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Winter Wassail

Sat 9 December 2023, 4.00pm7.00pm

Winter Wassail

Wassail! Waes hael: be hale, be well!

An inclusive, contemporary, and multicultural ceremony based on British Isles traditions of Wassailing the Orchard: giving thanks, sharing our hopes for the future. Let’s rouse the ancient trees of Compton Verney with lantern-lit processions, percussive music, joyful song, and offerings of cider.

Adult Ticket- £12

Child Ticket- £7

Tickets for this event are valid for entry to Compton Verney from 3.30pm. If you would like to visit before this time, you will need to purchase a day ticket or have a valid membership.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable

Working with award-winning ‘broken folk’ duo Lunatraktors and musicians from Celebrating Sanctuary for a site specific folk tradition for Compton Verney, inspired by the tradition of Wassaling – Join us for a celebration, giving thanks to the trees and sharing hopes of the future.

Working with emerging artists who are still establishing themselves in this country and/or within their craft, this journey seeks to support their journey by inviting them to collaborate on a co-created communal ritual which draws out universal celebration of nature and the seasons and will in turn contribute to our global understanding of cultural folk traditions.

The evening will invite visitors to join a drumming circle, share cider and warm spiced drinks, decorate their own procession crowns with foliage collected from our grounds and embark on a journey to wake up the trees with percussion, voice and performance. There will also be introductions from the Lunatraktors about their approach to somatic sound and the folk tradition, and Napton Cider on Orchards.

There will be two processions that lead you through our woodland walks, each lasting 50 mins, please arrive at 4pm to be assigned to a procession.

A tasting of local cider from Napton Cidery will be included in your ticket.

Napton Cidery will also have a stall where you can purchase their local homemade products.

We encourage you to bring your own vessel to toast!

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About the Artists and Creatives


Award-winning ‘broken folk’ duo Lunatraktors rework traditional music with influences from post-punk, music hall and pagan rave. Lunatraktors strip British folk down to its bare bones to raise up the spirits. Their primal, ritualistic sound blends tonal drumming and harmonic singing with deep drones from accordion and analogue synth. Le Couteur’s self-taught overtones and 3+ octave range combine with Jefferson’s polyrhythmic hybrid of tap, flamenco, body percussion and acoustic beats, developed after touring with STOMP (2001-2004). MOJO Top Ten Folk Albums of 2019 and 2021. British Music Collection LGBTQ+ Composers Award 2021.

Karolina Wegrzyn

Karolina hails from Sub-Carpathia in South-Eastern Poland. Growing up in a family of traditional dancers and singers, her life was surrounded by folklore. While learning the culture of her native region with her grandmother, she also became interested in the music of nomadic people that settle in her native region, such as Roma people, Carpatho-Rusyns, but also of neighbouring countries – Ukraine, Slovakia. Her songs tell stories of struggles of every day life, loss as well as love and celebration. She often uses the archaic “scream singing” – a method practiced in Eastern-European villages since pagan times that evolved along with the rural life and nature. Karolina regularly meets with elderly citizens of her native villages to record the oldest songs, dances and stories of life on the countryside during communism and II World War.

Jan Stachula

Jan is a Polish national living in the UK since 2006. He is proud of his Silesian heritage and celebrates it in his music. Jan is 28 and studies both violin and classical singing. He is emerging on the performance scene of Erdington as a session musician Sharing and exploring the musical traditions of many nationalities that live there

Steve Clare

Steve emerged from Birmingham’s informal street-drumming scene during the mid 1980’s – he went on to co-found Birmingham School of Samba and Birmingham Afro Bloc, serving as musical director for both until the mid 90’s – alongside this, Steve developed a reputation throughout Birmingham & the West Midlands region as a drumming/percussion teacher, facilitator & performer – he delivered workshops in schools, colleges & community settings primarily, working with both children and adults, as well as performing in various bands throughout the UK – in the late 90’s however, Steve took a change of course, and for the past 23 years has delivered music sessions, and a variety of other creative activities in the corporate team building sector, all over the world.

Babak Aria

Babak has been living in the UK for less than 2 years. A song writer, music composer, producer and performer, He plays the traditional Tanbour instrument, is a am a bariton tenor singer and can sing in Farsi, urdish, Turkish and English. He also I work volunteer with Masion Foo Community of Derby as a music composer and performer.

Zero Leo

“I’m Zero, a Czech-Irish musician, composer and vocalist with a specialism in Slavic folk, heavy metal and baroque music. My obsession with music has driven me to try my hand at almost every genre of music and more instruments than I can count, such as classical woodwinds, jazz bass guitar, harsh metal vocals and musical theatre! My greatest passion is exploring my heritage through my work and the use of non-english language in music, writing predominantly in Czech and more recently Irish Gealic. I use my radio show, Not In English, to showcase music from around the world and share my love of all styles of music with the world.”

Napton Cidery

Napton Cidery made their batch of cider as most do – from the apple tree in their garden. They started Napton Cidery the very next year, with the sole mission to collect unwanted apples from our village and surrounding orchards to make something wonderful. From pressing a simple 2000 litres in 2015, they now press over 160,000 litres per year, all sourced from traditional orchards in Herefordshire to support sustainable British farming. Their apples come from unsprayed or bio dynamic orchards in Herefordshire. The cider slowly ferments for 6-9months in Napton. After fermentation has finished naturally, they then create and their appley recipes packed full of flavour and juice, never from concentrate. The no6 cider is medium dry and at 4.6% they call this our session cider!