Revellers will carry on raving
By icsurreyonline.co.uk – May 2 2002
YOUNG revellers responsible for all-night raves in the area insist their open-air parties are not causing any harm.
Mike Hitchcock, one of the main organisers of the mass gatherings, said there is never any trouble at the events – two of which have been held in Coldharbour and Ranmore in recent weeks.
“You’d think getting lots of people together with loud music would spell big trouble, but we find the attitude at a rave is a hell of a lot better than in a club or outside the pub on a Friday night.
“Everyone just has fun dancing and there’s no aggro at all,” he insisted. “People are less drunk than they would be in the pub and most of us just drink water.
“I’d be lying if I said nobody took drugs, but no more than anywhere else. It’s not about drugs at all.”
As one of a group of around 15 friends behind the raves, Mr Hitchcock said they came about because there is so little for young people to do in Mole Valley.
“We don’t hold these parties to disrupt people, we do it to give young people something to do,” he stressed. We used to go to clubs in London because there aren’t any in the Dorking or Leatherhead area. But then we decided to hold a party in Coldharbour one New Year’s Eve and had a great time.”
Although initially only small numbers of people were involved, he said about 200 people aged between 17 and 40 now attend each rave.
“We know it’s not strictly legal but there’s such demand for them. Word gets around pretty quickly.” As reported in the Advertiser, police are aware of the raves, but are powerless to stop them if there is no significant disturbance to residents.
Mr Hitchcock, originally from Westcott and now living in Guildford, said the group likes to have contact with the police.
“The majority of people are fine, but if anyone does come along who might cause trouble, we’d prefer the police to be around,” he said.
“We tell the police what’s going on and negotiate a time for us to finish. They haven’t been too tough on us and that’s really changed my opinion of them for the better.”
Mr Hitchcock confirmed he is planning more raves in the summer months although would not reveal where these might be held.
“We understand people’s concerns but we always pick remote locations and clean up after the event. We keep disturbance to a minimum and wouldn’t hold a rave on the recreation ground in Dorking for instance, as that would wake up the whole town.
“We don’t want to upset people and just hope they can respect what we are trying to do – which is have a good time.”