Organisers call off illegal rave but not everyone wants to leave.
Police are set to break up a massive illegal rave near Viterbo, north of Rome, after organisers finally gave in to demands to call it off last night ahead of its scheduled end date on 23 August.
Local media reports that since dawn today there is a heavy police presence around the site of the 'mega rave party' - now in its sixth day - on the shores of Lake Mezzano.
The majority of people left the 'Space Travel' festival last night however several hundred partygoers - mainly foreigners according to media reports - have decided to keep partying.
The unauthorised event, which began on Friday night, has attracted thousands of people from across Europe and has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
There has been at least one fatality - the body of a 25-year-old man was found in the lake on Sunday night - with unconfirmed reports of the death of another man from a heart attack.
There have also been reports of two rapes, at least three young people taken to hospital in an alcoholic coma, and one hospitalised for covid-19.
Some news outlets reported that a baby was born during the rave, others cited local residents who say they saw the bodies of dogs left to die in the sun.
Until now police have adopted a soft approach, choosing mediation over force, in an attempt not to aggravate a situation described as "out of control" by Lazio regional health councillor Alessio D'Amato.
Security forces, which have faced criticism for not breaking up the party, have been monitoring the site for several days, stopping people from accessing the illegal event.
Environmentalists are concerned about the damage caused to the lake's delicate ecosystem, with the large crowds and loud music causing "serious damage" to the many wild animals and birds living in the area.
Cover photo ANSA
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Police set to break up 'out of control' rave near Rome
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