DJ fined £1,000 for lockdown restrictions breach
A DJ has been fined £1,000 after police responding to a report of an “all night rave” in contravention of coronavirus lockdown regulations found up to 30 people in the area of a stage which had a mixing desk and speakers.
Matthew Armitage (19), of Kensington Park, Portadown, admitted the offence in relation to Tardree Forest near Antrim town on November 7 last year.
A prosecutor told Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena on Tuesday, police were contacted at 8am about an “all night rave” and when they arrived at the forest they saw groups of people leaving.
Officers found around “20-30” people in the forest near a “sound stage” which had eight speakers, a mixing desk and two electricity generators. The defendant confirmed it was his equipment.
A defence lawyer said the defendant is a business studies student and also works at an electricity firm call centre but wants to move to England to be a full-time DJ. He said the defendant admitted his involvement in the forest music event to police at the time.
Prior to the Covid pandemic, the lawyer said the defendant had been organising “free parties” for “close friends and associates” and this was the “one event that he had organised during lockdown”.
The lawyer said although it was described as a “rave” there was no suggestion of “the taking of drugs”. He said the defendant and other young people decided to attend and Armitage helped organise the forest event.
The lawyer added: “It wasn’t the funeral where there were literally thousands of people there overseen by the police”.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a “serious matter” to organise the music event “in the middle of a pandemic” and fined the defendant £1,000.
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.