The Trouble with Teknivals

The Trouble with Teknivals

Festival-goers at an illegal rave in France have been taken to hospital after contracting hypothermia after an unexpected snow storm hit the unauthorized hill top festival at a military site in Creuse over the weekend. Hundreds of survival blankets were handed out to attendees by rescuers, with many people receiving treatment on site.

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Teknival is in its 26th year and only reveals the location of each instalment at the last minute. It’s estimated that 10,000 people attended this year’s edition with only 500-600 staying until the end after temperatures plummeted to nearly 20 degrees F. The festival was further dampened by more than 100 police officers made a number of seizures of drugs including cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine.

Currently French law permits free parties with 500 people or under (subject to no noise complaints), and while Prefets generally refuse the applications now required for free parties with over 500 people, through constant negotiations with the Ministry of Interior since the August 2002 teknival on the French/Italian frontier at Col de l’Arches where sound crews set up rigs inside the Italian border facing the party goers in France, the French Government have reluctantly allowed up to three large teknivals each year, even though they are technically unauthorized events.

Teknivals also take place outside legal festivals such as Printemps de Bourges, Transmusicales in Rennes or Borealis in Montpellier. Teknival negotiators deal directly with the Ministry of Interior, not the Ministry of Culture (with whom the commercial ventures seeking official status must deal) indicating that they are largely not cultural but security concerns.


We hope you’ve enjoyed The Trouble with Teknivals! What are your thoughts on these giant free festivals? Should the government allow them to continue, or are they simply too much of a public health risk? Join the conversation below!