Jousting spectacular details: reenactment and performers

Jousts and Tournaments

Tournaments and jousts were often held as part of the celebrations of important events in the late middle ages and through the renaissance and frequently the terms were interchangeable. These competitions, usually held with blunted weapons, were essentially team events. Whilst individual prowess was noted and rewarded, it was the team rather than the individual which won or lost. The most common division was into tenant and venan – effectively those who hold ground and those who are trying to take the ground, or to put it into modern sporting terms, home team and visitors. The outcome was decided by which team scored the most points by way of victories (tournament) or attaints/ hits (joust)  and some of the scoring sheets have survived to this day.

At the Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular, there is one scenario that is to become part of the background, which will enliven the experience for all who attend.


The storyline is that the event is a tournament to celebrate the union of two feuding houses from the Tyrol region in the far North of Italy through the marriage of their heirs. This will be played as a love match that will further highlight the tensions between the houses. Jealous of their honour and ever mindful of former glories and defeats, both families and their partisans try to prove their superiority over their former enemies, without the event degenerating into a civil war.  Think Romeo and Juliet albeit on a national rather than civic scale and a happy ending without the messy riots and the teen suicides.

Or in other words, and with sincere apologies to Shakespeare:

 Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Tyrol, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge breaks no new mutiny,
Where civil blood  past made hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers make their life

Whose plighted troth the past o’erthrows
Do with their love bury their parents’ strife.

One family, the Della Rossa, are Italian speaking, identified by red livery and they will be clothed in reds and gold. The other family, von Blau, are from the German speaking part of the Tyrol and are will be clothed in a cool pallet of blues and greens. The third group is the wedding party. This consists of the bride and groom and their immediate entourage. This party will represent the joining of the houses and the end to the troubles of the past, and thus they are characterised by all things young and beautiful. Their nuptials are the reason for the festivities.



The jousters and some if not all of the support crew are being organised by Justin Holland of Nova Hollandia. The equestrian co ordinator for the Abbey is Paula Winkel. Justin has previously organised several jousts for the Abbey Festival.


The tournament is being arranged by Knights Order Lion Rampant (OLR) which will be calling on assistance from individuals from other groups in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. In addition to combatants they will be providing attendants, heralds, some of the noble guests,  set dressing, and props. Lion Rampant has been staging the main tournament for the Abbey Festival for more than 20 years.


As tournaments were festive occasions and hosts tried to outdo each other in inventiveness, exotic ploys such as musicians disguised as Moors were often recorded. Wayward and Musica Prima are our main musical performers for the Jousting Spectacular.

This is going to be an amazing jousting event experience – don’t miss out, book your tickets online now