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Author Topic: How Would You Build Your Faire?  (Read 1374 times)

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Offline Craigmeister

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How Would You Build Your Faire?
« on: January 08, 2016, 02:14:54 PM »
If you were to suddenly come in to millions of dollars (via lottery, inheritance or reward money), would you build your own Renfaire?  I'm talking about MILLIONS so you could hire a board to run it and pay people to maintain it.

Where would you build your hard site?  What style or era of buildings would you  construct (Italian, English, French)?  Which performers and vendors would you want?  Would you waive vendor fees the first year or so to entice plenty of them to participate?

Would you have a pond?  Jousting field?  An area cleared for firing trebuchets?  Watermill?  Aqueduct?  Archery field?

Would you host a Celtic, Scottish or other festival onsite during the off-months from your faire?
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Offline Ferret

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 07:51:39 PM »
Somewhere where it could be open for various things year round. Shaped like a wagon wheel. The spokes are the lanes for people to stroll. The rim - lined with shop/stage/shop/stage the whole way around. The center divided into four parts for pubs and entertainment.

I'd have a yearly fixed schedule for weekends, four or six. I'd try and figure a way to make it a break even event just to run and maintain it. So people could afford to go, vendors afford to vend, and performers want to be there and could.

I'd try and have all structures easily converted to fit the occasion. Renaissance, holiday, special events.

No pond- people staying on site won't need the mosquitos.

Ferret

Offline nightattheopera

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 03:50:31 PM »
This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately.  I've made lots of "if I won the lottery" promises in my life, but this is one I think I'd actually try to attempt. Not that I don't love my local faire (and I do, considering I've been going to it for nearly 20 years), but there's a lot of cheesiness and period inauthenticity to it; which if I'm honest, is part of the charm.  There's lots of pirates, steampunk, and plywood storefronts. I'd love to build a more solid, realistic, and immersive experience. 

Among other things, my ~dream~ faire would have:

-3 camping areas:
--One "modern" with water/electricity hookups and an RV section
--One "period" section with no water/electric (save for a well) where only period tents and camping equipment is allowed and a communal campfire cook station
--An inn or two with a few rooms available for rent. 
-A few taverns, not unlike the ones seen in the Elder Scrolls games.  A long stone fire pit in the middle, thick wooden tables, with food and drink served in real metal tankards and wooden trenchers.  A place where a weary traveler can come in and rest their boots for a while and listen to (or perhaps tell) a few stories of adventures past. 
-No adherence to any one specific time period or regional setting: rather, a general "medieval fantasy" feel. 
-$3 off if you come in costume
-The feeling that you've stepped into another world
-Actors hired to be locals who inhabit it, like wandering minstrels and merchants grumbling about all the "strangely-dressed visitors."
-Storylines that long-time/recurring patrons can pick up on
-Themed sections of the park (Barbarian village, Elven kingdom, etc) with actual changes to architecture and layout
-Themed weekends (particularly for Christmas and Halloween)
-Better-built shops and storefronts with actual small upstairs apartments for merchants who wish to reside there during the season
-A "BRING OUT YOUR DEAD" guy
-A jousting arena
-An archery range
-Swordfighting classes
-Wanted posters for bandits
-The occasional festival that takes up an entire street section
-Novel "quests" one can complete for some kind of token of achievement (things like scavenger hunts, solving a mystery, etc)
-An actual castle where one can on occasion visit the presiding King and Queen
-A forest to wander with perhaps a witches' cottage to stumble upon

I know it all sounds horribly ambitious.  It is just a dream for now, after all.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 04:28:14 PM by nightattheopera »

Offline Craigmeister

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2016, 02:22:16 PM »
I like these responses.  There are some good ideas here.

The part about having habitable second floors to the shoppes is a good one.  I've seen something like these at the Four Winds Faire in Tyler, TX but I'm not sure if they were heated or cooled.  That would save tons of money for vendors and performers.

The wanted posters appeal to me as well (maybe because my garb is that of Robin Hood).  I have not seen those anywhere.

I have seen ponds at the Oklahoma Renfest and Great Plains Renfest but didn't see any mosquitos.  The old King Arthur Faire near Stroud, OK was next to a lake yet I don't remember mosquitos there either.  I don't know how they avoided them but I'm glad they did.
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Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 07:42:31 AM »
Several of the shoppes at Scarby have living quarters above, and other faires as well. Since the buildings are built by and owned by the vendors, they can do this as long as the building meets site (and sight) specs.
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Offline Craigmeister

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 12:21:20 PM »
That's very thoughtful of the faire owners.  I need to get to some more hard-site faires.  Mayhaps I can make it to Sherwood Forest this year.  I am quite sure they would have such accommodations for the vendors.
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Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 12:39:53 PM »
Like I said, Craig... The vendors pay for the buildings, but the faire owners would have to provide the infrastructure.

