Illegal parties in Spain and France: Like from a disaster film – News abroad

After two illegal mass parties at the turn of the year in Spain and France, guests and organizers face severe consequences.

In France, eight people were taken into police custody, the Rennes prosecutor announced. According to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, the law enforcement officers issued more than 1,600 warnings subject to fees. Arrests were also made in Spain.


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►Near the Breton city of Rennes, around 2500 mostly young people met for a rave in a disused hangar on New Year’s Eve. As the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine announced, guests from other French departments and abroad had also traveled to Lieuron. With little distance and often without masks, they celebrated despite all Corona rules.

Police distribute masks and disinfectants

Police officers had been on duty since Thursday evening, securing the area, distributing disinfectants and masks and stopping access to the party. As France’s Interior Minister Darmanin wrote, the departure of cars was controlled.


The police in a cleared warehouse.  Before that, up to 1,000 young people danced under the white skull with red Christmas hats

The police in a cleared warehouse. Before that, up to 1,000 young people danced under the white skull with red Christmas hatsPhoto: imago images / Lagencia

Warnings were systematically issued. According to the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine, most of them were issued for violating the mask requirement, night exit restrictions and attending an illegal gathering.

Organizers in their early twenties, no criminal record

On Saturday morning, the national gendarmerie announced on Twitter that the party was over. Among the eight arrested in France are two alleged organizers of the illegal mass party. Both are in their early twenties and have no criminal record.

▶ ︎The corona pandemic hit France (around 67 million inhabitants) hard. More than 64,900 people died and around 2.6 million people were infected with the coronavirus.


A police officer takes down the personal details of young people after breaking off a party in a nearby hangar about 40 km south of Rennes in France, Lieuron.

A police officer notes down the personal details of young people after a party in Lieuron (France) was broken offPhoto: dpa

Spain (around 47 million inhabitants) also suffers from the virus. So far, almost two million infected people and more than 50,000 deaths have been counted. Strict contact restrictions and night exit restrictions apply in both countries. It is recommended that you meet as little as possible with people from other households.

In view of the tense health situation, the illegal mass parties in Spain and France caused outrage and concern.


Without masks and without a safe distance, as if there was no pandemic.  The police entering the party in the small town of Llinars de Valles

Without masks and without a safe distance, as if there was no pandemic. The police entering the fete in Llinars de Valles (France)Photo: imago images / Lagencia


Eviction by the police of the illegal party in the province of Barcelona.  Region of Catalonia, northeastern Spain, January 02, 2021. The party started on New Year's Eve and drew more than 200 people out

Eviction of the illegal party in the province of Barcelona. The party started on New Year’s Eve and brought together more than 200 people from several European countriesPhoto: imago images / EFE Agency

Ravers should be isolated and tested

The Breton health authority urged the party guests to isolate themselves and get tested immediately. According to the prefecture, a test center has been set up in Lieuron. In Spain, corona measures were tightened in various parts of the country under the impression of the rave party.

Images of the rave party near Barcelona looked like something out of a dark disaster film. Up to 1000 young people danced under a huge white skull with a red Christmas hat in a shabby warehouse to the thumping of techno sounds. Without masks and without a safety distance.


The techno fans danced close together - when the police came, the mood turned

The techno fans danced close together – when the police came, the mood turnedPhoto: AFP


Officials in protective gear come to the grounds after the party ends.  At the same time there are still some ravers walking around there

Officials in protective gear come to the grounds after the party ends. At the same time there are still some ravers walking around therePhoto: AFP

Before the rave for a quick test

According to the newspaper “La Vanguardia”, the party was anything but spontaneous. The organizers had been preparing the rave for months. On Thursday evening, a dozen trucks loaded with large loudspeakers and a lighting system drove up to the warehouse. Only when two dance slopes were set up, the participants, who were already waiting in the parking lots in surrounding cities, were informed of the exact location of the party.


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The participants also came from abroad. A group of young people from France said on Spanish TV: “Before we crossed the border, we did rapid corona tests.” And continued: “All negative, that’s why we don’t wear masks here. It’s really great to be here. “

Up to 600,000 euros fine

Two people were arrested in Spain, five are being investigated and the personal details of 214 participants have been recorded, wrote “La Vanguardia”. The possible fines for violations of corona measures in Spain range from 1,500 euros for minor cases to a maximum of 600,000 euros for serious violations. Such high fines have not yet become known.

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