Counterpoint are a relatively new group on the hill, celebrating our first birthday this Beltane. We’re a contrary collection of drummers and torch bearers who undertake a very different journey to most other performers: we go around the hill in the opposite direction to the Procession.

On the Eve of Beltane, along with the Horned God, Counterpoint represent the last vestiges of winter. Our purpose it to hold on to the dying season for as long as possible. At Fire Arch we even try to halt the Procession -and thus the onset of Summer- providing the May Queen with a choice to remain with them in Winter.

With the May Queen’s choice made, we’re still not ready for the journey towards summer. The May Queen gives us leave to continue holding on to the burden of Winter, whilst the Horned God chooses to embark on his crossing with her into the underworld.

As we move forward (or backwards) our frozen souls begin to understand the inevitability and necessity of change. By the time we get to the stage, our cold personas have begun to thaw. When we witness the death and re-birth of the Green Man, we finally recognise the possibilites of transformation and growth. We tear of their winter carcasses and emerge gold and resplendent, drumming with the fire and intensity that comes from shedding the old and outworn.

Photo of Counterpoint at a busk by Raini Scott.

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