Festivals: Monument Making, Mythologies and Memory


Jacqui Mulville and Barbara Brayshay (UK)

Live talk Friday 30 October 16:00-17:00 GMT

No nail-biting ticket lottery to get into our GlastonburyCHAT! – a virtual wristband is all you need to come through the gates of the Glastonbury Festival site to join Guerilla Archaeology‘s Jacqui Mulville and Barbara Brayshay on a journey to the Swan Circle, a monumental stone circle that was created on the festival site by Ivan McBeth in 1992. Here, though the night time, drummers are silenced and the flames of the fire extinguished by the cancellation of the 50th Anniversary festival, we will explore the lure of the Stones.

We ask if looking at the site through the lens of contemporary archaeology we could reveal a missing dimension in our understanding of stone circles – that of the people who go there and walk amongst the stones. What would we find as we bring the people and their voices into the space?

Our Swan Circle stories provide a fascinating window into the transmission of ideas and practices in the present and the past, an understanding of the wider views of ancient monuments and how festivals can develop their own sacred landscapes, rites and rituals that people are keen to enact and embellish. Just like our ancient ancestors at that mythical Stonehenge event people continue to find joy in great gatherings, fulfilment in the creation of meaning and legend, and a desire to connect and reflect, with the modern music festival providing the opportunity for this to occur.

Find out more about Guerilla Archaeology here.