This weekend, the Turku Science Fiction Society hosted the Fantasy Feast, a pseudo-medieval, fantasy-themed gathering held in the Tippsund campground.
The Fantasy Feast is a long-standing tradition (the first Feast was held in 1991, and this was the ninth time it was organized). The recipe has remained pretty much unchanged since the beginning: people dress in loosely medieval style, fantasy-inspired garbs, gather together in a remote location, and spend the weekend playing games, socializing, eating a feast, sitting in a sauna, playing (and listening to) music, and in general just having fun.
Although the people organizing the Feast are new (I don’t think many—if not most—of the organizers this year were even born during the first Feast), the spirit of the happening was the same. A lot of effort had gone into the arrangements this year: there was the traditional tournament (with inventive games to play), the battle of the bards (I only visited one day, so I missed that), and the feast itself, but also lots of programming for the kids (there seem to be more children attending every time—which is not surprising since there are many people who’ve attended the Feast from the beginning, and quite a few of those have children nowadays), and also a “ritual” calling the spirits of the forest (which tied into the earlier events and contests during the weekend). Plus a wonderful twist in the best costume competition: instead of costume photographs, gorgeous drawings were made of the contestants. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph these, but you can see some of the works of these very talented artists (who were also organizing the event) on their website.
The feast seemed to me somewhat smaller than in the days of yore, but maybe this was just because so many of the attendees were kids; I think the number of attendees was all in all not that different. Although I’m not that interested in the fantasy setting and dressing up (and in all the fighting with foam weapons going about—in my days we had steel swords, but considering how many kids there were it’s probably best the times have changed) any more, it was very nice to see lots of old friends, some of whom I haven’t talked to in a few years. And it was of course fun to see the next generation run around and enjoy themselves (both the figurative one—the organizers—and the literal one—I attended the Feast with my daughter) at the event. A big thank you to the organizers and here’s hoping the tradition continues!