We just got back from Pennsic (and boy is our everything tired). We’re extremely happy with our decision to only go for peace week this year and manage our risks. More about that later.
While I was at war, I debuted my newest song, “Homecoming”, which I finished last Friday, just in time for Pennsic. I was able to share it at a couple of bardic circles and a number of private performances for friends and chosen family.
So…the EK Midrealm Bardic Showcase went off with nary a hitch worth noting. That was spectacular. (Available on YouTube if you missed it, or want to see it agaion.) I want to take a moment to recognize all the effort that went into making this Pennsic highlight a reality in this unique moment.
First, to my fellow kingdom bards:
THL Honor von Atzinger, Dragon Bard, whose enthusiasm, delight, and communication to all the royals of the Known World made this possible, coupled her with her irresistible Master of Ceremonies skills.
Master Grim the Skald, Sovereign’s Bard who introduced me to the EK Bardic community once upon a time, thank you for bringing an experienced, steady, supportive hand, and a critical dose of zen. Your comfort sitting backstage and sharing the live stream audience feedback was wonderful for our composure and morale.
I’ve shared this elsewhere, but not here. (It’s under the wire, right?)
The Interkingdom Bardic Showcase is a long standing tradition held at Pennsic. It provides an opportunity for our kingdoms to come together and celebrate the performing arts. (Note: per tradition, the lineup of performers is pre-selected in consultation with the wishes of the SCA’s kingdom royals.)
This will be a YouTube livestream event (link here).
Join us for this year’s online Post-Pennsic showcase, featuring notable and rising performers representing various Kingdoms of the Known World:
Last fall, when I started filking ABBA for Wilhelm and Vienna, I reached out to Vincenzo da Brescia (aka Vince Conaway), whose mastery of the hammered dulcimer delights listeners at Pennsic as well as at Renaissance Faires all over the country and internationally. The Mamma Mia filk demanded hammered dulcimer at the Pennsic concert, I suggested, and to my delight he agreed.
Vincenzo and I will be collaborating again soon on a recording for the album in progress, but in the meantime, here is “Carpe Diem” in its full, accompanied, silly glory.
Because it seems to carry different weight coming from a man…
Harassing women in the street is not okay at Pennsic or anywhere else. It’s on the rise this year and we are all as a community responsible for keeping everyone safe. Here is a link to a bystander intervention guide.
The Pennsic community is beautiful and amazing. Everyone deserves to enjoy it without unwelcome attention, and if you don’t understand that, you’re going to learn it or we are going to remove you from this community.
I started something on Facebook this morning that has gone viral, with the help of some fearless and outspoken friends. It occurred to me (and I’m sure I wasn’t the first to think of it) that recent measles outbreaks, the direct result of a decades-long drop in vaccination rates, could seriously imperil Pennsic this year–and that further, there is something we can do about it in the next three months if we raise awareness. My wife and I got our MMR boosters a few weeks back.
A measles outbreak among a population of 10,000 people would do irreparable harm to the SCA, and all the communities we’d be returning to. When in doubt, get your MMR booster. And discuss this with your camp. Everyone who can be vaccinated should be, there’s no excuse.
For those who say “Pennsic schmensic, people should be vaccinating anyway!”, I agree. But if this raises awareness and moves people to action by creating new urgency, then I’m all for it. Thanks to everyone who is participating in this effort, and to everyone who has posted or commented that they’re getting tested or getting a booster shot.
Because the Sing for the East project added songbooks to our offerings just in time for Pennsic, and we still had some inventory left when we got home, I felt like I was attending to unfinished Pennsic business for much of my first week back. (We did sell out quickly enough on Bandcamp, and have sent this year’s donation to the EK Royal Travel Fund.)
Nevertheless, it’s important to take time to reflect on a two-week event we only experience once a year, and I have lots of people to acknowledge (even if I have mentioned some of them previously).