Police break up Covid-19 rule breaking 'rave' at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester

1 April 2021, 12:18 | Updated: 1 April 2021, 12:32

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A huge party in central Manchester was raided by police in the latest of a series of illegal gatherings following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.

A large crowd gathered Castlefield Bowl on Wednesday evening to party after a day of hot weather.

Images posted online showed hundreds of people enjoying a DJ set at the outdoor music venue from the early evening.

One person described the event as getting "rave-y" from around 8pm, when residents began complaining to police.

READ MORE: Police shut down illegal rave attended by hundreds of people under M6 bridge

Officers crashed the party just after 10pm and dispersed the crowds and report being "met with hostility", with cans and bottles thrown at them, causing them to withdraw.

Additional officers were subsequently deployed to the area and the gathering swiftly dispersed.

Two 18-year-old were also arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure but later de-arrested.

Greater Manchester Police said no fines had been issued so far but that officers were investigating the incident.

Inspector Jonathan Shilvock said: "As a result of this gathering we were forced to deploy additional officers from across the City of Manchester division.

"Thankfully, upon their arrival the group did quickly disperse at the sight of them; however this was a clear breach of the coronavirus rules and regulations. 

“We appreciate that people will want to socialise due to the warm weather and the recent relaxation of the rules, but I want to remind people that this pandemic is not over and we all share a collective responsibility in complying with the rules and keeping infection rates down. 

“Restrictions remain in place; outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) can take place, but of either six people (from separate households) or two different households (linked households are counted as one).

"I would like to thank all those who have played their part and been compliant with the rules as you are playing a vital role in slowing the spread of the virus. We will however continue to issue fines to those who ignore and show complete disregard to the rules.”

Hundreds gathered at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester on Wednesday night
Hundreds gathered at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester on Wednesday night. Picture: PA Images

The group left "mountains" of rubbish dumped all over the venue, with a small group of nearby residents arriving late on Wednesday night to clear up bags, bottles, caps, laughing gas canisters and drug paraphernalia.

A larger group returned on Thursday to continue the cleanup, with volunteers who felt "angry" and "disappointed" that the event went ahead.

One volunteers, Gary, told LBC: "I know the bins full up quickly but use a bit of common sense. Find a bin that's not overflowing.

"If I came over to their house I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate me putting [the rubbish] in their garden, would they?"