Stunning views, costumed patrons, market stalls, jousting, re-enactments and more, it’s Iron Fest!
Iron Fest has been something on my bucket list, but never really got around to going until my friend asked if I wanted to go with, hell yes I said yes to her! We had planned the whole weekend, but her father and sister wanted to go which was cool, so they took the Saturday tickets and we went the Sunday ( Sunday, 23rd April 2017) , I was fine, because maybe one day might have been enough for my Iron Fest virgin self. I had no idea what to expect.
Iron Fest a big Medieval Festival located in Lithgow up the Blue Mountains of New South Wales (N.S.W – my state that I live in). My friend and I left early and headed up the mountains, it took us a nice hour and a half drive thank you to my chauffeur driving me there, I don’t drive so, thank you friend!
The stunning views of the mountains always take my breath away when I see it, the hills, the trees, cottage houses and the random animals on massive farm acreage that were adorable, I love animals so much. The view, I can’t get enough of, if you go to Lithgow, go by car if you can, if not, the train is also a good way and you still get to see some beautiful views.
As we arrived we already got a bit of taste of Iron Fest as we saw some people ready in their cosplay/costumes looking amazing, so many steam punk and medieval styled costumes. Once we go to the gates we were greeted with smiling happy volunteers, they were super friendly; the type you would expect from Mountain people, I have met a lot of lovely people from the Blue Mountains and knew I would meet many more.
We walked in, got our tickets scanned and the first thing I saw was a massive dinosaur staring at us in the face, it had begun as we saw some furries in steam punk costumes and many different time period costumed patrons, I was in awe of a lot of them, I felt out of place in my regular clothing, the closes thing to fitting in was my dress that said “Baddest Witch in Town” that I bought from Living Dead Clothing (an Australian online clothing store) in the American Horror Story range. Let me tell you I had some people comment on it, but my favourite was a lady who loved T-Shirt slogans wanted to take a picture, so my boobs that have the Baddest Witch in Town is out there somewhere. Goal’s right?!
We checked out some of stalls and then to the “village” to check out the tents that had different guilds in them, some made art, some practice the art of sword fighting and guilds at battle for fun and entertainment and archery. We got to hold 14kg of chain mail and learnt a lot about the armoury wear that they would wear in medieval times to protect themselves, we saw lots from different time periods and different countries variations, it was fascinating and I loved it, so did my history loving friend.
Tarot Card readings, a travelling Gypsy, belly dancers of all ages, live music, entertainment was on throughout the day, there was never a dull moment, a sword eater, re-enactments, acrobatics and more, we loved the fact everywhere you walked, there was some sort of entertainment happening. This was such a smoothly run event, especially this year’s crowd was the largest crowd of 18,000 tickets sold.
One of the battles that we watched, one guy got hit in the face and had a bleeding nose, they took care of him when they stopped the battle, it was great to see that they care about each other, and then of course in true spirit, they yelled “YOU SEE WE BLEED FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT! WANT TO SEE MORE?!?!” and of course we all cheered and they began battling again, it was awesome, the whole thing was so cool, I posted this video (below) on Facebook (with the caption “This is what I signed up for, more violence please”… I am not a violent person I swear!), a lot of people loved it, and my brother commented saying that he wish he was there to see it in person.
My favourite event and the one I couldn’t wait to see all day was the jousting! the excitement and the confusion of how the scoring went, but I didn’t care, I was just excited to see it! I was also confused because the sound wasn’t very good, I couldn’t hear much, and I am pretty much half deaf. But thanks to you a young child sitting in front of us, he told us which jouster our side of the grandstand were cheering for and that was Sir Tony! Go Tony!
We picked up some Elderflower wines by a woman who had different type of wines and produce and such we checked out more of the stores and had food and then watched the ending parade which was great fun as soon as the fun had ended we left to get back down the Mountain to make it to training… I was an hour late to training… That love clear ride through that took us 1 and a half hours, what happened? It turned into a three hour ride but at least we had music and our voices to belt out and dance our way down in the three hour traffic.
If you are not familiar with backstreets from Lithgow and down the mountain, just don’t have anything planned on the evening of Iron Fest, or make sure you leave with plenty of time.
Will I go to this festival again? HELL YES! My friend and I have already booked an airbnb place and are already organising our costumes for next year and are planning to go for two nights and attend the special event on the Friday night. We have become massive fans and are excited for next year! Until then, our next Medieval Festival to satisfy our hunger for it will be in May in of all the places, Blacktown. We have our costumes ready and we are prepared for this!
NEXT YEARS THEME FOR IRON FEST: Wild West, yeeeeehaaaaa! Get them costume’s a ready Cowboys and Cowgirls! (I will stop being awkward…)
Side note: This event made me miss my Dungeons and Dragons group, I hope when life calms down for us all I really want to get back into it, and am now thinking of joining and online game of it. Let me know down in the comments if you play online and have any suggestion please.
Photos and videos were taken by me (sorry for the creep shots cosplayer’s, you all looked wonderful!)
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/TravellingMarshmellow