Police shut down 30-hour long illegal rave attended by 3,000 people in Welsh forest

Ross McGuinness
·3 min read

Police have shut down an illegal rave attended by 3,000 people in a forest in Wales that lasted for 30 hours.

The event, which flouted coronavirus restrictions, started at about 3am on Sunday in Banwen, near the Brecon Beacons.

It was the largest of a number of illegal raves and parties across the Bank Holiday weekend.

Officers were still removing ravers from the site in Wales on Monday morning.

South Wales Police said eight people have been fined up to £10,000, while there were further arrests for public order offences and driving under the influence of drugs.

Rave which started in the early hours of Sunday in the forest at Neath Port Talbot, near the village of Banwen.  Locals find it impossible to park their cars.
Thousands attended the illegal rave in Banwen. (Wales News Service)
Rave which started in the early hours of Sunday in the forest at Neath Port Talbot, near the village of Banwen.  Locals find it impossible to park their cars.
The rave at Banwen near the Brecon Beacons in Wales lasted more than 24 hours. (Wales News Service)
Rave which started in the early hours of Sunday in the forest at Neath Port Talbot, near the village of Banwen.  Locals find it impossible to park their cars.
The rave started in the early hours of Sunday in the forest at Neath Port Talbot, near the village of Banwen. (Wales News Service)

The force said it had identified 22 people it suspected of planning the rave. It is using drone footage to identify the organisers.

There were still about 400 people at the site on Monday morning.

Police confiscated several sound systems from the 4,000-acre site.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Thorne said: “We responded as soon as we became aware of the event and we have had a police presence on site day and night and I would like to reassure local communities we acted as robustly as we can and we will continue to do so.

“It is extremely disappointing and disrespectful to our communities that we have had to deal with an event like this, not only on a busy weekend for the emergency services, but also during the coronavirus pandemic where legislation has been put in place to keep everyone safe.

“Those gathering know that their actions are irresponsible and many travelled hundreds of miles to attend the event.”

Under newly introduced legislation to enforce social distancing in England and Wales, those convicted or organising an unlicensed music event of more than 30 people can be fined up to £10,000.

South Wales Police were assisted by officers from Dyfed Powys Police and the British Transport Police, as well as a police helicopter.

(Wales News Service)
Police seized sound equipment and issued £10,000 fines to organisers. (Wales News Service)
Rave which started in the early hours of Sunday in the forest at Neath Port Talbot, near the village of Banwen.  Locals find it impossible to park their cars.
The illegal rave at Banwen was attended by about 3,000 revellers. (Wales News Service)
Undated handout photo issued by South Wales Police showing an aerial view of the rave near the village of Banwen. South Wales Police had been trying to disperse the rave since Sunday afternoon when around 3,000 people congregated at a former opencast coalmine near the village of Banwen. By Monday morning, around 400 people remained, the force said, but it added it was having difficulty flushing them off the 4,000 acre site despite confiscating several sound systems.
An aerial view of the rave near the village of Banwen. (PA)

Police clamped down on a number of illegal parties across the UK at the weekend.

Officers in Norfolk broke up a rave attended by 500 people at Thetford Forest, while the Metropolitan Police said it had shut down 21 unlicensed music events in London.

West Yorkshire Police said eight people were fined £10,000 after several parties across Headingley and Burley on Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday.

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