An illegal rave in the Lozère region of France that attracted nearly 10,000 people was shut down by police at the weekend.
The illegal event started on the night of Saturday August 8 and took place in a remote mountain plateau in the Cévennes national park, with authorities stating that no social distancing or safety measures were put in place and that small children were in attendance.
Local authorities are said to have been overwhelmed by the numbers attracted to the area, and initially locked down the event and blocked anyone from entering or leaving while assessing the health risks and potential spread of COVID-19.
Officials also stated that many revellers were too inebriated to safely leave the site in vehicles, and fines for public drunkenness and drug use were handed out.
Lozère is France’s least populous region and has been spared the worst of the coronavirus pandemic so far, which has led to more than 30,000 deaths across the country.
Locals have expressed fury at the swathes of people descending into the region to party illegally, and farmers are also angry about damage sustained to pastures and fields invaded by partygoers.
"People from Lozère take Covid very seriously, they have respected the distancing measures and this massive influx of people who flout all the rules has shocked them profoundly," said Valerie Hatsch, the region’s préfet.
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France currently has a ban imposed on gatherings of more than 5,000 people.
Authorities set up testing facilities and handed out water, face masks and hand sanitizer while the event was locked down, with Red Cross personnel also called toe scene for health and safety reasons. People were gradually allowed to leave on Monday afternoon.
See a report and footage from France Bleu Gard Lozère below.
Vidéo prise ce dimanche 9 août à l’intérieur de la rave-party à Hures-la-Parade, en #Lozère— France Bleu Gard Lozère (@bleugardlozere) August 10, 2020
Les teuffeurs commencent à quitter les lieux. 4 500 festivaliers sont encore présents
(Crédits : Alain Pouget) pic.twitter.com/SfhkxoEGBA
[Via: The Local]
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter
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