Few places on earth hold the wondrous mix of performances than in the Society. As a way to both connect deeply with the past and to help see our own Society histories into the future, bardic arts have a special place in the performing arts, as do the historic pieces from ages past. We are fortunate to have plenty of both! It would be difficult to imagine a camping event without music and tales – and so for 50 Year we have many opportunities to listen, teach, learn, or perform.
Importantly, there’s lots of open performance time for everyone interested in performing!
Town Square Bardic Circles
In partnership with town square, we’re offering evening bardic circles around a fire on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at about 7pm. From start until 9pm, younger performers will be given priority and invited to perform before adults, after which the standard “pick, pass, or play” format will be used. (This means that when it’s your “turn” you can “pick” (make a request for a person to perform or ask for a specific piece to be performed), “pass” (pass along to the next person in the circle), or “play” (perform your selection for the circle.)
Each evening has a loose theme – Friday’s is “Victory & Honor” and Saturday’s is “Home & Fellowship” – the idea being that performers will select pieces that resonate with these themes when they’re requesting or performing.
Daytime Street Performances
Two open performance areas are available for drop-in performances. A space beneath the town square tree offers 15-minute blocks for public performances and the busking space in the Merchant Area is open for 30-minute sign-ups. These are open to all performers of all skill levels. (We ask only that you perform works for which you have permission to perform, should they be copyrighted.) All are welcome to perform here, multiple times if you should choose.
Classes & Interactive Performances
Many events on the Performing Arts Stage are interactive and open to many performers to work and learn together. Learn some favorite Middle Ages music in the “Music to Pass the Time” (Fri. 4pm) workshop, get your practice on during “Bardic Performance for Beginners” (Sat. noon), learn and sing some simple and fun rounds in “Sing Rounds with Aneleda” (Sun. 3pm).
Open-stage performances are scheduled as well! Share your favorite short stories during the “Short Story Session” (Sun. noon), Bring your favorite Shakespeare works to share during “For the Love of the Bard” (Sun. 2pm).
Instrumentalists are encouraged to attend the “Dance Band Public Rehearsal” (Fri. 1:30) to prepare to play for the dancing events. If you’re a harp player, the “Gathering of Harpers” is for you (Sun. 11am) and all musicians are welcome to a casual morning meet and greet each morning behind the stage at the “Musicians Meet & Greet Mixer” (Sat. & Sun. 10am).
And of course, CANTIGAFEST, facilitated by the King’s Bardic Champion Lady Bird, is open to all instrumentalists and singers to a delightful Cantiga jam (Sun. 4pm).
Sunday evening, Kate’s Kafe will host a bardic open mic with sign-ups in at the cafe, a nice way to wind down (or kick off) your Sunday night.
Audiences are encouraged to attend many stage events being presented for your entertainment by a wide variety of performers. Stage performances by Drake Oranwood (Fri. 3pm), Mistress Aife (Fri. 5pm), the Bards’ Ease choral ensemble (Sat. 11am), music of the 12th-14th centuries by Rondelay (Sat. 1pm), Aneleda Falconbridge (Sun. 1pm), and Liederspiel with Cecelie Vogelgesangkin (Sun. 1:30) are some of the solo/small group acts (some with special guests!)
There are many ensemble performances as well! Experience Tales from the Ice Lands with Master Toki, including a reprise of some of the “Saga of Burnt Njal” performances by members of the Njal cast (Fri. 5:30pm). Sing along to “Sing for the East!” with many of the performers who presented on the popular anthem album (Sat. 2pm). Get a preview of the immersion event “A Day of the Decameron” by members of its cast (Sat. 7pm or after court).
The Dance Band Rehearsal is open to the public, a great chance to watch things come together while you craft or dine (Fri. 1:30) and Musica Tramontana will entertain folks as they gather to enjoy instrumental music before Kingdom Court (Sat. 3pm).
A full schedule and additional information can be found at: https://50year.eastkingdom.org/activities/performance-activities/
We’re looking so forward to seeing everyone there and hearing your songs and stories!
Questions can be directed to Aneleda via email through Tuesday, June 26 or in-person on site during the event.