Welcome to the Barossa Medieval Fair, where history came to life on August 19th and 20th this year.
We kicked things off with a special Friday opening tailored for schools and youth groups, offering a taste of medieval life straight out of the 11th century. From traditional crafts to combat demonstrations and encounters with live animals, it was an educational and exciting day for the younger generation.
As the gates swung open at 10 am on Saturday, a massive line of enthusiastic attendees eagerly awaited entry to this year's fair. In total, we welcomed approximately 13,000 patrons, marking a remarkable 60% increase from last year.
In the days leading up to the fair, heavy rains drenched the grounds, creating an authentically muddy medieval ambiance. Many visitors couldn't help but experience that sinking feeling as they trudged around in full armor, battling the boggy terrain.
The highlight of the fair was the bustling combat arena, where spectators were treated to captivating shows and demonstrations by renowned groups like the New Varangian Guard, the Ironclad Academy of the Sword, the Society of Creative Anachronisms, the Adelaide Sword Academy, The Valiant Order of Historical Entertainers, and Ludis Gladatorium Pomponius.
Musical enthusiasts were not disappointed, as the fair featured live performances at the tavern, on a second music stage, and through roaming musical acts. Talented performers included the Court of Camelot, Greenwood Music, Siobhan Owen, Lyrebyrd Consort, Hedgehog, and Inis Mor.
The pièce de résistance of the event was undoubtedly the South Australia leg of the Buhurt Cup, a globally recognized full-contact medieval combat tournament. Held in the Buhurt Arena at the eastern end of the event grounds, it featured formidable teams such as Warhounds (SA), Try's Warriors (QLD), Berserker's (WA), Western Wolves (VIC), Team Havoc (NSW), and Team Kraken (VIC).
The matches included various formats like 5v5 Male, 3v3 Female, 12v12 brawls, profights, sword and shield duels, longsword battles, and sword and buckler skirmishes. To add a dash of excitement, there were even a few polearm fights thrown in for good measure. In the spirit of authenticity, all combatants engaged in full-contact combat, and the treacherous mud provided an extra layer of challenge. While their sturdy full plate armor shielded them from the harshest blows, they couldn't escape the telltale signs of battle – bruises and mud-caked armor.
This year's Barossa Medieval Fair was a resounding success, a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone involved. It transported attendees to a bygone era and left them with unforgettable memories of medieval splendor.