Illegal rave moral panic returns – and backfires on Bristol police

A Facebook post from Avon and Somerset police, designed to raise awareness of illegal raves in the Bristol area, has backfired spectacularly

Ravers around the world have poured scorn over two flyers warning of the dangers of illegal raves and how to “know the signs”.

One effectively admits that the police would probably not be able to stop an illegal rave due to “safety risks and other logistical challenges”, and was followed up by another detailing the signs of a rave, so that it might be stopped early.

illegal raves

The posters read more like something out of the acid house heyday of the late ’80s and early ’90s than modern day Britain.

Many social media users have criticised the police for talking about illegal raves and “young people” in a patronising manner, with some noting that if more event licenses were granted by councils, then such parties would not be considered “illegal” in the first place.

Moral panic

Facebook user Ned Roberts gave his own take, suggesting the parties were actually a good thing:

“Know the signs. Sudden influx of happy, polite people in your village, buying all of the beer from the shop, total strangers hugging and being lovely to each other, gales of laughter, bored local youth excited for the first time in months, local dogging spot having never looked tidier.”

Satirical responses

Of course, no social media faux pas is complete without scathing retorts from the public at large, who have been out in full force to lampoon the posters.

Facebook user Chris Shutts reported a “suspicious gathering” of “thugs in hi vis jackets” before attaching his own picture of police, while Steve Wheadon poked fun at the force’s detective skills, commenting:

“The local bill are right up with Miss Marple with their sleuthing skills.”

No sense of irony

Many picked up on the fact that the “signs” of an illegal rave sound very much like a festival – the only difference being in the licensing

Daniel Watts commented:

“At first I thought this flyer was a joke. But it’s not! Very extensive list of the signs of a rave happening?…I think it’s pretty obvious to be honest.

“I don’t see much difference between what’s deemed to be an illegal rave and the festival that happens in Eastville Park.”


Elderly couple who went out raving til 5am write thank you letter

This Is England 90 – and the music that kick-started a generation

Mark Watson offers a guide to Bristol slang

[Main image: Getty]