Festivals

Glasto 2010 (DSC07086)

 I’ve been meaning to upload some photos of festivals I’ve been to over the years (decades) for a while now, but never got round to it. However, with the 30th anniversary of “The battle of the beanfield” upon us, I thought this was the time to do it “least we forget”.

 

Stonehenge 1984

Stonehenge 84 view from east

View of the festival site from east (taken on the north side of the A303 looking east). The stones are just visible in the photo to the left of the festival site.

 

Stonehenge 84 Gen view of stage

The (original pyramid) stage.

 

Stonehenge 84 audience and stones

The audience, various vans selling medicinal tobacco and the stones.

 

Stonehenge 84 Roy Harper on stage

Sir Roy Harper performing late afternoon (I think)

 

Stonehenge 84 Hawkwind and flame maidens

Hawkwind and the fire-maidens performing late evening before the solstice.

 

Stonehenge 84 Campsite and stones

The campsite looking towards the stones.

 

Stonehenge 84 cooking toast

A young Digger “toasting” some bread (photo by JT).

 

Battle of the Beanfield (1st June) 1985

I wasn’t there, but you can watch some of the footage on YouTube i.e. the stuff that didn’t “mysteriously disappear” or read The Battle of the Beanfield book edited by Andy Worthington or read the National Council for Civil Liberties report on the events in both 1985 and 1986. This is what two independent witnesses said about an incident which took place 4miles east of the so-called exclusion zone (which derived from a “precautionary injunction” against 83 named individuals and was not therefore legally an exclusion zone):

 

They’d gone in the field not to cause criminal damage but because, in the main, they were confused, didn’t know what to do and were, I suspect, frightened, because, you know, police officers in uniform are frightening, police officers in the kind of equipment we were wearing on the day are frightening, and so, I mean, there is that reality about it and that’s not a debate about rights or wrongs. (Deputy Chief Constable Ian Readhead)

 

Well, as a reporter who’s reported from Northern Ireland and seen a lot of police riotous confrontations and in Liverpool during the Toxteth riots, I’ve seen a lot of civil disturbances, in which the police have been confronted by large groups of people and have had to deal with it in different ways and the consequences of that. And I’ve seen people killed in Northern Ireland and I’ve seen a lot of people killed in the Falkland Islands, but the way that the police behaved in the final stages of the Beanfield, and how they confronted people and their property in the Beanfield was, I think, one of the biggest shocks of my life, more shocking than any deaths I’ve seen in a war zone, simply because the police are a civil force, supposedly carrying out a civil duty, and following an injunction taken out by English Heritage and the National Trust they were supposed to try to, perhaps, prevent the convoy getting to Stonehenge, but there was no way that I could accept that they could use the force and the manner that they did. (Kim Sabido, ITN reporter)

 

This was the most undisciplined police operation I’ve ever seen- and I have quite often been in riots, and I have occasionally seen individual police officers blow it, but I have never seen an entire police operation run riot like that. It wasn’t a matter of law enforcement, it was a collective act of bullying, and it really shocked me to see it. It really upset me personally, as well as making me feel outraged as a voter and taxpayer that policemen I pay for could behave like that. (Nick Davies, journalist at The Observer)

 

All their [the police] pent-up frustration and adrenalin of the afternoon was vented on the occupants of that last one bus, and the violence that was shown to the occupants was appalling. The truncheons were rising and falling on their bodies like no one’s business. It was- very briefly- very ghastly to see. (Earl of Cardigan)

 

Stonehenge 1985

Stonehenge 85 closed sign on A303

Just incase you hadn’t noticed the police or seen the razor wire there was a big yellow sign telling you that Stonehenge (and this years festival) was closed/cancelled/brutally prevented from happening (photo by JT).

 

Stonehenge 85 at the A303 fork

Stonehenge fork (photo by JT)

 

Stonehenge 85 barbed wire along A303

Razor wire around the field with the stones in.

 

Westbury 1985

Westbury Campsite

An alternative festival took place at Westbury. Curiously this is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument (perhaps Iron Age hillforts- low earthworks visible in this photo- aren’t so important?) and curiously, the hells angels heading for Stonehenge on June 1st were escorted here by the police after being un-arrested (whereas the c.500 travellers were arrested and send to police stations across the south of England)

 

Westbury 85 The stage

The stage. Before the rains came!

 

MORE COMING SOON………………………(Glastonbury, Cropredy, Village Pump, Abbotsbury, Deer Shed, Workhouse, Wickham, End of the Road and, of course, The Glenn Miller festival- although I’m not sure if I will be able to find photos of all these!!)