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Stonehenge – ‘Cafe Royal Books’ version
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. 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. We had discovered Anarchy in action, and it worked! People began working out and managing relations within ‘our’ communities, without reference to ‘Them’.
Free festivals were in their ascendancy and gatherings that for many years had been small hippy affairs, swelled to many thousands of people. Suddenly, life on the road in an old £300 1960’s bus, truck or trailer seemed like a bloody good option weighed against the prospect of life on the dole in some dirty city where the only values being espoused by the Tory Government were those of me, me , me and more me – what was a poor boy to do. Five of you – £60 each, let’s just chuck a few mattresses in the back of the Bella Vega and head for the nearest festival where we will be welcomed with open arms and be swallowed up into the new age traveller family bosom – and what a beautiful, bountiful and jolly socially diverse bosom it was; anarchists, venusians, pikies, pixies, conspiracy fugitives, old school, new school, never been to fucking school – wheeler, dealers, medicine spielers – tryers, flyers, out and out liars – saints, sinners, all of them winners – all of them strangers in their own very strange land. All of this resulted in a ‘tribal identity’ that was celebrated on the solstice and equinox at Stonehenge.
1985 saw the end of the festival and solstice gathering with the large police action that became known as the ‘Battle of the Beanfield’.
‘Pageturner’ video at: https://youtu.be/K5oBpFVpJnY
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