An abandoned B&Q building in Bristol was the site of a 16-hour illegal rave this weekend, with hundreds of revellers (and at least one dog, see gallery above) descending on the site and partying from Saturday evening through to 11am on Sunday morning.
Graffiti was sprayed on the walls, including the message ‘STOP TELLING WOMEN TO SMILE’, and an “eclectic mix of fast-paced techno music, live punk bands and disco” was pumped out of weighty system, reports the Bristol Post. Local residents were kept up all night, and have claimed police allowed the rave to continue because a ‘risk assessment’ outlined the conditions were too difficult to evict the partygoers.
According to reports, police arrived on the scene but were unable to clear the vast building on Muller Road, and a ‘stand-off’ ensued, in which no one was allowed in or out of the site.
One police officer complained on Twitter about abuse directed at officers from locals, writing: “So much verbal abuse towards officers. ‘I pay your wages’”.
A local who wished to remain nameless said: "Police in attendance (were) unable to take any action due to 'number of people' and 'risk assessment'.
"I'm sure they work very hard and are under-resourced but that isn't much comfort to the local community."
Rave attendee Tom Zephyr said: “Due to the stand-off between anti police anarchists and police at the gate I was forced to climb over a six-metre barbed-wire fence in order to get out.
"It was an annoying situation at the gate because the squatters were afraid to unlock the gate in case the police rushed in but, to be fair to them, the police were crowding the gate thus preventing anyone from leaving.
"After I climbed over quite precariously with about 30 odd people watching me on all sides shouting, one of the police quite childishly said to the squatter 'there, see what you made him do? He could have been hurt', while another one said I should join Cirque du Soleil.
“There were only about 200 to 300 people in there before the police stopped people coming in, so it was kinda empty. There was also a disco room upstairs. And a series of live punk gigs.”
Speaking on the matter, a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “We can confirm we received a small number of calls during the early hours about an unlicensed music event taking place on Muller Road, Bristol.
“When officers attended a large number of people were already at the location. If we are aware in advance about a potential event the law allows us to take action to close it down and seize whatever music equipment is on site before it gets fully underway.
“However, if it has already started and there are a large number of people on the site, an assessment has to be made whether safe and proportionate action can be taken at that moment.
"All incidents will be compared to the threat, harm and risk that they pose when deciding where resources will be deployed. Our priority is always the safety of the public.
“The music was turned off shortly after 11am and those in attendance subsequently left the scene. We understand that for those affected by the noise these events can be very frustrating and we’d like to thank the public for their patience.”
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter