Oi Polloi

Through the Magpie Eye: The 1984 Stonehenge Free Festival

Published: Fri Jun 21 2019

Seeing as today marks the longest day of the year AKA the Summer Solstice, here’s some grainy old photos taken from the final Stonehenge Free Festival back in 1984.

As the name suggests, this was a free gathering that took place at the infamous Neolithic stone slabs of Stonehenge, attracting a rag-tag band of hippies, punks, bikers and travellers.

This month long festival culminated on or around the solstice, and over the years featured bands and musicians like Hawkwind, Gong, Crass and Roy Harper. 

By 1984 the festival apparently attracted around 100,000 people - but not everyone was a fan - and after complaints about unrestricted drug sales and damage to the site, it all ended on June 1st 1985 after a violent feud between a convoy of travellers and the police.

Anyway, these photos, taken from the excellent UK Rock Festivals site, are pretty good, and show what music festivals looked like before Carling-branded takeovers and endless bag-searches…

Click here for loads more snaps of the festival and some pretty honest accounts of the festival from those who were there.