Festival Director and Willie Smith’s Co-Founder Sam Reid said, “We couldn’t let winter pass without our traditional wassail to the apple trees to bless the coming harvest – and of course, all the festivities surrounding it! We’re stoked to be bringing Mid-Winter into the homes of festivalgoers around the county – bringing our community together once more.”
All the much-loved traditions will be back over a packed two hours – the wassail, foot-stompingly good Tassie folk-funk acts, the often hilarious costume competition, Tassie’s best storytellers and of course the burning of the effigy ‘Big Willie’.
“Effigies are burnt to symbolise letting go of negative energy– now more than ever, we need to come together (even virtually) to let go and make way for the new. And burning Big Willie is just a hell of a lot of fun – and we all need that right now too!” continued Reid.
Fans will need to bring their own fire and feasting but Mid-Winter will have the folklore, tunes and good vibes!
Tassie favourite eclectic folk outfits will have households dancing up a storm including convict folk punk eight-piece The Dead Maggies, Lagoon Hill Zydeco with their hints of gypsy, jazz and blues and The Stragglers with their trademark ratbag bluegrass and boozy folk tunes.
Storytellers Young Dawkins and Huon Valley singing poet/balladeer Hairyman will share a tale to give folks a chance to pause and reflect.
The age-old pagan-inspired wassail ritual will be led by the Wassail Master – the Green Man. Festivalgoers are encouraged to join in by banging their pots and pans and making a racket to awaken the apple trees, then bless the orchards for the year to come by singing the traditional wassail song.
Everyone is invited to get into the spirit of the festival by donning their pagan finery – those who upload a picture to social media with the #midwintercostumecomp will go in the running to win!
Revellers won’t have to miss out on their iconic festival tipple – Willie Smith’s Famous Hot Spiced Cider – with kits available to make at home via the Willie Smith online store.
The festival will go live at 6.30pm on Saturday 11 July via Facebook.