An illegal rave near the popular tourist destination of Cala Conta in Ibiza is yet another illegal rave in a series of underground partying. Over 73 people were arrested after more than 11 officers were injured, after the disgruntled ravers began throwing rocks and even iron bars at the officers.
While only 200 people were there when the over forty responding officers arrived, Civil Guard Enrique Gomez reports that there were over 1000 attendants at the rave’s peak. Local residents worried that if officers hadn’t responded to the rave with direct action, that it may have gone on for several days. This isn’t uncommon for raves, as the combination of a euphoric atmosphere and powerful psychedelics/hallucinogens can keep a party going far past an organic ending. In Ibiza particularly, the famous birthplace of raves, people go hard. Without authority figures stepping in to assist, no one can say what might’ve happened.
However, the arrival of authority figures brought violence in its own way. After initially ignoring officer orders, ravers eventually began attacking officers, one of which reportedly fired his gun in the air to fare them off. While luckily, no lives were lost, two attendees had to go to the hospital, one with a broken bone. Eleven officers reported sustaining injuries in the incident.
Before officers arrived at the scene, there were no reports of injury or accident. What triggered violence that evening was the arrival of the officers themselves. Raves have a long history of going well before officers show up. In the United States, raves and psychedelic/stimulating drugs are two areas in which interference by authorities has worsened consequences for users.
In 2015, the RAVE act made it more or less illegal for venues to have harm-reduction services like Dancesafe available at concerts – this was done in an effort to make venues crack down on the use of illicit drugs on their premises. However, all that it did was increase the likelihood of people overdosing at those concerts, as there were fewer professional personnel around to spot the signs and help prevent those overdoses.
The RAVE Act is similar to crack house laws in that it can envelop anyone in the way that it affects everyone – it doesn’t matter your intention, the presence of drugs or drug paraphernalia makes you guilty in the eyes of these laws. As a result of crack house legislation, more and more people have died because people have been effectively barred from seeing medical help, for fear of legal repercussions.
Hopefully, in Ibiza, the home of rave clothing, culture, and music, authorities can be encouraged to tone down their inhibiting party culture. After all, raves traditionally are places of celebration, love, and expression, and there is no underlying nefariousness at work. Raves can and have worked well in conjunction with authority, and even when held in illegal locations they are typically safe spaces for both partygoers and workers alike – hopefully, authorities in Ibiza will be able to work out a system in the future that can both keep raves safe while also keeping them fun.