Interior Minister offers to talk with ravers ahead of big bash at secret site
By Yahoo News – Thursday September 5 2002
Copyright: Yahoo News
PARIS – France’s Interior Minister offered on Wednesday to hold talks with organizers of techno dance parties, as the south of France braced for a massive rave to be held at a secret location — in defiance of the law.
“The minister … is ready to meet organizers of techno events who show they respect the security requirements that are essential for participants and the environment,” said Nicolas Sarkozy in a statement.
The unusual offer came as police were placed on alert in southern France ahead of “Teknival,” an annual four-day rave party which drew 10,000 people last year. It was to start late Wednesday and run through Sunday. The exact location has not been disclosed, but several techno Web sites said it was being held somewhere in southern France.
One police officer in Lyon, asking not to be named, said police searching for the party location were going to be on a veritable “treasure hunt.”
Rave parties have been held in farmers’ fields or in old depots. But increasing restrictions mean that rave partygoers often end up moving from place to place.
France has passed laws to give authorities more control over rave parties in response to several deaths and accidents. In October, lawmakers adopted a measure requiring rave organizers to give local authorities advance notice of parties.
In May, the government adopted a second, stricter measure requiring a one-month notice for any event with more than 250 participants, amplified music and a high level of risk to participants — rave parties.
Police can confiscate musical equipment if rules are not followed and organizers can face charges.
All that angered organizers of this year’s edition of “Teknival,” who feel ravers have an undeservedly bad image. They decided to circumvent the law by refusing to notify officials of their party — which they said was being preceded by a go-slow protest movement along major highways in southeast France.
“They want it to be known that there’s a large free party movement that’s not just about taking drugs,” said Tommy Vaudecrane, one of the directors of Technopol, an organization that promotes electronic music. “It’s a music and culture movement as well.”