The State representative signed an order prohibiting the organization of festive gatherings of a musical nature (free, rave and teknival) since April 22… and until June 30. More than two months of prohibition, which the prefecture justifies by the risk of fire, security issues, and a desire to “anticipate”.
Brousses-et-Villaret, in August 2000, with 15,000 partygoers; Labécède-Lauragais, and the 45,000 participants at Occitek in August 2004; 5,000 people at the Teknival in Belcastel-et-Buc, early May 2009; without forgetting the Sudtek of Moussoulens, in August 2014, with 8,000 ravers, or the gatherings of Talairan, in November 2014 (6,000 people) and Montlaur, in May 2015, with 4,000 partygoers.
The list is not exhaustive. But enough to anchor the Aude in the national landscape of electro gatherings for more than 20 years. The last few years, marked by a major reduction in “gauges”, nevertheless make the Montagne Noire and the Corbières preferred destinations, from Roquefère to Saint-André-de-Roquelongue, towns which, in June 2019, had each seen 300 people attend a weekend rave.
A reality closely monitored by the State services, customary decrees bearing “temporary ban” death “musical festive gatherings”. Last March, it was on the basis “available and consistent information” relating to an event “capable of bringing together several thousand participants”with a “flyer announcing a gathering (…) on a site bordering the department of Hérault”which had been banned from March 18 to 20 teknival and rave, “other than those legally declared or authorized”. Because since 2022, any rave or free party exceeding 500 participants is subject to prior declaration to the prefect, specifying the safety, health, hygiene and public tranquility measures.
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Once a certain number of people are gathered, it is complicated to dislodge them
Bis repeated on April 22, with a decree signed by the prefect Thierry Bonnier, around the hypothesis of gatherings that could bring together “several hundred participants”, “coming from all over France” ; with the addition of an article prohibiting the circulation of vehicles transporting sound equipment, to open the way for seizures of equipment. “Temporary Ban”still.
But of “temporary” which lasts: it is thus until June 30 that gatherings are prohibited, throughout the Aude (and traffic on the entire road network). An amplitude of more than two months, unheard of in a department where, in August 2021, the prefecture had increased the measure to one month, based on a “high risk of forest fires” and a Delta variant of the Covid that was blazing. Fire, it is also mentioned in the decree of April 22, 2022, as specified by Joëlle Gras, chief of staff of the prefecture: “Water conditions are changing (the decree speaks of unfavorable evolution of the deep and superficial drought indices of the coming weeks, Editor’s note), and the risk of fire increases. It is a question of being able to concentrate the forces of order and the emergency services on their primary missions.
Recalling that spring “is a time for raves”Joëlle Gras first sees in the long-term decree of “pedagogical virtues, to inform the organizers of the risks incurred”. And cite the fines of 5and class, with a fine of up to “up to €1,500”Without forgetting “the referral of the equipment, in consultation with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, as happened in Laprade in September 2021”.
Another advantage perceived by the chief of staff, the ability to “Anticipate. Generally, when a rave takes place, it is the inhabitants or the elected officials who alert, and it takes a certain time before being able to act. If the security conditions are respected, an authorization is possible. But in the very large majority, there is no declaration for wild gatherings. And once a certain number of people are gathered, it is complicated to dislodge them. A final argument launched, confirming that, between authorities and organizers, it is the game of cat and mouse that continues to prevail: “There may be sources of information, especially with social networks, even if we know very well that they are organized in a hidden way. Between Aude, Ariège and the limit of Hérault, the places may vary.”
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