Mission RCMP foiled a rave recently that had the potential to draw 1,500 partygoers to a remote forest road 15 kilometres beyond the end of Sylvester Road. Information had been spreading through social media about the all-night party.
“Just before 5 p.m. on Aug. 18, [Chilliwack dispatch] had a tip from someone who may have been in the area that there was going to be a large rave,” said Cpl. Sharon Siluch.
At least three officers went to the rendezvous site on Crown land, about 15 km up the Lost Lease Forest Road that begins at the north end of Sylvester Road. Four officers and some auxiliary police set up a road block at the end of Sylvester Road to prevent partiers from traveling up to the remote party spot.
“Thirty campers were already setting up, there was alcohol on site and they were setting up the sound system. They were told they had to leave, since they had no permit, and the officers stayed to ensure everyone was gone,” said Siluch. “They prevented it from happening before it began.”
Meanwhile, busloads of people were being dropped off at the Shell gas station at the south end of Sylvester Road where it meets Highway 7 (Laughed Highway), ostensibly so they could walk in to the rave, said Siluch.
“They had no clue how far it was. Word gets out through social media, and there were people arriving from all over the Lower Mainland,” she said.
Siluch said the RCMP officers were concerned about people getting hurt at the unsanctioned event, in the dark in the rough terrain.
There were also concerns about the potential for alcohol and drug use, especially ecstasy, one of the street drugs that is common at rave events. Several young adults have overdosed and even died in B.C. in the past year from ingesting ecstasy. Many of the would-be partiers may also be underage, she said.
“There are a lot of safety concerns,” she said.
The Mission detachment prevented a similar incident from happening last year, when they received a tip from a concerned parent, said Siluch.
“It was in the same area, but they went farther up the road this time,” she said.
Last August, police were tipped off that a rave for up to 1,200 was planned on the remote Stave Lake mud flats area. When organizers refused to cancel the event, Mission RCMP put up a roadblock and prevented others from entering the area. Rave organizers took their sound equipment and began to set up a few hours later at Davis Lake on Sylvester Road. Again the police set up roadblocks, then escorted the organizers and their sound equipment out of Mission.