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November Crown 2016 - proposal

UPDATE: we didn't get this bid, but we'll probably re-submit for 2017.

This bid is a resubmission of Ildhafn's (successful) bid for May Crown 2015, with the significant adjustments listed below:

  • The site fee has increased from $22 to $23 per person per day. The minimum total for the weekend remains $1700.
  • There are a alterations to the budget - up in some places, down in others: the total effect is to keep whole-event adult price the same, and alter other categories by a few dollars at most (a few dollars less for most child and youth categories)
  • We've added a provision for people to attend the feast as full-time staff for the evening: $15 discount, no place at an (indoor) table, will be fed dinner (something simple and hearty) but not a full feast. This will apply to full-time cooks, servers, platers and dish-washers.
  • We've raised the break-even to 50, to distribute fixed costs more broadly without raising prices. It shouldn't substantially effect our profit.

Ildhafn ran May Crown Tournament in 2015. We were very happy with the event, and we enjoyed running it. We'd like to do it again. The majority of the bid is unchanged.

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

Our aim is to do what we already do well as smoothly as we may: using well-refined plans and schemes we've carried out before to produce the most spectacular event we can with the least fuss. 

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.

This Crown Tournament would fall on Guy Fawkes Day, so we'd like to work in some suitably themed stuff (even though the gunpowder plot was just outside our period - 1605).


Dates and times

Friday November 4th to Sunday November 6th, 2016.

The second weekend in November conflicts with several other events of interest to Crescent Islanders: Armistice in Karapiro, and Southron Gaard often runs Golden Flight. 


Auckland is mild in November, but changeable. Daily maxima and minima are usually in the teens (22 is unusually warm). November is one of our dryer months: about 10 rain-days, with 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. (There's a possibility staff may be allowed on site earlier; will not be confirmed until a few days before the event - it depends on other bookings). 

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. That was tough, but manageable, at our previous events at this 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 $1700 - i.e. 37 people attending the whole weekend.

We've used "50 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 $23 per night (or day visit) for anyone 5 and over, so we must too.

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

Other: Site token - $3. 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 $23 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 $23 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 $46 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)

Categories to add: day-trip Saturday (attend, no meals, no feast); feast only; feast-staff discount

Budget for November Crown 2016 (dividing fixed costs across 50 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 $46 $23 $46 $23 $46 $23 free
Food - scheduled meals (see detailed food-budget) $49 $37 $38 $20 $26 $30 $49 $37 $38 $20 $26 $30 $26 $19 $20 $11 $13 $15  
Fixed costs $13/adult                                                                                                
Snacks for set-up crew $40 $0.80

Site+food for Crown



Petrol $100


Float hire/contribution (up to $90)


Feast equipment hire $150

Laundry $70 $1.40
Misc - Cleaning, Lighting, Bells, Wreaths etc  $100 $2
Printing $50 $1
Site token $3 $3 $3  
Kingdom Levy $1                
Total cost  $114.92


$103.92 $62.92 $68.92 $72.92 $98 $86 $87 $46 $52 $56 $75  $68 $69  $37  $39  $41 free
Price to charge $115


$104 $63 $69 $73 $98 $86 $87 $46 $52 $56 $75 $68 $69 $37 $39 $41 free

The spreadsheet used to generate the budget and profit projections can be found here.

Discussion of line-items (changes from May Crown 2015 budget noted in italics)

Site - $23/night, above a minimum $1700

The site charges $23 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.

They'll require an $850 deposit about 8 months before the event (March 2016), and the other $850 of the minimum two weeks before the event (mid October 2016). 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.

Change: site has increased it's charges by $1, from $22 per person per night in 2015

Food - $49/person

Meal-by-meal budgets for food.

All meal-budgets are well-tested: based on those used for and May Crown 2015, the Bloth in mid 2013, and St Catherine's Faire in late 2012; which allowed cooks to produce excellent meals while spending 85-100% of their budgets.

Anna will do all the food-buying (save the feast), so while we've budgeted per-meal, in effect there's a single pool of money to cover the meal-plan, and small amounts can be "moved" from one meal's budget to another as required.


