Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and start looking through the news – and I get even more convinced that during the night, the world went just that little bit further into the rabbit hole. This was precisely one of those mornings.
The Belfast Telegraph published an article yesterday trying to keep its readers informed about the Covid restrictions currently in place in Northern Ireland. It all starts innocuously enough by talking about social distancing in restaurants no longer being required in November. So far, nothing out of the ordinary.
But then you remember the headline promises to tell you “how to avoid an accidental rave” – a curious prospect in itself. Is that how the plague rave DJs ended up doing what they were doing – by accident? Sven Väth hasn’t appeared yet and said “I was out in India playing some vinyl by myself and within minutes, thousands of people showed up – I accidentally ended up doing a plague rave!” – so the jury remains out on that one.
It turns out what the Belfast Telegraph is referring to is a rather odd anomaly in the restrictions. Nightclubs will be allowed to open, but having an indoor rave of more than 30 people in your house isn’t permitted. And the definition of an indoor rave is terribly vague.
They define it as an event where “Amplified music is played during the night with or without intermission which is likely to cause serious distress to inhabitants of the locality by reason of its loudness, duration and the time at which it is played”.
This definition seems terribly vague to me. Following this theory, if an 80-year old woman in, for example, Omagh, was to invite 35 friends around for a dinner party and country music was played at a loud enough volume into the evening, the aforementioned 80-year old could be fined under Covid laws if someone were to feign “distress”.
Possible unintended consequence there…
The Six On Saturday column returns next week.