Should It Really Be Illegal To Host A Rave?
During the 1980s Acid House music gave birth to the rave scene, which soon became an international phenomenon. With Raves existing outside of the restrictions, and regulations of the legal club scene the British Government soon made it illegal to host these events, handing out fines and even prison sentences to organisers.
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 was introduced with various sections designed to suppress further growth of the (free party) rave scene.
The New Act allowed police to stop a rave in the open air with 100 or more people attending, as well as 2 or more people under suspicion of preparing a rave. Section 65 allows uniformed officers to stop anyone they believe to be attending a rave within a 5 mile radius, and direct them away from the area. Any failure to do so resulting in a maximum fine of £1000.
The number of people attending an event for it to be deemed illegal was later altered in the Anti-social Behaviour Act of 2003 classing 20 or more people playing loud music both indoors or out doors as an illegal rave.
Despite government efforts raves still exist today. After attending various raves myself I honestly belive the current legislation is in need of change. Granted there are issues surrounding the rave scene however the legalisation of these (free parties) may be the answer to controling them.
I have seen police handle these situations in extreamly different ways, from arresting organisers and conferscating sound systems to containing the event and moving people on during the early hours of the morning.
Media coverage has taken various standing points on the illegal rave scene over the years, some articles glorifying (free parties) and others choosing to condemn them. My question is with public opinion being split in the regards to the legality of these raves why has the legislation still not been reviewed?
Raves or (free parties) often take place in abandoned buildings similar to this one.
So lets have a look at some of the issues involved with the illegal rave scene, the logic behind the illegalisation of (Free Parties) and weather any options can be explored to make raves less of a threat to our government.
*Breaking and entering and civil trespass
Civil trespass is not a criminal offence in this country however you can be sued by the land owner in civil court.
Breaking and entering. This is a crime, although with many raves taking place in fields or abandoned building it is often the case that organisers, and people attending don’t cause any damage to the property in order to gain access.
This could all be bypassed trough the use of common ground, as well as gaining permission from land and property owners.
Abandoned wearhouse I entered freely with out causing any damage to the property.
*Damage to property, country side and common ground
If raves were to be made legal organisers could be held responsible for there location. for example making sure no rubbish is left after the event. Maybe if they didn’t have to flee after an event people would be less reluctant to tidying up after them selves.
In terms of damage to property the majority of indoor raves I have attended have been in derelict or abandoned spaces. More damage is done over time through the decay of an abandoned building than a couple hundred people in one night.
Another building left to rot that could be an ideal place for a party.
*Noise pollution and complaints
If raves were legalised for warning could be given to close by residents. The same way a legal music festival would go about tackling this problem, legislation could be altered so that organisers would need agreement from a certain % of occupants in the area in order to host their event.
As well as this locations could be used well away from any residential areas to avoid disturbance.
* Drugs and Anti – Social Behaviour
It should be taken in to account that any individual that decides they want to use drugs is going to find a place to use them. Whether this be at home, in a night club or at an illegal rave makes no difference.
Hundreds of thousands of people choose to take drugs at legal music festivals and night clubs in the country each year, is there a major difference between where they are done.
As far as Anti – Social Behaviour goes it is normally the case of a few bad apples ruining the bunch, The majority of party goers just want to enjoy them selves.
I am not in anyway stating I have all the answers here, I am simply suggesting the legislation needs reviewing, with a less bias frame of mind and possibly a more liberal attitude. If these parties were no longer illegal the events would be less shrouded in secrecy, therefore could be more easily managed and controlled.
Writing this article allowed me to research an area of interest to me as the illegality of (free parties) is something I feel needs to be reviewed. Writing the article also allowed me to express my opinion on this subject. My research has taught me more about the laws and legislations surrounding raves as well as their history and origins.
The article is strongly opinionated although I have tried to take in to account views that conflict my own, with the aim of suggesting a more balanced solution. I used a mostly persuasive writing style although hopefully this article is also informative.
References and Research