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French promoter La Toilette faces backlash following rave next to refugee camp

The party in Vitry-sur-Seine required police intervention

Paris-based promoter La Toilette has come under fire for putting on a rave in a car park next to a refugee camp that houses 225 residents, Electronic Beats reports.

The camp is run by the group United Migrants, who told Electronic Beats that they were contacted by La Toilette about putting on a party in the car park at around 4pm on Saturday, 4th September, eight hours before the start time of midnight. 

The promoters that spoke to United Migrants promised to donate to the organisation to help with the maintenance of the camp and said that they expected a maximum of 500 people to attend the party. The group claim, however, that La Toilette "broke every promise". The promoters, they say, didn't actually arrive on site until 3am, by which point 1,500 attendees, and the police, had already arrived.

A number of people who attended the event unaware of how close it was to a refugee camp, as well as others who became aware of what happened through posts online, have criticised La Toilette heavily on social media. One DJ, named Nymed, who was due to play at the event, wrote online: "It turned out that they chose a refugee camp to set up their event. (...) Being myself an immigrant, I cannot tolerate investing and even spoiling such precarious places intended for people who cross the world to survive."

As criticism continued to roll in, La Toilette shared a statement on the evening of Monday, 6th September, but rather than apologise, they said that the party was being postponed to the following weekend. They also claimed that it was intended to support the United Migrants residence and that the manager of the refugee housing had welcomed the proposition.

A number of angry attendees have responded underneath the statement, with comments ranging from criticisms around the choice of location for the party to questions about where partygoers' money had gone if the event did not indeed go ahead.

According to a member of collective Les Eveillés, which works to raise money for refugees, the refugees living in the camp at Vitry-sur-Seine are now at risk of being evicted, with a meeting having been called between the landlord, United Migrants and the local authorities.

"La Toilette ran out of options and rushed into this alternative without caring about the consequences," she told Electronic Beats. "Now the building's future is even more uncertain."

Photo: La Toilette, Paris, September 2020, by Themis Belkhadra