This Summer’s Forecast: Illegal Raves and Coronavirus

COVID-19 hasn't stopped summer parties. It's just made them illegal.

Crowd of people dancing at a rave
Coronavirus is still happening, and so are illegal raves.
Flashpop via Getty Images

They say it’s going to be a summer of illegal raves and disease.

According to a recent Guardian report, COVID-era revelers aren’t letting coronavirus lockdown orders keep them from a good time, with large gatherings taking place in parks, forests, industrial estates and motorway underpasses throughout England.

These discreet parties are reportedly organized in secret and promoted solely through Snapchat and Instagram, with organizers sharing their locations at the last minute via WhatsApp pins.

All the discretion and careful planning hasn’t stopped police from breaking up the events, however. According to the report, cops broke up a party of 1,000 this weekend, while elsewhere, they shut down an illegal rave of around 600 in an M1 underpass. That said, the police disruptions don’t appear to be doing much to stop these gatherings. Apparently they’ve been going on since May, and experts predict they’ll continue throughout the summer.

“All the clubs are shut, everyone is at home, people have been cooped up at home for three months,” promoter James Morsh told The Guardian. “As soon as they catch wind of anything, on Snapchat, Instagram stories or whatever, they’re like, ‘Where’s that? WhatsApp me the pin.’”

Established party promoters throughout the U.K. do not support the new trend of illegal raves, however. “The people putting on parties during lockdown are generally not part of the established UK free party scene,” a member of that scene told Mixmag. “Generally, these parties are being put on by groups of very young people who haven’t thought through the consequences of their actions or complete idiots who have access to small sound systems and want to make some fast money.”

Meanwhile, over in the U.S., COVID-partiers have been partaking in similarly unsafe revelry in illegal New York speakeasies, flooding the streets for impromptu parties, and packing bars and nightclubs in recently reopened states, swiftly converting them into brand new coronavirus hot spots. Happy summer everyone.

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