We went to Avebury this year with a small group of Druids.
Only one section of the stones were being used as a ‘party place’ every other part was quiet – I know because I walked through the other sections to the very good spacious car park (paid 5 pounds) at midnight to get some things from my car.
We watched the amazing dragon dance ritual which was very good at sunset. Then we laid out under the stars and slept until 0340 , when we went to the eastern section away from the party, and watched the sun rise to beautiful singing and spontaneous music .
Afterwards we did a ritual in the Southwest section of the stone which was completely empty.
At 0930 the peace ceremony took place which lasted about 2 hours in (I think?) the moon circle – I think it’s the north east section.
The litter was mostly in the party section but this was immaculate by 1200hr with NT people and various people picking up any litter whilst the party people were still dancing. I have been to Stonehenge on a number of occasions at the solstice and the litter situation is NOT like that at all in Avebury. I would definitely encourage people to go .
Yes it’s not comfortable if you think druidry should be a certain way. Yes there were a few people being a bit drunk/ high but mostly not.
Interestingly it’s where the young SNR (spiritual but not religious) folk are and they were asking people in robes to teach them … I witnessed that on 2 occasions in front of me and the old robed people ignored them. Young people want to be connected to a celebratory earth based religion but they don’t know who or how to ask . Maybe we should be more accessible and more importantly accepting?
I’m middle aged myself and it’s a very multi generational event ages ranged from teens to people in their 60- 70s The robed people seemed to be in the older age bracket.
Finishing off with a quote from one of my friends who was there with me:
I’ve been to Avebury a couple of times before for the summer solstice and it is not as drunken or intense as Stonehenge can be. Sure there are people partying all night in one quadrant but, as has been said, there are many places you can go to avoid that if you want a quieter experience. I was actually surprised at how little litter there was once most had left at 9ish. Sure there was some but we were by no means ankle deep in it and it’s easily picked up.
Personally I love the fact that so many young people feel they want to come to such a place as Avebury or Stonehenge at that time. The stones will have seen worse in their history I’m sure!
Let’s engage with them, not look down or judge them. At the peace ritual it was noticeable that those that jumped at the chance to offer a blessing to the earth were the young party goers. They actually seem to get what Avebury is about in their own way and I personally give thanks for that. There is room for all of us.