Police shut down 200-person New Year’s Eve rave near Bristol
Roads near Winscombe woodland were blocked after attendees attempted to flee
Nearly 200 people attended an unlicensed rave on New Year’s Eve close to Bristol, according to Avon & Somerset Police.
Officers were there "around 1:AM in the early hours of January 1" according to a statement, and "found up to 200 people had gathered" in Rowberrow Woods near Winscombe. They continued that "one generator was shut down and officers prevented further access to the site."
"The music was turned off by the organisers by 7.30am and officers are directing people to leave the site in accordance with a direction under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994."
The woodland, owned by Forestry England, was subsequently surrounded by cars when attendees attempted to flee the area. Avon & Somerset warned locals that roads may be blocked.
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“Officers remain at the site of a rave at Rowberrow Woods near Winscombe as up to 200 people and 150 vehicles leave,” Local police said on Twitter at 8:30AM on New Year’s Day. “The music is off but local routes are blocked by traffic.”
Officers remain at the site of a rave at Rowberrow Woods near Winscombe as up to 200 people & 150 vehicles leave.— Avon and Somerset Police (@ASPolice) January 1, 2023
The music is off but local routes are blocked by traffic.
On arrival officers prevented further access to the site & issued a direction to leave. pic.twitter.com/NzqwbwCmeE
“On arrival officers prevented further access to the site & issued a direction to leave,” they added. Police asked organisers to shut down the generator in the early hours of the morning after they were first alerted of the event at around 12:25AM.
“Officers are directing people to leave the site in accordance with a direction under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994,” Police confirmed. It’s unclear whether any arrests were made.
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Following a police statement on social media, locals rallied in the defence of those in attendance, calling the police “killjoys”. One local replied: “Magic, what a night for it too. Warm and the stars were out. As long as they clean up after, it's all good.”
Magic, what a night for it too. Warm and the stars were out. As long as they clean up after, it's all good.— Sebastian Lloyd (@bashthebox) January 1, 2023
Another user defended the ravers: “Stopping parties when there is all kinds of trouble and nastiness going on. Leave the kids alone.”
Others questioned the police’s use of time: “What a pointless waste of time and resources... What exactly did you achieve?” one user asked. “Just making trouble where there wasn't trouble before you arrived! It's a war on class, police hold different gatherings to selective rules.”
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter