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Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:05 pm
by brendan
This is something that I have been wondering about for a while:
I have noticed over the last while that there has been a huge upsurge in the number of people taking part in reenactment of a) 20th Century and b) Roman era reenactment.
However, there has been no similar uptake in medieval reenactment that I have seen. At best participation levels are stagnant.
-Cost is not really a factor - the other time periods cost as much or more
-Ease of reenactment may be a factor: It is easier to figure out what is needed and where to get it for C20 and to a certain extent for Roman.
-Accessibility of groups. Is it that these other groups/time periods have lower barriers to entry?

Any thoughts?

Brendan
Ps> Only interested in positive comments about the other eras...even the romans ;)

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:22 pm
by redrazors
personally, my take on it is that viking and, to a lesser extent, medieval have been done to death - roman/20thC reenactment are new and shiny. everyone loves a bit of novelty and some blinging kit. i feel it myself; having done viking for my whole reenactment "career", my immediate plans for kit now are for 14thC [Herjolfnaes dress], tudor, 16thC irish if i can get enough clothing info, and 16thC german.

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:36 pm
by Swifty
16thC German Carrie?? Now that would be interesting. Let's start off a new landsknecht group. Only half-joking : )

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:52 pm
by redrazors
swifty - that's what i want! i need a landsknecht man that i can go on campaign with! :D

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:10 pm
by Freebeard
well, there a small number of us medrenners taking up early medieval irish reenactment.
we're working on what we need.....it goes good so far

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:30 am
by ciaranc
I may have a lot to do with the events being run nowadays. The Viking/medieval events always seem to clash falling on the same weekends and therefore splitting the participants. The later periods don’t seem to clash (although salute/kinsale did this year). Perhaps its because I have been doing it too long but I do think the Viking/medieval stuff is becoming a bit jaded and needs an injection of new characters us old fogies seem to be keeping it going.... or is it just me who's getting jaded :lol:

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:51 pm
by nathan
i started doing viking reenactments about 6-8 months ago and for me its the best thing since sliced bread and offers in my opinion alot more than other periods from what i have seen crowds still love it and i have been trying to get people i know exposed to it but most people from what i have seen dont understand how reenacting works until your a part of it but i feel ww2 is flashy with only a small number of people with big guns but medieval is based on strength in numbers thats wher i feel the best and most interesting shows are for the public

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:30 pm
by Swifty
nathan wrote:i feel ww2 is flashy with only a small number of people with big guns but medieval is based on strength in numbers thats wher i feel the best and most interesting shows are for the public
Hi Nathan. Speaking as one who has been involved with both WW2 and Viking Age living history, my opinion is that, yes, large-scale recreations of Viking Age/Medieval battles are incredibly impressive - that is beyond dispute. But my experience is that the broader spectrum of the Medieval period is ideally suited to participation by smaller numbers of people - it's all about quality not quantity in my book. I mean look at the viking sagas as an example. How many large battles are there? You can probably count them on two hands and a large proportion of those were fought on sea in any case. But there were countless skirmishes involving relatively small numbers of individuals. In Njal's Saga, just for one example, there is a fight between the Njalssons and Kari Solmundarsson on the one side and Thrain Sigfusson and his followers on the other: that's 5 men v's 8 men - perfect for a small numbered re-enactment. Here on this forum, as well as the larger extended fraternity, many of us call ourselves 'reenactors' - but how many of us have re-enacted anything except in the most general 'typical of the era' of terms? To re-enact a scene like that would be very rewarding especially if the protagonists were armed and dressed - even 'cast' - according to the vivid saga description. The choreography is written almost blow by blow in the saga itself. Executed well it would not only be rewarding to the participants but the public would appreciate it also. I must confess to you however that I am personally more interested in choreography rather than in 're-enactment' fighting as such - but that's my own agenda : ) You're certainly right about it being somewhat easier to impress with the WW2 era with relatively small numbers of people - of course there is a huge cost when it comes to providing vehicles, special effects, fuel, blank cartridges etc. And, despite the opinions of the nay-sayers - a huge amount of research goes into it as Eryk has quite rightly pointed out before in another thread. The irony of your perception that Viking Age/Medieval era living history requires numbers, and that WW2 does not, is that whilst WW2 was an era of massed warfare (which wasn't without its skirmishes of course...) it was the Viking Age that was the era of heroic individualism.

Skal!

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:39 pm
by ciaranc
very good point swify, the large battles in viking "re-enactment" are generally less impressive for the public mainly because they cannot see anything going on in the middle of the skirmish so smaller numbers tend to lend themselves to 1. better quality of fighting as you have more room to manouver and 2. the public can see more.

Re: Early Medieval Group participation

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:35 pm
by Neil
Now this is just my humble opinion but I think part of the appeal for Viking is that when you are a complete newbie it is easier to get some half-decent viking kit together than other periods. I've been doing this for nearly 5 years now and am only now beginning to put together medieval kit. Now a large part of this is because I'm a lazy git, but part of it is cause I had some decent Viking kit. Then I decided to make it a bit more decent etc. Where as my medieval kit will be starting from scratch again. So is a bit more daunting of a task. But this is only from a newbie's perspective.