Wet Electric beach dance partygoers will party on

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Despite city efforts to stop it, an Orange County judge ruled Wednesday that the Wet Electric music dance party will take place this weekend as planned.

More than 8,000 people are expected to attend the event at Huntington State Beach where alcohol will be served on the sand for nine hours. City officials took the issue to a judge because they deemed it an un-permitted use of the beach within the city of Huntington Beach. 

Although she did not specifically cite the mayhem that occurred after the U.S. Open in July, City attorney Jennifer McGrath told All Things Considered that the city took the issue up to a judge because of concerns with safety.

"The concern really is bringing that volume of people at one time to an event where there will be alcohol served for nine hours," said McGrath, "and then those individuals will obviously leave the beach."

That's what concerns residents, McGrath said. She also added that the city did not know about the event until a few weeks ago because the permit was given by California State Parks, which is not obligated to go through city processes.

Wet Electric, which includes an array of bands, an inflatable water slide and a zip line, will take place Saturday at Huntington State Beach from noon to 9 p.m.

McGrath said the city hopes the event goes well, but "starting next week, we'll probably start talking to our counterparts in coastal cities to see what kinds of issues they've had and then pursue a legislative fix, but that's a longtime off from now."

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