PSA: Those ‘Abandoned Swimming Baths Rave’ Facebook events are fake as hell

Guttingly, there aren’t going to be simultaneous raves in abandoned baths across the country

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been idly scrolling through your Facebook feed and seen a few friends interested in an “Abandoned Swimming Baths Rave”.

The events evoke one of Europe’s most hallowed nightclub archetypes: the cavernous swimming pools of Berlin’s now-defunct Stattbad or Tbilisi’s Bassiani. The kind of clubs your mate who’s really into Nina Kraviz always says you should book a big trip to. Except now you don’t, because some intrepid souls are bringing that vibe to your uni city.

Join the events and all you’ve got to do is join a further group to be in with a chance of getting on the guestlist. In other words, huge if true.

Except, we’ve looked into them and it’s really not what it seems.

The parties are everywhere

The reason you’ve probably seen one of these events is because they’re everywhere. We found “Abandoned Swimming Baths Rave” events in Bristol, Birmingham, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Stoke, Cardiff, Leeds and Newcastle. In total, just under 50,000 people have clicked that they’re interested in an Abandoned Swimming Baths Rave.

Which is exciting: A new wave of raves, all coordinated by the country’s most low-key real estate geniuses. It’ll be the 90s all over again. 50,000 people, all under eerily similar roofs raving.

The Tab poked around a bit, and there are a few cracks in the events. We called up a few city council planning department, none of whom had heard of an abandoned swimming baths just sitting in the city centre. The events also all use the same picture – one of Durham baths, a bath well-known to urban explorers for its rarity in the UK.

If you’re willing to believe in the event so far, you’re willing to believe in: plucky organisers have managed to find an abandoned swimming baths in every city, which nobody’s actually heard of, and that they’re too afraid to upload a picture of to the event.

They’re run by the same people who did the Bank Vaults Rave events

Luckily, if you were doubting the prowess of the organisers, this isn’t their first rodeo. Have a look at the pages who are hosting the events – Underground Parties Nottingham, Underground Parties Bristol, and so on – and each of those pages also hosted a party in a bank vault.

Take “Lenton House Party – The Bank Vault”, which follows the template for every other bank vault event.

By a stroke of luck, the organisers have tracked down “an abandoned bank vault which backs onto a huge house in Lenton Area!”

For Liverpool, “unknown to most, theres a beauty of a house in the Smithdown Road Area which has a huge abandoned bank vault below it.”

For Bristol, with 7.5k people going and 12k interested, there’s “an abandoned bank vault which backs onto a huge house in Gloucester Road!”

And so on and so forth. A remarkable coincidence.

The organisers promise that “we have now managed to secure that same bank vault for another banging party! Which we are running on a guestlist only basis.” To get on that guestlist, you’ve got to join the private guestlist group.

The picture on the event makes it all seem very underground. However, it’s the first result for a Google Images search of “abandoned bank vault”.

It’s not looking good so far

They’re all trying to get you into a Facebook group under false pretences

To get on the guestlist for these very fun-looking events, you’ll need to join the “Secret Guestlist” Facebook groups.

The event’s hosts plug these pages enthusiastically in the “Discussion” section of the event.

Some links go to newly-created local groups, run by their corresponding local page. Most of these have no members apart from the admin.

However, several event descriptions direct you to a central group with 7,000 people: “Secret Guestlist Group”.

It’s run by the central “Underground Parties” page, and has gained 3,000 members in the last month.

Its description reads: “The local authorities managed to get into the other Guestlist group and are shutting us down. This is the NEW SECRET GUESTLIST GROUP for House Party – THE BANK VAULT”

Now if this seems dubious – that one group would serve as guestlist for – this group isn’t newly-created. It’s been around since 2015, and having an identity crisis for much of that time.

In 2018, the group was called “Manchester Metropolitan University Freshers Group 2018-19”

In January 2019, the group was changed to “Festival Season 2019 (UK)”

Not happy with that, the group’s admins changed tack in March, renaming it “UCAS University Applicants 2019”

Then in October 2019, it became “UCAS University Applicants 2020”.

Finally, in January 2020, the group’s name was changed to “Secret Guestlist Group”.

The group has two named admins. We reached out to talk to them but didn’t hear back.

However, by way of a remarkable coincidence, they’re both promoters in Manchester.

Which might explain the motive for all this: loads of identical events, targeted towards students from different areas, all pointing people towards a group run by two promoters. An audience of 7,000 people, all ready to buy whatever the promoters are buying.

It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened. Last year, we found a network of 15 Facebook accounts posting fake stories to Overheard Facebook groups across the country. The people behind the stories, who were linked to the same “Spring Break Amsterdam” festival, claimed the posts were “satire”.

Hopefully the admins can shed some light on what’s happening with the Abandoned Baths Raves. And tell us their real estate secrets.

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