1,500 in rave at empty building
By thisislocallondon – Tuesday 04 September 2001
Up to 1,500 ravers partied at a vacant industrial unit in Essex.
The ravers set up their equipment in the former premises of wood merchant Gibbs Palmerin, Freebournes Road, Witham, where they danced from 11pm on Saturday to 8am on Sunday.
About 20 police officers attended the scene but, like at previous raves in the area, were powerless to pull the plug on the party because trespass is not a criminal offence.
Instead, they kept a watchful eye over the 500-strong crowd, which is believed to swelled to around 1,500 at its peak.
The ravers had met up in Stanway and at McDonald’s at Braintree before heading to Witham and there were about 40 cars parked in nearby Crittall Road.
Sgt Andrew Simpson, who was at the scene, said: “The building could havee held up to two or three thousand but I reckon at the most there were 1,500.
“When I came in yesterday at 8am, there was still people leaving and when I went back at 10am there were only a handful of people cleaning up.
“There’s not much legislation. Obviously, environmental health have powers in relation to noise and equipment if the noise is causing a problem. We would normally support them but on this occasion it was some distance away from the nearest housing so it didn’t affect too many people.”
There were some complaints about noise but nobody was arrested in connection with the rave.
The rave was latest in a string of similar events at farms and disused buildings across mid Essex including at Little Dunmow, Little Easton, Bradwell near Braintree, Stebbing and Stisted.