With the plug pulled on England’s 2020 festival season, would-be attendees around the UK are turning to illegal raves. This week, a series of outdoor parties in Manchester, Leeds, and Staffordshire broke the country’s COVID-19 provisions, sparking concerns in some of a modern “summer of raves,” not far removed from the counterculture movement seen in the late 1980s.
To stay under wraps, the events are planned spontaneously, with their locations only revealed on social media at the last minute. James Morsh, a Nottingham-based club promoter commented that the events, “must have been a few lads, inviting a few hundred people down and then, boom, it’s on Snapchat, everyone’s like, ‘Where is it? Oh, Daisy Nook’. Boom, everyone goes there. That’s how these things spread.” The event in Daisy Nook, labeled the “Quarantine Rave,” amassed over 4,000 attendees.
Mike Mill, the chief executive of Night Time Industries says the events have a direct correlation to the current pandemic, stating that,
“The youth of today want to be out and want to be engaged. There are a lot of people out there who are socially starved at the moment. And that’s why these illegal raves are starting to pop up because [people] have been trapped inside four walls for a long time now.”
Morsh concurs, “You know the summer of 89? I think this is a new revolution on the scale of that … All the clubs are shut, everyone is at home, people have been cooped up at home for three months.” For a deep dive into the UK rave scene during this time, checkout Jeremy Deller’s full-length documentary Everybody in the Place below.