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November Crown 2014 - proposal

We didn't get this one, but we bid again for May 2015, and got that. And it was a great deal of fun!

Draft proposal - approved by Baronial Council; ready for the Council of the Purse.

The last Kingdom event in the Crescent Isles was Midwinter Coronation, in Ildhafn, in 2010. We think it's time we ran another one.

If we don't get this event, we'll probably re-submit a similar bid for May Crown 2015 (and perhaps Midwinter and November Crown 2015); so we'd like feedback if the bid itself is flawed.

The event will be a fully-catered weekend, with accommodation, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Our aim is not to try anything new (though no doubt we'll find new things to try) but to do what we already do well as smoothly as we may.

While we want lots of theatre and pageantry, we don't have a particular period or theme in mind: we think Crown Tournament is as much about SCA culture as any specific bit of the middle ages.


Dates and times

Friday November 7th to Sunday November 9th, 2014.

Choice of date

The site is only available on the later of the two scheduled weekends.

We didn't find any major clashes (e.g. other local re-enactment events) or noticeable difference in airfares between the two weekends.


Auckland is mild in November. Daily maxima and minima are usually in the teens (22 is unusually warm). November is one of our dryer months: about 10 rain-days a month, moderate humidity.

Opening and closing times

The site will open for staff at 4:30pm on Friday, and for the populace at 5:30pm. We can't allow people on site earlier, as it may be in use by another group.

Friday will be ungarbed, or rather, garb optional.

The event will close immediately after lunch on Sunday, at around 1pm. We must be off site entirely by 3pm; and expect to begin the site-inspection with the caretaker somewhat before that.

We need a fast set-up and pack-down; but we kept to this schedule at the Bloth, and will be more efficient now we know the site.



Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.



Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.



New Zealand dollars are used throughout.

Break even

The site has a minimum charge of $1600 - i.e. 40 people attending the whole weekend.

We've used "40 adults" as a reasonable number across which to spread the fixed costs. We will almost certainly get many more than that, but the low number should allow us to make a reasonable profit, given the size of our group.

Budgeting for children

Our aim is to charge children only what they cost us. We'll make our profit from the adults.

Site: Hunua Falls charges $20 per night (or day visit) for anyone 5 and over, so we must too.

Food costs: minimal for 0-4, about 1/2 for 6-11, adult price for 12-17. We're not expecting many under 5s, so we'll absorb their (minimal) food costs.

Other: Site token - $2. Adult bookings will cover all other miscellaneous costs, and provide the profit. No late-booking fee for kids (though we'll collect it from their parents).

Partial attendance

As the site charges us $20 per person (over 5yrs old) who is on site for Friday or Saturday night, or for day-tripping, we're presenting the following attendance windows:

  • Friday night
  • Tournament
  • Feast
  • Saturday night

If a person wishes to attend for up to 2 of these units in a row, they're charged $20 in site fees, giving the options below:

  1. Friday night + Saturday until after the tournament (not staying for the feast, Saturday night, or Sunday)
  2. Day-tripping Saturday, arriving after breakfast (on-site for the tournament + feast, not staying either night).
  3. Saturday evening (arrive after the tournament, but there for the feast) through until the end of the event on Sunday

Anyone staying for longer is charged $40 in site fees, with the following options:

  1. Whole event (Friday -> Sunday)
  2. Arriving any time on Saturday (after breakfast but before the end of Crown tournament) staying until the end of the event on Sunday.
  3. Friday night + Saturday until after the tournament (staying for the feast but not Saturday night, or Sunday)
Budget for November Crown 2014 (dividing fixed costs across 40 adult attendees)

Adult (18+)

Youth (12-17)

Child (5-11)

Infant (under 5)
Booking option a b c 1 2 3 a b c 1 2 3 a b c 1 2 3 any
Site fee $40 $20 $40 $20 $40 $20 free
Food - scheduled meals (see detailed food-budget) $55 $43 $44 $24 $32 $35 $55 $43 $44 $24 $32 $35 $30 $23 $24 $14 $17 $19  
Fixed costs $12/adult                                                                                                
Snacks for set-up crew $40 $1

Site+food for Crown



Petrol $90

Laundry $60 $1.50
Misc - Cleaning, Lighting, Bells, Wreaths etc  $70 $1.75
Printing $30 $0.75
Site token $2 $2 $2  
Kingdom Levy $1                
Total cost  $110


$99 $59 $67 $70 $97 $85 $86 $46 $54 $57 $72  $65 $66
$41 free

Discussion of line-items

Site - $20/night, above a minimum $1600

The site charges $20 for a night (4pm to 4pm) OR a day-visit; and will ask us for numbers on site each night plus total day-trippers. Under 5s are free, no price-break for older kids.

A pencil booking has been made; to be confirmed in October.

