Police curtail an illegal rave at old mushroom farm near Market Harborough

Police helped prevent second rave party at the old mushroom factory from getting into full swing by closing three entrances to the site in Great Bowden.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-180731-091405005
Police helped prevent second rave party at the old mushroom factory from getting into full swing by closing three entrances to the site in Great Bowden.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-180731-091405005

Prompt police action drastically cut the numbers at an illegal rave near Market Harborough at the weekend.

The event was supposed to take place on Saturday night and Sunday morning at an abandoned mushroom farm on Welham Lane, Great Bowden.

But as party-goers descended on the rave site, police with riot vans blocked approach roads to the “venue”.

The result was fewer than 400 people made it to the site of the rave, the Mail was told by local people, with hundreds more turned away by police.

In October 2016, more than 2,000 people attended an illegal rave at the same site, and hundreds of parked vehicles blocked Welham Lane and lined both sides of the A6.

This time the alarm was raised by local villagers at around 12.15pm, when a generator started up at the old mushroom farm, indicating that the rave’s organisers had arrived.

Police arrived soon afterwards, sealing off the A6 at the A427 and the McDonald’s roundabouts, and Welham Lane at the bridge over the A6.

Fewer than 400 people are believed to have made it to the rave site’s curved-roof sheds, with hundreds more turned away. A police helicopter hovered overhead.

The rave, with its much reduced audience, went ahead anyway, with the music still thumping out at 7am on Sunday morning. There was no trouble at the event the Mail understands.

The site – which has been abandoned for years – looked like a patch of inner-city dereliction on Monday morning.

It is full of years of accumulated rubbish, now augmented by new graffiti.

A police spokesman told the Mail: “Police were made aware of an unlicensed music event in a disused premises in Welham Road, Great Bowden, during the early hours of Sunday morning. Officers attended the location and due to the number of people attending the event, believed to be up to 500, the event continued, but officers remained in the area to monitor any issues and prevent any more people from entering the premises.”

A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs and has been released under investigation.

Police said: “Enquiries continue to identify the organisers of the event, and with the landowners who will be advised about site security.”

Local district councillor Phil Knowles said: “I think the police are to be congratulated for reducing the numbers at this event by acting early.

“Now it’s the security of the site that needs to be addressed, so the site can’t be accessed like this again.”