At Europe’s Illegal Parties, the Virus Is the Last Thing on Anyone’s Mind

Some occasion organizers have tried to answer public concern: “Covid-19 measure been taken,” stated a message in the WhatsApp group about Friday’s occasion. “A station at the entry will be at your disposition with facial mask and hydro alcoholic gel,” it added. These weren’t in proof on arrival, and solely a dozen or so attendees wore masks. For most, the coronavirus appeared removed from their minds.

Dancers had been packed tightly in entrance of a D.J. In the center of the improvised dance flooring, a tall man stood together with his eyes closed, shifting his arms like a chicken’s wings, transported by the music. People chatted to one another for a second, then hugged, instantaneous associates. Occasionally a balloon drifted above the dance flooring, crammed with nitrous oxide, the occasion’s drug of selection.

One attendee, a 25-year-old architect who requested to not be named in case he was thrown out of the WhatsApp group, stated he’d been going to unlawful raves for a few years. “Last year, it was smaller,” he stated. “Everybody just wants to get out now, I suppose.”

Pubs and eating places in Britain had reopened, he added, however nobody in authority was eager about dance-music tradition. He would have thought twice about going to an indoor or boat occasion, he stated, however out of doors ones appeared high quality.

As the evening went on, extra folks arrived, even a person on crutches. Someone climbed a tree at one level, and the music stopped whereas a safety guard ordered him down. That was the closest the occasion got here to an incident till, round four a.m., three cops turned up, shining flashlights throughout the crowd.

They left as rapidly as they arrived, however their presence was sufficient to ship some dwelling.

About 20 minutes later, the police returned — 20 officers this time — and stood in the path to the clearing. One officer stated they’d agreed with the D.J. that he may maintain taking part in till four:30 a.m.

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