They'll require an $800 deposit about 8 months before the event (March 2014), and the other $800 of the minimum two weeks before the event (October 24th 2014). The site will invoice us after the event for rubbish disposal and extra people.

The laundries and barbecues are coin-operated, so the steward will need a cash float.

Food - $55/person

Meal-by-meal budgets for food.

All meal-budgets are based on those used for St Catherine's Faire in late 2012, and the Bloth in mid 2013, and which allowed cooks to produce excellent meals while spending 85-100% of their budgets.

Set-up Crew Snacks - $40

Ildhafn customarily provides snacks or a lunch for the event-staff who are likely to miss meals in setting up and packing down.

A large box of apples, juice, chocolate and biscuits - and the ability to do a pie-and-chips run if people get really hungry and stupid - does wonders for keeping a happy, sensible crew who all like each other (and the SCA) at the end of the event.

  • Comparison with past event expenses
    • $39.40 (St Catherine's 2012)
    • ~$30 (Bloth 2013)

Site and food for Crown - $190

Of course we won't charge the Crown for the event. The costs we must cover are their food ($55 each) and site-fee ($40 each). We will absorb the cost of their tokens.

Petrol - $90

Ildhafn customarily pays for the petrol for a trip from the Quartermaster's house to the event site and back, to transport bulk of the group's gear.

Isabel Winter has kindly agreed loan her horse-float and a suitable tow-vehicle.

  • Comparison with past event expenses (same car and float, similar distance)
    • $70.54 (St Catherine's 2012)
    • $81.98 (Bloth 2013)

Laundry - $60

It costs about $60 to get all our group's linens washed and dried commercially.

  • Comparison with past event expenses
    • $50 (St Catherine's 2012)
    • $69 (Bloth 2013) (unusually high: will not use this place again)

We'll spend somewhat less, as we'll do some on site in the coin-operated washer and dryer (which is cheaper). Steward will need cash float of ~$20.

Miscellaneous - $70

Rubbish: food-waste is free (goes to local pigs). Other rubbish at $2.50 per bag, disposed of by site. Our last major event there cost $7.50 in rubbish-disposal.

Lighting: oil, wicks, candles. Unlikely to exceed $20.

Cleaning: our group maintains a well-stocked cleaning box. It may need minor additions; unlikely to exceed $20.

Wreaths, bells, etc: unlikely to exceed $20.

Firewood: provided by site, no extra charge.

Printing - $30

Typically absorbed by stewards in Ildhafn, but likely to be high enough in this case that we'd like a real budget for it. Includes gate paperwork, site signage, printed material for the use of the Crown (e.g. attendance list and local OP), etc.

Token - $2/person

We have some ideas, but we've not yet decided.


We have not included "contingency" as a line item. This budget is well-tested: no guesses, and tested amounts in each line-item. There is a small contingency built into most line items.

Profit projections

We expect attendance of about 75. This will probably generate a profit of $600-$800, with a guaranteed minimum of $360. It will only make a loss if we fall below 40 attendees (adults and children); which is highly implausible.

By the standards of much of the kingdom that's a small event and a meagre profit. However, we don't feel we can reasonably increase any of the numbers - prices, profit, or attendance.

Profit Projection for November Crown 2014

Profit projections by attendance
Adult attendees Minimum profit[1] Optimistic profit[2]
40 $0 $280
60 $240 $660
70 $360 $850
80 $480 $1040
100 $720 $1420

Source of profit:

We only need 40 adults to cover the fixed costs. For every adult above 40, we make at least $12 profit (whether they book for the whole event or only part).

We'll pick up some more profit from late-booking fees ($10 after September 1st); and anywhere cooks come in under budget.

[1] Minimum Profit: guaranteed at a given attendance - calculated from only fixed-expenses beyond break-even of 40 adults.

[2] Optimistic Profit: entirely plausible, but not guaranteed - assumes 20% of adults pay after the price-increase (+$10), and cooks save $5/person across all meals (i.e. ~10% under-budget ).

Attendance: about 75

Our last Kingdom Event (Coronation in 2010), and our last two Baronial Investitures (2008 and 2011) got attendance in the mid-70s. It would be extremely surprising if we got attendance below 60, or above 90.

Our Barony is small, and fairly isolated. The group based in Auckland is (in large part) comparatively well-off, and comparatively mobile; but it's fewer than 20 people. The rest of our small Barony is spread across the Waikato: most members live 2-4 hours drive from Auckland, and many are families with children.

The only neighbouring group is Darton, about 9 hours drive away, and also small. We expect good attendance from Southron Gaard, and hope for good attendance from Australia; but both rely on people who are able to fly to events.


