An illegal rave in France that started on New Year’s Eve was shut down by police, leading to arrests and clashes.
A statement from local authorities said police faced “fierce hostility from many partygoers”. At least three officers were injured while attempting to shut down the party after attendees threw objects at them. A vehicle was also set on fire.
More than 2,5000 people attended the warehouse rave in Lieuron, near Rennes in the region of Brittany. Police said a number of them were from the UK and Spain.
According to the local prefecture, some partygoers had planned to keep going until Tuesday, but by around 5:30AM local time on Saturday, January 2, ravers began to disperse and accept the party was over.
On Friday a sanitary cordon was set up around the site, and anyone leaving was told to self-isolate for seven days. All vehicle exits were blocked while the police attempted to shut down the party.
French TV station BFM TV reports that a driver with turntables, speakers and a generator in the boot of a vehicle was apprehended by police.
Police were identifying the organisers while closing down the event, and France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Twitter that an investigation has been opened.
Five arrests were made, and more than 1,200 fines were issued for not wearing a mask, partaking in the illegal gathering, and failing to comply with France’s national curfew, which is place to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Latest figures show France has recorded 65,037 deaths from coronavirus.
Other New Year's Eve events around Europe were shut down by police. In Spain, police dispersed a 300-person rave near Barcelona that had been going on for more than 40 hours. Three organisers have been arrested and could face a penalty of up to €600,000. In the UK, an illegal rave in Essex damaged Brentwood's All Saints Church. Three people were arrested on the suspicion of drugs and public order offences.
See footage of the rave in France below.
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter
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