2018 Abbey Medieval Festival Hero

The face of the  Abbey Medieval Festival 2018

Festival Hero

(Photo by B Croese)

(Photo by B Croese)
Who is our 2018 festival hero?

Introducing Mr. Blair Martin, a multi-award winning Brisbane based actor, speaker, broadcaster, writer, director, entrepreneur and ‘Something Else’!
In 2018,  Blair will celebrate being the voice behind the microphone, the Master Herald at our annual medieval event and the announcer of all things… important or not… for the last two decades.   He is also the Steward of the Hall at both medieval banquets keeping the esteemed guests, the Lords and Ladies and Very Important People,  well entertained throughout the evening with his droll humor and witty wit. His extensive medieval knowledge, his spirit and pizzazz has made him a legend to many visitors to the Abbey Medieval Festival over the years. With a character that’s larger than life, a stature that leaves you in awe and admiration, the face of this 29th festival is truly our hero and has been for quite some time.

Festival Hero and ‘Something Else’!

Born and raised in Rockhampton, Blair has many strings to his artistic bow ranging from wildly colourful comic characters, MC services, and innovative corporate concepts and events including the Abbey Medieval Festival.  Blair is a also mastermind  for his ability to recall the most arcane list of facts, figures and quirky stories, and these are by no means limited to  medieval tid-bits.  Blair was a champion on the Australian production of the TV quiz show, ‘Jeopardy’, and in June 2007, Blair became the 6th Grand Champion of the hit Channel 9 quiz program ‘Temptation’.  In 2014,  Blair won one of the inaugural gold medals for the Trivia competition as part of the bienniel Pan-Pacific Masters Games on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and backed that up with a second gold medal in the same division at the 2016 PanPacs.

In various previous lives, Blair worked as the public face of many projects and jobs ranging from cinema usher to hotel receptionist and his talent for training, team-building and motivation of others, was and remains his personal brand. In 1993,  Blair started his own business called ‘Something Else Entertainment

Without a doubt, the Medieval Festival wishes to acknowledge and thank Blair for his creative  and dedicated services since 1998 and we recognise, also without a doubt, that every year, he just gets better!  He certainly is ‘Something Else’!

Thank you,  Blair. We appreciate you!


What’s NEW to Abbey Medieval Tournament?

Whether you’re new to the Abbey Medieval Festival or are familiar with the tournaments and attend every year, this year is set to be bigger and better than ever! This blog will keep you updated as the program develops and we hope it will serve as a reference to keep you informed.

What’s new in 2018

The Banquets

The  ultimate medieval experience – this year, patrons will have the pleasure of hearing the melodic tones of our harpist Raven Lamont; while they partake in authentic medieval h and washing prior to an evening filled with sumptuous food and enchanting performances. Our theme this year is around Peacocks, and please read our blog telling all about this subject to find out more.  The banquet experience is something that you will think and talk about for a long time – you have to do it at least once!  Wondering what’s to eat and drink?  Wonder no more….Menu 2018 and Banquet Beverage Menu.

The Holmgang

This year, along with existing four tournaments of the festival (namely the jousting, the Turkish oil wrestling, the tournament of strength and skill, the Archery), a fifth tournament will be added. Presented to you by Staraya ladoga (Stray Dogs), this group which is based around Brisbane re-enacts the periods from 900-1000AD, Dark Ages or Early Middle Ages.

This year, along with existing four tournaments of the festival (namely the jousting, the Turkish oil wrestling, the tournament of strength and skill, the Archery), a fifth tournament will be added.

Presented to you by Staraya ladoga (Stray Dogs), this group which is based around Brisbane re-enacts the periods from 900-1000AD, Dark Ages or Early Middle Ages.

The Rus Vikings from Staraya Ladoga offer the opportunity to observe the aspects of life of a bygone era and demonstrate influences gained through trade and the exploration of their surroundings.  Their campsite displays traditional Rus Viking style tents, cooking hearth with period equipment, woodworked items including seating and chests made from patterns in archaeological Viking finds. Activity at the campsite includes traditional Viking activities—tanning of hides using traditional natural tanning methods, longbow archery, cooking and craft activities. Evenings are spent feasting, carousing with copious quantities of ale and mead, music and Skaldic verse. In between performances, the Stray Dogs work on clothing research and construction by hand, shoe-making, armour and weapon production by hand and social get-togethers. And this year, they present  – The Holmgang!

In Norse society, a Holmgang was a duel, a means to settle a dispute through combat where resolution couldn’t be found through legal talks and negotiation. Social status was irrelevant, a person of any social status could be challenged.  From Onomatopoeia alone, you can guess that this is going to be arduous – the Holmgang – is a Viking way to sort out disagreements.  Practiced by early medieval Scandinavians, in theory, regardless of your social status, if you have been insulted or offended, you can call for a Holmgang.  Examples of disagreement could be over matters of honour, property, legal or to avenge a friend. The duel can take place on a small piece of land, or even a cloak and Holmgangs can end in the death or incapacitation of the other – although the Abbey Medieval Festival Holmgang – will not. Holmgang can be translated to “to go to (or walk on) a small island”, or “island walk”.

The Holmgang was typically confined to the area of a cloak or hide placed on the ground—participants had to stay within this marked boundary.

At the Abbey Medieval Festival, this marks a new tournament, rounding out to five. The Holmgang will be conducted in a round robin cycle—a process of elimination until a combatant is victorious. The winner will be decided on Sunday afternoon where they will be presented with the Armfield Shield and an official Abbey Tournament trophy during the presentation of the champions.


Festival Safety

Please keep in mind these festival rules which are necessary to keep everyone safe.

  1. The Abbey Medieval Festival is a licensed venue, and no BYO or consumption of alcohol outside defined areas is not permitted
  2. There is a first aid and medical response team onsite, they are located at the main gate (next to the Public safety Operations Centre), and there are mobile responders throughout the site.  If you need first aid assistance, just talk to the security and safety team or one of our helpful volunteers
  3. Due to recent events, all patrons’ bags will be searched
  4. While the festival encourages our patrons to fully immerse themselves in the medieval experience, we ask that if you intend to bring a weapon (this includes replicas and some wooden items) to the festival that you will need to apply for a permit.  As per 2017 we are charging $2.00 for the permit with all funds going towards the stain glass window preservation.  For further information on this process, feel free to contact the Public Risk, Operations and Risk Manager via
  5. Police, Security and Public Safety Officers are on site to provide for a safe, healthy and secure Abbey Medieval Festival


Get your tickets now to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the amazing experiences brought to you by the Abbey Medieval Festival team.