While French citizens have been subject to steep fines and a strict curfew since the March 2020 onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the underground electronic music scene has largely disregarded these regulations—with varying success. But as of January 1st, 2021, law enforcement has decided enough is enough, reportedly pushing up nighttime curfews in 15 of the country’s 101 administrative departments from 8PM to 6PM.
The move is a direct retaliation to a series of illegal New Year’s Eve raves, the largest of which drew nearly 2,500 attendees across two abandoned warehouses in Brittany, a northwestern region of the country. Many had traveled across France and even from abroad for the event. According to France24, more than 1,200 of them were “booked” for offenses that included violating coronavirus restrictions and illegally using narcotics.
French law officers have been battling illegal raves since March, with a July event in Nice attracting around 5,000 attendees. Another in August in Lozère brought in nearly 10,000.
As of January 2nd, 539 more people were hospitalized with COVID-19 and there were an additional six deaths in Brittany alone. Altogether, the country’s case total sits at 2.6 million infected with 64,921 deaths.
Source: The Straits Times