  • halved the snacks-budget (from $2 to $1 per adult) - we overcatered last time
  • reduced the feast-food budget by $2 (from $16 to $14) - the feast-cook has refined her portions and process, and requested a reduction
  • added a line-item in the general budget to hire equipment (chiefly: a bain-marie)
  • removed "napkin hire" - we bought them last time (no more expensive than hiring!), so we have them still

Feast equipment hire - $150

Idea from the post-event de-briefing, and from a subsequent event: a bain-marie would be very useful in the plating area. Hire costs depend on size, so the actual amount we spend will scale somewhat with numbers attending the event. 

New since May Crown 2015.

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.

No change: we spent $43 at May Crown 2015.

Site and food for Crown - $196

Of course we won't charge the Crown for the event. The costs we must cover are their food ($49 each) and site-fee ($46 each), and tokens for them ($3 each).

Change: down a little - site fee has gone up, but food has gone down.

Petrol - $100

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, December 2012)
    • $81.98 (Bloth, June 2013)
    • $48.96

No change: we only used about half our petrol budget last May, but that was in a period of unusually low petrol prices in NZ. We've added a contribution to Isabel for the use of her equipment.

Float Contribution - up to $90

Isabel Winter has kindly agreed to lend us a horse-float and tow-vehicle, to transport gear, as at several previous events. This is essential in keeping event costs down (the alternative is to spend >$300 on hiring a truck), so we'd like freedom to make a small contribution as thanks, and to ease any inconvenience for her (e.g. if we need to beg it for an extra day).

Laundry - $70

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

We'll do some on site in the coin-operated washer and dryer (which is cheaper); but will wash more than usual, as we're providing napkins with lunch. Steward will need cash float of ~$20.

No change. We spent only ~$40 last time, because what wasn't done on site the steward did most of it at home. I'd rather not repeat that, though it was convenient at the time.

Miscellaneous - $100

This includes:

  • Rubbish: food-waste is free (goes to local pigs). Other rubbish at $2.50 per bag, disposed of by site. Past event there have cost $7.50-$40, scaling with attendance.
  • Lighting: oil, wicks, candles. Unlikely to exceed $20.
  • Cleaning: our group maintains a well-stocked cleaning box (usually). Minor additions are unlikely to exceed $20, if we have a big event we may need to spend a lot more (but will be making lots of money, so not a problem)
  • Roses, wreaths, bells, etc: unlikely to exceed $30.
  • Firewood: site provides wood for the burner, we have a source of free wood for the bonfires.
  • anything we haven't thought of

In practice, if we get a very large event (over 100 people, say) we may need to spend more on this. Rubbish and cleaning products scale with numbers, the others don't really. But at that point we'll be making a healthy profit so eating a bit of it for more loo paper and jiff won't hurt. 

No change. We spent well over last time ($170), on cleaning products and rubbish, because the event was so big.

Printing - $50

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, chores roster, menus, kitchen run-sheets, printed material for the use of the Crown (e.g. attendance list and local OP), etc.

Change: up from $28 in the previous budget. We printed lots; it helped.

Token - $3/person

Sir Sebastian made lovely buttons for us last time. We'd like to do the same again. If we run enough events, we'll get enough for a cote!


This Crown Tournament would fall on Guy Fawkes Day. In New Zealand, it's legal to buy fireworks for a few days before Guy Fawkes Day, and to set them off that evening. With the permission of the Kingdom Seneschal and site Custodian, and in accordance with local regulations, we'd like to do that.

If we get a smallish event we'd use some of the feast decoration budget for this. If we get a large event (and thus are looking at a large profit) we'd like to take a little out of the general budget. 


We have not included "contingency" as a line item. The budget is well-tested, and there is a small contingency built into most items.

Profit projections

We expect attendance of about 80. This will probably generate a profit of $500-$1000. It will only make a loss if we fall below 50 attendees; which is highly unlikely. We might have another ripper event - 120 people, and ~$2000 in profit.

