Thursday, February 11, 2010

The 'Festival in the Shire'

So, speaking of Tolkien conventions, there's another one in the works for this summer, but this one's far further afield (for me, at least) than Texas. The Festival in the Shire is being held, oddly enough, not in the Shire itself (that is, Warwickshire) but at a resort in central Wales* from Friday August 13th through Sunday August 15th.

This is a three-in-one event, designed to appeal to Tolk-folk of all persuasions.

First, there's the 'Conference' -- a full track of Tolkien scholars presenting papers and keynote speeches with an emphasis on Welshness is JRRT's works. The line-up includes some familiar (and several outstanding) authors, and a fair number whose work I'm not familiar with. The six keynote speakers are Tom Shippey, Doug Anderson, Jn Garth, Verlyn Flieger, Jane Chance, and Corey Olsen; other familiar names of note include Dimitra Fimi, Gergely Nagy, and Colin Duriez.

Second, there's the 'Festival', which sounds as if it cd best be described as 'put yr elf ears on'. Here's all the dressing-in-character fannish activities gathered into their own track. Think of it as a Tolkien-focused medieval/renaissance faire; with Tolkien-inspired Celtic music performances.

Third, there's the 'Exposition', which is an art show with a number of Tolkien artists in attendance; apparently there'll also be a big display of Tolkien-related paraphernalia as well --swords, jewelry, and the like -- and a book display as well.

I know that if I cd attend, I'd be all over Track I, the conference, but yr milage may vary.**

Here's a link to their list of Tolkien scholars expected to be in attendance:

and here's the draft schedule for their presentations:

I expect to find out a little more about this at Kalamazoo in May, where I'll be seeing some of the participants.

*Pafiliwn Bont, the convention site, is apparently in Pantyfedwen, about fifteen miles from Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth itself, like the seaside resort in THE PRISONER, is on the western coast of central Wales, but from the photos included on their site under "Local Information/the area", the conference site itself seems to be inland.

**I'd also take advantage of being in the area to made a side-trip to the Hill of Arbeth, where Pwyll saw the Lady Rhiannon ride by in the First Branch of the Mabinogi (a work Tolkien partly translated from the original medieval Welsh, though he didn't get as far as this scene).

1 comment:

David Bratman said...

The first Pantyfedwen I could find was a house by that name at, which though the site isn't helpful on its location, is indeed up in the hill country about 15 miles SE of Aberystwyth, at or near a village called Pontrhydfendigaid, and isn't that a mouthful?