The Number of Illegal Raves in London Has Doubled in 12 Months

In just one year, the number of illegal raves in London has doubled, but what is the real reason for this?

In the past year, the number of illegal raves in London has reportedly doubled, and many believe the increasing number of nightclubs closing down are to blame. But something is definitely being missed in this analysis.

In 2017, 133 plans for illegal raves were uncovered, as opposed to just 70 the year before.

One of the key causes is said to be the decline in London nightlife, as it has been reported that more than half of the city’s clubs have shut down between 2005 and 2015.

Naturally, it is also believed that the skyrocketing price of drinks could be to blame for deterring people from hitting traditional night clubs.

Bill Brewster was one of the first resident DJs at infamous London nightclub, Fabric, and said that it should be no surprise that illegal raves are becoming increasingly popular. The gentrification of inner city hubs means it is difficult for night clubs to exist or stay open due to nearby residents filing noise complaints, and clubs have to charge higher entry fees to keep up with the price of rent.

But something is missing in the report requested by the Sunday Telegraph. It is a massive assumption to make that the ravers who organise a DJ set at an abandoned dock are the same people attending London’s big name clubs like Dance Tunnel. The ‘illegal rave scene’, as it’s been labelled, is an entire culture of its own, and it would take more than a ‘2 pints for 1’ offer to force most people underground into an empty warehouse or a bush doof in the sticks.

Brewster added that young people are often set on trying to find something a little ‘transgressive’, a little bit rebellious and off the beaten track. “I think it’s innate in teenagers and people in their early twenties to want to do stuff they’re not supposed to do. And even though raves are illegal, most of them don’t do much harm apart from giving a few people a poor night’s sleep.”

Police treat raves as vandalism, when they are really just parties, created by people who aim to escape mainstream ticketed events. There is a lot more planning and organisation involved than one person saying “I’m bored” and throwing a party.

According to the Metro Public Order Command (a special division of the Police) in London, they’ve “woken up to the problem and put out a much higher intelligence requirement to identify these things.” Which allows them to find the place of the rave, and send in dog units and riot police to break up the events. That’s right... riot police.

Once you add up the price of entry, the increasing price of drinks and the cost of transport (we’re looking at you, Uber surcharge), it’s not hard to see how quickly a night out can turn into an unaffordable luxury. So it’s no wonder that people are looking for alternative places to party.

But even then, it is implied that raves are a last resort, which is also false. What if raves are something new entirely? A place to observe the coalescing of different types of people and styles of music… before the riot police and dogs show up.

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