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You Can Watch the Summer Solstice Live From Stonehenge This Year

Travel to the prehistoric monument without leaving your couch.

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Year after year, gaggles of tourists and locals gather at Stonehenge to watch the sun rise over the prehistoric monument. But as our world adapts to life amidst the pandemic, 2020 summer solstice will look a little different. You'll have to watch the event go down via live stream rather than IRL. 

"Given the sheer number of major events worldwide which have already been canceled across the summer, from Glastonbury to the Olympics to Oktoberfest, I doubt this will come as a huge surprise, but we know how much summer solstice at Stonehenge means to so many people," Stonehenge director Nichola Tasker told the Salisbury Journal. "We have consulted widely on whether we could have proceeded safely and we would have dearly liked to host the event as per usual, but sadly, in the end, we feel we have no choice but to cancel."

The free event, which typically kicks off June 20 and runs through June 21, has historically been open to the public, but in an effort to reduce crowds and prevent the spread of COVID-19, organizers have opted to take the summer solstice festivities virtual.

"We hope that our live stream offers an alternative opportunity for people near and far to connect with this spiritual place at such a special time of year and we look forward to welcoming everyone back next year," Tasker added. "We know how strong the draw to come is for some people, but I would take this opportunity to say please do not travel to Stonehenge this summer solstice, but watch it online instead."

Along with Stonehenge, every other English Heritage staffed site will remain closed for the foreseeable future, despite initial plans to reopen earlier this month. "It is now clear that we will not be able to re-open on May 1 as we had originally hoped," the website reads. "Instead, we will re-open as soon as government advice allows and only when we can ensure the safety of our visitors and our staff and volunteers."

You can still catch the 2019 summer solstice stream on the English Heritage YouTube channel and tune back in June 21 for this year's edition. 

h/tNewsweek 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.