Thousands rave during British three day weekend

Updated: Feb 11, 2021

This week the United Kingdom had a Monday off, something that normally leads to many young people going to a festival, clubbing extensively or taking a short trip. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic this wasn't an option for most Brits, leading to thousands of them going to illegal raves throughout the UK, which led to multiple clashes with the police.

The British always have the first Monday of August off, it once started so that bank employees had the opportunity to participate and attend cricket matches. Nowadays it means young people have three days to get absolutely shitfaced in the middle of the summer. But this year was different, due to COVID-19 clubs were closed, festivals got cancelled and travelling abroad wasn’t an option.

This led to many young people attending illegal parties across the UK, the government had already anticipated this and gave the police the power to fine organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people up to £10,000. Visitors without face coverings also face fines of £100, which doubles on each offence and could get as high as £32,000.

The police immediately used their new power in Banwen, South Wales, where 3000 people showed up for a rave. The police gave two of the organisers a fine for £10,000 and seized some equipment in the hopes to shut the rave down.

At a rave in Thetford Forest, Norfolk some of the 500 ravers in attendance turned violent when police showed up, throwing bottles and cans at the police. Five people were arrested and slapped with a £100 fine, sound equipment was seized, but the police are still trying to figure out who the organisers were.

This wasn't the first weekend filled with raves, pretty much since the beginning of the corona crisis people were organising raves. In June there were two illegal raves in Greater Manchester where a 20 year old man died from a suspected overdose, a woman was raped and three people got stabbed.

Of course this was already predicted by many in the music industry, back in June Night Times Industries Association Chief Executive Mike Kill told NME:

“There are a lot of people out there who are socially starved at the moment. And that’s why these illegal raves are starting to pop up because [people] have been trapped inside four walls for a long time now. I don’t think there is anyone in our industry who couldn’t see this coming.”

It’s highly unlikely that Covid-19 restrictions on clubs and festivals will be lifted in the near future, because of this we can assume more and more raves will be organised in the coming weeks. The police seizing some equipment and fining a few organisers will probably not fix this issue.


Source: NME