Attending Events

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Going to your first event is a big step in your growth as a Belegarth fighter so it is important to be fully prepared for what to expect. The primary attraction of an event is that there is fighting with a large numbers of fighters and with fighters you do not regularly fight against. The secondary attraction of an event is the socialization that occurs in the evening and into the night after the fighting has stopped. Some people come more for one reason or the other but both are enjoyable aspects.

Age Limits

Many people get interested in fighting in Belegarth before they are sixteen years old. For most events, sixteen is the minimum age allowed to fight. If you are younger than sixteen you should check with the event organizer to find out the minimum age limit before you plan to attend. If you meet the minimum age requirement but are not yet eighteen you will need to have a parent or guardian accompany you to the event. Minors under sixteen years of age are allowed to attend the event (with a parent) and not fight if they wish. This can be a good opportunity to bring some of your equipment to get checked over by an experienced fighter, watch how large battles go, and pick up some tips on fighting. While you will not be allowed to fight on the field or in any officially organized battles you can feel free to ask fighters to spar with you on the sidelines if you wish.

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Types of Events

There are three varieties of events- one day, weekend, and week long events. One day events are the most common kind of event and take place entirely over the course of one day. Check in and weapons check usually start fairly early in the afternoon to afford the maximum amount of time for fighting. Sometimes there are feasts served at one day events but usually people just go out to eat at a local restaurant after fighting.

Weekend events are more common than week long events as they are easier to attend for most people due to work, finances, etc. A typical weekend event runs Thursday through Sunday with the following schedule: Check in and camp setup begins on Thursday evening with socialization that night. Friday and Saturday afternoons are when fighting takes place, with socialization occurring in the evenings. There is usually a feast on either Friday or Saturday night, depending on the event organizer’s preference. Sunday morning is when people clean up their camp sites and head home. Week long events are similar to weekend events except the number and layout of the feasts vary. There is always fighting every day and partying every night.

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Event Preparation

To prepare for an event you need to arrange transportation, have your waiver signed, know how to get to the event site, and pack the correct supplies. All events require the participants to bring a signed waiver of liability. They will provide a link to a web page where the waiver can be printed off for you in the event announcement. If you are under eighteen years old you will need to have a parent or guardian co-sign the waiver and for many events it will have to be notarized. Notarizing a waiver means that you take it to a Notary (usually a bank is the best place to go) and have them witness the signing. They will probably charge you a few dollars and place their notary symbol on the waiver. This helps to protect the event organizers from lawsuits. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO FIGHT WITHOUT A SIGNED WAIVER!!

To arrange transportation you will need to coordinate with other fighters from your area. Due to the amount of gear each person will be bringing it is usually a safe estimate that a vehicle will only be able to hold half its usual passenger number. After you have figured out who will be driving you will need to figure out the best route to take to get to the event. General directions and an exact location to the event should be included in an event announcement. You can use those along with www.mapquest.com to help plan the best route for you to take to get there. You should print off the directions and keep them with you in the car.
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Knowing what to eat at an event is very important. If you are not experienced at camping you should try to keep your food very simple. I would recommend not bringing food that requires cooking as it often rains at events and fires and stoves are not always possible. You will also want to avoid food that takes extensive preparation. You will want to spend most of your time at the event fighting and socializing and not cooking and cleaning. Sandwiches, prepackaged foods, trail mixes, jerky, and other quick foods are the best to pack.

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At the Event

When you first arrive at the event the first thing you will need to do is find Troll (the check in booth). There you will need to pay your entry fee and hand in your waiver. You will receive your event token (as proof you paid), be directed to a camping spot, and be told where it is alright to park. You will want to select a good camping site and get your camp set as soon as you can so you do not have to do it later in the evening when it is dark and you are tired.

If you are not already wearing your garb you will want to change into it once your camp is set up. Garb is required at all times at an event. It is advisable to bring more than one set of garb so that you have clean garb to wear when you are not fighting. Many people have fun throughout the event by staying in character the whole time. This is even more fun if there are other people in character to interact with.

Now it is time to socialize! If you are new to Belegarth or it is your first event it is highly recommended that you introduce yourself around. The vast majority of Belegarth members are very friendly and will welcome you heartily at an event. Do not be shy and hide away in your camp! You will have a lot more fun at an event if you get to know the people in the surrounding camps and hang out with them! The atmosphere at an event is very cool. There are large fires at many camps with drummers, singers, and belly dancers at some of them. There will be a lot of new people to meet and talk to as late into the night as you choose.

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This atmosphere also includes many people that drink. If you choose not to drink no one will force you to and if you choose to avoid the drinkers completely there are some dry camps that would welcome your company. Those who choose to drink are warned to keep it within reason. Everyone is encouraged to have fun, but make sure your fun does not infringe on other’s enjoyment of the event.

It rains enough at events that it is worth making a mention of how to prepare for it. First and foremost you need to choose a good camping spot. You should camp in a high place on a hill away from gullies, ravines, and dips in the ground. Make sure to bring a tent that has a rain fly and is reasonably water proof. If you do not have a tent that is water proof you should string a tarp above it between some trees. Sometimes even these precautions are not enough to keep out a determined rain storm so if it gets too wet you can always retreat to sleep in your car. If the weather looks like it is going to turn wet you should put all of the gear you do not need to sleep with back in your car. There is no sense in risking getting it wet if you do not need to. Sometimes an entire event has bad weather. Events are usually not cancelled and fighters will fight in all but the worst weather conditions. You should bring a change of clothes for after fighting in the rain and towels to dry off with. Lots of clean socks and a few pairs of shoes would be a good idea as well.

Events are an investment in time and money to attend so it is best to get the most out of them you can. You should make sure you have all the supplies you need to have an enjoyable time well in advance of the event. You should have your weapons checked by an experienced weapons checker just prior to the event if possible. If that is not possible you should bring lots of weapons that you think are safe in case some of them get failed. You should try to get a good night’s sleep prior to the event so you are not tired when you arrive. Doing these things and taking the field with an open mindset will help to enhance your experience at the event and keep you coming back for more!

General Event Schedule

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  • Spring
    • Beltaine (May - Tennessee)
    • Springwars (April - Illinois)
    • Melcaorme (April/May – Iowa)
    • Yestare (Utah)
  • Summer
    • Armageddon (June - Midwest)
  • Fall
    • Chaos Wars (August - Utah)
    • Summer Wars (August - Michigan)
    • Equinox (September - Tennessee)
    • Oktoberfest (October - Illinois)
  • Winter
    • Winter Wars (February - Georgia)
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