Illegal forest rave ends with Tom Jones classic
ABIG clean-up has taken place after an illegal rave brought thousands of people to a Welsh forest – until the event was apparently brought to an end by a Tom Jones song.
At its peak over the bank holiday weekend, more than 4,000 people from all corners of the UK were reportedly at the site, known as Graig, in Brechfa Forest between the villages of Brechfa and Llanfynydd in Carmarthenshire.
Despite the huge number of people in the area, Dyfed-Powys Police said no arrests were made. Police were at the entrance to the forestry across the weekend preventing any more people from arriving, and a police helicopter was overhead to monitor activities on the ground.
The techno and hard dance party – dubbed UKTEK – was eventually brought to an end on Monday morning when Tom Jones’ hit Green Green Grass of Home was played over the speakers – of which there were several on lorries.
By Tuesday a handful of ravegoers remained at the site to clean up the mess.
A walk to the site in the aftermath of the event revealed rubbish, drug paraphernalia and abandoned vehicles – including a Jaguar XJS – littering the narrow track leading to where the rave took place. Approaching the quarry along a track that winds its way for more than a mile to the top of the forest, large discarded gas cannisters could be seen, along with rubbish and burnt out camp fires, although some piles of rubbish had been bagged up by conscientious revellers and left on the side of the road.
It all started shortly before midnight on Saturday night. The loud music could still be heard booming from the remote location into Monday morning.
As more and more people poured into the area thanks to social media and word of mouth locally, the track leading to the quarry became gridlocked with cars.
Jeanette Hall who has lived on the edge of the forest for 32 years, said: “We have never seen anything like this here before.
“People were coming to my house wanting food and water and others said they needed to get home because they needed to be back in work but were stranded.
“A few others were out of it, you could tell, they were just laying in the hedges.”
She added: “I even had girls squatting in my front garden to go to the toilet so I moved them on.”
Back at the top of the road at the rave site one attendee, who would only give his first name, Robin, said: “I live locally and was in the pub when we saw hundreds of cars going past at around midnight on Saturday, so we followed them.”
Speaking about the weekend, he said: “There must have been at least 4,000 here and I was the one that actually ended the rave.”
He said it was in the early hours of Monday morning when he made a decision to play a classic track over the speakers.
“I thought what song would work well, and then it came to me, I put on Tom Jones’ Green Green Grass of Home and everyone loved it.
“I thought being in Wales and having people from across the UK there, what better song to calm things down and wind it all up?”
Natural Resources Wales said raves such as these could have an adverse impact on forestry, together with denying access to a beauty spot for families over the weekend.
Russell Jones, area manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “The impact these illegal raves can have on our forestry is devastating. In this case it has ruined the forest for everyone else, and made it a very unsafe place for people to visit during a busy bank holiday and half term.”
> The clean-up begins after the rave
> People taking part in the rave in the Brechfa area of Carmarthenshire. The voice of Tom Jones, below, marked the end of the rave