Italy to ban free parties following Halloween rave shut down

Italy’s right wing government has introduced a new ‘anti-rave’ law following the shutting down of a free party in Modena on Halloween.

The party, called Witchtek 2K22, was shut down 24 hours early on Monday, October 31 by police. The party was scheduled to take place across the final weekend of October. Police removed 3000 ravers from the warehouse venue, and seized up to €150,000 worth of equipment from 16 soundsystem crews, according to a report from Made For Minds. 14 of the event’s organisers were arrested.

Police intervened after noise complaints were made by nearby residents, and according to witnesses, once they arrived at the venue, partygoers left peacefully. Speaking to Resident Advisor, one attendee Justin Justin of the Dutch crew Kombativ Soundsystem, said that ravers began to clean up the site and attempted to negotiate a peaceful exit with the police.

The situation has led to newly elected prime minister Giorgia Meloni implementing a law which, if passed by parliament, will ban public gatherings of more than 50 people without prior authorisation from the government. This has received widespread backlash from Italy’s free party movement, with many pointing toward Meloni’s party’s ties to neo-facism. Josko, a stalwart of the Italian free party scene, told Resident Advisor that he believes “it’s just the beginning of a massive repressive political action… With those bigots in charge, even our position in the EU could be at serious risk. I hope to be wrong.”