Hundreds of 'hippies' defy police orders at 'illegal Solstice rave'

Hundreds of ‘hippies’ defy police orders to attend ‘illegal rave’ at ancient English Heritage site after setting up tents and sound systems to celebrate Summer Solstice

  • Video shows hundreds, some appearing to breach social distancing rules, at rave in Peak District, Derbyshire
  • Police had earlier warned revellers not to camp out at Nine Ladies Stone Circle to mark the Summer Solstice 
  • Summer Solstice celebrations across the UK were disrupted, with one at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, going digital

Hundreds of ‘hippies’ last night defied police orders by attending an ‘illegal rave’ to mark the Summer Solstice at an ancient English Heritage site. 

Video shows hundreds of people, many appearing to be in breach of social distancing rules, gathered at the popular beauty spot in the Peak District in Derbyshire.

The footage shows people sitting in circles, around tents and open fires, with the person filming the video saying: ‘This is the busiest I’ve ever known this place,’ and later proclaiming: ‘Ain’t no po-po (police) here.’

Revellers are later filmed cramming into a tent to listen to loud music, while bright coloured lights and flashing strobes are seen.

Police had earlier warned revellers not to go to the usually peaceful Bronze Age site, Nine Ladies Stone Circle, on Stanton Moor, where people gather each year to mark the Summer Solstice.

Hundreds of people last night defied police orders by attending an ‘illegal rave’ to mark the Summer Solstice at an ancient English Heritage site in Derbyshire (pictured)

Video shows hundreds of people, many appearing to be in breach of social distancing rules, gathered at the popular beauty spot in the Peak District (pictured)

The footage shows people sitting in circles, around tents and open fires at the event, despite police warning people not to camp out at the site this year


Revellers are later filmed cramming into a tent to listen to loud music, while bright coloured lights and flashing strobes are seen. Drum and Bass music is heard in the video, while an MC is heard using a microphone

But this year Derbyshire Police warned the annual event could be ‘different’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They warned people to follow social distancing and keep two metres apart, adding: ‘Camping at the site is not allowed and officers will be enforcing parking restrictions.’

Despite the police warning, footage shows several tents set-up and people gathered around, while others are seen sitting close together, seemingly closer than the government’s two metre guidance.

Under current rules in England, groups of up to six people from different households can gather outside, in parks or private gardens. 

But they must remain at least two metres apart at all times.

Police had earlier warned revellers not to go to the usually peaceful Nine Ladies Stone Circle, on Stanton Moor, where people gather each year to mark the Summer Solstice.

This year Derbyshire Police warned the annual event at the Summer Solstice event could be ‘different’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Police warned people to follow social distancing and keep two metres apart, adding: ‘Camping at the site is not allowed and officers will be enforcing parking restrictions.’

Despite the police warning, footage shows several tents set-up and people gathered around, while others are seen sitting close together, seemingly closer than the government’s two metre guidance

Under current rules in England, groups of up to six people from different households can gather outside, in parks or private gardens

But despite groups of up to six people being allowed to meet outside, the government say they must remain at least two metres apart at all times

The event in the Peak District was not the only Summer Solstice celebration to be disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday, the UK’s largest celebration, at Stonehenge was cancelled and instead live-streamed, with more than 3.6 million people around the world tuning in for a virtual celebration of the summer solstice, which marks the first day of summer. Pictured: A person at the event in Derbyshire stands by a group of tents

Normally around 10,000 people would attend the Stonehenge site itself, with the usually roped-off stones allowed to be touched. Pictured: Some of those at the event in Derbyshire, with one holding an acoustic guitar.

Despite the area around Stonehenge being closed a small group of people did stand at the periphery of the site in the pouring rain. Pictured: One of those to attend the event in Derbyshire came in colourful clothing to celebrate the Summer Solstice

Others brought musical equipment including this person, who came with a drum set to the event in Derbyshire

People with certain underlying health conditions, or who are pregnant or aged over 70, are still advised to stay at home as much as possible.

The event was not the only Summer Solstice celebration to be disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday, the UK’s largest celebration, at Stonehenge was cancelled and instead live-streamed, with more than 3.6 million people around the world tuning in for a virtual celebration of the summer solstice, which marks the first day of summer and is the longest day of the year.

Normally around 10,000 people would attend the site itself, with the usually roped-off stones allowed to be touched.

And despite the area being closed a small group of people did stand at the periphery of the site in the pouring rain.   

Stonehenge director Nichola Tasker said: ‘It was a rather wet but nonetheless atmospheric sunrise this morning and we were delighted to see that so many people around the world were enjoying the unique experience of seeing the dawn at Stonehenge on midsummer’s day.

‘We were sorry not to be able to open for solstice this year but we hope that our live stream offered the opportunity for people near and far to connect with this spiritual place at such a special time.

‘We look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.’ Stonehenge will reopen to the public on July 4.

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