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

Profit projections by attendance 
Adult attendees Minimum profit[1] Optimistic profit[2]
50 $0 $375
60 $160 $610
80 $480 $1080
100 $800 $1550
120 $1110 $2015

(all numbers rounded to nearest 10)

Source of profit:

We need 50 adults to cover the fixed costs. For every adult above 50, we make ~$16 profit (including part-event bookings).

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

[1] Conservative Profit: almost guaranteed for a given attendance - calculated from only fixed-expenses beyond break-even of 50 adults; i.e. assumes we spend all of our budget, and no-one pays the late-booking fee.

[2] Optimistic Profit: entirely plausible, but not guaranteed - assumes 25% of adults pay the $10 late-booking fee (as they did for May Crown), and cooks save $5/person across all meals (i.e. ~10% under-budget - May Crown was 8.7% under). 

Attendance: about 80

Our last Kingdom Event - May Crown Tournament in 2015 - was extremely well attended. We had 118 people on site, and met our bookings-cap of 120. Very welcome, and very unusual for us! We hope to repeat it, but we might not. The opening of the new Order of Defense, and the fact that it was the first Kingdom Event in the Crescent Isles in five years, boosted numbers. 

Our last Kingdom Event before that (Coronation in 2010), and our last two Baronial Investitures (2008 and 2011) got attendance in the mid-70s. Our Barony is small, and fairly isolated. The group based in Auckland is has around 25 members. 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.

We're think likely attendance for this event is 80-90 people, with anywhere from 70 to 120 being plausible.

If we do get really good attendance, we need not cap the event at 120 (as we'd previously thought): portaloos (arranged through the site), plus camping would allow us to exceed that. 


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.

We considered offering the whole profit to the Kingdom, instead of half. After some discussion, we decided against this: our group can only sustain one event a year that makes any significant profit (our experience being that if we run a second, low attendance makes the profits minimal). Thus, this event is likely to be our only major income for 2015. After splitting the profit with kingdom, we should make about what we usually do on St Catherine's Faire: i.e. it will be a "normal" year for us financially.

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)

$103 $86 $68
C Friday + Saturday + Feast (not staying Saturday night or Sunday) $104 $87 $69
1 Friday + Saturday (no feast, or accommodation Saturday night) $63 $46 $37
2 Day tripping Saturday (no accommodation) includes feast $69 $52 $39
3 After tournament arrival Saturday (feast + accommodation Saturday night) $73 $56 $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.

Other options the stewards would like to offer (will incorporate into tables above in event advertising site if we get the bid):

  • Feast staff - $15 discount on event price (for people who work throughout the feast - basic meal + left overs, no seat in hall)
  • attend feast only - calculate price later
  • daytrip for tournament only, no food, no feast - calculate later
  • Possible alterations to some non-full-event category pricing



Booking will be required for all attendees.

Schedule for Bookings
  Advertise event Bookings open Prices increase Bookings Close Bookings Finalised Event!
Date from November 2015 May 1st 2016 August 1st October 20th October 27th Nov 4th-6th
Period before event 1 year 6 months 3 months Two weeks One week  

Bookings open on May 1st, six months before the event. While we could open them earlier, this means all event income will be in one financial year.

Adult prices rise by $10 on August 1st. We usually get a rush of bookings just before deadlines. August 1st gives people a goodly amount of time after Coronation to make plans for later in the reign.

People who book before the price-rise will be charged the extra $10 if we have not recieved payment by August 6th (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. The last day to book will be the Thursday, rather than the Friday, so that the stewards have Friday night to work with a finished list. 

Changes and cancellations

Changes and cancellations will be accepted, with full refund, until a fortnight before the event (again: the Thursday is the last day to cancel).

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 May Crown 2015).


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). Locals who haven't paid when bookings close will be given five days (and a stern email) before their booking is cancelled.

Cap on numbers - 120, somewhat flexible

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
  • Toilets: the site's septic tanks can't handle more than 120 at a time; but they can arrange portaloos if we'll need them


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