Hundreds of people met for a rave party in the small town of Llinars del Vallès, ignoring the night curfew due to the corona pandemic. Videos published by Spanish media show how the participants – apparently day and night – danced in a warehouse, under a huge skull with a Santa hat.
As the newspaper “La Vanguardia” reported on Saturday, the police broke up the celebration with a massive effort. However, the police took their time: They apparently only intervened 36 hours after the first calls from concerned residents and switched off the power on Saturday afternoon.
According to the newspaper, local residents reported that at times up to 1,000 people attended the party in the town about 40 kilometers northwest of the tourist metropolis of Barcelona, crowded and without masks. In front of the industrial building in an abandoned port district, there were around 200 vehicles with foreign license plates, for example from France and Belgium, including many caravans.
Ravers drove away from the police
Local residents said the party was supposed to last until January 4th. According to »La Vanguardia«, the police asked the people several times to evacuate the area. The regional government announced an investigation into why the response came so late. In addition, it will be determined who organized the party.
The organizers face fines of up to 600,000 euros. The Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonian riot police, arrested three suspects for resisting state authority and violating the health law. They also looked for drugs and performed alcohol tests on drivers.
The rave had apparently started on New Year’s Eve, the police estimated the number of participants according to a report in the newspaper »El País« at 300 to 400. To make it more difficult for the police to get there, stones were placed at the entrance to the site and finally cleared away by bulldozer.
The police decided not to intervene immediately. “On New Year’s Eve there were 3,000 police officers who took care of the safety of 7.5 million residents,” said Police Chief Pere Ferrer, defending himself against criticism from residents, mayors and local politicians in the region at the “incomprehensible delays.” In the “very complex” situation, they wanted to avoid a “hasty action”. When the start of the operation became apparent, many ravers had already left the party and, according to “El País”, drove away on country roads to evade police controls.
Also on Saturday, French forces ended an illegal New Year’s Eve rave in Brittany. Around 2,500 people had met in a disused hangar in Lieuron. When the police wanted to end the party, they are said to have been violently attacked and initially evicted. The last partygoers did not leave the premises until Saturday morning. France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced harsh sentences.