The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has expressed concerns that more than 5,000 illegal parties will take place across New Year’s Eve weekend at the end of this month.
The organisation has cited the restrictions in place on licensed nightspots, forcing many to be closed, as one of the reasons illegal raves are likely to be rife around the UK.
Read this next: Illegal rave organisers face fines of up to £10,000
NTIA CEO Michael Kill said: "There is a growing concern that New Year's Eve is going to culminate in social unrest and will see a substantial number of illegal parties and mass gatherings following the closure of businesses at 23.00pm, with a real risk of overwhelming the police and emergency services.”
“We are estimating that the UK will be witness to over 5,000 illegal parties across New Years Eve weekend"
"The Government needs to consider ways in which to manage this grave situation, people will want to celebrate the end of 2020 in their own way, ignoring the issue will not resolve what will be a significant car crash in every sense of the term"
"The volume of people being pushed out onto the street following the 23.00pm close, one hour before NYE celebrations begins, will become counterproductive and we will see the impact of this in January 2021. There needs to be some consideration given to the current restrictions on NYE, and a unified message, urging people to consider the impact of their actions."
Read this next: How illegal rave crews are using custom apps to avoid the police
Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, said: "The closure of hospitality venues in Tier 3, combined with the 11pm curfew elsewhere only serves to encourage house parties and outdoor gatherings, and it's inevitable we will see an increase of these on New Years Eve. I urge all those considering hosting or attending a gathering to think about those around them who may be vulnerable to Covid-19, and to put their health and safety first."
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, also expressed concerns that that keeping Manchester city centre’s hospitality industry locked down could fail to stop the virus spread if people instead gather in homes.
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter
Read this next: Get the best of Mixmag direct to your Facebook DMs