Joe Barkett, CEO of the Cow Palace, told KQED’s Mina Kim today that the venue’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved his recommendation to not schedule any more electronic music events. On October 30, 17 people were hospitalized due to excessive drug and alcohol use at the Subsonic Spookfest concert, held at the Cow Palace. Nine people were also hospitalized after attending a rave at the Cow Palace in May.

Barkett said: “…it became clear to me that there aren’t measures we could go to that could reasonably assure that there won’t be these kinds of results. That a few people out of many thousands wouldn’t overdose on drugs…” He emphasized that he felt both the Cow Palace and event promoters had done everything they could to ensure security.

The venue will take a financial hit though. The two electronic music events generated about $250,000 for Cow Palace this year, Barkett said. Cow Palace’s budget is about $5 million a year.

“We simply have to try to make up that revenue by booking other events here and we’re working very hard to do that,” Barkett said.

Cow Palace to End Electronic Music Shows 16 November,2010Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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