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Abbey Medieval Festival 2014 - Medieval Tournament

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Family | Festivals | Fun Things To Do
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Abbey Medieval Festival
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

"Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The Abbey Museum will be bringing the Middle Ages back to life. It's long awaited Abbey Medieval Festival in July is upon thee. Fans and families from all over the country and visitors from abroad will come forth to enjoy a unique Brisbane cultural event. The Festival will become the mecca for historians, re-enactment groups, Gothics, LARPers, Medieval Societies, and other historically based sub-cultures".

Abbey Medieval Festival
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

Game of Thrones fans all over Australia will be rejoicing after reading this. Of all the Brisbane museums, the Abbey Museum is the one to bring history to life with the nation's largest Medieval Festival. The highlight is the Abbey Medieval Tournament on 12 and 13 July and tickets are available online. It is a fantastic family holiday activity in Queensland. In preparation for the Tournament, a 14th century knighting ceremony will be performed amidst the stained glass and candlelight of the Abbey Church at 7.30pm on the evening before. Come Saturday, the gates to the Festival will open at 9am.

Abbey Medieval Festival parade
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

The weekend program is packed with entertainment for everyone in the family, including medieval dances, street performers, Turkish oil wrestling, historical combats and many more. Here are some of the highlights of the Tournament Weekend to excite you as you prepare the family carriage for the ride to Caboolture.

The Grand Parade

Abbey Medieval Festival grand parade
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

The Grand Parade opens each day, with 500 knights, warriors, ladies and their retainers presenting themselves to the crowd. As part of the Parade, the knights will participate in chivalrous combat.

Medieval Music, Dance and Performers

Abbey Medieval Festival dances
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

The grounds of the Festival comes alive with medieval theatre, games, costume parades, music and dance all day long. You will encounter performers strolling around including jugglers, puppeteers, harpists, lutenists and others. In addition to the dance displays, there are dance workshops where you can learn some dance steps from the Middle Ages.

Abbey Medieval Festival music
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

Some of Australia's leading medieval bands like Harlequin, Aragon and Jabadaw will be playing melodies from the Middle Ages. The ancient Gregorian chants by Schola Cantorum can be heard echoing in the Abbey Church. At 5.30pm on Saturday, a Gregorian final prayer in Latin will also be heard in home of the 14th Century Winchester Stained Glass. It is sung in candlelight as it has been chanted for over 1,000 years.

Historical Combat

Abbey Medieval Festival combat
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

The rush of men-at-arms on the battlefield will get everyone's adrenaline pumping. The Festival's historic mock combats will have warriors from across the ages including the dark age, high middle age, vikings, Byzantine, German landsknechts (mercenaries), Turkish Janissaries and Renaissance. They will be demonstrating different fighting styles, tourneys, melees and individual combats.

Turkish Oil Wrestling

Abbey Medieval Festival turkish oil wrestling
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

A national sport of Turkey where wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil is an attraction at the Festival. This ancient medieval sport with topless bronzed men wearing water buffalo hide kisbet was popular with noble women and ladies so don't miss the action.

Medieval Market

Abbey Medieval Festival stalls
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

As part of reliving the Middle Ages, the Festival has also established Australia's most authentic medieval market. You can browse through more than 60 stalls offering medieval products, arts, crafts, food and drink. Don't forget to try an authentic venison pie with a ale or cider.


Abbey Medieval Festival falcons
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

These birds of prey were an important part of medieval aristocratic life, used both for hunting and as a fashion statement. Lords and ladies often went about their daily duties with a hawk or falcon nearby. You don't have to make a trip into the desert of Dubai to enjoy falconry. During the Festival, falcons will flying over the Tournament grounds so keep a sharp eye out for them.


Abbey Medieval Festival archery
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

Another interactive program in the Festival is archery. There is a space where you can pick up a bow and arrow, and try your hand at archery. A competition will also be held to allow skilled individuals to compete for the Abbey Tournament Archery Champion title.

The Jousting Championships

Abbey Medieval Festival jousting
Photo courtesy of Abbey Medieval Festival

One of most exciting events at the Festival is the Jousting Champion. If you haven't seen a live jousting event, the anticipation of the run and the final charge will have you grabbing your chair or the person next door. Even if you're a repeat visitor, the clash of lance and shield will still take your breath away. There are 4 jousting events each day and you can purchase a place in the grandstands with other noble guests for $4. Seats are limited so purchase yours online before they run out.
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Why? Where else can you find Australia's largest medieval festival?
When: Gates open at 9am
Phone: 07 5495 1652
Where: Abbey Museum
Cost: Refer to website
Your Comment
Not sure how medievil Turkey wrestlers are, but it sounds like a great festival.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12622) 2314 days ago
This looks so fun! I wish Melbourne had something like this!
by Mallory (score: 2|474) 2314 days ago
LOL. They aren't 'medievil Turkey' wrestlers! They are 'Turkish oil wrestlers, from the medieval Janissary Barracks', and it was an event staged in the time frame we embrace, plus it creates some laughter and beaut eye candy at the festival. Much fun!
by furat (score: 0|2) 2060 days ago
Why do so many people think it's "mediEVIL"? I mean, do these people think that there is also a "medigood" and/ or a medineutral time period?
How hard is it to remember that it's spelled "Medi-E-V-A-L???" It's from Latin and it means (roughly) the Middle Age(s).

by blork (score: 0|2) 1951 days ago
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