A total of 2,000 ravers partied all weekend at a beauty spot.

The revellers poured into Sussex from across the country at 1am on Sunday as the organised rave took place on open land just above Devil’s Dyke, near Dyke Golf Club.

Police made a decision overnight not to shut down the rave due to “the darkness, rain and numbers present”.

Seven huge sound systems blasted out music, which could also be heard from Poynings, to ravers whom passers-by described as being “out of their heads”.

Empty cans of lager and cider were strewn across the South Downs National Park yesterday as well as helium capsules used as highs by party-goers.

About 400 vehicles lined Devil’s Dyke Road, and while some ravers had the stamina to keep dancing yesterday evening, dozens of stragglers were passed out in their cars, surrounding car parks and grass verges.

Linda Freedman, chairwoman of Brighton and Hove Conservatives and councillor candidate for Goldsmid Ward, said: “I had a walk up there and people were just out of their heads.

“There were a load of revellers there and you could smell the cannabis.

“I dialled 999 and they told me they knew about the situation, but there was no police presence at the rave at all.

“I spoke to one police officer nearby and asked them what they were going to do about it and I was told ‘we only have four officers, so there’s nothing we can do’.

“But there’s no chance they can move away because they’ll all be under the influence.

“I don’t mind the music, but it’s booming out across the Downs.

“If they had a licence, no problem. But they don’t.

“It was very intimidating up there and this is meant to be a public place where people can bring their children.”

Speaking yesterday afternoon, a police spokesman said: “A number of calls have been received from nearby residents complaining about noise and the serious distress this event is causing them.

“Overnight it was assessed that due to the darkness, rain, and numbers present, it was not appropriate or practical to attempt to close the gathering safely.

“Although there are powers available to the police to close down illegal gatherings such as this, before exercising these powers an assessment has to be undertaken to determine whether or not such a gathering can be closed down safely and effectively.

“At present the assessment is that it would not be possible or safe to close the event down, given the number of officers available.”