Ravers descended on Davidstow airfield, near Camelford, Cornwall, around 10pm on Friday June 3, erecting a festival-scale arena, stalls and campsite. Neighbors complained about the loud, non-stop electronic music at the event keeping them awake at night.
Devon and Cornwall Police officers tried for days to end the unlawful gathering by surrounding the rave in a bid to prevent more people from entering.
Cornwall Live reported on Sunday that cars and tents belonging to the revelers were still on the A39 near the venue on Sunday.
The rave was reportedly held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Britain’s biggest ever free party – at Castlemorton Common in 1992 – which was attended by between 20,000 and 40,000 people.
Locals estimated last weekend’s rave saw several thousand people gather at the former RAF base at Davidstow.
Devon and Cornwall Police say around 1,000 people attended the event at its peak and seven stages were set up over a large area.
Participants are said to have traveled from all over the country to attend, with some saying they came from as far away as Scotland or Oxfordshire.
Devon and Cornwall Police have come under fire on their Facebook page for their handling of the huge rave.
Some said the force made matters worse by closing roads and preventing people from accessing the site.
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Another Facebook user, Adrian Crocker, wrote: “Lessons need to be learned here, but for now the only sensible course of action is to let this play out and make sure everyone leaves the site. safely/legally tomorrow.
“Just to say [Devon and Cornwall Police] didn’t cover themselves in glory, in fact, you must be very embarrassed that it happened!”
Jonathan Thomas commented on Facebook: “So it’s 2am for a second night and the rave continues for all of us to enjoy/endure six miles to Delabole.
“Why are we paying for a police force when they are completely incapable of protecting the local community?
Facebook user Simon Osborne wrote: “This is an absolute joke! Devon and Cornwall Police. I have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and have PTSD. I live nearly two miles away .
“The constant noise of loudspeakers blared through my house, no sleep for two days. I’m now getting flashbacks of mortar fire which took almost three years of counseling to stop.”
Other people expressed their support for the police.
Beck Draper said: “It’s not like the police actually have the human power to stop this. It would take them a while to put this together.
“They better let it take its course. And personally, just let them have fun. It’s a little noise, they don’t make war.”
Devon and Cornwall Police, in a statement on Monday, said officers were still at the site but the unlicensed musical event was now over.
He confirmed officers were first called around 10pm on Friday after reports of around 200 cars seen at the site and loud music heard by nearby communities.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “The majority of people left the site and the police cordons were removed overnight.
“A number of people remain at the scene today and officers have spoken to them.
“Many factors must be taken into account when monitoring a live and dynamic situation and our priority is always to ensure the safety of those involved, those in the vicinity and our officers.
“As is normal practice, we will review the police response to this event in due course.
“We will continue to work with partners to offer support and guidance to those affected.”
The spokesman said about 10 drunk driving or drug arrests were made over the weekend.
Those arrested have been released from police custody pending further investigation.