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Last Updated: Monday, 26 May, 2003, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Thousands attend illegal rave
Ravers set up camp
People began arriving on Saturday

Thousands of people taking part in an illegal music festival have spent a second night on agricultural land near Leominster in Herefordshire.

Residents living in the hamlets of Upper Ivington and Hyde Ash claimed around 10,000 revellers were in the area for the event, which started on Saturday night.

But West Mercia Police, who are looking for the festival's organisers, said that about 3,000 people attended the gathering at Stretford Court.

More than 2,000 partygoers were still estimated to be at the site on Monday morning.

I didn't get any sleep and I've been told this could last up to three days
Christine Rosearsh, local resident

Local residents have complained of excessive noise and traffic problems in the area.

Police have been operating a "turn-back" policy to prevent more people arriving at the site, but no arrests have been made.

A spokesman for the force said they are advising people who are thinking of attending the event, which has been staged illegally, to stay away.

Christine Rosearsh's house in Hyde Ash is near to where the event is taking place.

She told BBC News Online: "I was out in my garden on Saturday and could hear bits of music and vehicles and it gradually increased throughout the night. It's a nightmare.

The field where the rave is taking place
Local residents have complained about vehicles and mess

"I didn't get any sleep and I've been told this could last up to three days."

Mrs Rosearsh said she first phoned the police about 2200 BST on Saturday to complain and made two further calls - the last at 0415 BST - only to be told the police were "monitoring" the situation.

"I'm hopping mad and nobody seems to be helping.

"When I looked out my window at four this morning I was scared because I could see all these people everywhere.

"Apparently the entrance to the rave had been blocked off by police and the people were trying to find places nearby to get in.

"They were opening the gates to fields to get through and leaving them open. The cows were getting out and a neighbour who has young calves was going demented."

'Environmental hazard'

She added: "When I phoned the police, they said they were aware of the rave and that it was unauthorised but could not do anything about it at that time.

"We live right in the middle of the countryside and the lanes around my house are very narrow and they're all being blocked. Apart from that, people are going to the toilet where they can so it's an environmental hazard."

But the partygoers are more laid back about inconvenience to local people.

One said: "I feel a bit of remorse towards them but I think it's worth it because there are so many people having a good time that I reckon it outweighs a few people being disturbed.

"I don't think anyone's going to smash down fences, and normally people are quite good at tidying up the rubbish and stuff."

One person has been taken to Hereford General Hospital suffering from the affects of drugs or alcohol.

It is believed the land where the rave is being held is in receivership and is being sold by Barclay's Bank.




SEE ALSO:
Clean-up after the night before
06 May 03  |  Wiltshire
Giant gates bar raves
20 Mar 03  |  England


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