More footage of the 2009 Bristol Tree Festival, time spent understanding why they were doing this.
This was filmed during the pub crawl preamble, before they got to the common and whatever happens there -the sacrifice, the cannibalism, the burnings- takes place. Here they are still dancing round, looking for whoever is going to end up in the Punch Costume or wearing the tree when the music stops.
If you look at the official web site, they describe the process. "Jack dies at Horfield", they say. Is that a metaphor, or are they really spelling out what is going to happen? If you believe the old stories, the old gods, then yes, as the web site says: "Jack must die, to release the Spirit of Summer." We have had a long and hard winter this year, summer is late. If we want a good summer, a good harvest, the gods must be placated.
We know what has to be done. This year, we are going to help. See you all the Highbury, and later, at Horfield Common. Just keep out of the Punch costume if you want to make May 2nd.