Sunday August 9, 2020 ((rezonodwes.com)) – Caged animals in dream villas: with its nightclubs closed – pandemic obliges – the Los Angeles parties have reached the Hollywood hills; lavish, loud and sometimes deadly gatherings that infuriate neighbors and local authorities.
“When I talk about these parties, I'm not talking about the local barbecue or a family gathering,” describes David Ryu, who works on legislation aimed at berating these nightlife lovers.
“I mean… literally parties that cost a million dollars to throw, with lions in cages, tigers and baby giraffes on the red carpet.” , he told AFP. “It's a spectacle.”
The consequences of these big holidays “reverberate far beyond these events – they reflect on our whole community because the virus can quickly and easily spread,” denounced the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
And contracting the virus is not the only risk of these extravagant events.
Last Monday, under the roaring helicopters of the TV news, police arrived at a mansion in the famous Mulholland Drive, filled with young revelers. In the turmoil that followed, gunshots rang out and one person was killed.
Result: the mayor unlocked emergency powers allowing him this weekend to shut off the water and the electricity to those homes, nestled around Hollywood's famous block letters, which “essentially turned into nightclubs.”
– Whistling on the Hills –
Under strict Los Angeles laws that provide for Nightlife closed at 2 a.m., revelers had long been heading to parties in “The Hills” when the hour for the last drink struck.
If confinement has in a prime Time caused a lull in evenings at the city's upscale mansions, the past few weeks have seen complaints skyrocket.
According to residents' association president George Skarpelos before the pandemic, there were 10 to 15 parties every weekend night, but “now there are about 50” .
The fact that these parties are organized illegally increases the chances of something going wrong.
“Believe it or not, the racket is the least of my concerns,” says Ryu. “We've had huge fires for three years in a row… and you have people on the balconies smoking. Where do you think the butts go? “
With diners' cars parked in the middle of winding roads, emergencies often have difficulty accessing the party venue.
-” $ 50,000 cash “-
Most of these events are not organized by villa owners, but nightclub developers who find homes on Airbnb for $ 10,000 a night.
They promote their parties as if it were a nightclub, according to AFP Steve Lurie of the Hollywood Police. “It's exactly the same. Except that now my club has a breathtaking view of Los Angeles and a magnificent swimming pool, ”he adds.
Organizers often charge entry and run a cash bar in the evening promoted through secret lists and word of mouth.
In some cases, owners do not even know that such events are being held in their homes. But Skarpelos thinks there are often “undercover” arrangements. “They're in + mode. Okay, maybe I'll rent it to that shady guy who offers me $ 50,000 in cash +,” he estimates.
If the house involved in the shooting this week is advertised as a place of retreat in respect of Feng Shui and nature, its social networks broadcast videos of short-dressed waitresses serving champagne.
The managers of the property have assured AFP that they had “absolutely no information in advance about the organization of this big party.”
amz / cjc / dax / ybl
© Agence France-Presse