Catalan riot police finally broke up a New Year’s Eve rave that was taking place in an abandoned warehouse in Catalonia on Saturday, and where around 300 people had already been partying for over 40 hours.
The rave had begun on New Year’s Eve in the village of Llinars del Vallès, about 30km north east of Barcelona. Images on social media showed the revellers partying without any regard for social distancing or safety restrictions, aimed at stopping the spread of Coronavirus.
The maximum number of people allowed to gather and celebrate New Year’s Eve in Catalonia had been 10 people due to Covid-19 from no more than two different social bubbles. Nighttime curfews are also in place. [Also read: Restrictions in Spain for Christmas and New Year period].
The rave had prompted complaints from neighbours in Llinars del Vallès due to the loud music. One of the main associations of nightlife businesses, FECASARM, urged shutting it down, given that all nightclubs and music bars have been ordered shut since August, even if complying with health measures, ‘while a completely illegal activity and without any safety measure continues without anyone taking action’.
In a sequence of posts on Twitter, the Catalan police (Mossos d’Esquadra) said they had confiscated the sound system and all the other equipment used at the party and would be pressing charges against all who were involved. The latest post from the Mossos stated that ‘215 people have been reported so far’, with ‘two people arrested and five more under investigation’.
Hem intervingut els equips de so i tot el material utilitzat per celebrar la festa. Denunciarem els organitzadors i tots els assistents pic.twitter.com/Ox3Y5YNXRB
— Mossos (@mossos) January 2, 2021
‘We will prosecute the organisers and all the partygoers,’ police said, stating that the penalty for attending such an event started at 3,000 euros. ‘The organisers of the illegal party in Llinars have been arrested and they will appear in court in the next few hours,’ they said, adding that they could face a penalty of up to 600,000 euros.