More about your participation in the siege of Hallwyl castle
It has been a while since we talked about Hallwyl here. In the meantime, things moved slower than anticipated, but now we are ready for the public invitation for our siege event in Hallwyl during Pentecost (May 21 to May 25, 2015).
We have the list of Company members attending, we have the list of forty defenders in the castle and now we are looking to get another 100 participants on the attacking side.
Flying over Hallwyl
From previous events, and through our members, we know a lot of qualified people but the sheer size of this event is an opportunity for us to invite and meet great reenactors we have never seen before at a Company event. As you probably know, we have very precise requirements when it comes to participants, and you will certainly understand that we want to make sure to welcome people who share our convictions. So the selection process is key here.
We have thus decided to run a standardized process, where you apply online on this website for participation. That guarantees that everybody gets a chance to apply. But it also helps us get all the necessary information without exchanging a lot of emails. Organizing such an event is a lot of work. We seize this opportunity to share part of the work load and focus on the rest.
You will have to fill out a form. We will look through all the applications and select those who will fit best. You will be informed as soon as possible.
This online application process is going to be launched sometimes within the next week, so stay tuned. If you are interested to attend the event, you can use the meantime to prepare yourself for the application.
What you can expect: A big Company field camp with tents right outside a wonderful medieval castle with a moat. Camp life and activities 24h a day. A centralized kitchen, where you will be fed (but it does not hurt to bring a bit of bread and cheese to fill in the gaps). There will be no contact fighting but a real need to guard our camp since the defenders will certainly try and strike back, while we attempt to sneak into the castle.
If you have read Tim Moore's lengthy description of a Company camp, then you also know, that there are a few strict rules that apply. Generally it all boils down to nothing modern in sight. Modern Glasses (-> No), machine sewn seams (-> No or REALLY invisible), thermal underwear (-> No or REALLY invisible), modern sleeping kit (-> No), glass bottles (-> No), tetra packs (-> No), phones (-> REALLY invisible), cameras (-> only for assigned photographers). If you need to bring modern stuff into the camp, we want you to make sure it stays under a medieval cover at all times. With reasonable exceptions like the washing area where people put in their lenses and brush their teeth.
Be aware that if an item doesn’t match the company standards we will ask you to leave it in your tent or bring it back to your car. It can be disappointing for an helmet or weapon, but it can be more problematic if it is part of your clothing.
Unlike standard Burgundian events, the Company will be portraying the Swiss attacking castle Hallwyl here. So Swiss / Southern German fashion is welcome. We will not ask you to create a new costume in this style if all you have a quality kit in a non-Swiss style. But if you wear something looking regional, then that's a plus.
At a Company event, everybody has a certain role or function. So all the participants are part of a more or less strict system of duties. Naturally, there are certain roles, which are important to a siege event, while others do not make much sense given the scenario. So you will apply with a certain role in mind, which you think fits into an attacking camp, and then this role will also be a parameter during the selection process. Right now we see a big need for halberdiers and for experienced cooks. But also for artisans that fit into the context. We are still unsure about shooting permission, so bear that in mind.
The Company is not usually inviting groups. We always try and invite individuals. Individuals we think will fit into the event. We will not let you drive from Tromsoe, Norway, to Switzerland all on your own. But do not expect to attend with your full group, put up your own tent near the edge of the camp and enjoy a few sunny days in Switzerland. This is not how it works. It's more like, we will pick one or two reenactors from your group, you will set up your tent right in the middle of the camp, then you will receive two guests you have never met before and then your dizainier will send you on night watch. We like participants to mix and have a hard time as we know it is the best way for all to pull the best out of our events and come back home with a lot outstanding memories!
So what can you do until we launch this application?
• Think of your role in a siege event.
• Select 2-3 photos of you in the medieval kit you plan to wear at Hallwyl. There is no time for us to look at details, but the general impression should fit a Company event. Quality cloth, decent fit and a style that fits your role.
• Make sure you can really attend the full event. That is Thursday evening at the latest (May 21), staying until Monday night (May 25).
If this all sounds a bit daunting, then fret not! We just want to make sure nobody has the wrong expectations. Look at all the event reports on the blog. Company events are great fun. From outside, it looks a bit exclusive (like the description above), but once you're inside you will love it.
By Christian Folini, Company veteran member.
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