French Gendarmes stop a van at a checkpoint after breaking up a dance rave near a disused hangar in Lieuron about 40km (around 24 miles) south of Rennes, on January 2, 2021. Some 2,500 partygoers attended an illegal New Year rave in northwestern France, violently clashing with police Photograph:( AFP )
Local police tried stopping the party on January 1 but were forced to wait for reinforcements as revellers clashed with the officials injuring some and damaged police cars
A massive rave party taking place since the New Year's Eve near Rennes in France was finally shut down by several hundred French police officials on Saturday. The party was attended by about 2500 revellers from across France and even from abroad. The party had caused huge concerns since social distancing and other coronavirus measures went for a toss. Local police tried stopping the party on January 1 but were forced to wait for reinforcements as revellers clashed with the officials injuring some and damaged police cars.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter that more than 1,200 party-goers had been issued with penalty notices as they left the site, adding that the event's organisers were being identified and would be prosecuted.
About 800 of the revellers were sanctioned for attending an illegal party, breaking curfew and not wearing masks, and the rest were mostly issued notices for using illegal drugs, Berthier said.
Prosecutors in Rennes have opened a probe into the illegal organisation of a musical event and violence against persons of authority, the prefecture said, while local health authorities urged party-goers to self-isolate for seven days.
France has highest number of COVID-19 cases in Western Europe. The country is stepping up coronavirus restriction imposing curfew in many states starting at 6 pm. The rave party had thus become a matter of concern as it had the potential of becoming a superspreader event.
In neighbouring Spain, police broke up a smaller warehouse rave near Barcelona that had also been going for more than 40 hours.
About 200 people attended the New Year's Eve rave in the village of Llinars del Valles, and dozens continued to party on Saturday - some refusing to leave and shouting abuse when police arrived at the scene.
The event's three organisers were arrested, Catalan's Mossos d'Esquadra police force said on Twitter, adding that the three and those who attended the party would be charged and faced fines of between 3,000 and 600,000 euros.
(With AFP inputs)