The event, as proposed, is expensive enough to put it out of the reach of some of our Barony. We can't reduce costs far without losing some of the facilities that make it suitable for a Crown Event (e.g. good accommodation). We're unlikely to substantially increase profit by increasing the prices, as it's likely to be offset by reduced attendance.

Proposed Prices (assuming budget as above)

       Attendance Adult (18+) Price Youth (12-17) Price Child (5-11) Price Infant (under 5)
A Whole event






Saturday + Sunday (excludes Saturday breakfast)

$98 $85 $65
C Friday + Saturday + Feast (not staying Saturday night or Sunday) $99 $86 $66
1 Friday + Saturday (no feast, or accommodation Saturday night) $59 $46 $36
2 Day tripping Saturday (no accommodation) includes feast $67 $54 $39
3 After tournament arrival Saturday (feast + accommodation Saturday night) $70 $57 $41
  Event membership for any adult not already a subscribing member +$2      


Summary of booking options: what you get
  Friday Saturday Sunday
  Dinner Accom. Breakfast Morning Lunch Tourney Feast Accom. Breakfast Lunch

The stewards would like to retain limited ability to arrange prices for other attendance options, but we're much constrained by how the site charges us.



Booking will be required for all attendees.

Schedule for Bookings
  Advertise event Bookings open Prices increase Bookings Close Bookings Finalised Event!
Date from November 2013 June 1st September 1st November 24th November 31st November 7-9th
Period before event 1 year 5 months 2 months Two weeks One week  

Bookings open on June 1st, a few weeks after May Crown Tournament in 2014, and five months before the event. While we could open them earlier, this means all event income will be in one financial year; site maintenance scheduled for next March won't affect an open booking form; and the incoming Crown can request changes to the event before bookings open.

Adult prices rise by $10 on September 1st. We usually get a rush of bookings just before deadlines. By September, November Crown is the "next big thing" both locally and for the kingdom - most people can make plans.

People who book before the price-rise will be charged the extra $10 if we have not recieved payment by September 8th (international travellers excepted).

The stewards may waive the $10 late-booking fee where someone couldn't reasonably have booked any earlier (e.g. work roster not yet published), or in cases of financial hardship.

Bookings will close a fortnight before the event. After that, there'll be a waiting list, so late-bookers can replace any gentles who cancel at the last minute. Any with good cause may be allowed to book late, at the steward's discretion.

Changes and cancellations

Changes and cancellations will be accepted, with full refund, until a fortnight before the event.

No changes to bookings (except non-attendance due to illness, emergency, etc.) will be accepted inside the last week.

Booking form

We have a well-developed online booking-form for our larger events (see here, for St Catherine's 2013). We'll refine it a little further for a Crown Event.


New Zealand residents must pay in advance, by direct deposit, into Ildhafn's Kiwibank account.Those who don't use internet banking can deposit into our account in person at any Kiwibank branch (i.e. any post office).

Visitors from overseas may pay in advance by direct deposit , or in cash on the day (NZ dollars). We suggest paying in groups if you use the former option, to share the cost of an international transfer.

We expect payment promptly after booking (save from international visitors who have arranged to pay on the day). Those locals who still  haven't paid when bookings close will be given five days (and a stern email), before their booking is cancelled.

Australian account?

We're considering providing an Australian bank account for advance payments: we'd like advice from the Kingdom Exchequer, and SCANZ treasurer (and will contact them directly).

Katherina, maintains an Australian bank account, but doesn't use it.

We're pondering providing that as an alternative payment option for Australian visitors. There would be a set price in Australian dollars, based on the exchange rate when bookings open, plus about $5 to make sure we're not burned by fluctuations in the exchange rate.

The options for Australians would then be:

  • NZ cash on the day
  • direct deposit, in NZ dollars, into our bank account (paying international transfer fees - usually about $25)
  • direct deposit, in Australian dollars, into Katherina's Australian bank account

We'd then have to get the money to NZ afterwards, unless the Kingdom wished to have its part of the profit paid into its Australian account (and the amount were suitable). However, that's then only one international transfer fee to cover.

Katherina would happy to show the Exchequer her statements, if required, as she doesn't use this account for her day-to-day banking. There are account keeping fees.

We'd like advice on whether this would be legal, useful, and worth the effort. Also whether there's any way in which it might fall foul of either SCANZ or SCAA's financial policies and requirements. (We definitely don't want to find we need to deal in any way with GST, for instance).

Cap on numbers - 120

It's unlikely that we'll invoke this: Ildhafn's largest events over the last 6 years - Kingdom Events and Baronial Investitures - have drawn 70-75 people.

  • Accommodation: the site can sleep about 122; with more room for tents.
  • Hall: the hall has tables and chairs for over 100 (more at a pinch).
  • Kitchen: a large industrial kitchen; will not struggle even with site at capacity.


Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.



Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page, along with Chores and Entertainments.


Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.


Contingency plans

Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page