Winter Nights...East!

Hosted by Canton of Aschehyrst - Berlin, MA

Event date: October 24th, 2015

Event Last Modified: February 28th, 2023

Event details

***New as of October 8, 2015:  new details below about dayboard and food allergies.  As of 10/8, about 30 people are registered for Winter Nights, so space is still available, register on the webform below.***

Greetings to all bards, storytellers, singers, musicians, performers all!  The Barony of Concordia of the Snows has been running an annual event each October for the last several years.  It is a place where performers gather and challenge each other in a contest of skills and learning.  In some years the challenges have been personal - one on one across an oxhide.  Other years - it's been a challenge to entertain given topics drawn from a pouch.  That event is called Winter Nights and is well known among bards.

This year, the Canton of Aschehyrst is combining forces with the Barony of Concordia (with heartfelt thanks to the Barony of Carolingia for the funding, and to the Shire of Quintavia for allowing use of the site) to bring you Winter Nights in a new location for this year.  Same concept, same ideas, same event, different location...

Doors open at 10:00am, competition to start about 11am and run till 9pm.  There will be time for competition and time/space for schmoozing.  Competition rules are still being defined in detail, but an overview is provided below.  Crash space can be found for those from far away.  Winner gets bragging right and the Winter Nights Arm Band - now carried by Mistress Anne of Framlingham (last year's winner).  The agreement is that the Arm Band be returned at the next Winter Nights competition!

***NEW!*** Lunch and dinner day-board will be provided all day and into the evening.  We're planning a substantial cold day-board for lunch, hot soup and bread for dinner.  Dish washing for feast gear is available on site.  If you have dietary restrictions, please indicate them on the registration form listed below and we will do our best to accommodate.  Though the event will serve a full lunch and dinner (monetary contributions welcome but not required), some attendees have expressed interest in bringing food to contribute to the dayboard.  Due to known food allergies and the rules of the event kitchen, if you bring food or drink to share, please do not bring any foods containing peanuts, nuts, or strawberries, and all foods must be clearly labeled as to ingredients.

The event will be held in Berlin, MA, about an hour's drive from Boston.  It will be held in the Camelot Housing Common Room.  (Because the event is being held in the common space of a cohousing development, we can expect some interest on the part of the residential community.) No site fee, but monetary donations are welcomed to help pay for the day-board.  Event is limited to 60 people, preference given to competitors.  Further details of all activities and scheduled times will be added to the event announcement as they come in.  Check back often!

Competition rules:

The competition will take place in rounds, the number of rounds depending on the number of competitors.  First round, please state who you are and where you come from, then perform a short (3-8 minutes or so) piece of your own choosing.  Second round will begin head to head challenges, now that we all know each other a little bit, across the Bardic Oxhide.  Challenge pairs will be organized by the MOL.  Pairs will issue challenges to each other (topics such as “revenge”, “true love”, “anything *except* Norse sagas”, etc -- be kind!), or if they’re stumped for a topic, we will have curated inspiration cards to use instead.  Each pair will have the length of the previous two performances to prepare to meet their respective challenges.  Rounds will continue until we run out of time.  We are planning on reserving the evening (starting at dinner time) for an open bardic circle - not part of the competition - so that people with prepared pieces have a place to show them off.

Performances in the competition will be judged by a rotating panel drawn from the competitors, with the following scoring format:
- Up to two points for issuing a friendly challenge - that is, does the challenge you gave your competitor support and encourage them to extend themselves?
- Up to two points for answering your own challenge - that is, does your performance embody the challenge given you? How well did you follow the spirit of the challenge?
- Up to three points for presentation skill - that is, how polished was the performance? Was it SCA-appropriate?

We will total up the day's score after all the competition rounds and announce the winner.

Site Opens: 10:00 am on Saturday, October 24, 2015
Site Closes: 11:00 p.m.  on Saturday, October 24, 2015

Event Location

Camelot Common House
46 Sawyer Hill Road
Berlin, MA  01503
Google Map



Take your best route to Route 495 in Massachusetts.  Take exit 26 and follow the signs for MA-62W in Berlin.  From 62W, turn left onto Sawyer Hill Road and drive 1.4 miles; the event site will be on the right.  Please park in visitor parking along the main driveway (there will be parking attendants to help you find a spot) - please do not park in any spots marked for residents.

Registration Fees

Winter Nights...East is a free event, but attendance is limited to 60, so preregistration via the online form listed below is highly recommended.

Monetary donations toward a rotating lunch and dinner dayboard are welcome but not required.  Potluck food and beverage contributions are also welcome, but please label with ingredients.

Make Checks Payable to: There is no fee for Winter Nights...East.

Contact Information

Event Steward:

Mistress Anne of Framlingham

Sir Michael of York

Send Reservations to:

Please register online at