What’s up everybody? It’s Marko and Alex, the Vagabrothers And this is the first adventure of our summer. So first stop in the U.K. is Gloucestershire, home to the most bizarre and hilarious festivals we’ve ever heard of, the Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling Festival. Now you probably don’t know it by name, but chances are you’ve seen images like this. A bunch of crazy Brits summersaulting down an extremely steep hill, chasing a wheel of cheese??? Now we don’t why they do it, but we do know that it’s been going on for hundreds of years. But recently the local government has been clamping down on the event because they say it’s gotten out of control. So we’re here to find out why chasing this cheese is worth the risk. Cheese rolling has never been official or organized because since the Middle Ages it’s been celebrated by just a few hundred locals in the tiny town of Brockworth is Gloustershire. But then a viral You Tube video turned this small town celebration into a world famous festival drawing 15,000 people to the hill and causing the city council to cancel the event for the following year. A stand off ensued. On the one hand, authorities who wanted an organized event with entrance fees to cover costs and medical insurance because, let’s be honest, Coopers Hill is steep, and chasing a cheese is bloody dangerous. Versus cheese rollers who wanted to keep the race as it’s always been…wild, free, and done at your own risk Last year police told local cheese maker 87 year old Diana Smart that she’d be held liable for injuries if she provided cheese for the race. Provoking local outcry. So we traveled to her farm and spoke with her son Rod whose family has supplied the famous 9 pound double Glouster cheese for over 25 years. Sometimes they’re things about Britain that we don’t understand. We think we have a lot in common, and we look at a festival like this think, “Why are these guys running down a hill after a wheel of cheese?” Any idea why? Well it’s good cheese. Yeah, I know that part, of course. I suppose some young men were trying to prove their virility. Last year, I think it was, right? The city council started trying to clamp down on the festival, control it, no? Can you tell us about what was happening? Yes, I think over the years what was quite a small local festival became a big, international draw. The numbers got so great that the authorities decided they wanted a cut of the action. To the effect that last year they came to anyone who could be deemed an organizer Us, because we supply the cheese, and said that we would be held liable for any injuries. The biggest risk to modern life is litigation, isn’t it? That is what will stop anyone doing anything at the end of the day. Well, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure. Rod said that despite last year’s warning from police, this year he provided the cheese so that the race could go on the following day. Good morning everyone. 9 am Monday morning. We’re going to head out of Gloucestershire to try to find the cheese rolling event. We’ve found a bus that is running to the event. But basically the cops have shut down traffic on the road. And everyone is pilling into this double decker bus. It’s crazy. It’s like a very international crowd. Everyone is super young and lots of Japanese here. Apparently, it went huge in Japan after 7 years ago when a Japanese celebrity did the cheese rolling and got second place. There weren’t only Japanese: there were Brazilians, Canadians, Spaniards, a ton of Aussies and an envoy of Dutchmen on a special mission. We’re from Gouda. You might know it from the cheese. You might have heard that there is this kind of issue with the cheeses this year. They don’t really want the Gloucestershire cheese to be rolling down. So we wrote them a letter, the organization and said we are coming out from Gouda, and we have a cheese with us. But there can’t be many hills in the Netherlands. You guys are from the “low lands,” right? You’re like the Jamaican Bobsled Team. Quite a queue. Isn’t it, Mark? This is refreshingly unorganized, but I think it depends a lot on the British knack for self- organized queueing. We’d be much more disorganized in America, but everyone is following in an orderly line through the fields. And through the mud. We haven’t made it to the bottom of the real hill, and it’s been a 45 minute trek. Look at this. Look down there. We’ve come from all the way down there. This is crowded as right now There are so many people here from all over the world. This hill is straight vertical, and I can’t believe people are going to go down it. I’m not chasing any cheese. So 15 minutes until the cheese is to be rolled. It’s a pretty gnarly hill. I’m not going to lie. There are four large lumps on the way down, any of which is definitely capable of launching a cheese or tripping a human. Where are you from? Locally. Just down the road. Japan, Glasgow, Toronto, I’m from Romania, Melbourne I’m from London. I’m a local boy. Texas How did you hear about the festival? My mate at work told me about it. He was like, “You’re an idiot. This is something stupid, go do that.” I was like, “Yeah, alright.” We heard about this on TV back home. Internet, You Tube We sort of watched the You Tube videos How have you seen the contest change in the last few years? Well, it’s become a lot more international. If I had my way, they’d go back and you’d only be allowed to have people who live in the local area that could do it. International Brockworth Day makes us proud to be true Brockites There are people from all over the world here. Are you happy it’s so popular these days? Why not? You ‘re all welcome to come watch this. Anybody can come. One thing you should have on your bucket list is the cheese roll. There’s another cheese coming down! Holy Shit! It’s the Gouda. Are you excited to eat it? Not really. Don’t really like cheese? No Are you fans of cheese at all? Yeah, I love cheese. We love cheese! That’s all! I don’t like cheese, actually. I know it’s not a good thing to say, but I’m not a fan of the cheese. Why did you do it? Something different. What are you doing up there? Fun, isn’t it? Look at that thing. It’s insane. It’s one of these things you’ve got to do , man. The craziest festival I could find was here. Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese Despite the crowds and the chaos, almost everyone walked away muddy, but with smiles on their faces. On our way out, we stopped to ask local police chief, Inspector Hughes, about the city’s stance on the festival. How do you think that you’ll be able to have a balance where you can preserve this traditional going into the future, given its popularity? At the moment, it’s an unorganized, unlicensed event. Nobody is taking responsibility for managing the event which makes the logistics to prepare for such an event difficult. It needs and identified organizer to make it more beneficial for all those involved. Then we spoke to 13 times cheese rolling champion, Chris Anderson. Did you have a fun time? Was it a success this year? Seems to be. One broken ankle. A bad back, that’s it. They are trying to put a lot of red tape on the contest. Do you think they will contain it? No, they won’t be able to contain it. They can’t stop it. The cheese is already rolling down the hill? Yeah. As long as one is rolled every year they can’t stop it. That is at least as long as people are willing to travel from around the world to risk life and limb for a piece of cheese. So we talked to one of the dudes who got it the worst. You have a shiner Ah, I’m fucked mate How do you feel now? I’ve had a few beers since. I’m feeling pretty good about it. It could happen again. Really, dude? It depends how I feel tomorrow. Man, it looked like it hurt a lot.