‘An Arts Festival with a Metal Edge’ – Ironfest celebrates working and playing with metal. Held annually in Lithgow on the closest weekend to Anzac Day, Ironfest brings together artists, designer/makers, blacksmiths, performers of all kinds, musicians, historical re-enactors and machine enthusiasts and hobbyists from all over Australia, and the world.
Historical displays by local museums, as well as other institutions, such as the Sydney Powerhouse Museum, present stories of our past through exhibition and presentations by experts in their fields of study.
Ironfest also presents an eclectic musical program including classical music, jazz, rock, country & western, bush, medieval and modern experimental; often presenting acts rarely seen in regional Australia. (From www.ironfest.net)
SMR ~ Sutherland Medieval Regiment
Ok, so now you know what Ironfest is basically all about I can now explain that two of my four sons have always been interested in medieval fighting (yes even as toddlers they were attracted to plastic swords and shields and anything to do with medieval knights). A few years ago we took the whole family to Ironfest and had a fantastic time. We’ve been to quite a few other festivals featuring historical re-enactors’ battles too but Ironfest is probably one of the best. Now the boys are older they can take themselves off to Ironfest and other events such as Winterfest, not just as spectators, but as participants as they’ve both joined a local re-enactors group called the Sutherland Medieval Regiment (SMR). 😀
Of course, as with any event like this there’s a heap of preparation that goes on beforehand, not the least of which is organising the appropriate clothing/costume etc for the participants. As usual I ended up with a few sewing jobs to do. I’m used to doing odd jobs, like stitching up the occasional leather sword scabbard, or adding extra padding to a knight’s coif. I’ve even helped out in the past by making a substantial amount of Son2′s maille (chain mail is not the correct term for it) and made the green viking-style tunic he wears (and searched high and low to source some locally available braid for it at very short notice) but until now I’ve never had to sew a goat skin onto a Viking’s cloak before …all in a day’s work, lol.
During and after Ironfest many people have been posting photographs and videos on Facebook, some of which feature my sons and other members of SMR. I’ve been collecting them on my Facebook page as I come across them, before adding them here.
[One more little “explanatory note” …my sons don’t like being identified on their ma’s blog or Facebook page so I’ve taken to referring to them by the order of their birth, hence the constant mention here of “Son2” and “Son4”. I also haven’t identified anyone else by name, but if you happen to see yourself here and do want to be identified just let me know.]
First up, here’s three videos by meddylee…
1. In the first video Son4 (black & white tabard, with blue/yellow/red shield) is victorious!!! …but he dies very quickly afterwards, lol. Son2 (Viking in the red/brown cloak, mostly to the right of screen) took great delight in bellowing, “Kill him!” at the very beginning of the melee that killed Son4. 😀
2. The second video shows 2 members of Uppsala Medieval Society invited to fight during the Sutherland Medieval Regiment’s show…
3. The third video shows snippets of 3 different fights by SMR members, and just happens to have Son2 kneeling in the foreground…
4. A video by regional TV station PRIME7 shows Son2 & Son4 fighting (starts at 1:09 where the commentator says “Stepping back a century…”). Son2 (wearing cloak) wins the first battle, then Son4 (yellow & blue shield) “kills” his brother and wins the 2nd battle. Unfortunately I can’t embed it here so you’ll have to CLICK ON THIS LINK (or on the image below) to go to the Prime7 webpage to see it.
5. The following video by roozooalicious975 shows an aerial view of Ironfest from a drone flying above. SMR are shown briefly at 0:10-0:22 and again at 2:56-3:30 which shows the same fight that was featured in the Channel 7 video above.
6. Another by the same person shows Son4 at 5:00 to 5:08 (which also shows in the screenshot for the video) and the SMR stand at 7:40 to 7:54.
7. This next video, made by mcella 15 of her day at Ironfest, will give you a bit of an idea of what the festival is like. My Son4 appears near the end at 2:57 – he’s the guy dressed in black helping to oversee the kids’ swordplay sessions. 🙂
8. Here’s another video of Ironfest made by @thehairypony and posted on YouTube by monkeysinthegravy, with 3 tiny clips relevant to my sons… At 1:13 two members of SMR briefly appear, one making reference to Monty Python’s “African or European Swallow”; at 2:33 Son3’s girlfriend is sitting on a kangaroo with Son3 (dressed in black) partly visible at right of screen; at 2:55-3:02 Son4 is being beaten to death by a bunch of rabid children.
9. The following video, uploaded by Cliff Dorian features SMR at the very beginning up to 1:45.
Now for the photographs I collected from Facebook. As with the videos above, apart from “Son2” and “Son4” I haven’t identified anyone by name. I have however given credit to all the photographers, whose names you will see at the bottom of each frame after you click on the first image and scroll through the gallery.
An additional 5 photos of SMR at Ironfest 2013 can be seen in the Blue Mountains Gazette (25 April 2013) – photos 14 to 18.
If you want to see more fights and melees, I also have a collection of videos I and my sons took of SMR in action at Winterfest 2012 which I uploaded to my Facebook page. Click here to see them. 😀
Son4, photo from an article at www.sftv.com.au