Riot police stormed a 30th birthday party for just 15 people and shut it down, thinking it was a rave because it was advertised on Facebook.
Four police cars, a riot van and a helicopter were involved in the swoop on Andrew Poole's gathering for his family and friends.
He was just about to light the barbecue and had not even turned on the music when the gazebo suddenly started flapping wildly and the sound of chopper blades filled the air.
Eight officers wearing camouflage trousers and body armour jumped out and demanded that the 'rave' to be shut down.
Mr Poole said: 'We were nowhere near anyone. We weren't even playing any music. What effectively the police did was come in and stop 15 people eating burgers.'
Grilling within tent: The gazebo police said was intended to host a wild rave
The party was organised using the create an event facility on Facebook.
Mr Poole, a coach driver, said he invited 17 family and friends and two had not even arrived by the time the helicopter was whirring overhead.
Mr Poole said: 'All of a sudden there was this noise in the sky. The thing then hovered over us for about 25 minutes, watching 15 people eat. They told us to take down the sound system and said everybody's got to leave.
'It was 4pm and we hadn't even plugged the music in yet. We tried to reason with them but they were having none of it.'
Mr Poole said he spent £800 on food and a generator.
Yesterday, police insisted they were right to end the party. 'We were extremely concerned how the event had been advertised on the internet as an all-night party,' a spokesman said.