Illegal raves – How an underground rave scene still strives in the UK

Illegal rave

While writing this in the comfort of my home in the US the only thing I can think about is Joe Biden becoming president. This isn’t going to be a post about politics and where my views stand with the current race for presidency, but I only bring Biden’s name up because of his long history of being against the rave scene. This can only mean that the US could also see a spike in illegal raves just like the UK has in the last 35 years.

UK’s illegal rave scene

EDM is alive and well in the UK with great music festivals that take place every year like Creamfields, We Are FSTVL and South West Four just to name a few. There are still many restrictions in place that has led to unauthorized local events that are known to locals as a free party or in most cases a squat party, which is when a rave is held in an abandoned placeThat most likely has be squatted in.

The guide to a proper squat party

Squat party organizers are looking for spaces that are easy to enter, and pass all-important health and safety checks, such as having fire exits. The majority of these gatherings are just as professional as the legal ones – with proper security and medical facilities, great sound systems, bar staff, and everything else you can expect from a commercial club.

A ‘leave no trace’ policy at some illegal raves means that everyone is expected to avoid dropping litter, and to join in with a sweep of the location once the party is over – even in the early morning after dancing all night. 

The Downside of an illegal rave event

But, of course, illegal raves have their downsides too. Though there aren’t any clear statistics, there can be higher risks due to the fact they’re unregulated, and in recent years, ravers have reported incidents from sexual harassment to violent crime. Not every rave will have appropriate security or first aid, meaning there can be a real chance of something going seriously wrong.