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Bloth 2013 - proposal

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Approved at the November 2012 meeting, pending confirmation of prices, site availability, etc.

The Bloth in 2013 will be the tenth Anniversary of the Barony of Ildhafn, and the 20th Anniversary of the existence of Ildhafn as a group. I'd like to do something a bit larger and spiffier than usual to recognise that.

I aim to assemble all the past Barons and Baronesses of Ildhafn (if possible), to be the guests of honour for the event (although the budget doesn't stretch to providing free tickets or anything). I intend also to attempt to persuade as many people as possible to attend who have ever been part of Ildhafn - to make it (if people will come) something of a reunion for members past, as well as a celebration for members present. I want to celebrate not just what we are now, but all that we have been over the past 20 years.

The core of the event, and the majority of the effort, will be in Saturday afternoon and evening: the ball and feast.

What I would like at this event is:

  1. A site with accommodation, to allow a weekend-long event, and ease for travellers
  2. A site with a hall and kitchen large enough to accommodate a spectacular feast for >60 people

Unfortunately, our usual event sites don't readily satisfy these requirements. Therefore, after quite a lot of investigation, I'm proposing that we use the Hunua Falls campsite. It's a bit pricier, but basically the same as the St Johns site at Pirongia for adults, and a little pricier for kids.

Dates and times

Friday June 21st to Sunday June 23rd. (Site currently pencil booked)

Site

Hunua Falls Campsite

People

  • Steward - William de Cameron (David Robb)
  • Deputy Steward- Anna de Wilde (Angela Wells)
  • Entertainment & theatricals - Katherina Weyssin (Katherine Davies)
  • Feast cook - Caterine de Vantier (Shannon Wanty)
  • Other Cooks
    • Friday dinner
    • 2 breakfasts
    • 2 lunches
  • Herald -
  • Marshal -
  • Bookings -
  • Hospitality for visitors -

 

Schedule

Tentative schedule for Bloth - last updated 23/02/2013

  Friday June 21st - Catching up Saturday June 22nd - Celebration! Sunday June 23rd
8am   breakfast breakfast
9am      
10am   Heavy lists open, armour inspections  Rapier tournament of the Roses
11am   10:30 - Heavy tournament of the Roses(combat at barriers?)  
noon     12:00 - Lunch (incorporating closing court)
1pm   Lunch  
2pm      Packup
3pm   3 - 5:30 Ball Site closes 
4pm  4:30pm - site opens for setup  
5pm  5:30pm - site opens for populace      
6pm 6:30pm - dinner 6:30pm - Feast  
7pm "Ildhafn reunion night" - a chance to meet old friends, exchange tales etc    
10pm    
late    

The core of the event Saturday afternoon and evening: the ball and the feast. We expect that some locals - especially any who are not heavily involved with the group at present - will wish to day-trip just for this section.

The intention is to highlight the areas in which Ildhafn really shines, now or in the past. Theatre has always been one of those, and with it singing, music, dancing and food (yes, food is a form of theatre - for us!) so they get pride of place.

Budget

This is a large, one-off event, so I have set the break even rather higher than normal for the Bloth - 40 people. This applies primarily to the site cost, which has a minimum charge of $1600.

 

Food Costs, details of meals

$5 breakfast (, $6 lunch, $7 dinner, $20 feast? => $50 for weekend?

Comments recieved from cooks about acceptable budgets:

  • $6pp for a cheap dinner, or $8pp for a fancier version => run with $7.
  • Consensus is that $3/head is good for porridge+toast breakfast, $5 to add bacon and eggs. A hearty breakfast is good in winter.
  • Consensus is that $6 is ok for lunch, $7 plenty - will allow $6 on Saturday, $5.50 on Sunday when there will be leftovers; although lower than the consensus, St Caths cooks came in under budget.
  • $20 has a little room for luxuries, though not a huge amount. Would love to increase, but will push up event cost.

So . . .

Food budget for Bloth 2013
Meal Day Budget, per adult Notes Cook
dinner Friday $7 plain but hearty dinner  
breakfast Saturday $5 porridge, eggs, maybe bacon  
lunch Saturday $6 hot stews, etc? simple, hearty winter food  
feast Saturday $20 Fancy-pants Italian feast - Ildhafn shows off Shannon
breakfast Sunday $5 porridge, eggs, maybe bacon  
lunch Sunday $5.50 less money, because there will be some left-overs  
Misc   $1   Tea, coffee, fruit  
Event total (adult):   $49    

Budgeting for children

Site: Hunua Falls charges $20 per night (or day visit) for anyone 5 and over, so we must too. Thus, all children will need to pay the full site fee, regardless of age.

Food costs: nominal for under-5s, about 1/2 for 6-11, adult price for 12+ (since teens eat at least as much as adults).

