It looks like they had a good turnout for the summer solstice at Stonehenge this year even though the heavy cloud cover obscured the sunrise. Thousands of people showed up, milling around inside the stone circle, smoking, drinking, making out and recording the whole thing with their camcorders and cell phone cameras. According to the BBC, "officers made 37 arrests for theft, drugs and alcohol-related offences and more than 100 people received cautions for cannabis use or possession." Pot smoking at Stonehenge? That's a shocker. According to the Guardian, the massive police operation included "an unmanned drone, horses and drug sniffer dogs," with the cops saying they weren't going to tolerate "illegal drug taking or unlawful raves."
Unlawful raves? These Stonehenge parties all look like raves to me. The "pagans, druids and pantheists" set up their usual hippy drum circle, of course. They do it every year. Drum circles are popular with Dead Heads and "neo-pagans" who like to think of themselves as being part of an ancient shamanistic or North American Indian tradition. The drums are supposed to create a kind of group consciousness or something--just like a rave--and the Stonehenge drum circles always seem to be accompanied by trance chanting that sounds like a bunch of Hollywood Apaches dancing around a fire in an American Western.
If you ask me, all this drumming and chanting is an obnoxious, noisy anachronism and should be banned from Stonehenge completely. In fact, I would ban these solstice gatherings altogether. They're a sacrilege: nothing more than gigantic, drunken parties that seem to be attracting more and more police attention, and who knows what kind of damage they're doing to the area. Most of the "revelers" going to these things don't even qualify as neo-pagans, who are bad enough with their improvised New Age rituals and beliefs. Stonehenge, after all, is an archaeological site where human cremation remains have been discovered, leading to speculation that it might have been used as a cemetery at one time. We can't have these mobs and police horses swarming all over it three or four times a year.