Festivals vary in terms of their size and focus, some cover several historical periods and contemporary and future themes as well. Historical re-enactors, colourful pageantry, jousting, battles, music, dancing, theatre, feasting, artistry and crafts are customary and many of the festivals feature medieval encampments and vendors of medieval style goods. If you like LOTR, GOT, LARP, Vikings and similar themes then you will most likely enjoy these events. The kids aren't forgotten either as most of the festivals are family friendly and have kids' activities and games as part of the program.
As it is as yet early in the year, the latest information on events may not be available and you might need to be patient until websites and Facebook pages are updated from last year's events. It also happens that dates, venues and programs can change along the way, so it's a good idea to the check out the latest information on the organisation's website and Facebook page before setting out to attend an event.
Here's what's on in 2017 by state and then by date:
2. IRONFEST "Lost World" April 22 & 23, Lithgow While full details are yet to be announced, it's sure to be an amazing weekend. There's not only the medieval but also steampunk, sci-fi, cosplay, pro wrestling and more. To keep up with the latest news as it becomes available see their Facebook page.
3. AUSTRALIAN CELTIC FESTIVAL May 4 – 7, Glen Innes This year's festival "Year of Ireland" offers a smorgasboard of music, food, stalls, exhibitions, ceremonies and events. See their Facebook page for the latest news.
5. VANGUARD MID-WINTER GATHERING
June 9 – 12, Wyee
Battles, games, workshops, feasting and more. Vanguard has an interest in combat throughout history so battles can contain groups from different historical periods from ancient times to the 17th century.onwards. See the event's Facebook page for the latest info.
1. HISTORY ALIVE: A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME
June 10 & 11, Fort Lytton National Park
History Alive features activities of the Roman, Viking, Medieval, Napoleonic, Colonial, Victorian and Modern Eras. Colonial Dance workshops, Fort Lytton Guided Tours and Historical Discussions, battle re-enactments, Viking Cooking demonstrations, the Medieval Tournament and cannon firings are some of the fun on offer. The kids will have plenty to do with Costume Competitions, Kid's Historical Colouring Corner and a variety of children's encampment activities. See their website and Facebook page for further information.
2. ABBEY MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL
July 8 & 9 - Tournament Days
June 24 and July 1 - Medieval Banquets
One of the most well known and popular historical festivals in Australia. Featuring jousting, feasting, performances, displays, workshops, music, falconry and much, much more. Tickets on sale in March. For more information see their website and Facebook page.
3. VIKING CULTURE DAY
September 10, Eagle Heights Jorth Gar garrison of the non-profit New Varangian Guard Inc Living History Society are involved with a range of re-enactment events including the Abbey Medieval Festival. The Viking Culture Day highlights their skill at arms with armoured combatants, blacksmithing, weaving, food, archery targets, live archery javelin and axe throwing competitions and more. See their Facebook page for updates.
4. GOLD COAST RENAISSANCE FAIRE
October date TBA, Robina
Entertainment usually includes short plays, music, tournaments, market stalls, strolling performances, processions and special kids' activitiies. For full details see their website and Facebook page.
1. VICTORIAN GOLDFIELDS MEDIEVAL FAIRE
March 11 – 12, Ballarat
A great family-friendly weekend at this Medieval Faire in the Victorian Goldfields with Knights, Jousting and Encampments.See their Facebook page for uptdates.
2. GEELONG HIGHLAND GATHERING
March 19, Corio
The Geelong Highland Gathering is an annual celebration of Scottish culture. Featuring traditional Scottish food, livestock, Scottish breeds dog show, Heavy Games, Highland Dancing competitions, Scottish Country Dancing displays, military and Viking re-enactment groups, martial arts, a Celtic Market, Scottish music including a mass display of pipe bands and kids' activities and events, there really is something for everyone.
3. NATIONAL CELTIC FESTIVAL
June 9 – 12, Portarlington
Traditional and contemporary Celtic music in a range of venues, dance lessons, poetry, workshops for kids and adults and more. See their Facebook page for updates.
Also of interest is the Early Arts Guild of Victoria an organisation which promotes Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Arts around Victoria and beyond. They hold occasional events featuring early music and dance. See their annual program for what's on this year.