I am currently at an illegal rave. “For this sense of community, we do our parties.” That means that the police could end all this at any second. But some people say these are just the better parties. “Yes, here it’s much freer, people are a lot looser.” And that’s what we’re going to find out. I was there from the beginning … … and I will stay until the bitter end. Somebody’s getting a fine back there. – 30 hours earlier – So, now I’m getting to know the people who are hosting these illegal raves. What I’m wondering is, how do you get involved and why would you do such a thing? Let’s have a look. “I’m looking for Benni – over there – are you Benni? – Exactly! – Hello! – Hello there! – So Benni, I’ve already tried three or four times to participate in one of your raves, they were all cancelled, what’s going on? Well, unfortunately we can’t influence the weather and if there’s a big rain forecast we can’t do anything about it.- Ok I see. Sunshine is reported for tomorrow – for now. Benni expects about 200 ravers. He organizes the whole thing with his friends Jonny and Carl. Everything started with a tiny party in the park, then the events got bigger and bigger. Why don’t you just go to a club? The clubs in Munich are quite expensive. Apart from that it’s just a completely different feeling to be outside in nature and to organize your own thing. There’s a certain feeling of freedom to it. “It’ll go off all right.” Here goes nothing! Yes! So from our side everything should work out, now we just have to hope that we won’t be disturbed too early. Aah yes, I’m very curious about that. The police don’t like illegal raves at all. But more about that tomorrow. Hello! – Hey Ari! – Here? – Yes, here Is it always so hard to find? – That’s the idea behind it. Well, you’re scaring away at least 20 percent of your target audience. So this right here is our trick to not bother anyone with our noise, there are usually hardly any people living near an autobahn and also the traffic noise will swallow our party noise. And ideally the police won’t notice the party. Here you go. – Whaaat? Are there any nettles? – Not anymore. Welcome to the location. At a river? – At a river’s fork even. – At a river’s fork… *branch falls down* Dude! That could have gone wrong! Yes, it’s going well, we’re coming! Hello! We are coming! Well, if I wasn’t uptight before, now I definitely am. Very nice forest though, two planned dancefloors. But how does all the stuff for the rave get here? The transporter has arrived. Everyone to the river, bucket chain! That is awesome, wow! What’s in there? – The sound system. – If that thing lands in the water… Well, for now, everything’s fine. That reminds me a bit of “Die Wilden Kerle”. I feel like one of the Ochsenknecht brothers will come out any minute and start driving around with a moped. Why can’t you just register something like that with the authorities? Unfortunately that’s not possible. Usually you need about three months notice for open air events. You need security, you need building fences to enclose the area. It can easily take up to a few thousand euros just to plan the whole thing, then if the weather doesn’t play along with the money is wasted. It is important to Benni and Carl that their raves are not commercial. Their collective Bushbash is also booked by club organizers for legal parties. That’s how they finance events like today. Much of what you see here they have borrowed somewhere. What they’re setting up does impress me. Well, so far they’re doing well, I think. But I personally would be really scared … … since theoretically the police could come at any minute and put an end to it and then everything would be in vain. What happens when the police come? Usually they just say “party’s over” and we have to dismantle and clean up everything, which we would do anyway. They then check everything. If you’re lucky that’s it. What happens when you’re unlucky we’ll see later tonight. But at the moment nobody here sees that coming. Wow, look at this! It is important to the collective Bushbash that there are enough ashtrays and garbage bags. They want to leave the forest in a clean state. Now the party people can come. They’re being informed about the location at short notice via a WhatsApp distributor. Is the bar open yet? – It is. Ok, what have you got? Beer and soda so far. How much is it? – It’s on a donation basis, so as you like … … we recommend two euros. – All right, thank you! – Here you go, enjoy! More drinks, more guests, everything comes over the river. Normally the way to a party leads through the club door. It’s different here and it’s not completely safe. Benni and Carl have organized volunteer paramedics who can help quickly if things go wrong. What could happen tonight? I guess not so much. What can happen is that the strobe light triggers a seizure or that in the darkness people stumble and hurt their feet. I have to be uptight again but behind us there is a river, maybe that’s not the best idea with drunk people and people on other drugs, will you have an eye on it? Of course, but even if something happens – the river is not too deep, we definitely have an eye on it, we can react relatively fast and pull the person out. Today, all party guests make their way across the river safely and in high spirits. It is now just before twelve and if we were in a normal club we would have to wait another three hours until things got started. So are illegal raves the better parties after all? “I think so, yes. It’s just something different, you’re outside, you’ve got these beautiful lights.” “The journey here was already so exciting, to look for the place