A 29-year-old Dutch woman will appear before a Spanish judge on Monday for her part in organising an illegal rave at an industrial estate near Barcelona, Spanish media report.
The woman and a 22-year-old man from Tarragona are accused of disobeying the coronavirus rules and the public prosecutor is considering adding the more serious charge of endangering public health, which can carry a fine of up to €600,000, the papers said.
The venue, an abandoned industrial building at 30 kilometres of Barcelona, was announced via social media only a couple of hours before the start of the party which ‘escaped the attention of the Catalan police’, El Periódico said.
Hundreds of people from Spain, Austria, Italy and France had already gathered in the area in cars and camper vans, which had also gone unnoticed, when the announcement came.
Police did not intervene until the morning because of the complicated lay out of the venue and fears that the situation could escalate. They also had to wait for authorisation from the ministry of health because of infection risks. By the time some 500 police officers swept the area the party had been going on for a day and a half. The organisers had planned for it to last until January 3.
Some 215 people were fined and may have to pay up to €3,000 for not complying with the coronavirus rules.
In France a large scale New Year’s Eve party where some 2,500 people had gathered, was broken up near Rennes in Brittany. Several smaller parties were also broken up in the Netherlands.