It’s one of this week’s hot topics. The French electronic music scene has suffered a hard blow from the country’s political class. This past Tuesday, October 22nd, the French Senate passed a law that aims to “strengthen control over rave parties and increase possible sanctions against their organizers”.
According to Trax Magazine, this new law, already known as the “anti-rave law”, would oblige anyone who wanted to organize a “meeting” of 500 people or fewer to declare it and duly inform the local authorities at least one month in advance. If they don’t comply with the requirements imposed and/or hold the event without the relevant permits, the organisers would face sanctions of up to €3,750 and could even be seized of goods such as sound systems.
The aim is to “guarantee public health and safety, hygiene and tranquillity, avoid disturbing the neighbourhood and reduce the impact on biodiversity”. Events with more than 500 attendees are already subject to clear rules, so they wouldn’t be affected by the new proposal.
The law will now be introduced in the National Assembly. If approved, its application would only be a matter of time. From France, the agents of the scene fear that this is what will happen. The record is not good. The French political class has previously demonstrated its total rejection of the form of cultural expression involved in electronic dance music and rave culture. When misfortunes have happened, such as several overdoses or a death caused by GBL and GHB consumption, politicians have always refused to sit down to dialogue with clubs and festivals.
The French clubber community has already started to make some noise. A regular at these rave parties told us that this is “a clear example of how little the mentality of the French political class has evolved since the 1990s until now, and how far their way of seeing reality is from the way we young people see it”. In addition, he points out that “this type of party is constantly happening in other countries without any kind of problem, just as there were no problems here”. He doesn’t see the reason why the Senate has had to write a proposal as hard as this.
Several French artists have already shown their absolute rejection of the proposal. Jennifer Cardini, for example, told RA: “It seems that these politicians were never young. It’s surrealistic and, above all, dangerous. It seems that we cannot say our thing in this conflict, and that will only lead to confrontations and more problems, rather than new joint solutions.” There is always the hope, however, that the clubber movement will prevent the National Assembly from approving the bill. It’s complicated, but not impossible.