- Around 5,000 people attended an illegal rave outside the village of La Peza over New Year’s.
- The partygoers hadn’t applied for permits, and showed up unannounced , to the villagers’ bewilderment.
- The rave lasted six days, and was complete with food stands and music stages, El País reported.
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As New Year’s Day approached, the quiet Spanish village of La Peza discovered it had become the unwitting neighbor to a massive party.
Around 5,000 people showed up for an illegal rave outside La Peza on December 30, in a nearly weeklong affair that’s perplexed the village’s residents and mayor. Unannounced throngs of revelers arrived in trucks and caravans, setting up tents, food stands, and seven music stages in the countryside – or, just a mile from the village center.
The party-goers had no permits and simply appeared at the village, Fernando Álvarez, the mayor of the La Peza municipality, told Spanish newspaper El País.
“We’re 1,200 people here. Imagine, we woke up Friday morning and we were 5,200 people. By Saturday we were 6,000,” said Alvarez, according to The Guardian. “Truthfully, it was a bit chaotic.”
T-shirts, soap, juices, pizzas, fried empanadas, and beers were sold throughout the festival, where merrymakers in dreadlocks and costumes mingled and a DJ guided dancers through an electronic rendition of the Macarena, El País’ Nacho Sanchez reported.
Entry was free, and youngsters from all over Spain and Western Europe, including Belgians, Dutch, and Italians, were in attendance, according to El País.
The party music, reverberating across La Peza, ran nonstop. “It was 24 hours a day of chin chin boom,” Álvarez told The Guardian.
Álvarez said the municipality filed a complaint with national police, who sent in 30 agents, but decided to keep watch over the festival instead of evicting the partiers, per El País.
“We prefer that the party dissolve by itself. An eviction would generate more problems,” a representative for Spain’s law enforcement, the Civil Guard, told the outlet.
Law enforcement proceeded to barricade the roads, in a bid to stem the mass influx of revelers, per The Guardian.
Police also told the outlet that only a handful of people were arrested for drugs or resisting authority.
—Andalucía Directo (@adirecto) January 2, 2023
No central organizer for the rave has stepped forward yet, with El País reporting that an assortment of 22 music groups promoted the event. Partygoers told the outlet that they learned of the rave’s location through word of mouth, with many dodging the question.
For example, when asked how she located the event, one Belgian at the party told El País: “Magic.”
Those at the rave assured authorities that the festivities would end on Tuesday, though the music didn’t die down on the night of the party’s promised conclusion, per The Guardian. It was only on Wednesday morning — six days after revelers arrived — that tents and stages started to get dismantled, the outlet reported.
There were concerns that the party would never end. Some of the illegal festivities were still ongoing on Wednesday, local broadcaster Antena3 reported.
“Let’s hope that at some point it will end because this is already a bit desperate,” Álvarez told Antena3 on Wednesday.
—RTVE (@rtve) January 3, 2023
Still, not everyone in La Peza found the rave a complete nuisance.
“We have asked them to come again next year, that we are going with them to spend New Year’s Eve,” a 30-year-old resident named Elena told El País.
Several women at the local market said their daughters had joined the party, and the rave was the talk of the town, per El País.
Even Álvarez was impressed, saying that if he had figured out who planned the illegal party, he would have hired them to plan the village fiesta, The Guardian reported.
“Frankly it was magnificently organized,” Álvarez told the outlet. “It was like a small town. They had a bakery, pizzeria, clothing shops, people who would braid your hair – they had absolutely everything. I’m amazed that they managed to set that all up in the span of a few hours. ”
The Spanish Civil Guard and the La Peza municipal government did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
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