and everything.” “You know the people, they’re all nice, it’s like a family.” “And it’s cheaper!” “I’ve never seen a fight or anything like that here.” “It’s a lot freer here, people are a lot looser, it’s more chilled.” “In a club there’s bad vibes and disputes a lot of the time.” “But what if the police come?” “I don’t know. This is my first rave, I don’t know.” I am so positively surprised, I have to admit I’d be very sad if the police came and shut down the whole thing. Dancefloor number two, this is my favourite area here. The dragon is cool, this little fence here, nice. Besides the police there is one more thing that could endanger this beautiful party. I had another look at the weather forecast and apparently the rain will come at three already and last longer. Would that be bad? I also looked at the weather map earlier, mine said five, but in any case we made everything rainproof. Worst case we have to turn off the electricity for a little while. At the moment everything’s still dry so party on! Very few people are drunk but one or two people are tripping I would say. Rumour has it that police cars have been sighted so I’ll investigate that. That’s why I’m standing here at the entrance and have a look around. Somebody’s coming! Is that… no, just more people coming to celebrate. The show can go on. How satisfied are you? The atmosphere is great! Yes, it’s going pretty well, isn’t it? – Awesome! But it’s just starting to rain a bit, isn’t that bad? – Couple of droplets, we will endure that. And – a delicate topic – some people here have told me that they’re under 18. What do you do about that? We’re trying to ensure that nobody (under 18) is there. If we find any, we send them home, but of course you can’t completely avoid it at public parties. And exactly that could become a problem today. I may have heard something over the bush radio. Benni, Benni! I’ve heard that maybe, rumour has it, maybe, some civil policemen are standing on the little bridge. What’s happening? Well, of course that can always happen, we’ll see. We’re glad they haven’t stopped the party until now. What’s the worst case scenario and do you think about it? We’re celebrating my birthday. (Carl) We’re celebrating his birthday here and yes, of course something can always happen, we’ll see. Are you nervous? Nope, somewhat relaxed. – I see, it’s not your first time. You could say that. – But it’s my first time, I’m a bit nervous. Well, let’s see how it turns out but you see, we do our parties for this sense of community. Half past four – the party is at its peak and then that happened. So, I just wanted to get my jacket because it started to drizzle a bit and then I met these gentlemen here; I think the fun is over now. Heieieiei. I’ll follow you. Dude, are you badass. The police turn off the music immediately. Oh oh oh oh oh. That’s how it works? The party guests are being checked for age and drugs. Everyone over there is tripping! Ouch. Apparently they don’t let anyone leave and they’re doing a raid now. Where is Benni? I can’t find him, but I discover Carl talking to the police. Ah, we go with him. We just celebrated my birthday. (Carl) – He claims he celebrated his birthday. (Policeman) – Exactly, this is my birthday. (Carl) Carl stepped into the breach like a hero and said, “Hello, I’m the one in charge here, who can I talk to?” Hey! Oh God, what’s happening now? Yes, good question. We’ll find out very soon. I mean, we were having a nice birthday party and then they just come in here. What’s the best case scenario? Best case scenario is we get a warning, worst case is we have to pay for the police operation. Seriously? – Of course. – Holy shit! Yes, that can be expensive. – How much does such an operation cost? We might find out very soon. We’ve never had an operation this big before. Ok, but this was also the best birthday so far, right? Yes, I hope so. We had a nice party but let’s see about the consequences. Oh God, that is exciting. – For me too, for me too. – Eieieieieiei. So? How are you? – Uh, yeah, too bad. Shit happens. What’s going on from your point of view? What we found here is a non-registered event. Several offences have been committed so we had to terminate this event. How did it come to your attention? We have our sources. What kind of offences happened here? Well, you have been here for a while, we can tell since your vehicle has been here for some time, so you will certainly have noticed that there were some narcotic offences, which means that narcotic drugs were being sold and consumed; permits under hospitality law have not been obtained, commercial permits have not been obtained, consequently we were forced to shutdown this event. Someone’s getting a fine over there. So… I have to say, this is a really well organized party, the lights were great, the music was great, the lifeblood was great, the mood was great, … … the only problem is that it’s not registered and therefore illegal and that seems to be the price one has to pay for something like that. And this is more than just the end of the party. The police note down violations against the restaurant regulation, the trade regulation and the youth protection law. One party guest gets a fine for violating the narcotics law. Two months after the party Carl receives a fine notice of 430 euro for the illegal alcohol bar. Whether further fines are pending is currently uncertain. I’m so done now, I’m going home, if you feel the same you can leave a subscription here and here’s a playlist by Sebastian and me on Spotify. It’s all legal, just click it, no police. Everything cool. No preparation needed. I’m going home now, good night.