Updated: Feb 22, 2021
On New Year's Eve a large number of people attended illegal raves in France and Spain. Some of these raves even lasted till the weekend, when police eventually shut them down. According to different sources, people travelled from all over Europe to attend the raves, despite the fact that both France and Spain are under strict lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest one of the raves in France was held in an old warehouse in Lieuron, in the west of France. According to the Police, about 2500 people attended the party. It started on New Years and police tried to stop the party that night. But a clash between party goers and the police led to a number of injured officers and damaged police cars. After this the police decided to pull back and wait for reinforcements. They eventually shut down the party on Saturday.
In Spain, police broke up a smaller rave near Barcelona, which also started during New Years and lasted till Saturday. About 200 people attended the rave and according to the local police force, the visitors and the three organisers of the event can expect to be charged and face fines between 3.000 and 600.000 euros.
The French Interior Minister Gerald Darmaning tweeted out that 1200 people had been given penalty notices when they left the party in Lieuron. About 800 of these were for attending an illegal party, breaking curfew and not wearing masks. The rest of the notices were for using illegal drugs.
Currently France has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in western Europe. Last Saturday France even imposed a stricter curfew in 15 of its northeastern and southeastern departments, which will start as early as 6 p.m.