A bill just passed by the Senate in France tightens regulations for music events and increases penalties to €3750, which is roughly equivalent to $4,175 USD.
While not yet passed into actual law, the anti-rave legislation aims to “strengthen the supervision of rave parties and sanctions against their organizers.” Next up, the bill will next be presented to the National Assembly, which is the official last step before it is formally adopted into French law.
Trax Magazine, which has followed and reported the developments, explains that the new law would make it mandatory for “meetings” of 500 people or less, even if the “meeting” is intended to be carried on private. Further, the law will “transform the current fifth-class offense into an offense punishable by 400 hours of community service (compared to 120 hours currently) and a fine of € 3,750, and thus allow for police custody, search, interrogation, seizure of equipment, etc. . in proceedings against one or more organizers.” The new anti-rave law will also make things much harder for promoters, as it aims to change parameters on noise levels, administrative deadlines and other criteria.
Interviewed by Resident Advisor, French-born, Berlin-based DJ and producer Jennifer Cardini weighed in. “They are basically passing the law that the UK passed in the ’90s. I find this scary and devastating.” She went on to explain what this would mean for fresh promoters and, ultimately, the nurturing of local music scenes: “It is a way to make sure that it’s very difficult for young people to organize a party,” she said. “It’s already difficult to get permits, other authorisations—the paperwork is huge. If you’re a young person putting on a rave, that fine is a lot of money, not to mention that they can just take your equipment and soundsystem.
Although the legislation claims that motivation behind these new proposed regulations is to “ensure public safety, public health, hygiene and tranquility, avoid nuisances in the neighborhood and limit the impact on biodiversity,” it is argued that the result is counter-productive.
Rather than dialogue aimed towards harm reduction, the legislation suppresses the creative freedom of promoters and artists in France, ultimately leading to possibly dangerous situations. Critics have understandably referenced the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act in the UK during the 1990s, which succeeded criminalising similar activities for which licensing has not been secured.
No date is currently planned for the National Assembly to consider the proposed anti-rave bill.