Reports this month have highlighted that up to 5,000 illegal raves could take place across the UK, as licensed music venues have been forced to shut and music fans seek other outlets. (‘Millions of people expected to attend illegal raves over the New Year weekend’)
Security experts have issued a stark warning that the cost for owners and insurance companies for such events will cost millions.
Nicholas Bye, Business Development Director for the VPS Group, said “If you own or manage an empty warehouse, retail shop or commercial property, then you should be aware that organisers of these illegal music events are hunting for such sites. Advance publicity for events can attract thousands of music fans to a nearby transport hub, and then the final location details are released on social media minutes before it starts. By then, it’s probably too late to stop the event from taking place, and the damage to the building, not just in terms of rubbish, graffiti and left-over NO2 cannisters, but sometimes to the structure itself, can costs £100,000s to repair and remedy.”
“If only a tenth of the predicted 5,000 unlicensed music events takes place this New Year’s Eve, that would likely cost owners and insurance companies well in excess of £30 million, and potentially over £50 million. Anything close to the number of events predicted and the estimates start to reach a billion pounds.”
Mr Bye described how a 24⁄7 monitored alarm system installed in a vacant warehouse facility in Park Royal, London, was triggered on December 30th last year, when a group entered the property through a fire door. This alerted the Alarm Response Centre who contacted the Police and also sent a response team to inspect the break-in. VPS’ staff were on site within 42 minutes to find a highly organised group setting up equipment for an illegal rave.
“Over 2,500 tickets had been sold for the rave at £25 each and the group had hard wired their sound equipment into the building’s electrical system.” Mr Bye explained. “We installed 4 guards to monitor the situation overnight, working around the clock and with their tenacity and expertise, the team managed to coax the organiser
out of the building the next day. We’ve also been called in after an unsecured warehouse without a monitored alarm system was used for a similar event. The owner had not complied with the insurance for the building, and he was left with a bill for £60,000 in repairs and clean-up. Our advice is simple – this time round, be forewarned AND forearmed.”