Residents of a village in Neath Port Talbot say they fear an outbreak of coronavirus is on the horizon following a large, illegal rave that took place over the weekend.
Up to 3,000 people from all over the UK descended on Banwen for the gathering, which began overnight on Saturday (August 29).
Residents said they were woken by loud music and passing cars at around 1am, as crowds began to grow in a nearby forest.
In Roman Road, which has a footpath leading to the woodland, homeowners reported young people defecating in their gardens, leaving cars parked illegally, and obstructing roads throughout the village.
South Wales Police sent officers to the scene, as they estimated that up to 3,000 people “from across the UK” were in attendance at the peak of the event.
At present, coronavirus regulations in Wales restrict gatherings of more than 30 people outdoors.
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Residents of Banwen said they now feared their small village would see a surge in coronavirus cases, as ravers largely ignored social distancing guidelines and weren’t wearing face masks.
Sandra Muir, of Roman Road, said the situation had been “horrendous” since ravers first began arriving on the bank holiday weekend.
“[The people at the rave] are not even from the area. We’ve all safeguarded ourselves to make sure we’re safe and yet all these people descended on the area and chances are now people are going to become ill, they’re going to have Covid- 19,” she said.
“My husband has got Parkinsons so that is a concern.”
Kelly Williams-Havard, who lives in Main Road, said police told her ravers attended from as far away as Spain.
She said: “We have been in lockdown for months. Everyone up here has been so good. And now you’ve got this. It’s unbelievable.
“I’m dreading the next few weeks now. Out of all those people don’t tell me not one of them have got Covid-19.”
“They have all just been in one massive group all weekend,” she said, adding that she didn’t see anybody wearing face masks.
Meanwhile, resident Lee Reynolds claimed the village “tripled in size overnight with people coming from all over the country and no social distancing”.
“Based on the national news of infections rising in areas where there is a lot of social mixing then logically we are now high risk for a similar spike in cases,” he said.
Assistant chief constable of South Wales Police, David Thorne, told WalesOnline it took a long time to disperse the rave because of the size of the site and the number of people who attended.
He said: “It is a 4,000 acre site on the side of the mountain and there were a total of 3,000 people there.
“It was a huge task and we had help from other forces, organisations and the local authority. It put significant strain on our resources, especially on a busy bank holiday weekend.”
Eight people who helped to organise the rave have been reported and could face fines of up to £10,000, he said, adding that further people would be reported to summons as police trawled through video and drone footage taken at the scene.
According to Public Health Wales, of the 18,012 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus recorded in Wales since the start of the pandemic, a total of 687 have been recorded in Neath Port Talbot.
Of the local authority’s total cases, just 14 have occurred in the last 30 days.