How to celebrate the summer solstice virtually | Travel

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Sunrise over Stonehenge

Gathering at Stonehenge to witness the midsummer sun rising behind the ancient site’s Heel Stone is still an option for this year – albeit virtually rather than in person. The spiritual significance of celebrating the solstice by the ancient stones, particularly to pagans and druids, means up to 30,000 visitors usually flock to the site in June, but it has been closed since 18 March and will remain so until 4 July. However, audiences worldwide can tune into English Heritage’s Facebook page, which will stream the sunset on 20 June (9.26pm BST) and the sunrise on 21 June (4.52am BST). Each stream will last around 30 minutes and can also be accessed after the live event (login not required).

Theatrics at Midsummer Festival



Performers at Midsummer Festival. Photograph: Dan Tucker

As part of a virtual edition of Midsummer Festival for 2020, open-air performances will be broadcast live on 20 June from a variety of settings across the West Midlands, including Compton Verney parkland, setting for the 1968 film adaptation of Midsummer Night’s Dream with Judi Dench and Helen Mirren. Archive and pre-recorded screenings will include rare and unseen performances from the Royal Shakespeare Company, ACE Dance and Music, and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. There will also be work inspired by Refugee Week (15-21 June), RSC workshops on design, and a voguing closing party and DJ set.

Camp out with the Big Wild Weekend

Sophie Ellis-Bextor.



Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Photograph: Harry Herd/Redferns

In celebration of the natural world, the Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild includes three days of family events over a Big Wild Weekend, 19-21 June. Friday sees in the midsummer weekend with an evening of musical performance on YouTube from 7pm, hosted by Radio 1 DJ Cel Spellman, with prerecorded sets from Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jack Savoretti and David Gray. Saturday is the summer solstice family campout, encouraging families to set up a tent in the garden or create an indoor den, with live activities and competitions via the Facebook event page (register online for more details). A wild quiz, via Facebook Live, takes place on Sunday, hosted at 7pm, with actor and environmentalist David Oakes and zoologist Sophie Pavelle.

Live music from France

A band performs on the streets of Strasbourg, France at the annual music event



A band performs on the streets of Strasbourg, France at the annual music event Photograph: Johanna Leguerre/AFP/Getty Images

Summer solstice coincides with Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, an annual music-for-all initiative on 21 June, which originated in France. Across the country, musical street parties have celebrated midsummer in past years, but for 2020, listings site Bands In Town, in association with non-profit Le Bureau Export, is programming a virtual event, streaming live on video platform Twitch. From 1-11pm (BST) 19 artists, including Ayo, Kungs and Kiddy Smile, will play jazz, soul, pop, house and hip-hop sets.

Scandi-style celebrations

Midsummer celebration in Sweden



Photograph: Anna Hållams

Stockholm will see over 18 hours of daylight on 21 June, and above the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, the sky stays orange under a midnight sun. A series of virtual events live streaming from around the country on 19 June will share the traditions and merrymaking to welcome summertime in Scandi style. From a wreath-making workshop from southernmost county Skåne up to Dalarna for traditional midsummer pole dancing, viewers can tune in via VisitSweden on Facebook from 10am. For the 4D experience, whip up some jordgubbstårta (Swedish strawberry cake), in advance.

Chillout and dance around the world

Sunset scene at Benirras beach, Ibiza



Benirras beach, Ibiza Photograph: Eivaisla/Alamy

From Greenland to Hawaii, via the Balearics, Buenos Aires and Berlin, The Chillout Tent’s 24-hour marathon of ambient beats will stream live from various points across the globe on 20-21 June. Featuring Mr Scruff, Mixmaster Morris and Maarten Goetheer among others, it will play a set an hour from 10pm on 20 June via the LiveFrom platform, finishing with sundown in Ibiza. The premiere of short film Born Balearic: Jon Sa Trinxa and the Spirit of Ibiza is also being screened. Recipes for cocktails to accompany the event can be found on the blog, including space gin smash and grapefruit sangria.

Arty antics at Wonderland

Aniwa.



Aniwa. Photograph: Amir Leron

Wild craft workshops, ecstatic dance, talks from indigenous tribe elders, mediation, live music, film and more come together for the Wonderland Summer Solstice festival via its Facebook page and on Zoom from 19-21 June. It’s being programmed by the organisers of Into the Wild festival, a yearly nature-focused family weekender that usually takes place in Sussex. It is running in collaboration with Wider Horizons Festival (a creative activity and performance weekender, online-only this year) and Aniwa Gathering (a four-day event bringing together 40 indigenous leaders in Massachusetts and still due to run in October.

And breathe…

Yoga teacher Adriene Mishler



Yoga teacher Adriene Mishler. Photograph: Lauren Logan Photography

The longest day is also International Day of Yoga, which has been held in part to mark the solstice since 2015. Likely to attract a large number of her 4 million-strong YouTube following (plus some of the hundreds of thousands more that tune in to the free weekly sessions), “people’s yogi” Adrienne Mishler, of Yoga with Adriene will be streaming a live event at 5pm (BST), for sun salutations and more. Connecting people all around the world to “find what feels good”, as the Texan yoga guru says, the session is for all ages and all levels, with no yoga experience necessary.



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