Illegal raves make a comeback in Brabant
Illegal house parties held in a clearing in the woods, in an old warehouse or an industrial estate are making a comeback in Brabant. One such party was held in Etten-Leur over the weekend. Nearly 50 young people came together in an empty premises on an industrial estate, partying from 22:00 p.m. to 08:00 a.m. the next morning. The guests, all between the ages of 18 and 25, do not only attend these raves for the music and the freely available drugs, but also for the excitement. "You're doing something that you really shouldn't be doing, and there is a chance that it could be over at any moment. That is of course an enormous kick." said one girl. A very stoned boy of about 24, wearing a bunny suit, added: "Here you have no rules, no curfew, no smoking ban. It's just freedom, happiness. Everyone is equal and do what they want. I like that." The police intervene only in a small amount of these illegal house parties. "That is not deliberate leniency on our part, we simply can only intervene when we know that there is an illegal party going on." says Jorde van den Heuvel of the Zeeland-West-Brabant police. "Once we get complaints about noise, we get to work." According to Van den Heuvel, it often takes some time before residents start calling. The parties are also usually held in remote areas, where there aren't many people to disturb. The hospitality businesses in the province suffer from these parties. "We prefer that the parties are held in a controlled environment, within the hospitality industry." says Arathorn Gummlich of De Wandelarij. These parties cost them customers and revenues. According to Thomas, organizer of the rave in Etten-Leur, the hospitality have only themselves to blame. "When I was 16 I could enjoy a fun night out in Breda for 25 euro. Nowadays you've spent 50 euro by eleven o'clock." He says that their own parties also have better music than the cafes and people are allowed to use drugs.