Unlicensed underground raves are on the increase, there is a thriving community of people engaged and ready to party in any empty commercial space.

Social networks and communication

The rise in raves coincides with more and more ways to communicate securely, with Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram all being ways to engage with the rave community and promote raves. The ability to have group WhatsApp messaging and the pin drop facility to let everyone know the exact location within nanoseconds helps large crowds gather quickly and easily.

It also is no surprise that the reduction in nightlife space has started to have an impact. Nearly half of all British clubs have been shut down and people are looking for places to party.

The rise in raves coincides with more and more empty commercial buildings and warehouses, recently raves have been held in an empty carpet warehouse, a disused post office and other types of empty commercial buildings have been targeted.

What the law says

Section 63 of the Criminal justice and public order Act 1994, powers to remove persons attending or preparing for a rave gives police the power to remove people from events where music “wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”. It also has powers to remove people preparing for a rave. In summary, the Act defines a rave as:

  • A gathering of 100 or more people
  • On land or in open air
  • Amplified music is played during the night
  • The noise is likely to cause distress to local residents

Anyone being asked to leave the land must do so immediately and must not return for 7 days. If they don’t leave as soon as practicable then they are committing an offence which is punishable by imprisonment of up to three months or a fine.

Forfeiture of sound equipment

The court can make an order for forfeiture of sound equipment that has been seized. If the owner of the sound equipment comes forward within 6 months they can apply to the court if they can supply proof of ownership, along with evidencing they hadn’t consented for the equipment for the purposes of a rave.

If you’re a commercial property owner and have experienced issues with a rave or trespassers, then you can instruct us to remove the individuals under a writ of possession.

David Asker

David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance