Riot Averted as Cops Threaten Arrest, Pull Plug on DJ

Santa Barbara- Santa Barbara’s Earl Warren Showgrounds, a state-owned popular local venue for a wide range of events ranging from rodeos and equestrian spectacles to antique sales and home & garden shows, was once again the site of the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, which ended its’ annual gathering on April 28th.

Earl Warren Showgrounds

But on the final night of this year’s “Expo”, area law enforcement agencies received a record number of noise complaints from area residents dispersed throughout the city from as far away as five miles.  According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, “people from all parts of the city, from the Westside, to the upper Riviera, Mission Canyon, and downtown reported hearing the bump” of bass music coming from the performance of Porter Robinson, 20, an electro-deejay who was headlining The Matador Music Festival.

At approximately 10:00 p.m. on the night of April 27, when Robinson was more than an hour into his performance, SBSD Deputies, working with Showgrounds CEO Scott Grieve, informed Collective Effort Events promoter Taylor Stevens that the decibel level was excessive and that the sound levels would need to be reduced.  At that time Robinson was also reminded that the show would conclude an hour hence, at 11:00 p.m.  While discussions ensued as to an apparent misunderstanding about the agreed-upon shutdown time, a Sheriff’s deputy approached Robinson’s electronic equipment circuitry and, according to Stevens’ statements to the media, “told them they were going to shut us down.”

Porter Robinson

At that point, Robinson made the announcement that the show was being ended by law enforcement and proceeded to play another tune, whereupon Grieves was ordered by Deputies to summarily “pull the plug” on the show.  Grieve complied immediately, whereupon Robinson commented upon the efforts of law enforcement to curtail his performance, adding that “the police are not on your side.”

In her statement to the media about the incident, Hoover suggested that Robinson’s remarks constituted a failure to comply with a lawful order and that “the next course of action would be to issue a criminal citation and confiscate the equipment to be used as evidence in court.”  Under the threat of such levels of enforcement—although the jurisdiction at the state-owned venue which sits on county property has long been in dispute—Robison asked his increasingly angered fans to remain calm…and the show came to an abrupt and silent end.

Photo: Courtesy,

1) White Rave Rafting: Porter Robinson Gets Performance Cut Short, Threatened by Santa Barbara Police

2) EDM Sauce: Porter Robinson Gets Threatened by Santa Barbara Police After Getting Shut Down

3) Stoney Roads: Santa Barbara Shut Down Porter Robinson’s Set: “Inciting a Riot”

Riot Averted as Cops Threaten Arrest, Pull Plug on DJ was last modified: May 3rd, 2013 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara
Tags: Riot

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Robert L. McCullough

Bob McCullough is a television and screen writer-producer who has worked for every major television network and film studio with more than 200 produced credits. Bob has recently co-authored “Where Hollywood Hides: Santa Barbara”, a hardcover book featuring a wide range of film, television, and music industry celebrities living on the Central Coast. His weekly iTunes podcast about “all things Hollywood” can be heard at