Layout and booth building guidelines for a Renaissance Faire, and other outdoor themed events.
Friday, May 18, 2012
BALANCING NEED of FUNCTION with DEMANDS of PERIOD
Avoid using modern material, or if you must, hide the obvious signs of the 21st century
Another delicate balance when creating a Faire is how to include modern conveniences in an environment that promises to transport you to a time before these even existed. Blacktop parking lots are fine but once you pass through the entry gates of the Faire you don’t necessarily want to see asphalt or concrete again until you exit. This can be hard if you need to include wheelchair ramps, or foundations for your permanent structures, so it rests upon you to hide as best you can these little modern anachronisms. The same is true of lighting fixtures. As a modern audience we are willing to forgive recessed lighting if the tradeoff is that we can actually see the wares for sale in an otherwise dark space. Still, it is important to hide electrical conduit, and avoid modern light fixtures anywhere the public can see. Goose neck lamps light jewelry nicely, but they also yank your audience to a post-Edison era, which is opposed to the reason they came here in the first place. More subtle but just as off putting is the visible use of modern construction materials, like metal joist brackets and the tell-tale punctured appearance of pressure treated lumber. These may just be too convenient to not use, but it rests on your shoulders to hide these modern artifacts from your audience as best as possible. Concrete floors are the way to go for permanent structures, but covering them with wood or stamping them with faux stonework will do a better job of obscuring the fact that Home Depot had anything to do with your Tudor half timbered building.