Tags: Caboolture medieval festival Brisbane Moreton Bay.
Step into a Medieval World and Cure Post-Game of Thrones Blues at Abbeystowe. This year marks the 30th anniversary for Caboolture’s Abbey Medieval Festival, which provides an authentic medieval experience for families and Westeros junkies alike. The most recognised element of the Abbey Medieval Festival is the Tournament Weekend – Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July – with a variety of medieval battle-style tournaments including everything from archery and jousting to Turkish oil wrestling and sword fighting.
Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology Director Edith Cuffe OAM said she is excited about the program for the festival’s 30th year. “The draw of the festival has only increased in the last few years, with television shows such as Game of Thrones and Vikings inviting a whole new crowd to experience the Middle Ages,” said Mrs. Cuffe. “Authenticity is key at the Abbey Medieval Festival.
While shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings may not be historically accurate, they’ve encouraged a whole new generation of medieval lovers who want to come and experience a slice of their favourite medieval inspired fantasy world, with some of them loving it so much they’ve joined a reenactment society. “Another key element of our Festival is the food – all of our food vendors create amazing, historically inspired food, which is a key part of providing visitors with an authentic experience.
“The history of the festival is also a huge draw. There are families who have been coming for decades, and we see children whose parents and grandparents have attended the festival since its inception” she said. In 2019 the Abbey Medieval Festival includes the Medieval Banquet – Saturday 29th June and Saturday 6th July – with live entertainment and a grand medieval feast, in addition to the Kids Dig It! Medieval Family Fun week – Monday 1st July to Friday 5th July.
Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology Education Manager Melanie DeRegt said the Kids Dig It! Family Fun weeks are a huge draw for local families. “Kids Dig It! Medieval Family Fun week is fun, educational, and cheaper than a family trip to the movies” she said. “It inspires curiosity into the world of knights in shining armour and damsels in distress and helps children to understand the differences between fairytales and actual history. “In addition to our Kids Dig It!
Medieval Family Fun week our Tournament Weekend program includes child-friendly activities from a variety of our reenactment groups, which will encourage children to get hands-on with medieval history” said Ms. DeRegt. The Festival is the largest fund-raiser for the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology and is organised mostly by a coordinated team of volunteers. Festival Volunteer Wade Smoothy said, “I recall coming to the festival with my family and having the time of my life.”
“I tried on armour too large, held a sword too heavy and made memories larger than life that I will treasure for the rest of my life,” Mr. Smoothy said. The first Abbey Medieval Festival was held next to St Michael’s church and had only 300 re-enactors and attendees, while Abbey Medieval Festival 2018 was held in the dedicated Abbeystowe site and had almost 25 000 re-enactors and attendees.