A judicial investigation has been opened to identify and prosecute organisers of an underground party that drew at least 2,500 people in western France despite a curfew amid the coronavirus pandemic, the interior minister has said.
Gérald Darmanin tweeted that actions by police around the site at Lieuron in Brittany “led to the end of the illegal party without violence” on Saturday morning, 36 hours after it had begun.
He said more than 1,200 people had been fined for not respecting the curfew, not wearing a mask and illegally taking part in a gathering. Sound equipment and power generators had been confiscated, he added.
Ravers from France and abroad converged on a hangar in Lieuron on Thursday night to party into the new year.
Officials said ravers attacked the police on the first night, torching one police vehicle and injuring officers with volleys of bottles and stones.
The party took place despite France’s nationwide night-time curfew aimed at dissuading people from gathering during the pandemic.
The country has already had two national lockdowns since the outbreak started and the latest was eased in mid-December, but restaurants and bars are off limits for and it is not clear when they might reopen.
France has reported more than 64,000 coronavirus-related deaths.