Friday, 10 June 2016

The Background to The Alcohol Ban And Car Parking Charge at the Summer Solstice Event at Stonehenge

With English Heritage imposing changes to the way the Summer Solstice event is run it is interesting to see how EH has portrayed the problem they want to solve, and how this year's pronouncement differs from previous reports.



7/4/2016 English Heritage said it had seen more "drunken and disrespectful behaviour"(1) as "Solstice attendance numbers are increasing every year". (2)

The numbers of attendees and arrests (where I can find the figures) from contemporaneous sources for the summer Solstice event at Stonehenge since open access was introduced in 2000.

Year - number of arrests - estimated crowd.

2000 - ? - 8,000 (20)
2001 - ? - 10,000 (20)
2002 - 11 - 22,000 (19)
2003 - ? - 30,000 (18)
2004 - ? - 21,000 (17)
2005 - ? - 21,000 (16)
2006 - 4 - 18,700 (14)(15)
2007 - 4 - 24,094 (14)
2008 - 15 - 30,000 (12)(13)
2009 - 37 - 36,500 (3)
2010 - 34 - 20,000 (4)
2011 - 20 - 18,000 (5)
2012 - 37 - 14,500 (6)
2013 - 22 - 21,000 (7)
2014 - 25 - 37,000 (8)
2015 - 9 - 23,000 (9)



2014 - "Kate Davies, English Heritage's manager of Stonehenge (email:kate.davies@english-heritage.org.uk), believes all sides have come a long way since the days of the exclusion zones, describing today's event as a "peaceful celebration enjoyed by many thousands".
She puts their success down to a "close working relationship" with the druid and pagan groups as well as Wiltshire Police." (10)

2015 "23,000 people went to Stonehenge to watch the summer solstice sunrise this morning but the General Manager of the site, Kate Davies, English Heritage's manager of Stonehenge (email:kate.davies@english-heritage.org.uk), says that is fewer than she was expecting. She added that the celebration was a calm and peaceful one that passed off with relatively few problems" (11)



(1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-35990687
(2) STONEHENGE SUMMER SOLSTICE 2016 ROUND TABLE GROUP MEETING MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 7 APRIL 2016 AT ANTROBUS ARMS HOTEL, AMESBURY
(3) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/8110646.stm
(4) http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wiltshire/hi/front_page/newsid_8750000/8750983.stm
(5) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2006112/Summer-solstice-18-000-gather-cloudy-Stonehenge-night-party.html
(6) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2162495/Summer-solstice-2012-Stonehenge-soggiest-years-Royal-Ascot-set-washout-too.html
(7) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-22999367
(8) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-27954267
(9) https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/21/summer-solstice-23000-stonehenge
(10) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27405147
(11) http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2015-06-21/fewer-visitors-to-stonehenge-for-solstice-than-expected/
(12) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-06-21/big-crowds-cheer-summer-solstice-at-stonehenge/2479504
(13) http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146413477
(14) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/6225118.stm
(15) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/5098706.stm
(16) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/4114146.stm
(17) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/photo_gallery/3825135.stm
(18) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/4111416.stm
(19) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2057179.stm
(20) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1398810.stm



(This is a referenced version of the reports at the request of an English Heritage employee)

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