Ahwatukee Residents to Rawhide: Enough With the Raves, Already

This past weekend, masses of neon Lycra-clad ravers in angel wings and fuzzy cat-ear headbands flocked to Crush Arizona, an EDM festival held at Rawhide Event Center that featured artists like Black Tiger Sex Machine and continued into the early morning.

And people who live nearby in Ahwatukee are pissed.

"Please, please stop the raves that are sanctioned at Rawhide," one resident wrote on councilman Sal DeCiccio's Facebook page. "Surely our city council can stop or limit these activities right under our noses! Alcohol, drugs, sex happening right at Rawhide! Please help!"

"How does Rawhide keep getting away with their raves?" another wrote in the private Ahwatukee Neighborhood Watch Facebook group. "So rude, I like to enjoy my house and not be disturbed by constant vibrations when they want to make money."

"Rawhide's special event rave parties suck," a neighbor chimed in. "It was vibrating picture on the walls 3 miles away from there. Boycott Rawhide!!!! Boycott Wild Horse Pass businesses!!"

A number of Ahwatukee residents also left the venue one-star reviews on Facebook and Yelp, complaining about "loud thumping music until the wee hours of the morning."

But aside from flooding social media with angry messages, there wasn't much that neighbors could do. Some reported that they'd called the Phoenix Police Department or Chandler Police Department only to be told that Rawhide falls under the jurisdiction of the Gila River Indian Community Police, meaning that local noise ordinances in Ahwatukee and Chandler wouldn't apply.

The Gila River Indian Community Police, meanwhile, pointed out that the rave was permitted to take place from from 5:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., and therefore wasn't violating any laws.

Fortunately, not everyone in Ahwatukee is hopelessly lame. A handful of middle-aged members of Ahwatukee Neighborhood Watch pledged to attend the next rave, figuring that if they wouldn't be able to sleep anyway, they might as well join in.

"I used to go to the club all the time in my 20s and 30s... ok, I'll be 47 on the 27th, but trust me, I can still bust a move," one woman wrote.

Update 4:44 p.m.: Cindi Carver, Rawhide's general manager, responds, "As our identity as a leading special event venue continues to evolve, so do our efforts to address concerns raised by our neighbors. We are fully committed to continue to strive to be a good neighbor to surrounding communities, while continuing to develop economic growth opportunities for the community we serve."
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Antonia Noori Farzan is a staff writer at New Times and an honors graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to Arizona, she worked for the New Times Broward-Palm Beach.