Festival of History..

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Medicus Matt
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Festival of History..

Postby Medicus Matt » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:21 pm

Finally, the rumours are true....and I hadn't even heard any this year.

Kirby Hall, Stoneleigh and Kelmarsh, a lot of years and a lot of fun...a lot of hangovers and a lot of hats....a lot of mud and a lot of traffic jams.

Thank you EH. Good times.


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musket
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Re: Festival of History..

Postby musket » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:38 pm

Is there anything official about this?



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Vic James » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:52 pm

Yes ,, Email from EH this morning ,, A big hole has just opened up :-(




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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:30 pm

As I have permission to post this, but not as a paid employee...
Dear Performer,

We are writing to let you know that as of 2015, 'History Live!' will no longer be taking place. This event, and its predecessors, Festival of History and History in Action have formed part of the event programme for many years and have been enjoyed by many thousands of visitors over that time.

However, it has become increasingly apparent that, since 2005 when History Live! / Festival of History moved to Kelmarsh it has attracted a very loyal audience that come mostly from within one hour of the property and only a small proportion of visitors are travelling from further afield. Over time, this has affected it's commercial viability to the extent where we are now considering how we could have large scale events that were more nationally accessible.

We aim to launch a new series of innovative, authentic events that will be smaller in scale than History Live! but each event will be a flagship within the event programme for that region and allow us to use English Heritage's properties across the country as the venues from 2016. We are starting the planning now so we very much hope to be in touch with you all soon with more news on that.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for the massive contribution made by so many people over the years that has made this event so highly thought of and such a success. It has been very much appreciated.

The event programme continues to grow each year, and we are always keen to hear new ideas - so please do get in touch with any thoughts or ideas for future events.


Kind Regards

Rae Marshall
Events Administrator


A hole indeed. I shall miss chasing people for the size of tents!


Griff


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:34 pm

This event has died, it is an ex festival. It has expired. Bereft of re-enactors it has shuffled off this wet and muddy field and now rests in the heavenly beer tent.

Thanks to Howard Giles for starting it in the first place!


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Festival of History..

Postby ValTarrant » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:43 pm

The reason I didn't go to Kelmarsh last year (from Norfolk) was the cost to get in! I seem to remember it was over £20 for a single adult ticket.



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:51 pm

That's a pretty good price for a festival of that scale with the variety of whats on offer I think. Considering I just paid £7 for a 2 hr cinema visit. Tower of London is £22


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Festival of History..

Postby ValTarrant » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:25 pm

Mark Griffin wrote:That's a pretty good price for a festival of that scale with the variety of whats on offer I think. Considering I just paid £7 for a 2 hr cinema visit. Tower of London is £22


It is reasonable and if I lived within 30 miles of the show, I probably would have gone.

However, it has become increasingly apparent that, since 2005 when History Live! / Festival of History moved to Kelmarsh it has attracted a very loyal audience that come mostly from within one hour of the property and only a small proportion of visitors are travelling from further afield.


My point is that if I had gone, alone, I would have had a 2 hour, 100 mile drive to get there (and another to get home again). For me the cost of entry on top of the (unshared) travel cost together with 2 two hour drives was enough to put me off.



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Miss Costello » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:13 pm

Shame, have enjoyed playing there in the past in various eras.

K



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby lucy the tudor » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:39 pm

It was one of our absolute favorites, the lad will be gutted.


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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Grania » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:54 pm

:( Was looking forward to it too - didn't make it last year, partly because of cost of admission (other reasons too) but that meant I was really keen to go this year. Is it just me that isn't too positive about what they'll put in it's place? :|


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Re: Festival of History..

Postby musket » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:42 pm

There'll be nothing as impressive for sure.



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Anthony of the MSS » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:50 pm

I think this has been coming a while now, if you look at the wider Heritage 'Industry' the signposts have been there. Howard Giles even presented to Nares on this subject a few years back. Big Events are passing into the west with the Elves. They are simply too much financial risk, on a single weekend, for a diminishing reward.

From a commercial standpoint I really cannot blame EH. Spreading the risk across multiple smaller events, across multiple locations to leverage a larger audience base, with just makes plain sense. I am suprised it took this long in the current climate for someone higher up to make that decision, and thanks must go to the EH events team for keeping this going for us as long as they did. They'll probabably even have a larger return, large amounts of re-enactors are expensive from a logistical standpoint, let alone PR for the large event to obtain footfall.

Direction on travel seems to be smaller, more regular events using a reliable smaller core of commited performers. I think re-enactment groups who fit such a mould will have a great deal of success in the next 5-10 years. This is of course pretty much diametrically opposed to what your average reenactor wants (Occasional big event, big bash, beer tent, party) which is a shame, but as Thatcher once said "you can't buck the market" and in this respects she was correct - we can't force people to put events on and employ us.

Personally, I shall miss this event greatly - not least of all because it was two miles outside my front door. I also expect a sigificant impact locally, which is a shame. Looking for positives, we have a medieval event at Delapre Abbey (1460 Battle of Northampton) a few weekends beforehand, so hopefully some of the 92% local people mentioned by Griff will look to attend this and other local heritage events.



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby LaydeIsabella » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:47 pm

b**ger.


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Re: Festival of History..

Postby andyfraser » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:52 pm

It's about time.

We travelled 4 hours last year to get to Kelmarsh. It was great fun for us, a nice weekend, great company. I was looking forward to this year, but I did develop some reservations.

