Our medieval celebration combines historical recreation with pop-culture fantasy. From merchants and artisans to Dodgebow and dancing, don’t miss the excitement of Capricon 2023.

The medieval period is fascinating to many in modern society for the vastly different (and often romanticised) culture, fashion, wars, and crafts. To memorialise this time in human history, thousands of people participate in medieval events in Australia and worldwide. 

‘Medieval’ includes the Early Middle Ages, known as the Dark Ages, which began in 500AD and spans to the Late Middle Ages finishing in 1500AD. Today, people revisit medieval years in several ways, including costumes, combat, artisans, crafts, selling goods and medieval food. 

Though the medieval period is historical, novels and films have created a mixed genre of medieval fantasy that can go hand-in-hand with celebrating medieval history.   

Types of medieval participation

Medieval costumes and cosplay

One of the central ways to get involved with the medieval genre is through costume. The fashion of the medieval period is distinct with quickly recognised styles, materials and accessories. This is primarily due to the way fashion evolved from 500AD to 1500AD. Unlike today where fashion changes year to year, clothing designs of the Late Middle Ages changed from generation to generation. 

Costumes that fit into the category of ‘medieval’ can range from stringent historical accuracy to cosplay, incorporating ideas from fantasy art, novels, film and comics. While famous films about this time can include entirely inaccurate fashion, these stylised looks become part of pop culture and can creatively shape your costume design. Fantasy films that may inspire looks can range from historical comedy dramas like A Knight’s Tale to fantasy blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings.


If you have ever wished you could time-travel to a medieval battlefield and assail an enemy, there is good news. Around the world, medieval combat (known as Buhurt) is a growing sport, with national and international competitions every year. 

Unlike staged performances called ‘reenactments’, Buhurt is a complex and sophisticated fighting style where competitors aim to knock down their opponents. Competitions can range from group vs group matches to one on one showdowns. Weapons are blunt, and strict safety rules are involved in combat, but the battles are very physical, and the injuries are real. However, budding warriors can rest assured there are beginner leagues that provide the perfect opportunity to try out medieval combat.   

Medieval artisans

In the medieval era, skilled artisans often crafted goods by hand or using simple machinery. This slower, handmade process produced unique, high-quality pieces. The skills of medieval craftspeople would be lost to history if not for modern medieval artisans. Goods are often sold at fairs and medieval events, though others sell them online.

Modern Medieval Artisans can include:

  • leatherworkers

  • woodworkers

  • blacksmiths

  • silversmiths

  • illustrators

  • weavers

  • ceramicists.

Medieval Merchants

Medieval merchants, including artisans, sell an array of goods. Some medieval fairs may even set up stalls as part of the reenactment to look like a medieval marketplace. Merchants may sell: 

  • food

  • crafts

  • weapons

  • props

  • art

  • decor and homewares

  • accessories and jewellery

  • cosmetics and lotions

  • clothing and costumes.

A medieval market is a fantastic place to find unique pieces or new additions to your medieval costume.  


From toffee apples to beef and ale stew, medieval food takes simple ingredients and creates comfort meals that warm the soul. You can experience variations of medieval food at banquets or reenactment villages at medieval fairs. 

Medieval food commonly found at banquets and fairs include: 

  • roast meats and vegetables

  • poultry

  • stews

  • pottage (similar to Scottish broth)

  • pies

  • meatballs

  • pastries

  • tarts

  • meads and mulled wines (18+ events only).

However, to accommodate taste buds, at most modern fairs, you’ll still be able to find a latte, woodfired pizza or doughnut without too much trouble. 

Getting involved 

If medieval culture, craft or costume intrigues you, there are a few ways to get involved.  

Research and explore

The best place to start getting involved with medieval is to do further research. This will show you what’s involved and help you determine which aspects of the medieval era inspire you most. Consider your interests as you research. Do you enjoy history and like the idea of preserving authentic medieval culture? Or are you more fascinated by film and pop-culture medieval fantasy? If you're already crafty, you could learn a medieval skill and become an artisan. Or, if your heart races at the thought of battle, you might want to strap up for Buhurt.   

Start simple

Ease into this genre by choosing simple costumes, accessories or crafts. It may be enough to simply attend a medieval fair and take in all there is to offer. For your first event, most standard costume stores will sell medieval outfits. Once you’ve decided to get more involved, you could build your own and start acquiring unique accessories. To develop a craft, you could begin with online tutorials and local workshops.   

Get to conventions, fairs and events

Medieval events are immersive and fun. Attending events is the perfect way to see how you can get involved and meet the inclusive, welcoming medieval community. Events also offer an excellent opportunity to scope out outfit ideas, buy accessories and speak with artisans. 

What medieval events and fairs are there around Australia?

  • Abbey Medieval Festival - Thousands of visitors descend on the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology every year for their medieval festival. You’ll love their lively entertainment, including birds of prey, archery, jousting, Turkish oil wrestling, and cannon firing. 

  • Barrossa Medieval Fair - Held in the Lyndoch Village Green of the Barossa Valley, this medieval fair welcomes merchants from all over Australia. The event includes reenactments, living history, stalls, artisans, archery, crafts, animals and combat.

  • Blacktown City Medieval Fayre - The costumes are impressive at the Blacktown Medieval Fayre, with different costume competitions to get involved in. The event also enjoys all the normal bells and whistles as well as a medieval banquet. 

  • Winterfest - From warriors to mermaids, this medieval fair has something for history and fantasy enthusiasts. Enjoy reenactment, costumes, combat and archery. You can even watch presentations like ‘Medieval Kitchen Rules’ and the ‘Medieval Medicine Show’.  

Respecting Participants

Capricon has a vast array of costumes, with medieval, cosplay and furries all attending together. With so much energy and excitement in one place, having commonly understood boundaries is essential. This ensures everyone has a fantastic time and feels welcome at the event. 

Participation Guidelines

A costume is not consent 

When the medieval community gets together in costume, it’s essential that people feel safe and respected. No matter how impressive someone’s outfit is, it is never okay to invade someone’s personal space or touch their person or costume or props. That includes coming in close for an unconsented photo too. 

Photo sniping

Taking a photo of another photographer’s set-up, at a distance or close-up, is disrespectful to the photographer and the person in costume. Make sure to wait your turn and ask permission before snapping away. You’ll get a better shot that way too!

Intruding on privacy

Only some people come to Capricon to interact or have photos taken by strangers. No matter how big and impressive their costume, they might not want to interact with you, and that’s quite okay. So if it’s a ‘no’ when you ask for a photo or try and strike up a conversation, please respect that.

Inappropriate photos 

Capricon is not the place for inappropriate photos or catching someone in costume when they’re not ready. Be kind, and aim to take outstanding pictures with consent only and when people are looking their best.

No judgement zone

Capricon is inclusive and welcoming. Negative comments about other people’s costumes go against this community's values that encourage people to get involved no matter their experience. It takes courage and effort to step out in public so we want to all rally around and support everyone who gives it a go. 

No prop handling

Participants invest heavily in time and money for their props. So touching without specific permission of that amazing shield, sword or helmet is unwelcome. It’s OK to admire craftsmanship - from a distance.

Weapons Policy 

For everyone’s safety, Capricon enforces a strong weapons policy. So when you’re planning your outfit and props, check out the limitations of what you’ll be able to bring onto the Capricon site. Read the full details here.