Thousands breach UK lockdown to attend illegal raves in Greater Manchester

Around 6,000 people gathered in Greater Manchester on Saturday night to attend two illegal raves, the Guardian reports.

The events took place in Carrington, a village south-west of Manchester, and Daisy Nook Country Park, near Oldham. Both were in clear breach of the UK’s current COVID-19 restrictions, which only allows gatherings of up to six people from different households. Clips suggest that few ravers, if any, were wearing face masks.

Greater Manchester Police have also since reported more serious crimes. Three people were stabbed, an 18-year-old woman was raped and one man, at Daisy Nook Country Park, died of a suspected drug overdose.

“Those who attended put themselves and their loved ones at risk,” Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, tweeted yesterday. “Completely irresponsible. A lot of effort went into online events this weekend across GM. Those who attended should be ashamed of themselves. My local area now has to deal with the aftermath.”

Sacha Lord, Manchester’s Night-Time Economy Adviser and cofounder of The Warehouse Project, also condemned the raves on Twitter. “You aren’t clubbers. Just selfish idiots,” he posted.

Despite a considerable presence at both events, the police chose not to interrupt the music and disperse the crowds.

“The overriding principle is that we’re trying to keep people safe and we get asked quite a lot ‘why don’t you move in and disperse everybody?'” Chris Sykes, Assistant Chief Constable at GMP, told Manchester Evening News. “The biggest concern we often have is that if we don’t get the proportionate police action correct then other people can get hurt.”

The UK currently has the third highest COVID-19 death toll in the world. A recent
report by the ONS found that people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are most at risk from the virus, with Black people four times more likely to die than their white counterparts.

Watch footage from one of the illegal raves via social media platform Joe. Viewers may find some scenes distressing.