London sees a doubling of illegal raves within the last year

As reported in The Guardian, The number of illegal raves in London has soared, police figures reveal, with a steep decline in the number of nightclubs in the capital one of the key causes. The number of unlicensed raves in London, often held in warehouses or abandoned buildings, has nearly doubled since 2016.

Plans for 133 unlicensed raves were identified by the Metropolitan police in 2017, up from 70 the previous year, according to figures obtained by a freedom of information request carried out by the Sunday Telegraph. One explanation for the rise is the rapid decline in the number of traditional venues, with more than half of all London clubs shutting down between 2005 and 2015, according to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). Since 2015, the number of licensed hospitality premises has dropped by 3% across the UK.

Among the casualties have been Plastic People, Cable, and Dance Tunnel in London, The Arches in Glasgow, and Sankeys in Manchester.The rising cost of drinks could also be putting revellers off nightclubs. Going to a pub is becoming an unaffordable luxury, according to a report published in September by consumer rights group Camra, publisher of the Good Pub Guide.

DJ and author Bill Brewster, who was one of the first resident DJs at legendary nightclub Fabric, said that it was not surprising that illegal raves are becoming more popular.

The gentrification of inner cities is making it “tougher for night clubs to open or continuing existing” because of complaints about the noise and the night clubs that have stayed open are forced to charge clubbers more in order to stay open because of increasing rent, he said.

Brewster said this is putting young people off going to nightclubs and leading them to look for alternative places to party.

“A lot of young people are looking for something a little bit transgressive. I think it’s innate in teenagers and people in their early twenties to want to do stuff their not supposed to do. And even though raves are illegal, most of them don’t do much harm apart from giving a few people a poor night’s sleep.”

He added: “In an ideal world, there would be lots of places for night clubs to open that don’t disturb the neighbours but we live in a flawed world and it’s becoming harder to throw parties in city centres.”

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Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.