[Bards] Kingdom Eisteddfod

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Sun Oct 29 13:29:50 PST 2006

I'm going to disagree with a recent opinion expressed here.

I think Kingdom Eisteddfod is too *short*.  That's part of the problem of marginalization.

We spend all day at Kingdom A&S choosing an Artisan.  We spend all day at the field choosing a Queen's Champion.  We spend all day at the range choosing the Royal Huntsman.  We spend all day choosing the Crown.

Why shouldn't we spend all day choosing the Premier Bard?

Please don't compare Kingdom Eisteddfod to the King's Champion Tourney.  As a chivalric fighter myself, I know that King's Champion is not one of the top competitions.  Crown, Steppes Warlord, Namron Protector and Kingdom Warlord (when we still had it) all have higher prestige, and all take most of the day to finish.

Twenty years ago, the Premier Bard was chosen by a double elimination tournament,  All competitors performed at least twice, some performed five, six, or seven times.  That competition was the major activity at the event (like all the competitions mentioned above), and dozens of people chose to watch -- including, quite often, the Crown.  When I won in 1989, there were at least seventy people watching the final rounds.  When Harold Bodvarsson won in 1983, there were 40-50.

But it was worth it.  There were lots of competitors, and therefore lots of great performances to watch.

So how did it get moved to a little room in the attic?  The answer is simple, obvious -- and depressing: because it fits there now.  Step one to fixing it is to make it exciting enough that people want to spend time watching it, and therefore big enough that it overflows the little room.  And that won't be done in a year or two.  The goal needs to be, not to make it perfect right now, but to make it better this time than it was last time.  Then do it again.  And again.

Why should the rest of the kingdom watch it if even most of the bards don't bother to?  Why should the Crown spend their time there when less than two dozen of their hundreds of subjects think it's worth it?

With no College to rally around, Eisteddfod is the only kingdom-wide symbol of bardcraft in Ansteorra.  When we don't support it, we send a message throughout the kingdom of exactly how valuable we think Ansteorra's bardcraft is.

Let's start sending the right message.

(Meanwhile, I'll talk to the Baron and Baroness and the event steward about the room.  Let's see if there's anything we can do.)

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
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