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]

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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25 Comments on "Summer Solstice Celebrations Turn Violent At Stonehenge"

  1. justagirl | Jun 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

    this is why dj selection is SO important.

  2. justagirl | Jun 21, 2011 at 10:25 am |

    this is why dj selection is SO important.

  3. Grooveboss | Jun 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

    well if its that kind of party…

  4. Grooveboss | Jun 21, 2011 at 10:27 am |

    well if its that kind of party…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Anonymous | Jun 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

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

  8. JoiquimCouteau | Jun 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

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

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

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

    • 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 | Jun 24, 2011 at 5:44 am |

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

  11. Grooveboss | Jun 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm |

    finally figured out that its a fighting ring 

  12. Grooveboss | Jun 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm |

    finally figured out that its a fighting ring 

  13. Hadrian999 | Jun 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm |

    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

  14. Hadrian999 | Jun 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm |

    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

  15. Hadrian999 | Jun 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm |

    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

  16. Anonymous | Jun 21, 2011 at 9:48 pm |

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. Anonymous | Jun 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

    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)

  20. cakey pig | Jun 22, 2011 at 10:25 am |

    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)

  21. Tuna Ghost | Jun 24, 2011 at 9:44 am |

    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

  22. Tuna Ghost | Jun 24, 2011 at 9:44 am |

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

  23. Tuna Ghost | Jun 24, 2011 at 5:44 am |

    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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