The team at Beyond Cosplay were invited to come along to the Ipswich Medieval Markets and Fantasy Faire held at Ipswich City Mall over this past weekend.
The markets are what one would expect to be sold with a medieval theme- LARP weapons and medieval costumes, trinkets and ye old food (with a hint of americana burgers)
These markets however also extended into the realms of fantasy such as fairy wings and dresses and beyond into the future (from the Middle Ages perspective anyway) with a few Steampunk stalls selling steampunk guns and jewellery pieces. At the centre, was a band stand, on which featured music artists performed throughout the day. There were also street performers playing music with medieval instruments creating a greater atmosphere. The music brought life to the somewhat cramped markets.
The small area in which the markets were meant to fit, made movement difficult for the crowds- perhaps they hadn’t anticipated the attendance numbers. It also didn’t help that this was in a courtyard of a shopping centre- there were shops that surrounded the markets, which added to the congestion. It was also made slightly difficult with the DeLorean (yes the replica car from Back to the Future) being parked in the middle. Many wanted to get photos, stopping traffic consistently, and made it hard to get a good shot. The Hire-A-Tardis was more conveniently parked to the side with heaps of room however this hid the Tardis from plain sight too.
The markets continued across the road, in a far more comfortable grassy area where the Romani had the caravan parked and Heroes’ Odyssey the LARP organisation held their stalls. Heroes’ Odyssey had a fenced off area in which people could give one on one LARP combat a go. This also gave room for more visual medieval displays such as the Knight’s tent and a tepee as well as the aforementioned Romani aka gypsy caravan.
Overall, not a bad little medieval festival, definitely with great potential to grow and a good atmosphere. Keen to see how this grows in the coming years.
we would like to have seen the combat guys not shunted to the far end, maybe bought into the middle grassed area where the dancers were. as everyone deserves attention to show their skills.
it will be great to get back to the next one to see how its improved.
~ Sarah Minazzo
~Photography courtesy of Stuart Moyes