Tom Petty has been doing some press to promote the new Heartbreakers record Hypnotic Eye, and one of those interviews found him sounding off on electronic dance music festivals. You’ll never guess what he thinks about them. Specifically, Petty has this to say about the highly profitable Electric Daisy Carnival, where two people died this year:
Watch people play records? That’s stupid. You couldn’t pay me to go. I’m not oversimplifying it. That’s what’s going on. I don’t think it would be any fun without the drugs. It’s a drug party. You take that many kids to Vegas in the summer, what could go wrong? I knew it as soon as I saw the ad. I went, “Ooh, dead people.” Do you need the money so bad that you’ll put some kid’s life at risk?
Petty’s comments, from an interview at Radio.com, inspired a somewhat passive-aggressive but mostly friendly response from EDC founder Pasquale Rotella of the Insomniac event production company. Rotella essentially says Petty is an aging classic rocker who’s grasping for relevance, but then he invites Petty to come see one of Insomniac’s festivals for himself. Here’s Rotella’s full response, as posted on Insomniac’s website:
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about records, DJs and dance music, including Tom Petty. We’re living in a very electronic era with constantly evolving forms of entertainment, which may be a daunting thing for a classic rocker in search of contemporary social relevancy as he starts promoting new music. But I would think that someone who played shows with Dylan and the Dead — someone who lived through and actively contributed to the counterculture era of the ’60s and ’70s — wouldn’t be so quick to drink the overhyped media Kool-Aid about our festival experience. If he wants to come to EDC Vegas next year and see what it’s really about, we’ve got a ticket with his name on it. If he doesn’t want to wait that long, Nocturnal Wonderland is right around the corner. My Mama Irene would be stoked to meet him! Who knows? He might just have a “Change of Heart.”
Pulling the “My mom would be stoked to meet you” card was a ruthless move, Rotella! I guess Petty won’t be sticking around Outside Lands for Tiësto’s set the next day.