Illegal Portobello beach rave ‘will go ahead’

Organisers behind an illegal rave expected to attract thousands of revellers to Portobello beach have pledged to do everything in their power to make sure it goes ahead – despite opposition from the police and council officials.

A packed Portobello beach on a sunny day. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

More than 3000 people have signed up to attend the summer party on Facebook, with its social media page promising “BBQ and sun all day” and a “party all night” – featuring some of the city’s top DJs.

But earlier this week police warned the event – set to take place next Wednesday at the western end of Portobello beach – was unlicensed and did not have council permission.

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And concerned city chiefs urged locals not to attend – insisting obtaining a licence was “essential” for public safety.

The party was originally scheduled for tonight but was pushed back by organisers Bpm Event Management after forecasts of rain.

Yesterday, defiant revellers took to the rave’s Facebook page to urge party-goers to “get in [the] way” of police if they attempted to take away the event’s sound system.

One said: “Should the police try to take the rig, get in their way. You don’t have to be passive, if you want to party you need to defend your right to party.”

But Bartosz Mitura, who runs Bpm Event Management, insisted public safety was the “most important thing”.

And the entrepreneur said he approached the council yesterday to apply for a licence, revealing he was confident next week’s party would still go ahead – despite council officials warning the application would take six weeks to process.

Mr Mitura said he had been taken aback by the number of people rushing to attend next week’s rave, adding that his company was “in the middle of preparing a risk assessment”.

He said: “I’m trying to do my best – if I’m concerned about public safety we won’t go ahead.

“We created this event a few weeks ago and it was meant to be for our friends and family.

“It was meant to be a private party. That’s why we chose the middle of the week. All the DJs are my friends – they are doing it for free.

“This is a public space so I can’t stop people coming.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Events such as these require a public entertainment licence and involve lots of planning to make sure all of those in attendance are kept safe.

“So far, our colleagues at the City of Edinburgh Council have received no application for a Portobello Beach Party. We are committed to keeping our communities safe and local police will monitor the area on Wednesday to engage with members of the public and address any issues which may arise.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Anyone planning to hold a public event such as a beach party requires a Public Entertainment Licence. We can confirm that the council has not received an application for this event and therefore we would advise people not to attend.”