[Bards] Bardic college Events

Scott Barrett barrett1 at cox.net
Tue Oct 31 05:57:04 PST 2006

On Tuesday, October 31, 2006, at 07:12 AM, Charles Ó Floinn wrote:

> Snip
> …then make it the final event of many. … Give every group the chance 
> to run a Bardic circle that picks the representative or two that then 
> goes on to the premier event for their region who then sponsor the 
> winner with an alternate to the Eisteddfod. … Let the five alternates 
> vie for the deputy position in a second circle.
> Snip
> Charles Flynn

Sigh. I guess I'm the stick in the mud again.
  Anyone can enter Crown Tourney, Kingdom A&S, King's Archer, etc. All 
the warriors need is certification, like we require for every 
combat-related activity. Any artist can enter Kingdom A&S. The sense 
that "I'm not good enough for Eisteddfod" will only be worsened if we 
have run-offs or regional requirements. It seems to me that an all-day 
competition is difficult but worthwhile. The locale was the original 
issue, and Robin has said he'd look into getting some changes made. 
Let's give the Anglican a couple of weeks to discuss it with someone.
I do not like these standards. It actually flies in the face of the 
philosophy that anyone can be a bard (a concept of the old College I 
agreed with).
It also puts even more focus on competition. There's so much more to 
bardcraft. I gotta be honest, I see these standards as dividing our 
community and harming the new performer. These sorts of requirements 
will lead to a perception that there is a bardic elite and the new 
person isn't welcome. Those that try and fail the first few years may 
be completely turned off by the process. We already have this problem 
in small.
Some of you have had this experience, wherein a performer, a talented 
one with a real future, sees you enter the competition and actually 
decides it isn't worth trying. That is heartbreaking. This proposal of 
local/regional try-outs simply justifies that viewpoint.
It seems the amount of time spent in that room at Steppes is an issue. 
It was an observation a few people agreed with. That does not mean we 
need to completely re-define Eisteddfod. At most we need a better 
place, we need to let people understand that they don't have to sit 
through every performance (most warriors don't watch every fight) and 
maybe we need to invite waterbearers to set up some punch and coffee 
for the day.
I don't want any barriers to performance in this Kingdom. Whether you 
hold a title or not, you should feel that you have the same chance of 
entertaining a court or a circle as anyone else.
I remember my Eisteddfod. It began at 9:00 am, the crowd was filled 
with the legends, we were outside under a metal picnic pavilion and I 
was running on 2 hours of sleep. It was double elimination, and by the 
third round I was dehydrated, exhausted to the point of delirium and 
unable to keep any food down. That is when it began to snow. We froze 
under that open air pavilion until the competition ended, at sundown. I 
couldn't stop shaking, I was barely coherent and I feel asleep on a 
bench in the middle of court. It was hell, physically and emotionally. 
It was Eisteddfod, not a revel.
So now the Eisteddfod is held indoors in a cramped little room at a 
massive noisy event. It needs a better setting, but there's a bar in 
that building, people. This isn't Dante's Inferno. It needs improving, 
not an overhaul.
It's not so bad that we need to redefine the competition.

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