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summer solstice

Thousands of people in UK have gathered at Stonehenge for the sunrise on the summer solstice – the longest day of the year.

Spectators were joined by pagans and druids at the ancient monument in Wiltshire, but the dense cloud cover meant the sun remained hidden.

Police, who estimated 21,000 people attended, targeted the crowds with sniffer dogs and took 22 people into custody for drugs-related offences.

The solstice has had spiritual significance for thousands of years.

The word itself means a stopping or standing still of the sun.

Thousands of people in UK have gathered at Stonehenge for the sunrise on the summer solstice

Thousands of people in UK have gathered at Stonehenge for the sunrise on the summer solstice

A crowd had gathered to spend the night near the giant stones, with police reporting 2,000 people on site by 21:30 BST on Thursday.

The sun then rose at 04:52 on the longest day of the year.

Supt Matt Pullen, from Wiltshire Police, said: “The majority of people respected the conditions of entry and the amnesty bins provided were used.

“Approximately 70 cannabis street warnings were issued. As with previous years, the passive drugs dogs proved very effective.”

Twenty-two miles away at Avebury, where there are three smaller stone circles, the crowd peaked at some 500 people.

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Burning Man 2011: Over 50,000 Revellers At The Temple of Transition.


Burning Man 2011 Rites of Passage: New Art on the Playa


Burning Man Webcasts

Watch Burning Man Live!

Burning Man 2011, the week-long festival of free spirits, starts on August 29 and ends on September 5.


This annual event is held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada (on an ancient lakebed, known as the playa). On Saturday evening a large wooden effigy is burnt and this is the ritual from which the name of the festival came.

This year tickets sold out before the event (on July 24) for the first time in the festival history and 50,000 of attendees are expected.


Burning Man is about community and self-expression.

Burning Man is about community, self-expression and self-reliance.


Lots of artists will perform at the sound camps of the Burning Man.


Bass Camp, artists performing live: Sunrise, Lucent Dossier Experience, Eoto, Zebbler Encanti Experience,  The Mutator

Black Rock Syndicate (on Saturday banging music for banging people): Miss Genesis, Erik Lobe, Jeremy Espinosa, Plaza De Funk,

Dancetronauts: Dj Dan, Lowriderz, Neurodriver, Dutch Star, Drew Drop, Brian Peek, J.B. Vries, Dex Stakke

Disco Knights: Immy B, Bo, Chris Smith, M3, Anthony Mansfield

Fractal Nation Village: Desert Dwellers, Kalya Scintella, Kaminanda, Hopscotch, Auditory Canvas

Disorient: Doctor D, The Bass, Coyotee, Saadhu, Loomer

Distrikt: Erik Lobe, Music Savages, Worthy, M.A.N.D.Y., Lee Coombs

Mountain Mayhem: Cosmic Accident, Stephan Jacobs, ChrisB, Gladkill, Tom Cosm, Gold Rush, Robotic Pirate Monkey

Music Savages: Charlie Haskins, Justin Rickles, Skitch, Psyrus, Music Savages (before the Burn)

Opulent Temple: M.A.N.D.Y., D. Ramirez, Infected Mushroom (live), Hallucinogen (live), Shpongle (sunrise set), Donald Glaude

Osiris: Jelo, Vitamin Devo, Mira, Travis T, Peo de Pitte, Motorhome, Love and Light

Nexus: M.A.N.D.Y., Magda, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Damian Lazarus, Treavor Moontribe

Robot Heart: D. Ramirez, Damian Lazarus, Deniz Kurtel, Lee Burridge, Erica Rhone, Destructo, Magda, Soul Clap


Burning Man began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice.


Now the project is focused on community, artwork (mutant vehicle), absurdity, decommodification and revelry.

Bicycles and tricycles are very popular, especially mountain bikes.

Burning Man has ten principles: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace (ecologically), participation, immediacy.

The impact of this event has been so profound that a culture has formed around it. Burning Man has over two thousand volunteers who work before, during and after the festival.


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