This article originally appeared on VICE France.
France might be under another lockdown, but that didn’t stop hundreds of young Parisians from throwing a massive illegal rave in the city’s 15th district on the last night of October. VICE France was there to ask partygoers: Why?
Luce*, a 30-year-old state government employee, said she wasn’t just there to have fun.
“To me, party spaces are political spaces,” she said. “There are plenty of areas where people can get easily infected that have stayed open, like the Métro, but all the clubs have been closed for over seven months.”
She added that the “powers that be” have “no consideration whatsoever for nightlife” and haven’t offered party people any alternatives but to gather illegally.
An illegal lockdown rave in Paris.
Ariane*, a 22-year-old student, said she was there because she’s been struggling with her mental health over the past months. “The lockdown has robbed me of my freedom,” she said. When things started opening up again she was excited to go out, and started experimenting with ecstasy. “I knew this party would be the last for a really long time, and I liked the whole forbidden aspect of it,” she said. She knows the virus “is around”, but she “really just needed to be here”.
Ali*, 30, who’s been out of work for a few months, was feeling nostalgic for pre-pandemic times. “I haven’t gone out in a long time,” he said. “I really miss the way Paris used to be. I miss the techno parties we had before COVID.”
Police arrived to break up at the rave at around 6:30AM, when most guests had already left. Fifteen partygoers were written up, two of the event’s hosts were arrested and the sound equipment was seized. Most, however, got off scot-free. From the police, that is – who knows if they managed to avoid the virus.
Scroll down to see more pictures of the night.