Summer Solstice Celebrations Turn Violent At Stonehenge

Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge. Photo: Andrew Dunn (CC)

Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge. Photo: Andrew Dunn (CC)

Today marks the summer solstice – the day of the year when the Earth’s and the moon’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun. It’s a day of celebration around the world, as exemplified by the English at Stonehenge, where Steven Morris reports for the Guardian that the usual mix of pagans and partiers are in attendance:

The summer solstice is meant to be a night and dawn of peace, love and amazement. But not all of those attending the celebrations at Stonehenge entered into the spirit of the event.

Druids, pagans and revellers watched as two men, one shirtless, staged a fist fight at the ancient monument in Wiltshire.

While the majority of the 18,000 people who attended the solstice celebrations were well-behaved, 20 arrests and almost 50 drug seizures were made.

Photographer David Hedges, who witnessed the fight, said: “They were sparring for a few minutes before they really started throwing punches.”

Spectators surrounded the pair and a couple tried to break it up before the police arrived.

The 20 arrests included 11 for drugs offences and five for public order offences. Superintendent Gavin Williams of Wiltshire police said most of the attendees “came to see the sunrise in the spirit of the event. Although it was disappointing that some individuals chose to bring drugs with them, they were dealt with robustly.”

Fewer people attended than in recent years, partly due to the damp weather, perhaps, but also because the event fell at the start of the week.

But Arthur Pendragon, a well-known druid who purports to be a modern incarnation of the legendary king, said both those who were there for faith reasons and the many others who attend just for a good time – including plenty who stopped off on the way to Glastonbury – seemed to have enjoyed the night and dawn…

[continues at the Guardian]

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  • justagirl

    this is why dj selection is SO important.

  • justagirl

    this is why dj selection is SO important.

  • Grooveboss

    well if its that kind of party…

  • Grooveboss

    well if its that kind of party…

  • Anon

    The Battle of the Beanfield really screwed up any festivals that take place there now. It had always been a peaceful event until the police started getting involved.

  • Anon

    The Battle of the Beanfield really screwed up any festivals that take place there now. It had always been a peaceful event until the police started getting involved.

  • JoiquimCouteau

    “Although it was disappointing that some individuals chose to bring drugs with them, they were dealt with robustly.”
    Yes, how terribly disappointing.

  • Anonymous

    “Although it was disappointing that some individuals chose to bring drugs with them, they were dealt with robustly.”
    Yes, how terribly disappointing.

  • Jbar

    Brits getting drunk and fighting? Say it isn’t so!

    • Oknotko

      So uncouth and of course it’s a British thing.  Drunken fighting is the exclusive preserve of the UK.  It never happens in any other countries, especially in America.

      • Tuna Ghost

        Not in my hometown.  We just get drunk and shoot each other.  Its a Detroit thing, I guess

  • Jbar

    Brits getting drunk and fighting? Say it isn’t so!

  • Grooveboss

    finally figured out that its a fighting ring 

  • Grooveboss

    finally figured out that its a fighting ring 

  • Hadrian999

    in today’s world you can’t have a public event without some drunken jackass’s ruining it, it happens to just about every festival, once the general public knows about it there is no point in going, small invitation only organizations are the way to go

  • Hadrian999

    in today’s world you can’t have a public event without some drunken jackass’s ruining it, it happens to just about every festival, once the general public knows about it there is no point in going, small invitation only organizations are the way to go

  • Hadrian999

    in today’s world you can’t have a public event without some drunken jackass’s ruining it, it happens to just about every festival, once the general public knows about it there is no point in going, small invitation only organizations are the way to go

  • quartz99

    *facepalm* It’s like people are _trying_ to get them to close it to the public again…

  • Anonymous

    *facepalm* It’s like people are _trying_ to get them to close it to the public again…

  • Oknotko

    So uncouth and of course it’s a British thing.  Drunken fighting is the exclusive preserve of the UK.  It never happens in any other countries, especially in America.

  • cakey pig

    Yawn at the sensationalism….
    Get 18 000 people together and I guarantee you that two of them (that’s 1 in 9000!) will have a fight.
    There was a huge brawl at Ascot this year ffs…. About ten people were involved!
    (American readers: Ascot is a horse race meeting and is one of the poshest dates on the posh snob calendar with royals and billionaires attending)

  • Anonymous

    Yawn at the sensationalism….
    Get 18 000 people together and I guarantee you that two of them (that’s 1 in 9000!) will have a fight.
    There was a huge brawl at Ascot this year ffs…. About ten people were involved!
    (American readers: Ascot is a horse race meeting and is one of the poshest dates on the posh snob calendar with royals and billionaires attending)

  • Tuna Ghost

    But Arthur Pendragon, a well-known druid who purports to be a modern incarnation of the legendary king, said both those who were there for faith reasons and the many others who attend just for a good time – including plenty who stopped off on the way to Glastonbury – seemed to have enjoyed the night…
    Well thank god someone thought to ask Arthur Pendragon, now I feel better

  • Tuna Ghost

    Not in my hometown.  We just get drunk and shoot each other.  Its a Detroit thing, I guess

  • Tuna Ghost

    But Arthur Pendragon, a well-known druid who purports to be a modern incarnation of the legendary king, said both those who were there for faith reasons and the many others who attend just for a good time – including plenty who stopped off on the way to Glastonbury – seemed to have enjoyed the night…
    Well thank god someone thought to ask Arthur Pendragon, now I feel better

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