Hundreds of ravels were booked to break the coronovirus ban as an illegal rave in northwest France ended on Saturday after partying for more than two days, leading to clashes with police.
Police failed to stop the underground incident, drawing about 2,500 people since Thursday night at two unused warehouses in Leuron, south of the city of Rennes, Brittany.
Such mass celebrations have been banned throughout France to prevent the spread of Kovid-19, and a nationwide 8:00 pm curfew – which was not lifted for the new year – has come into force throughout the country.
Warehouses exploded during the night with techno music, which turned into an illegal nightclub for partygoes who visited the site from all over France and even abroad.
The local prefecture said that the music was shut down on Saturday and the sound system was shut down after two nights, and the revelations began for the first time before dawn.
It was under police control until 10:15 am, the local province said.
Interior Minister Gerald Dermannin said in a tweet that police had booked more than 1,200 people and seized a truck, sound equipment and generator from the venue of the “illegal rave party”.
He said the police’s large presence at the scene breaks the incident “without violence”.
Regional influence, Emanuel Berthier, said 800 people were booked specifically for crimes related to coronaviruses such as curfew restrictions or wearing masks, or failing to attend an illegal assembly.
Police fined several others for the use of narcotics, he told reporters.
– ‘We had to party’ –
An AFP photographer said that the police present on the access road were checking all those who were on site, on foot or in vehicles.
The photographer said that police guards continued to arrive and stop in a calm environment on Saturday morning.
“It’s been a year since we can do anything,” said 24-year-old partyonger Antoine. The salesman was part of a group of five of Brittany’s who attended this rave.
With drawn faces but still beer in their hands, the group said they “came here to celebrate the 31st because it was a very big party”.
“We knew what we were doing … We had to party, everything has been stuck for a year,” one group said, a 20-year-old waitress.
Alexis, a 22-year-old baker, said “At one point you say to yourself: ‘I’m going to force my freshman year.”
He was also reported in the New York Times, calling it “New York’s largest party”.
– ‘Life is in danger’ –
French officials are concerned about the parties grumbling extensively throughout the epidemic, but New Year’s Eve was a particular concern.
On Thursday night, police “tried to stop the incident but faced fierce hostility from several partymen” who set fire to one of their cars and threw bottles and stones, the province said on Friday.
First aid workers distributed hand gels and masks at the event to try and limit the spread of coronovirus.
The Regional Health Authority in Brittany noted the “high risk of the spread of Kovid-19”, and called for those who undergo coronovirus testing and self-isolation immediately for seven days.
The prefecture said in a tweet that a testing center was set up in a gymnasium in Leuron.
“They have put their lives in danger, their health, they must now protect those around them,” it said.
Party organizers are still being sought, local police said, and an investigation has been launched.
Facing the threat of a new wave of Kovid-19 infections, the French government announced on Friday that it was extending its nocturnal curfew of two hours to 15 areas to help combat the virus, which 8 Started at 6:00 instead.
The country recorded around 20,000 new cases and 133 deaths on Friday, bringing the total number to around 64,800.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NB staff and published from a syndicated feed.)