A DJ who was arrested on suspicion of organising an illegal rave has warned that Government Covid-19 restrictions are driving the dance music scene underground.

Kev Maloney will face no further action from police over his planned, dusk-to-dawn party for 1,200 people, where he had promised to take health precautions.

He was arrested by officers who broke the door down to his flat in Coventry before handcuffing him and holding him in cells over the outdoor, ‘Secret in the Stix’ event.

While the die-hard raver, 39, accepts police were only doing their job, he feels he has done nothing wrong and warns Government lockdown measures are driving people towards ‘postcode raves’ hosting up to 200 party-goers at a time.



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Party locations are only revealed at the last minute, usually via private Snapchat or WhatsApp groups. An advert for one ‘lockdown rave’ in Sheffield said it will take place at a secret location with the ‘location drop’ to follow on social media.

Kev said: ‘Everyone in dance music is just waiting, hoping for light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, the Government restrictions are only going to drive people underground, because a lot of people are starting to get fed up with the situation.

‘We all need to dance, it’s a release everyone needs in life and it’s affecting people financially as well as through their mental health.

‘As a result there’s a lot of postcode raves going on in London as well as in other parts of the country. They usually attract between a hundred and a couple of hundred people in disused buildings and warehouses.

‘I could have gone down that road but I wanted to hold a legitimate event on private land with all the safety precautions in place.

‘I’ve got a couple of gigs coming up but they are sit-down events, it’s not the same as being able to dance with other people. If we stay in lockdown for the next 12 months or so I can only see the illegal rave scene growing.’

The promoter’s event had been planned for fenced-off land in Wolston, North Warwickshire.

The party was named ‘Freedom in the Sticks’, with DJs playing house, drum and bass, garage and old school.

He had advertised the rave without disclosing the location, which he said was not an attempt to dodge police but a throwback to the 80s and 90s rave era when the location was revealed at the last minute.

It was due to take place in July, at around the same time that pubs were reopening after the first national Covid-19 lockdown.

‘I had no intention to do anything illegal,’ Kev said. ‘Safety was the first priority with social distancing measures and we had ordered and spent money on sanitisers and facemasks.

‘I also had security, first aid and medics. It took three months to build the event up and I had been liaising with the police.



‘At the time, pubs were reopening and they were looking at letting outdoor events go ahead again, so I was waiting for the right time to put in for a temporary events application.

‘My solicitor has told me there is a grey area around private land, and that’s why it came back as no further action.

‘But the police had also searched my phone and flat and found I had done nothing wrong.’

Undeterred, Kev now plans an even bigger party as soon as lockdown restrictions are eased to the point where outdoor gatherings are allowed again.

The DJ, who has been organising events for two decades, said: ‘It’s only given me more determination to put on the event when it’s safe to do so. I’ve put my reputation on the line and I don’t want to let people down.

‘I’m hoping to give it a festival feel and make it the first party out of lockdown. But I’m only going to hold the event when it’s safe to do so.’  

With nightclubs shut indefinitely, organisers of parties that breach Covid-19 restrictions face fines of up to £10,000 under new laws.

In August, the maximum sanction was handed to two people behind a rave that attracted around 3,000 people in Banwen, South Wales.

At the time of the DJ’s arrest, Warwickshire Police said it had received a tip-off about the event and urged the public not to attend or buy £10 tickets, saying the adverts were falsely claiming the organisers were working with the police.


The force described the party as unauthorised and unlicensed and said it broke Government legislation around gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The name of the arrested man was not released by the police at the time.

Superintendent Mike Smith, of Warwickshire Police, said: ‘In July officers arrested a male in connection with a suspected illegal rave.

‘Raves are illegal at all times, and there has been an additional focus this year as a result of the obvious risks surrounding Covid-19.

‘While not going into the specific details of this case, we are satisfied that the arrest was both necessary and proportionate in the circumstances.’

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