Weekend rave riles neighbour, vexes police

NANAIMO – Resident complains of party noise. Police set up roadblock after car leaving party involved in rollover crash.

Noise from a weekend bush party drew negative attention from a neighbour, while police dealt with a car that rolled over leaving the party, injuring four teens.

The rave party, dubbed Project K, took place Saturday and Sunday, and is one of several parties held annually up in the McKay Lake area off the end of Spruston Road south of Nanaimo.

The event was promoted through social media and drew hundreds of people.

“Last night was just a zoo,” said Terry Radford, a Spruston Road resident. “There must have been at least 200 cars go up and down this road.”

Radford said the parties have been held there for at least five years and are becoming larger and louder. Carloads of teens going to and from the raves speed up and down Spruston Road and side roads in the otherwise quiet rural area.

“They were slamming their doors and squealing their tires all night [Sunday],” Radford said. “It was just horrible.”

Radford said from his home located several kilometres away, he can hear party music thumping all night and he worries bonfires in the dry summer months could trigger forest fires.

When Radford called the police Saturday, he was told there was little the Mounties could do.

“They said, ‘We have some bad news for you Mr. Radford,'” he said. “‘There’s going to be hundreds of youths up there this evening.’ Where they got their information from, I don’t know.”

Cpl. Tim Desaulniers, Ladysmith RCMP spokesman, said the detachment called in RCMP South Island Traffic Services to set up a road block for four hours on Spruston Road to deal with traffic after a car, carrying six teenagers leaving the rave early Sunday, rolled over.

Four of the occupants were taken to hospital with minor injuries. The crash is still under investigation and charges are being contemplated against the 17-year-old male driver.

The parties are difficult for police to deal with because they only become aware of them when they happen or immediately afterward, and they are held on provincial or forestry lands, which are open to the public.

“That’s probably the biggest hurdle, knowing where they’re occurring and when they are, because they keep them pretty underground,” Desaulniers said.

He said as many as 1,500 people attended last weekend’s party.

“We’re looking into this one that happened on Sunday night to see if we can track down the promoter and go from there to see if we can go over liability issues with him,” Desaulniers said. “As far as not letting them happen, there would be a lot of steps we’d have to put into place before we could do that.”

Desaulniers said because of the remote locations, the parties rarely result in property damage.

“I’m sure the people out there don’t like the traffic and I’m sure they’d love to see them shut down altogether,” he said.

Radford said he is concerned for the safety of his neighbourhood and tired of the screaming, speeding cars and litter left behind.

“I’m sure at the end of the day, they wouldn’t want to have those parties in their own neighbourhood, would they,” he said. “I bet Mom and Dad wouldn’t think much of that.”