Sunday, 13 Jun 2021

Coronavirus: ‘Reckless’ Bristol rave organiser fined £10,000 after hundreds turn up to event

The organiser of a rave near Bristol at the weekend has been fined £10,000 after they breached coronavirus regulations.

Police from Somerset broke up the illegal event at a warehouse in south Gloucestershire on 31 October after reports from a member of the public.

Officers from Avon and Somerset Police arrived in just 12 minutes to start closing the event down, which was said to have up to 700 people in attendance – breaking coronavirus rules.

A man in his 30s who appeared to be removing sound equipment at the event was arrested, and on Wednesday, was handed a fine of £10,000 for breaching COVID-19 regulations on mass gatherings.

Police have released footage from the operation, showing partygoers apparently acting hostile towards officers while they were trying to clear the event.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “The appalling violence and hostility shown towards the police, the like of which I’ve rarely seen in my policing career, was wholly unacceptable and reprehensible.”

Mr Marsh added: “It is hard to adequately explain how reckless it was to organise an unlicensed music event during the midst of a pandemic that has claimed so many lives.

“We are facing a moment in this pandemic when scientists and medics are warning of the grave risks and consequences of not controlling the virus.

“Millions of people across the country are making sacrifices every day to protect the NHS, while key workers are doing shifts around the clock to help their communities.

“Yet those involved in this event acted criminally and disgracefully, with no thought for anyone other than themselves. It was deliberately organised in secret with complete disregard to the current situation the country is facing at the moment.”

In total, eight arrests were made from the event for a number of offences, including violent disorder and assaulting an emergency worker.

An investigation into the event is ongoing, and anyone with information about the unlicensed event is asked to call 101 and give the call-handler the reference number 5220246954

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