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Published April 11th 2014
Truly Epic Times
Medieval Festivals in Australia
It seems Australians have fallen in love with all things medieval. The sheer number of fairs, fayres, festivals, carnivales and gatherings happening across the country shows just how many of us are enchanted by the theme.
While the festivals vary in size there is usually a wide range of spectacular activities and events to enjoy. Medieval pageantry, jousting, battles, music, food, artistry and skills are customary and many of the festivals feature medieval villages and vendors of medieval style goods.
Image courtesy of vectorolie/freedigitalphotos.net
Sound interesting? If you'd like to experience some living history, here's a taste of what's available for the rest of the year. This list is not exhaustive so if you know of another great festival, fair or similar we'd love to hear about it in the comments section.
Note that this is a general guide to the festivals that are on and event organisers may change dates, times, programs and venues. It's a good idea to check the relevant website and Facebook page for the most up to the minute information.
The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization "dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe". In the Kingdom of Lochac (Australia, New Zealand and their Antarctic Territories) the Rowany Festival is an annual event hosted by the Barony of Rowany and there's a full program of medieval activities including combat, singing, dancing, markets, arts and sciences classes and much more. Note that you must wear medieval-style clothing. See their website for full details of this epic festival.
Ironfest features a huge range of activities and events. From the sci-fi and futuristic to jousting, a medieval village and a Napoleonic-era battle re-enactment with infantry, cannons and cavalry. There's also art, music, Cosplay and LARP (live action role play), circus acts, automotive displays, blacksmithing demonstrations and historical, educational and technological displays. See their Facebook and program pages to keep up to date with what's on.
Living history, music, dancing, a street parade, dog trials, storytelling, kids entertainment, market stalls, and a fun run are just some of the activities. There will of course be bagpipes. See the festival program for more details.
My Lords and Ladies Medieval Fayre
24 - 25 May
Doonside (Blacktown City Council)
Enjoy jousting, hand to hand combat, interactive entertainment, a medieval village, kids activities, pony and camel rides and plenty of music. See their full program for details. This Fayre is free to attend.
Winterfest Sydney Medieval Fair
5 6 July
There's jousting, archery, sword and sport displays, birds of prey, Celtic dancing, kids activities, craft markets and plenty of food. See their website for full details.
One of the better known festivals, Abbey Medieval Festival offers two days of performances, displays, workshops, armoured combat, jousting championships, medieval music and bands, archery and Turkish oil wrestling being some of the highlights. There's also Banquets on 28 June and 5 July and a Kids' Medieval Fun Day on 8 July.
The focus is on the Elizabethan age with theatrical performances, music and dance and arts and crafts. There's strolling performers, costumed processions, food and drink, traditional games,swordfights and tournaments. See here for more.
History Alive: A Journey Through Time
7 and 8 June
Two thousand years of history in two days ranging from Roman times through to Vietnam. Enjoy combat presentations, workshops and displays with re-enactment groups from all over Queensland. See their Facebook page for more information.
Celebrating 700 years of Scottish independence, during the week of 16-22 June, Bannockburn in Victoria will be the hosting a week of community activities culminating in the main festival event on Sunday 22 June 2014. Features include a re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn, street parade, pipe bands, Highland dancing, Scottish bands, a medieval village, Scottish folk bands, roving entertainers, children's activities, market stalls and more.
The Perth Medieval Fayre was held in March and you can read about it and tune in for next year's happenings on their Facebook page.
Balingup Medieval Carnivale
23 24 August
Beginning with a Medieval Feast on the Friday night, the Carnivale features Medieval combat, music and dance, daily grand parades, stalls including food and wine tastings and crafts, potters, blacksmiths and the traditional Burning of the Dragon.
Burnie-Wynyard Medieval Festival
25 26 October
Featuring two days of jousting, swordsmanship, belly and highland dancing, archery displays, best medieval dressed competitions, kids activities, music and food.
Image: Burnie-Wynyard Medieval Festival Facebook page
Unbridled Festival is coming to the Bush Capital Canberra, 15 November 2014. A celebration of horses, music and food, with a must see International Jousting Competition and Mounted Archery !www.unbridledfestival.com