Stabbing: Cops Unable To Break Up Drum Circle Party At Blacks Beach

As reported on

LA JOLLA – Plans by law enforcement to break up a full-moon party on Black’s Beach earlier this month were scrapped at the last minute because authorities couldn’t round up enough officers, a state parks official said.

With no officers around, the drum-circle party July 18 ended up drawing an unexpectedly large crowd of about 1,000 people – one of the biggest turnouts yet. It culminated early the next morning in the stabbing of an Irish tourist.

The incident underscores how far the drum circles have strayed from their roots and exposes the jurisdictional complications that come with policing an event that straddles state, city and university land.

The all-night gatherings started in 1994 as mellow affairs as members of the Rainbow Family – a group of "peaceful anarchists" – sang and celebrated life.

But in recent years, the circles have attracted crowds beyond the Rainbow Family types and have grown into rowdy, alcohol-fueled parties.

"They know that agencies are leaving it alone and that it’s pretty open," said Brian Ketterer, an area superintendent with California State Parks. "We just want to curb underage drinking and narcotics, and let people know that this is not a safe place for people to party."