[Bards] no suger coating on this

Donnchadh Beag mac Griogair donnchadh at cornelius.norman.ok.us
Tue Oct 31 17:20:25 PST 2006

Brian O'hUilliam wrote:
> Ivo,
>   Good Lord, while I do agree that lack of audience is a problem, I do 
> not feel that we have a bad reputation.  Perhaps this is just 
> reflective of what I see in the Coast, but I feel a big issue is event 
> overcrowding.  What I mean by that is, at most events, you will have 
> an archery competition, rapier tournament, chiv tournament, and so 
> on.  People want to compte in or see everything, so they watch a few 
> bardic performances and move on.  I know several people, myself 
> included, who try to compete in multiple competitions, so quite often 
> I will go, compete, and leave. 
>   On the other hand, I have seen people enjoy bardic circles for hours 
> upon hours late into the night.  Why?  Because that's the only thing 
> to do at night!  Do I have a suggestion to fix this?  Sure.  I have 
> seen bardic competitions done at the evening bardic circle on Saturday 
> night and announced in Court Sunday morning.  That's ok for a multiple 
> day event, but it a pain for people who day trip.  I have seen a 
> bardic competition done on Friday evening (ok, I heard about it, I 
> didn't get there until Saturday.)  I hate that format.  But what 
> Seawinds did last year was to have the bardic competition during feast 
> and then the nobles decided who their champion was and announced him 
> at the end of feast.  Everyone saw the bards and enjoyed the 
> competitio.n  Of course this wont work if you have many bards 
> competing.  Perhaps what Loch Ruadh did a few years ago where they had 
> the competition and then the final round during feast....
>   It ultimately comes down to what the coordinator and nobles want.  
> And again, this may only reflect what I have seen here in the Coastal 
> Region and in my travels (which are not often enough to my friends in 
> the North.)
> Brian
Someone mentioned earlier about some local bardic competitions that draw 
30+ competitors.  I'm happy to say that Namron is one of those, and one 
of the biggest reasons I can think of is that the bardic competition is 
treated as "The Main Event" in the evening.  It is THE place to be, and 
so it draws not only a large number of competitors, but also a huge 
audience.  There is usually a big bonfire and the brewers guild is 
usually there trying to cause as much liver damage as possible.  The 
atmosphere is incredible.

Contrast this with a competition that is held at the same time as the 
chivalric fighting, rapier fighting, archery, classes, A&S, children's 
activities, etc.  That's off in the the corner of the hall or some other 
out of the way place, that people may or may not hear announced.  I love 
participating in bardic, but I also really enjoy archery.  So which one 
do I have to give up?  With a situation like this, it's no wonder that 
we're having small turnouts of both competitors and audience members.

I think that maybe we need to concentrate more on making bardic 
competitions more of an entertainment event than a contest.  After all, 
isn't that what bardic is all about, entertaining the populace?  I can 
tell you that as a bard, brewer, and now Baron, I plan on doing 
everything I can to make sure that Namron's bardic competition stays not 
only a way for us to choose our bardic champion, but as the best way 
anyone could conceive of spending an evening.  I hope to see you all at 
both Eisteddfod and Beltane.

In Service to the Dream,
Donnchadh Beag mac Griogair
Baron of Namron

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