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The story so far ……… Read on!
Gatherings in the open air with music are as old as anything human beings have ever done. Some of the tensions that result on the use of land probably began between the farmers and the hunter-gatherers of the Stone Age! For most of us, a crowd can be an alluring thing, because the desire to be among the throng seems to be innate. Gathering together for ritualistic celebrations – dancing, chanting, festivalling, costuming, singing, marching – goes back almost as far as we have any record of human behaviour. The ‘Pop Festival’ became a more modern manifestation of people’s desire to gather and celebrate. We are after all, social animals. In the late 1960’s, they went to Woodstock and the Monterey Festivals by the hundreds of thousands. The Stonehenge Free Festival had been held at the Summer Solstice since 1974. However at 1977 event, numbers suddenly increased and this became the Annual People’s Festival. Since then, the numbers involved doubled each successive year. The 1984 festival attracting hundreds of thousands over a six week period. It was the last. Before what became known as the Battle of the Beanfield. People looked at the various examples provided by gypsies here and in Europe. To nomadic people across the world. To try life outside the house in many different ways and to pick and select those means that make life comfortable, easy and meaningful. The ‘bender’, the Indian ‘tipi’, the Moroccan ‘yurt’, the Romany ‘bow top’, the western two-man tent, the truck and the double decker bus.
Many developed a sense of common purpose and identity. There was an acceptance that modern life was too fast, expensive and polluting to the environment. People began working out and managing relations within ‘our’ communities, without reference to ‘Them’. Then progress to the rave / free party scene, Reclaim the Street, environmental protest and onwards …
‘Pageturner’ video at: https://youtu.be/5EL4z34TIDQ
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