Some social gathering organizers have tried to reply to public concern: “Covid-19 measure been taken,” mentioned a message within the WhatsApp group about Friday’s occasion. “A station on the entry can be at your disposition with facial masks and hydro alcoholic gel,” it added. These weren’t in proof on arrival, and solely a dozen or so attendees wore masks. For many, the coronavirus appeared removed from their minds.
Dancers have been packed tightly in entrance of a D.J. In the course of the improvised dance flooring, a tall man stood along with his eyes closed, transferring his arms like a chicken’s wings, transported by the music. Folks chatted to one another for a second, then hugged, on the spot buddies. Sometimes a balloon drifted above the dance flooring, stuffed with nitrous oxide, the social gathering’s drug of alternative.
One attendee, a 25-year-old architect who requested to not be named in case he was thrown out of the WhatsApp group, mentioned he’d been going to unlawful raves for a few years. “Final yr, it was smaller,” he mentioned. “Everyone simply needs to get out now, I suppose.”
Pubs and eating places in Britain had reopened, he added, however nobody in authority was desirous about dance-music tradition. He would have thought twice about going to an indoor or boat social gathering, he mentioned, however out of doors ones appeared positive.
Because the night time went on, extra folks arrived, even a person on crutches. Somebody climbed a tree at one level, and the music stopped whereas a safety guard ordered him down. That was the closest the occasion got here to an incident till, round Four a.m., three cops turned up, shining flashlights throughout the group.
They left as rapidly as they arrived, however their presence was sufficient to ship some house.
About 20 minutes later, the police returned — 20 officers this time — and stood within the path to the clearing. One officer mentioned they’d agreed with the D.J. that he might preserve taking part in till 4:30 a.m.