Soon after the world entered the New Year, in the rural countryside of Consett, England, flyers began to circulate throughout the area about an 18+ “COVID RAVE” set to occur at the end of the month.
Presented by a UK nightlife collective referred to as the Renegade Ravers, hundreds of tickets were sold for the January 30th event, supposedly located in an abandoned building in the town of Northumberland. With little to no event information other than for the rave-goer to purchase the ticket and travel to the countryside until further contacted with a more specific location, the event was breached in mystery and anonymity.
That was, until UK authorities caught on to what was being planned once the event began to catch wind on social media and ticket sales skyrocketed. Officers shut down the event in fear of the health implications it could have in spreading the virus, and took to the Internet to warn ticket holders to stay home. However, the warning didn’t stop dozens of excited ravers who showed up to the event location the night of the 30th, but instead of being met with music and a night out, they were met with a mob of police vehicles.
Officers swiftly confiscated music equipment, speakers, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and trace quantities of unreported Class A substances from the event planners and attendees who showed up. With five men in custody under suspicion of breaching coronavirus legislation preventing large gatherings of individuals to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as drug possession, public order offenses, and trespassing, the “COVID RAVE” didn’t quite go as planned.
Local UK officials released a number of reports condemning both the actions of the event planners and ticket holders with Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison of Northumbria Police stating, “Musical equipment has been seized as well as a quantity of drugs and I would expect further seizures to take place throughout the course of our investigation.
This event was widely marketed, flyers were distributed and tickets were sold to hundreds of people. It would be illegal even if we were not in the midst of the pandemic. But to host a rave while the entire region works hard to combat the spread of coronavirus is wholly irresponsible and incredibly dangerous” (Chronicle Live UK). Believe me, nothing sounds better than a crowded event with flashing lights and dance music booming, but once COVID-19 is out of the picture, a night out won’t be so illegal.