Other: will give a small price-break to kids by only charging for food and accommodation (not miscellaneous costs); kids also don't pay for Kingdom Levy or event-membership.

Proposed Prices (assuming $20pp food budget for feast)

Pricing for Bloth 2013
Adults
   
Adult, whole event

$95

booking required

Adult, Saturday + Sunday (excl Saturday breakfast)

$75 booking required
Adult, Saturday + Feast (not staying for Sunday) $55 booking required
Adult, day-tripping only, no meals $20 booking preferred
+ event membership if 18 and over + $2 for any adult not already a subscribing member  
Children (under 12)    
Under 5 $2/year of age booking required

5-11, whole event

$70 booking required

5-11, Saturday + Sunday (excl Saturday breakfast)

$55 booking required

5-11, Saturday + Feast (not staying for Sunday)

$35

booking required
day-tripping, no meals, 5yrs and over $20 booking preferred

NOTES: Hunua Falls charges $20 per night (or day visit) for anyone 5 and over, so we must too. Minors do not need to pay for event memberships, or for kingdom levy. Otherwise, I've attempted to make the pricing for children reflect what they're likely to consume.

We're basically making little or no profit on anyone attending, unless cooks come in under budget (and I hope they don't specifically try to) or people pay the slacker tax. This means that even if the event has a high turnout, we're unlikely to see significant profits.

Bookings

Bookings will be by online form, as for St Caths 2012.

Price hikes before event - "Slacker Tax"? Recent experience suggests that almost everyone books either very soon after bookings open, or just before a deadline. Thus, I'm hiking the prices by $10 one month before the event. (That's about when St Caths' got it's "the schedule is about to be set" rush of bookings: for this event, the schedule will be less flexible). That extra $10 will be negotiable at the steward's discretion, for people who have a reason to book late.

Bookings will close one week before the event - Friday, June 14th.

Cap on numbers?

Accommodation:

No cap should be required; the site can sleep about 120. Experience suggests that even if the event is extraordinarily popular, we're unlikely to break 80.

Meals:

Similarly as to the accomodation, the site is able to seat over a hundred for the feast, so I think it unlikely we'll get even close to the limit.

There is no need to cap attendance at ball or tournaments.

Other

Visitors

I am not aiming for a Royal Visit.

I intend to send personal invitations (or ask Their Excellencies Ildhafn to do so) to all the past Barons and Baronesses of Ildhafn - they, if they come, will be the guests of honour.

I'd also like to make a concerted effort to contact people who used to be involved with the Barony, but who are no longer, and see if they'd like to attend, even for a short while, in the spirit of a reunion with old friends. I'd also like to issue formal invitations to some of the other re-enactment clubs in Auckland, especially those who used to attend the Bloth as a group - e.g. Auckland Sword and Shield, the Argent Court, the Romans. Perhaps we could also sell "per table" bookings for the feast.

I was hoping that advertising early would make it easier for friends from other parts of the Crescent Isles to attend, but other matters have eaten my brainspace in the last few months so this bid is coming quite a lot later than I'd have liked. As such, I suspect other groups may have events on on the same weekend (eg SG Yule).

Sleeping arrangements

The bunkrooms at Hunua Falls are either quite new, and sleep 4 (although one bed's a double, so 5's possible as well),

 

 

or slightly older (but still great) and sleep 6.

Booking, bond, etc

A pencil booking has been made, and needs to be confirmed or discarded on Monday. An $800 deposit will be required, and the other $800 (of the minimum payment amount) 2 weeks before the event. No bond has been mentioned by the site, but they'll send me the paperwork when I confirm that we want to use the site.

Theatre and display

For our anniversary, we'd like to show off our Barony at its finest.

To keep things manageable, Friday night and Saturday morning will be laid-back affairs requiring minimal effort. The tournaments should be showy, but again, easy to organise. On Saturday afternoon and evening, we'd like to go all-out to impress.

Ball

Saturday afternoon's Ball will be a more formal affair than we've seen in Ildhafn in some years, and will attempt to re-cap some of the things we did for the Bal d'Argent and Emrys and Beatrice's investiture in 2008. If possible, we would like to re-do some or all of our 2008 Masque, at either end of the ball.

(New blue-and-white hangings? Finally stencil lymphads onto the blue curtains? - Theme will be blue and white/silver, for Ildhafn, and to echo the bal d'Argent).

Feast

Still in the earliest stages of planning - more at next meeting, after time for more plotting, and an exploration of the site. We'd like singing, music, awesome food spectacularly served, and theatre that involves the history of Ildhafn as both Shire and Barony.

(Ask about borrowing King and Queen banners from SG? Alternate with red-and-gold hangings; and with Ildhafn and Cluain standards?).

Event: