Jousting

In amongst the pageantry, combat, music and dancing at the Abbey Medieval Festival, 5 exciting festival tournaments are held.

Over the Festival weekend, re-enactors compete for the chance to be named an Abbey Medieval Festival tournament champion. Our 5 challenges are based on traditions of the Middle Ages:

The champions are awarded and presented to the public during the Finale on Sunday afternoon. Buy a weekend pass to catch all the tournament action over the Tournament Weekend.

Details on the times and venues for these tournaments are outlined in the Festival program. Read more about these exciting tournaments below.

Joust

One of the most popular attractions of the Abbey Medieval Festival is, without a doubt, the joust.

The pageantry, suspense and action of this medieval sport has been a long tradition of the Abbey Medieval Festival, and is rightfully growing in popularity around the world.

National and internationally acclaimed jousters will compete at the Abbey Medieval Festival in the hopes of becoming the 2019 Joust Champion.

The Abbey Medieval Festival’s joust is held 3 times each day, with the finale on Sunday afternoon seeing the champion chosen. Read our blog on the rules and point system of our joust.

An entry token is required to attend the joust. You can book your first joust when buying your tickets online, or collect them at our joust token booth outside the arena.

Holmgang

Debuting in 2018, the holmgang was the first Dark Age ritual to feature as one of the Abbey Medieval Festival’s 5 official tournaments.

Literally translated as ‘small island walk’, the Norse tradition was a duel, a way to settle a dispute through combat where resolution couldn’t be found through legal talks and negotiation.

A person of any social status could be challenged and all weaponry was allowed but the duel opponents were expected to have matched weapons. The first strike came from the challenged party, after which it was a ‘free for all’ fight to first blood or death.

Naturally, the holmgang of Abbeystowe is a tamer affair than its historical inspiration. Read more about the tradition and rules of combat.

The tournament will take place in a small arena in the heart of the Dark Ages encampments, set to replicate the small fighting ring of the Viking ritual.

Will our 2018 champion, Ragnar Bladderskull of the New Varangian Guard Rusland retain the title of the Abbey Medieval Festival Holmgang Champion in 2019?

Archery

The Archery Tournament is a long running tradition of the Abbey Medieval Festival.

Hosted by the Traditional Archery Companye, the Archery Tournament sees skilled archers from re-enactment groups compete for the title of the Abbey Tournament Archery Champion.

The Archery Tournament typically sets 3 challenges for its competitors: the running boar to simulate a hunting scenario, a speed round with armoured knights charging toward the archers (yes, real knights), and a King’s round.

Strength and Skill

Hosted by the Company of the Phoenix, the Tournament of Strength and Skill is designed to test the physical prowess of our knights.

The tournament is something of a medieval ‘obstacle course’; designed for training for the field of battle, testing the challenger’s speed, strength, balance and agility.

Curious about how a Knight in 15th century plate armour would vault a horse, or hit a moving target with a spear? Be there on Sunday to watch our re-enactors battle it out to become the Abbey Medieval Festival’s Strength and Skill Champion.

Turkish Oil Wrestling

Carried out with traditional rituals and customs of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish Oil Wrestling has been a star attraction of the Abbey Medieval Festival for over 10 years.

The Janissary Barracks take great measures to ensure the authenticity of this great part of medieval Ottoman Turkish culture, even the wrestling shorts are imported from Turkey!

Competitors from across Australia compete in this competition which is hosted on Saturday and Sunday in the Oil Wrestling pit at the Janissary Barracks encampment.