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Are SkyTrain raves and parties legal? How a Vancouver DJ got away with it

The answer is no, but also yes.
Vancouver DJ Felix Cartal threw a pop-up rave on the SkyTrain, but are these fun events allowed on TransLink transit? And how did he manage to get away with it?

Some transit commuters headed to Vancouver may have been surprised to walk into a dance party last Friday. 

Local DJ Felix Cartal held a pop-up rave on Nov. 3 that saw a crowd partying on board the SkyTrain's Expo Line from New Westminster station to Waterfront station. 

This isn't the first time someone has DJ'd on the SkyTrain, but are such pop-up transit parties even allowed? And how does one go about setting one up?

A TransLink spokesperson tells V.I.A. that they "appreciate the desire for a spontaneous event which brings people together on transit. However, these types of events are in breach of transit rules and regulations."

Specifically, TransLink's transit rules and regulations state that the use of audio devices is not permitted unless the sound is audible only to the user. Conduct contrary to public order is also prohibited. 

Yet, despite Friday's pop-up rave evidently breaching these rules and regulations, Cartal alleges that transit police didn't impede the party but, rather, helped accommodate it. 

Transit officers kept things 'chill' during the pop-up SkyTrain rave

"As we got to the platform there were hundreds of people, you couldn’t move. I couldn’t believe this many people showed up. Everyone was being respectful, the vibes were positive. People were cheering," Cartal writes in a blog post. "The [Transit Police officer] informed me that everyone was being great. He said that they would hold the train at the platform so people could board safely."

The DJ also revealed how everything came together: he and his crew arrived at New Westminster station at 8:30 p.m., just half an hour before the party was set to start. The rest of the crew continued on the SkyTrain for four more stops to give themselves a buffer while they set up in the train car. Then he waited, along with a jam-packed platform of those who arrived for the pop-up rave, to board and begin his set. 

"When we got to Waterfront, a few other [Transit Police] were there, helping people off, and everyone was being so respectful to keep things safe and the vibes positive," he continues, adding a thank you to the Transit Police officers "for being chill."

When asked about Transit Police officers' role in the enforcement of its rules and regulations, Transit Police Cnst. Amanda Steed explained to V.I.A. that the transit authority was made aware of Cartal's pop-up rave but did not shut it down. 

"While we don't condone this type of event due to potential safety risks, there is no evidence to suggest that anything criminal transpired during this particular event," says Steed, noting that officers monitored as the event unfolded. 

"Generally speaking in these types of incidents, Transit Police attend to ensure public safety and to deal with any criminal offences that may arise. With crowds of that size, there is always a safety concern given the nature of transit with small spaces and moving trains," explains Steed.