HANFORD, California (KGPE) – As COVID-19 cases rise in Kings County, underground rave parties are still taking place.
CBS47 investigated several raves in Hanford, including one on Oct. 30 when several hundred people appeared to have gathered for what was billed the “Rave from the Grave.”
An anonymous source said there have been a handful of these events with close to 700 people at the one on Oct 30. Another is planned in the weeks to come at a new location, rumored to be closer to Fresno.
“If you are exposing yourself at a party, it is too bad,” said Kings County Board of Supervisors Chair Doug Verboon.
A source said the organizer later revealed the address to be at a property on the 11000 block of Iona in Hanford.
In a statement, organizers say they put the event on because of the pandemic.
“With everything shut down and all negativity going on in the world some of us need to rave….We understand right now our health is at risk, we use safety precautions. We wear our masks. Just like we do in everyday life now. We understand businesses are closing down but our culture isn’t a business.”
Public videos that tag the organizers Instagram account and the events name, show hundreds of people crowed together. Some wear masks, but many do not.
Records show Kings County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the house for a large party and cars blocking the road, but our source said no one was told to leave.
The age group with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Kings County is 18-49 year-olds, which account for around 60% of the total cases.
Kings County reported 1000 new cases in the two weeks following the rave. It is unclear if any of these were tied back to the event.
Supervisor Verboon said the raves will not be shut down in the future and citizens must take individual responsibility for their own safety.
“As far as having law enforcement do something to separate them, you are gonna have problems and we don’t want that,” said Verboon. “We don’t want to cause a divide in the community. We want them to live their lives and we are asking them to please have respect for others.”
The Kings County Health Department did not return our request for comment.