Free Party Harm Reduction Guide

4 minute read

The Drop Team

With clubs closed and festivals cancelled for the foreseeable future, it’s totally understandable that people are craving some loud music and proper dance. For the meantime, going to a free party or illegal rave might seem like a tempting alternative but it’s important to remember these are unregulated spaces which means there’s some extra tips and tricks you need to know to stay safe, particularly if you choose to use drugs.


Be as Covid Safe as Possible

We’ve heard reports of lots of covid cases connected to free parties so wear a face mask, use hand sanitiser and try to keep some distance from people outside your bubble. If you’re using drugs, don’t share snorties, drinks, spliffs or pass around baggies. It goes without saying, but don’t attend if you’re displaying symptoms, should be self-isolating or are waiting for the results of a test.

Have a Designated Driver

Having a safe way of getting home from a free party is essential – you never know when it’s going to get shut down, when the heavens will open or when the vibe might turn sour. Waiting in your car for hours to sober up is rubbish and so would getting pulled by the police for driving under the influence. Remember police can test for illegal drugs now, not just alcohol.

Only Take Substances You Know

If you’re going to take drugs, it’s wise to stick to substances you know if you’re going to a free party. There won’t be a welfare service there to look after you if something goes wrong. Read up on dosages, interactions and harm reduction practices before you go and stick to them. Don’t buy drugs from strangers.

Stick with Pals

Free parties can be in pretty remote places with patchy signal so it’s best to stick with your friends for the night and try not to get separated. Set a meeting point just in case someone gets lost. If you’re going to use drugs, let each other know what you’re taking and how much so if something goes wrong they can let the paramedics know.

Respect the Land

You’re a (probably unwanted) guest on someone else’s property so respect that. Don’t throw litter, nos canisters, baggies or anything else on the floor. Someone is going to have to clear it up eventually.

Take Supplies

Bring plenty of water, snacks and loo roll. It’s not like a regular festival, there won’t be designated water points or food stalls to keep you going. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately- bring warm clothes, a water proof and proper shoes. British weather can’t be trusted.

Be Mindful of the Police

The police showing up is pretty much inevitable so be mindful of how you behave around them. Being antagonistic isn’t going to help the situation at all and will make it more likely that you’ll become the focus of their attention. If you’re stopped by police you can calmly ask if you’re be detained. If they say no, you are free to leave. If they say yes and that they would like to search you, they must have reasonable ground to do so. Read this guide to learn about your rights during a stop and search.

Think About Whether it’s Really Worth It

After the party in Yate Bristol’s Covid rate sky rocketed, two people were issued with £10000 fines and the police have shared images of attendees in a hope to identify them to charge them with a variety of offences. On top of that, raving during Covid gives the scene such a bad rep! The end is in sight so save your dancing shoes for the summer.


If you would like to know more about harm reduction, would like some support around your drug use or are concerned about a friend or family member, please get in touch on 07903799104, at thedrop@bdp.org.uk or on our socials @TheDrop_BDP

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