top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Police break up secret party network in Paris

Party-goers in Ile-de-France have been attending illegal events gathering up to 800 people during the health pandemic. Three organisers have been taken into police custody

The Paris police force has dismantled a network of secret party organisers that has been operating in the Ile-de-France region throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The illegal gatherings brought together groups of up to 800 people to dance, drink and take drugs in secret locations around the French capital, with disregard for social distancing, curfew and confinement measures. 

Three suspects have been taken into police custody, including the alleged organiser of the events and the manager of an online ticket sales website. They each face being charged with endangering the lives of others, punishable by one year in prison, and a €15,000 fine.

Secret parties a feat of organisation 

On September 27, police in la Courneuve, north of Paris, discovered an illegal rave with over 800 attendees taking place in an unused warehouse. The space had been converted into a giant dance floor with two music mixing consoles for DJs, and Wi-Fi.

Police managed to identify the organiser, who was operating as the manager of a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting electronic music in France. 

The 800 tickets for the event in la Courneuve had been sold for €10-€20 via online platform Shotgun, with details of the event then sent by email. A spokesperson from the commissariat de la Courneuve said: “After buying a ticket, the party-goer, who had given an email address, received a message with the time and the GPS coordinates for the event. 

“To avoid raising suspicions, people were asked to arrive alone or in very small groups.”

Guides were provided to help attendees find their way to the venue from the Metro and bouncers and other door staff had also been hired for the event. 

Police now investigating other events

Police are now investigating 12 raves that have happened in the capital since January, with at least two taking place during confinement. These include a party held in a tunnel in the 15th arrondissement on October 31, and a 300-person party held in an unused train tunnel in the 13th arrondissement on November 21. 

The mayor of the 13th arrondissement, Jérôme Coumet, described the event as “scandalous”.

He said: “There is the exposure to health risks that everyone understands. But also the fact that the location is not fit to receive the public, so even a small accident could become very serious because the emergency services do not have easy access.” 

But the organiser of the event told news source BFMTV that such parties are necessary for young people. “We decided to join the resistance and launch this chance to hide together and party because young people no longer have anywhere to be together.”

Illegal gatherings appear to have risen in recent weeks. Police figures shared with news source Le Figaro show 1,032 fines were issued for noise disturbance linked to illegal parties from October 17 to December 1 in Paris - a 32% rise compared with the six previous weeks.

Nightclubs have been closed throughout France since March over fears social distancing measures such as mask-wearing and keeping space between people cannot be respected inside. 

Related stories

Covid rules France: How many friends can come for Christmas?

Thousands protest across France against new security law

France at risk of Covid ‘third wave’ as cases still too high

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now