Well, this year I failed miserably at organizing my friends to go to the RenFest. The ones that I did get to go had prior commitments, and had to leave early. So none of them witnessed the drunken splendor and bawdy majesty of the pub sing. Most of the people I called said “oh yeah, that sounds fun, count me in” then proceed to totally not show up. I’m beginning to suspect these people don’t eat the fruitcakes I give them at Christmas…..hmmmm.
At one point George Lee was assailed by two pretty kissing wenches, each of them armed with indelible lipstick and prominent display stands for their dollar bill collections.
DED BOB RETIRED!!
I was VERY disappointed to learn that Ded Bob has gone into semi-retirement and it seems fairly unlikely that he’ll grace the Georgia Festival ever again…at least from what I hear and what I’ve seen on his website. If you never had a chance to see Ded Bob’s act it’s really too bad. I’m glad that I saw his show a couple of times last year. Wish I had it on video.
Official Ded Bob Sho Website
A trip to the GARF isn’t complete without catching Ripe and his brother Green performing ‘Danger Theater’. This year they didn’t have an audience member launching a pin into the 6-pin formation. I don’t know if they just didn’t do it in the set that I caught or if it’s officially out of the act now. Maybe I’ll find out if I make it the last weekend of the festival.
Official Zucchini Brothers Website
THE LOST BOYS
We caught the last bit of their set right before the Zuke Bros. took the stage and it sounded like they have a lot of fun new material. I should buy their CD.
CRAIG OF FARRINGTON
Craig is a big guy with a big curly red beard who sings naughty little ditties and romantic minstrel songs. He’s an entertaining addition to Georgia’s singing circuit… and I’ve already purchased all the CD’s that he sells at the festival. If you enjoy the occasional clever naughty lyric then don’t miss Craig’s act.
THE ROYAL COURT
I actually saw three acts from what they call “The Royal Court”, an ongoing day-long play featuring the main characters who populate the “kingdom”. This “play” takes place all over the kingdom, and some people actually follow it around to see every act of the play. Most people however chance upon the play at some point of the day and watch in curious fascination. I saw the pirate “scuffle” up near the piazza/brewpub, although I wasn’t close enough to hear the dialogue very well. Later I saw the first joust, which features the royal court in the background. Finally, I saw part of an act on the King’s Hall stage, while I was having lunch at the Peacock Tea Room next door. Again, I couldn’t really hear too well…so I was the worst audience member for the Royal Court.
I never see the joust anymore because I only really like the final act when they guys are in full armor and slogging away at each other with gusto. Unfortunately that final act conflicts with my singing appointment in the Brewer’s Pub. Since three friends had met me at the festival I went to see the first two jousts with them, the first time I’d stopped to watch in four or five years…. and nothing appears to have changed. The things that the guys do aren’t easy, YOU try running a lance through a little ring while you’re on horseback…. I wish you luck. I think I would have been more engaged if it hadn’t been so blisteringly hot in the stands…and that’s the real problem with the Jousting Arena…there’s no shade. The people that get there early stand WAY back up the hill, away from the ring just so they can crouch under the precious shade trees. If I could bend the ear of the RenFest folks I’d suggest that they build some shading devices for the audience. 40 minutes in the blazing sun is one way to quickly wear out your clientele and send them home with a bad impression. Constructing a shaded arcade through this area would provide an opportunity to place a few more targeted shops and drink stands. Perhaps the Festival feels that they make more money with NO shade, forcing people to walk up the hill to buy drinks. I just know that I avoid the Jousting Arena because it’s always so hot and dusty there.
THE PEACOCK TEAROOM
Last year I had horrible service here. This year I planned ahead and knew that I’d be there for an hour and wasn’t nearly as angry. Just know that when you’re going here that you’re not going to a regular restaurant engineered to have a fast turnover. Sit back and enjoy the shade. If you can, try sitting on the edge of the porch overlooking the King’s Hall Stage and you can have lunch AND watch an act. Just make sure it’s not the Tortuga Brothers…
I’m not really into rustic pottery or renaissance-style decorations. I don’t need a flute and I’m not about to hang up any of the “art” that’s for sale at the festival. I don’t like little handblown glass figurines and I have no desire to have a wax rose. BUT, I’m not a girl. There are so many things to buy at the festival that the girls go nuts. Hair thingys, jewelry and trinkets galore. I can only think of four things that I’ve purchased at the festival…a walking staff, a leather sketchbook cover, a drinking mug and a dagger from StarFire Forge. A friend of mine I grew up with takes her husband and her Mom down every year just to go shopping. Poor guy, all he wants to do is hang out in the Pub!
The best part of the Festival. Don’t miss the singing groups!