You really need to visit Sherwood. It's a great faire.  We're heading there end of the week.
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Offline Craigmeister

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 01:22:16 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement to visit Sherwood last year, Merlin.  I made it at the end of February.  It was fantastic!  It's my new favorite hard site faire!

It was quite a drive so this year, I'm going to save a few hours' driving each way and make my first visit to Avalon in Kilgore, Texas.  I know it isn't nearly as large but I want to see my good buddy Leghorn the Piper at his home faire.
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Offline groomporter

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2016, 08:08:42 PM »
I would build it so at least part of the site could be used year-round for smaller events like weddings, corporate parties, craft shows, music festivals, Xmas or Halloween events. The year-round neighborhood would include at least one or two outdoor stages, and a heated / air conditioned feast hall. It would also include an large open area that could be divided up for temporary booths or one or two large tents that could be divided up in to temporary booth spaces. A section of the parking lot would be paved for year-round use regardless of snow or rain. I would also plan it so the year-round section could be fenced / gated from the rest of the grounds so security would not have to patrol the entire site during smaller events.

I've often thought that an indoor coffee house with a stage for performers might be a plus with the idea that some patrons might like a performance venue on site where alcohol is not being served.

I would also have a drive-up package pick-up window so patrons can drop off larger purchases (or have the crafter deliver them to the window) rather than have to carry heavy, or multiple purchases to the far reaches of the parking lot, or on a shuttle bus.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2016, 08:12:26 PM by groomporter »
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Offline scarletnyx

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 12:27:29 PM »
I haven't thought about running a faire persay, we are very happy with the faires we go to now, but husband and I have thought about a booth! Here are some things we've talked about having in our "booth" -

  • Middle Eastern/African themed. And not like cheap, light on the history either. You're getting guys with their faces covered, beautiful textiles, imported silver jewelry, LEGIT clothing, the works, all just shoved in your face.
  • Garbsets - I think this is something that more booths/companies should start doing. I know when I started out researching, all the info was abit overwhelming to take in. So, you would have a haik ( what I wear ) with a printout of articles/excerpts from books that explain the history. Just a little thing, maybe like a scroll rolled up in the clothes?
  • Hookah cafe! And we would do it right! For those that don't know, hookah is typically enjoyed very, very slowly with lots of people and small kinda fingerfoods. So we would have a hookah cafe with big, soft pillows and soft appropriate music playing, with board games you could "check out" with your hookah, authentic finger foods ( and chips who am I kidding )

If I think of anything else after talking with the husband again I'll post it. But I think thats the jest of it.
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Offline groomporter

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 01:07:18 PM »
I wonder if a cell phone tower could be built on site and camouflaged to look like something period. The fair might be able earn money off of leasing the space to the phone company and it could probably mean better phone access for wireless data / credit card sales.

 I've long thought a covered market area inspired by things like the one below in France as a possible way for new crafters to get a foot in the door to a festival without having to sell out of a tent or "easy-up" or until they can buy/build a booth. I could see something like this divided into 10'x10' spaces that are rented out. It could also be used as a sheltered stage, or market for off-season events. Of course a problem would be overcrowding inside it in the event of a sudden rainstorm. Using a large tent this way would more cost effective and be brighter on the inside on a cloudy day, but not have the same character.

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Offline Craigmeister

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 12:14:16 AM »
How about camouflaging a cell tower as a windmill.  According to the "all-knowing" wiki, they started appearing in France and Luxembourg in 1433.  Or it could look like a keep or a Scottish tower-type castle.
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Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 12:08:14 PM »
I had no idea that there were cell towers in 1433!  ::)
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Offline Craigmeister

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2016, 01:37:27 AM »
Very clever, Merlin.  I suppose the cell towers back then were camouflaged as windmills or keeps.  Even archeologists can't tell what they really were.  (Now I want to watch the movie "Timeline".)
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Offline Captain Dungcaster

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Re: How Would You Build Your Faire?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 07:03:34 AM »
On flat ground for starters. Keeping several trees for shade if I have to clear and grade. Elizabethan period structures. A covered market pavilion is a fantastic idea. I would also enable several of the period structures to be powered and have seperate sleeping rooms and showers for cast members if they choose to stay on site overnight. Also I would have a Great Hall near the front of my shire to allow folks to gather and learn about the Elizabethan period. All restrooms would have private stalls and be oversize especially for the ladies with the hoops.
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