Two-to-four metres party people: how to let loose at a socially distanced rave

The lockdown is easing, but what's the best way to stay safe if you're letting your hair down too? Expert James Morsh is on hand with top tips

Last weekend, two illegal “quarantine raves” were held in Greater Manchester. The parties, which saw 6,000 people flock to Daisy Nook Country Park and Carrington, ended in tragedy.

Experts are now predicting a summer of further illegal events in England as the lockdown is eased; but we’re also seeing the first legal parties return post-lockdown.

At the end of May, the UK’s first permitted party took place in Nottingham. Approved by the local council, UK collective Nitty threw the socially distanced bash that featured sets from Latmun, Ben Sterling and Dafs.

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“We had 750 people signup saying they were interested in attending,” says James Morsh,  one of the organisers of the UK’s first legal socially distanced rave. He’s the director of PR [PillReport], an advocacy group that helps to educate young people on how to rave responsibly. The location was kept secret until the day to ensure news of the rave didn’t leak (and hundreds of people show up), and the organisers put in strict precautions to ensure people stayed safe.

“We had enough space for a capacity of 90 people,” he continues. “We were going to invite 90; but on the day we decided that it would have been a bad idea, as we didn’t want something crazy to happen. Instead they allowed 40 lucky ravers to attend to ensure it didn’t go south.

When it comes to further parties, Morsh is clear that safety is imperative. “I don’t condone any non-Covid compliant events done in an unprofessional manner that put people’s welfare at risk.” Instead he’s looking at putting on more legal events, and looking at how they can upscale the model they used for the Nottingham party and take it to more councils.

With lockdown easing, and the potential for further raves imminent, we spoke to Morsh about how to stay safe if you go to one.

Mask up

If you’re going to a rave, it’s worth taking coronavirus safety precautions. “We had boxes for every household to stand in [to ensure they kept a safe distance apart], hand sanitiser, KN95 face masks provided and an onsite enforcer with a microphone making sure people practised socially distancing,” Morsh explains of the event he threw in Nottingham.

Heed this advice and get yourself a mask, ensure you take some hand san and avoid large crowds of other ravers, where there’s more risk of infection.

Self-isolate afterwards

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If you go to a rave and are exposed to lots of people, consider isolating and avoiding your more vulnerable friends and family members for 14-days after.

Use common sense

“Large gatherings are a breeding ground for infection,” says Morsh. “I think people need to assess the risk and decide how they can prevent the spread and the chance of them catching something.” If you arrive at the rave and it seems safe, go and enjoy yourself! But if you turn up and there’s several hundred people there, it may be worth considering if you can actually social distance – there’s no shame in deciding it’s a bust and heading home.

Trust your gut

“If you’ve got a gut feeling that somethings going to go wrong, or it’s going to get out of hand, the best thing you can do is take yourself out of that situation,” Morsh advices.

Events like these can escalate quickly, so if it feels like it’s starting to get weird or you feel uncomfortable, get out of there.

Go with your friends – and keep an eye on each other

“I think if you are going to one, just make sure you stay safe, keep your friends around you and look after yourself,” says Morsh. “I know a lot of people are excited to be out, but you don’t want to get too excited and do anything you regret.”

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