At the end of May during the bank holiday, some people threw a party. No big deal, just a few thousand people dancing next to the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales. Unfortunately, a group of people who like to call themselves 'the police' (no, not Sting & Co.) took issue with the party, deeming it illegal and proceeding to seize sound systems and press charges against a group of people who have been dubbed by many media outlets as the 'Rave Six.' We spoke with Dan Cartel, a member of Deep Cartel (one of the groups whose sound systems were seized), who had this to say about the situation.
What are you (and the others) charged with?
Four people were released on police bail pending further investigation and the ‘Rave Six’ have been charged under Section 136 of the Licensing Act for carrying out unlicensed licensable activity. They were released on unconditional bail to return to Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on 24th June. On the 24th of June the case was adjourned again until 3rd of November 2010 for a two-day trial.
Besides the whole police thing, what was the party's actual atmosphere?
The atmosphere was amazing! The sound quality, music and visuals outshone any licensed dance festival in recent memory and best of all, it was free!
Do you feel like your group (the 'Rave Six' as you've been dubbed by the media) has been scapegoated throughout this whole process?
Those arrested have definitely been scapegoated, yes. The six people charged had nothing to do with the organization of the event whatsoever. Why the police wish to blame these six people for a party that had 3,000 people in attendance isn't clear. These kinds of parties have no organizer; they just happen through word of mouth.
Do you think dance/rave culture in general is portrayed in an unfair light by the mainstream? What can be done to change this?
In a lot of cases yes, rave culture is given an unfair press. For example, with the UK Teknival the local paper complains of a £3,500 clean-up bill. If the police hadn't scared everyone off with their helicopter intimidation tactics then there would have been a big clear-up by party goers. Our area was spotless and the few people who remained were helping the council clear up the rest of the site on Tuesday, including myself.
Also the police seized well over £100,000 of sound kit too – do the maths!
The reality is that most free party sites are left in better condition than they were in before the party started, which is something that party people pride themselves in.
The way to change things if you want to see an annual free festival in the UK is to register your vote on the government website.
Register, log in, and then rate it with five stars to vote...
Can you tell us a bit about the special track you've been working on?
After all the media coverage from the UK Teknival, we saw an opportunity to raise some funds for those unjustly charged with organising the Teknival in the same way that Spiral Tribe did after Castlemorton in 1992 with their classic 'Breach the Peace EP'. Our tune, "Peaceful but Illegal", by Country Gents, reflects the party from a DC perspective.
The track features samples from the media and interviews with party goers in an underground house style with an old school feel and a phat horn - they played it at a Smokescreen party a few weeks after the Teknival and it went down really well!
The download site was donated for free, and Andy Compton of Peng Records kindly mastered the track for free as well.
To cut down on the usual distribution overheads this special release is only available from: http://www.dalerave6.co.cc/ where you can make a minimum donation of £2.50 to help the cause and download the tune. One hundred percent of the money goes directly to the cause.
Also you can join the Facebook group 'Drop the charges over UKTek' and show your support there.
Dan Cartel is a member of Deep Cartel, as well as Country Gents.