Coventry rave: West Midlands Police stop illegal lockdown-breaking rave of over 800 party-goers under the M6

Footage of an illegal rave held on the outskirts of Coventry over the weekend has been shared by West Midlands Police

The party, which was held underneath the M6 motorway on 27 March, saw over 800 revellers packed together beneath a bridge to enjoy a night of music despite the stringent lockdown restrictions in force across England.

Footage shows revellers partying under the dimly-lit flyover as loud dance music plays and traffic roars past nearby.

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Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd said: “This was an unauthorised event that would have been illegal outside of Covid-19 legislation – but considering the public health context it’s an even more irresponsible act.”

(Stock photo) The rave was held beneath Junction 4 of the M6, on the West Midlands and Warwickshire border (Photo: Shutterstock)

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How was the party broken up?

Police used thermal drones to uncover the illicit gathering, after being tipped off by a member of the public who revealed attendees were given a “muster point” before the event’s final, secret location was announced.

Officers found the large gathering underneath the bridge at Junction 4 on the West Midlands and Warwickshire border, "dangerously close" to a river and the motorway.

Police used thermal drones to uncover the illicit gathering after being tipped off by a member of the public (Photo: West Midlands Police/SWNS.COM)

Drones were also used by police to contain the group, over fears they may try to flee into the River Cole or onto the M6 if a large number of officers appeared to stop the party.

One woman was helped from the river after falling in, as police shone bright helicopter lights on the gathering to disperse it after briefly closing the motorway for safety reasons.

In police footage of the aftermath of the party, bottles of alcoholic drinks can be seen scattered beneath the bridge after the group dispersed; one officer can also be heard revealing how "concerned parents" had turned up at the scene.

What happened?

''This was an unauthorised event that would have been illegal outside of Covid-19 legislation,' said Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd (Photo: West Midlands Police/SWNS.COM)

Police were able to take the details of 22 people, issue each a £200 fine for a total of £4,400. The rest of the gathering escaped on foot.

“We will be looking to identify other people who attended the illegal gathering,” said Assistant Chief Constable Todd.

One man was found with a suitcase carrying sound equipment, and a van believed to have been used in setting up the event has been seized after getting stuck in the mud.

Under coronavirus laws, he could now face a £10,000 fine if he’s found to have organised the event.

Raves, unlicensed music events or any other unlawful gathering of more than 30 people are still illegal, despite Monday 29 March’s relaxation of Covid rules.

“I’d like to thank the officers who attended what was a very challenging scene, late at night, by a motorway and on the banks of a river, acting with public safety as their priority throughout,” added Assistant Chief Constable Todd.

“Thankfully no-one was hurt. I understand people’s frustrations at having endured a long lockdown but amassing in large numbers like this for an unlicensed event in such a dangerous environment is not acceptable and we have to take action.”

Additional reporting by SWNS