Fact Check-Video does not show spoof Christmas Eve party outside British government HQ

A video of people dancing at a protest rave outside the residence of Britain’s prime minister has confused social media users into thinking it shows people attending what was intended as a spoof Christmas Eve party. The party was not meant to be a real event, but a joke dreamt up in the wake of a controversy over gatherings by officials during COVID-19 lockdowns last year which critics said were parties and the government said were work meetings. (here).

The three-minute clip, posted to Facebook on Dec. 24 (here), shows hundreds of people dancing outside Downing Street while a nearby DJ performs a set from a van. An accompanying caption reads: “Mad scenes right now at the Downing Street Christmas Eve Party.”

Viewers in the comments appeared to believe the video had been captured earlier that day.

“So people actually turned up for it then”, said one person, describing the scene as “brilliant”.

Another, referring to pandemic-related restrictions on indoor parties, said: “That is what 18-year-olds think is a party nowadays. Tragic.”

However, the video posted on Christmas Eve was captured during a protest in June – not in December.

Thousands of people participated in a central London protest on June 27 against COVID-19 restrictions that had heavily impacted Britain’s nightlife (here and here).

Multiple DJs performed from four vans at the event - named #FreedomtoDance – calling for better government support of the music industry. Another video from the protest can be seen here.

On Dec. 23, Organisers of the Christmas Eve event on Facebook said they had decided to reschedule for Dec. 29 and turn it into a six-hour livestream for charity (here and here).

More than 1.2 million people have responded to the calendar event here and here.


Miscaptioned. Video shows a protest rave in June – not a spoof Downing Street Christmas party organised on Facebook.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.