4 hours drive was quite a hike to attend. This would certainly have reduced the appeal had I attended as member of the public, a stay over would probably have been needed, adding to the cost of the weekend. As much as people do have varying levels of income, its not particularly enticing to spend almost £100 on fuel, £60 for entry, 2 hotel rooms for the night, and food and some light shopping. So the trip would have worked out about £400ish. An event within about an hour or so is much, much more appealing.

I spoke to some visitors, and they enjoyed the events, but found the layout a problem. They couldn't find the groups that they wanted and got lost a couple of times. They also couldn't understand why the magnificent anglo saxon chaps with the stunning gear was on the outer edges of the whole camp next to the main walkway for reenactors to access the plastic camp. The place was huge, perhaps too big, and not oriented enough around the people attending.

I have to agree with Howard. I read the interview / presentation he gave a while ago with regards to the future of reenactment. Had I attended as a visitor, I would have been disappointed. Why? Two main arenas to run between, great stuff so far. An area for traders? Spot on. I Want to have a look around... Hmmm. Some groups don't have a display area. Some seem to have equipment on display, but I'm not sure I can go and have a good look as they seem to be in the middle of people having dinner... Oh hang on, there are some groups that have a clear display area, that I understand I can go up to and have a look. I know we all reenact to different levels and for different reasons, but as we were all intermingled, visitors had to have a good rummage around to find groups that had displays that were public friendly. It shouldn't be like that in 2015 when we are competing against so many more activities.

But I'm stopping there. It was a great event, with many more positives than negatives.

I for one am looking forward to more regional involvement, giving more groups more chances to interact with more public. Even Northern public.


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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:17 pm

They also couldn't understand why the magnificent anglo saxon chaps with the stunning gear was on the outer edges of the whole camp next to the main walkway for reenactors to access the plastic camp.


Where would they have liked them, and who would they have wanted in their place?

The venue is pretty central in the UK. That was one of the reasons it was chosen. Sadly not everyone lives in the centre of the country. Hopefully by spreading things out a bit that might help both participants and attendees although that will start meaning that people in the corners of the country will not get much variety, it will be familiar faces on both sides.


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Festival of History..

Postby frances » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:31 pm

The rising cost of fuel and the greater congestion on the roads must have had something to do with it. More regional events seems a good idea. As long as they have changed what they used to do with me. Send me from the south to Carlisle and the same weekend send the Carlisle people to Southampton. Then argue with me about the cost of petrol.



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Henri De Ceredigion » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:41 am

When it was announced that Stoneleigh was no longer going to host it, then any chances of me attending went out of the window. What I would like to see is, especially in these days of federalism in the UK, a collection of regional events (one in England, one in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland) each of which could reflect the history of their part of the UK



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Mark Griffin » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:11 am

That's pretty much what happens already though. Most EH sites stick to whats connected with it's history events wise. Wales and Scotland have a much smaller budget to do stuff and of course are run by entirely separate organizations with different ways of doing things.

Doing 'mini' FOH multi style events is a great Idea in each region but there are few sites that can host them. Once you then take out the ones who are not in populated or seasonal tourist areas the choice becomes smaller.


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Biro » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:35 am

frances wrote:The rising cost of fuel and the greater congestion on the roads must have had something to do with it. More regional events seems a good idea. As long as they have changed what they used to do with me. Send me from the south to Carlisle and the same weekend send the Carlisle people to Southampton. Then argue with me about the cost of petrol.



That's my worry, that the new 'regional flagship events' that fit my period may end up at the wrong end of the country... Without the sheer scale of Kelmarsh (and the beer tent), there's less of an incentive to travel so far.

But from an EH-member perspective, I'll be much, much happier to see more events spread around the country (ie. within day-trip distance of me!).



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Phoenix Rising » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:59 pm

As has been said above, this was coming, it was just a matter of when.

Personally I think it might actually be a good thing. For too long the emphasis has been on a few big events, which in their nature are good but not particularly accessible in these harsher economic times for people out of the area (which, if EH's letter is correct, seems to have been the case). The risks and costs of such larger scale events are great, which if the returns had been equal to or far batter than the outlay then would have given no problem, but the sad fact is that they didn't, and so adaptations are needed.

Sharing events over a number of locations countrywide is simply common business sense, in that both the event staged and the location receive visitors, which benefits both reenactors and the EH properties hosting the event. It may well prove easier for groups, as with less distance to travel it can maximise their time and the amount of members able to attend, and make the whole event more attractive in the long run. Perhaps the era of big events is over, but the smaller more regional ones might prove to be a better and more worthwhile option - only time will tell.



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Re: Festival of History..

Postby Medicus Matt » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:47 pm

andyfraser wrote: They also couldn't understand why the magnificent anglo saxon chaps with the stunning gear was on the outer edges of the whole camp next to the main walkway for reenactors to access the plastic camp.


At least we were close to the showers and loos on the plastic camp..and getting off site from there was a damned sight easier than being further onto the site.

Not much by way of 'passing trade' over there but people did come to find us.


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Re: Festival of History..

Postby czartank » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:37 pm

We stopped attending as a group after the great flood: We found it tiring and a lot of hard work and as for the unique micro- climate! I won't miss Kelmarsh, but I will miss Kirby Hall and Stoneleigh.


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Re: Festival of History..

Postby squamatus » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:58 pm

...and yet the upshot is that EH (North) is bringing people over from the continent to do "Hadrian's Wall Live" and not even speaking to UK Romans since they became a Trust. :crazy:


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