will be offering free designated drivers shuttling people to wherever they're staying this weekend. Another driver will follow in that person's car.
"Plan for the worst, hope for the best," said officer Bill Cassell, spokesman for the Las Vegas police.
Contact reporter Trevon Milliard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0279.