Frequently asked questions

Read our frequently asked questions to get more information on the costume competition and the children’s costume parade.

For further information about the competition and parade you can also refer to our terms and conditions.

Costume competition

Are children able to enter?

The costume competition is open for ages 16 and over. Entrants aged 16 or 17 years must provide a signed parental/guardian consent form to participate in the competition. The signed form can be uploaded in the entry form, or emailed to the Program and Performance team.

Children aged 15 and under are able to enter our children’s costume parade which will be held on both days of the Abbey Medieval Festival. For more information on the children’s costume parade, read the frequently asked questions below.

I’m a re-enactor/committee member/volunteer/performer at the Abbey Medieval Festival, can I enter?

No, this competition is only open to paying public attendees of the Abbey Medieval Festival. Members of the Abbey Medieval Festival organising committee, volunteers, re-enactors and other entertainment providers at the Festival are not eligible to enter.

Are fantasy costumes eligible?

No. As the Abbey Medieval Festival is a historical event, we are focusing on costumes that represent the period of the Festival – 600 to 1600AD in Europe and the Middle East. Fantasy inspired and/or based costumes are not eligible. We do make allowances for sewing machines though!

What do you mean by ‘inspired by the Middle Ages’?

We acknowledge that not everyone is a historian, and that there are differing opinions in published research on a great many things relating to the Middle Ages. However, we are all about history at the Abbey Medieval Festival so we want to see costumes that represent and celebrate this wonderful period of history. Your costume can represent a historical figure, a class or nationality – just as long as it fits into the 1000-year history we represent (600 to 1600AD).

So, how historically accurate does the costume need to be?

We understand there is a fine line between asking too much and too little in the way of historical accuracy. But judges will be taking historical accuracy into account so we suggest doing a little bit of research on some of the typical misconceptions of medieval clothing. For instance – although it is a popular fabric used on medieval dress patterns, crushed velvet did not exist in the middle ages.

Can I have weapons as part of my costume?

Entrants can have weapons as part of their costume on the condition that they abide by the terms and conditions for entry into the Festival. Entrants must apply for a non-re-enactor weapon permit prior to entry. For further information please read the terms and conditions on Festival entry.

Why can’t I wear a costume I purchased?

Because the purpose of this competition is to showcase people’s talents at creating medieval garments, we will not accept store bought costumes into the competition. Judges will accept a level of prefabricated clothing so long as they are suitably modified to fit with the overall garment.

I’ve made a costume—can a friend of mine model it for the competition?

Yes, but we ask that the dressmaker comes to the competition at the Festival during the competition.

Please note that if money has been exchanged for the costume it counts as a sale and will not be eligible.

I’ve begun making a costume but it’s not finished yet, can I still enter?

Yes, we will accept working projects as long as the costume is ready for the competition on the Festival weekend.

When will the Competition be held?

The competition will be held after lunch on Saturday of the Festival Weekend at the Pageant Wagon stage. The program is still in development, the specific time will be updated on the website and communicated to entrants when the program is finalised.

How will the costumes be judged?

The competition will be judged following a series of criteria, including:

  • Historical accuracy/reference
  • Technique
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail

If there is a specific element of the costume you want highlighted please note the details in the application form. Prizes will be awarded to first and second place (to be determined by the judging panel) with a third prize going to people’s choice (determined by the audience).

What are the prizes

First place (awarded by our judges):

  • 2 x weekend passes to the 30th Abbey Medieval Festival in 2019
  • 1 x photo from the Festival’s photo booth

Second place (awarded by our judges)

  • 2 x day passes to the 30th Abbey Medieval Festival in 2019
  • 1 x photo from the Festival’s photo booth

People’s choice (chosen by the audience)

  • 2 x day passes to the 30th Abbey Medieval Festival in 2019
  • 1 x photo from the photo booth


Have all the information you need? Apply for the competition now! If you have more questions, contact our Program and Performance team.

Children’s costume parade

Do I have to register my child to participate in the parade?

Yes, parents/guardians can register their children at the Festival by visiting the Information Stall. They have until 11:45AM to register their child.

We ask that children are registered before the event so we can keep track of how many children will be involved.

How will the parade run on the day?

Parents and guardians have until 11:45AM to register their children to participate in the costume parade.

We ask that parents/guardians report to the volunteer at the Pageant Wagon stage at 12:00PM. Depending on how many children are participating, the volunteer may group the children by age to make it safer and easier for them to parade the stage.

The parade will start at 12:15PM and is part of the children’s entertainment block of the Pageant Wagon stage. An emcee will be on stage to help usher children on. The emcee may ask simple questions about what or who the child is dressed as.

If you have concerns about this please speak to the Festival volunteer at the stage before the parade.

Are there any prizes?

No prizes will be awarded as this isn’t a competition. Children who participate will get to take home a souvenir.

Will photos be taken during the costume parade?

Official Festival photographers will not be taking photographs during the parade. Parents/guardians are welcome to take pictures of their children in the parade.

Need more information? Contact our Program and Performance team.


Need more information? Contact our Program and Performance team.