Villagers fury as 10,000 party at illegal rave
By thisissomerset – Monday June 03 2002
Up to 10,000 revellers were partying at an illegal rave on a Somerset beach last night.
Villagers fear the event, which forced a Jubilee celebration to be cancelled, could last until Wednesday.
Ravers started to pour on to Steart beach, near Hinkley Point nuclear power station, at 4.30pm on Saturday, causing chaos on the roads.
Police closed roads leading to the beach but party-goers abandoned their cars in the narrow lanes and reached the site by foot. Pounding music kept residents awake throughout the night and by mid-afternoon yesterday it had started again.
Hundreds of tents, coaches and even double-decker buses filled the beach and cars were parked in laybys on several of the approach roads.
There were no facilities, including toilets, on site.
Residents had planned to celebrate the Golden Jubilee by lighting a beacon on the beach, but the plan had to be scrapped.
After a rave last year, scores of syringes and piles of litter were left on the beach. One Steart resident, who did not want to be named, said:
“It has been well planned because there are people there from abroad.
“The police blocked the road and some residents had to stay in bed and breakfast because they could not get back to their homes.”
“It has completely ruined our [Jubilee] celebrations.”
Sedgemoor district councillor for Cannington and Quantocks, which covers Steart, Lillian Cartwright, said: “It’s a thing we always dread. It has happened before and the music has been appalling. There have been cars rushing about everywhere and everyone is worried because you always get some undesirables.
“I’m not against young people enjoying themselves, but you always worry about what’s going to be missing the next day.”
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said arrests had been made but could not give any further details.