Ravers who have been subject to police action for allegedly breaching Covid laws plan to return with giant legal parties this summer.
Two dance music brands which have been targeted for holding large gatherings are organising events attracting thousands of people at a time.
One DJ arrested for allegedly planning an illegal event told Metro.co.uk that he believes the post-lockdown scene will be safer than underground parties held in defiance of the restrictions.
Under the Government’s roadmap, nightclubs and larger events are scheduled to reopen from June 21, although there are question marks over whether the tests for the easing of restrictions will be met amid delays in vaccine deliveries from overseas.
Among the clubs planning to make a return is Lab11 in Birmingham, which was issued with a £10,000 fine for breaching Covid regulations by holding a party in a marquee.
The venue has since has raised more than three times the amount to stay afloat and now plans to reopen with its ‘biggest ever’ weekender between June 25 and 27.
Tickets starting at £20 are being sold for the ‘summer of love’ relaunch after police took action over what they said was a party in a ‘large marquee’ attended by up to 120 people last October.
An advert for the event reads: ‘This will be our first proper RAVE, almost 1 year to the date of being closed due to Covid-19.
‘As part of this special occasion we will be bringing the biggest brands in Birmingham together for a full weekend, close to 30 hours of partying Friday-Sunday.’
West Midlands Police had released bodycam footage showing officers walking into the venue in Digbeth with the caption: ‘This isn’t a game anymore. People are dying.’
The force said households had been mixing indoors, which at the time was banned under the city’s tier-two restrictions aimed at suppressing rising Covid-19 rates.
Lab11 responded by claiming the event took place in a refurbished marquee area with Covid precautions and should have been classed as outdoors.
In tier-two areas, entertainment venues were allowed to have head counts exceeding the ‘rule of six’ but no one could mix indoors with anyone outside of their household or support bubble.
He is planning to attract 2,000 people to the ticketed, 18-hour comeback on July 24 which he says will have safety measures such as hand-sanitisers and medics in place.
Mr Maloney was arrested by officers who broke down the door to his flat in Coventry before an event he had planned to hold in July last year.
However no further action was taken against him and he maintains he did nothing illegal.
Mr Maloney said: ‘Secret in the Stix has been going for ten years and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to hold a professional event with safety precautions when it is legal to do so.
‘It’s an exciting time for the dance music scene which has virtually been wiped out by the lockdowns. It’s left a lot of people feeling depressed and we all need to get out again.’
Locations for Secret in the Stix, which has been held around Coventry and Warwickshire for past decade, only gives out the location at the last minute in a throwback to the underground rave era.
Concerns have also been raised that efforts to vaccinate younger age groups might be hit by delays in vaccines arriving in the UK from India.
However the Health Secretary insisted today that the Government still expects to meet its target of offering a first jab to all over-50s by mid-April.
The roadmap is scheduled to end legislation introduced last summer, whereby organisers of illegal raves, unlicensed music events or any other unlawful gathering of more than 30 people face fines of up to £10,000.
Those attending can be fined £200, which is doubled if they repeat the offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police has previously said it is not in a position to comment on Covid fines that are due to appear in court.
Warwickshire Police has said that Mr Maloney’s arrest was ‘both necessary and proportionate in the circumstances’.
At the time, the force described the party as unauthorised and unlicensed and said it broke Government legislation around gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The final phase of the of the route out of Covid restrictions is dependent on the Events Research Programme and a review of social distancing measures.
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