‘Police were shouting go home’: Inside Saturday’s huge warehouse rave in Yate
‘There were people being grabbed by police to the left and right, but there were just far too many of us’
Just hours after Boris Johnson addressed the nation to announce a new national lockdown, a huge illegal rave in a warehouse just outside of Bristol was announced.
The disused warehouse hosted a rave with up to 1,000 people, who managed to withstand over 12 hours of police attempts to shut it down.
Despite the police bringing in Western Power Distribution to cut the mains power to the building, the rave lasted until around 3pm the next day as organisers had their own power supply of electricity.
There has been student backlash on Bristruths about the event, with one anonymous post asking any student ravers who went “what the fuck is wrong with you?”.
We spoke to Jordan and Alex, not their real names, to find out what it was like inside and why they went.
Video footage from the illegal rave inside a warehouse in Yate on Saturday.. (NOT my own but used with permission) pic.twitter.com/5aqEm1zJZU
— Nicola (@nichowardd) November 4, 2020
By the time Jordan had arrived, there was already a large police presence: The police were shouting ‘please disperse’ and ‘go home’ but they were met with cheers of ‘fuck off’ and ‘we are free people’.
“We followed the stream of people, most of whom were wearing masks and hoodies. Whether to protect themselves from Covid or the filming policemen, it is hard to know. We got to two massive doors and they suddenly burst open and we made a run for it. There were people being grabbed by police to the left and right of us but there were just far too many of us.”
Inside the rave, unsurprisingly social distancing measures were being flouted. Alex told us: “It was absolutely packed when we got in”. However both students commented on how friendly the atmosphere was with very few fights and physical altercations.
Alex told The Bristol Tab: “It was super, super friendly, obviously there was some highly illegal stuff going on but I didn’t see any fights.”
Jordan added: “90 per cent of the people there were far friendlier than you would meet at Motion.”
Somerset and Avon Police issued a strong public statement, with Chief Inspector Mark Runacres calling ravers “wholly irresponsible” and that their actions would “disgust the overwhelming majority of people”, but this is in contrast to the actions and words of police officers at the rave, according to Alex.
When he left he spoke to some of the police: “They were really nice, we spoke about how they wanted a cup of tea. There were three lines of police to get through to leave but they all let us through.”
Additional support is being provided by neighbouring forces to help deal with the ongoing incident.
So far two people have been arrested but work is ongoing to identify those responsible.
Anyone with info should call 101 and give log 1369 of 31 Oct. pic.twitter.com/VNjxPIFWAh
— Avon and Somerset Police (@ASPolice) November 1, 2020
While the actions of the police were significant in reducing violence and making sure ravers could leave safely, there are fears that their lenient approach will encourage people to attend future raves.
On Sunday morning, Avon and Somerset Police tweeted: “Police are dealing with an unlicensed music event attended by hundreds of people in South Gloucestershire. At about 10.35pm we received a call alerting us to the event at a warehouse in Yate. Officers arrived within 12 minutes and found the event underway.
“A secure cordon was put in place by 4am, but it is estimated approximately 500-700 people were on site. While a number of people have left, it is believed a significant number remain within the premises. Power to the building was cut but an alternative source is being used.
“So far two people have been arrested but work is ongoing to identify those responsible. Anyone with info should call 101 and give log 1369 of 31 Oct.”
Both respondents admitted that they would consider going to future raves, with Alex confessing: “It was a lot of fun, I definitely would go again and leave about the same time I did.”
The other said: “‘It was one of the best nights I’ve had in Bristol but there’s no doubt I felt like an idiot the next day.”