The U.K. has the fifth-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of any country around the world according to the World Health Organization. Several nightlife professionals predict the resulting restrictions on bars and clubs will lead renegade promoters to throw a number of illegal raves over the summer.
Last weekend’s illegal Manchester raves drew 6,000 and resulted in a sexual assault incident, three stabbings, and a death by suspected overdose. Night Time Industries Association Chief Executive Mike Kill told The Guardian that considerable infrastructure was necessary for the events. He suggested that organizations who rent stages, generators and sound systems for such gatherings ought to be blacklisted in the industry.
Nottingham promoter James Morsh predicts many more will follow. “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,” he said. “As soon as they catch wind of anything, on Snapchat, Instagram stories or whatever, they’re like, ‘Where’s that? WhatsApp me the pin.’”
Kill asserted that the government may be able to curb illegal raves by providing a more concrete reopening schedule. “Without very clear timelines there’s a lot of people looking at creating their own opportunities, socially, and putting on raves – almost like the 80s in some respects,” he said.
Image credit: Alexander Popov