Mutton and Mead organizers chart new course with ‘Roads to Revelry’

“Roads to Revelry” will be held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.

“Roads to Revelry” will be held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By ADA DENENFELD KELLY

For the Recorder

Published: 06-14-2024 1:08 PM

GREENFIELD — Though the Mutton and Mead Renaissance festival was held in Millers Falls for nine years, that all came to a close in 2019, when the organizers experienced logistical and financial problems that led to the event’s cancellation.

After struggling to get back on their feet post-pandemic, organizers are debuting a new event with a musical focus, called “Roads to Revelry.”

“This was initially part of our efforts to explore new types of events,” said David Agro, one of the event’s organizers. “What we wanted to do with that was take something from the festival, like an element, and really focus in on it. So with this event, we are focusing in on music.”

Wolgemut, a musical group that has performed around the country, will make its Massachusetts debut at “Roads to Revelry.” The band performs traditional medieval music “with a bit of a German flair,” Agro said. There will also be a dulcimer performance from Misfits of Avalon, a traditional Celtic music group.

The event will be held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds on Wisdom Way on Saturday, June 15, at 4 p.m.

Agro said he’s looking forward to getting back to the community that formed around the original festival.

“There’s people I haven’t seen for a while. … It’s a phenomenal community,” he said. “The whole idea with this is to create a place where people come, and there’s a lot of people I haven’t seen in years. And I’m looking forward to seeing them, personally.”

This year’s event will be smaller than the original festival. Agro estimates that there will be approximately 1,500 attendees, compared to the 7,000 to 7,500 attendees the festival saw at its height.

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In addition to music, there will be an array of events from the original festival.

“Those people who are really missing the full festival, they’ll get a sample of some of the things that they probably enjoyed,” Agro said.

For example, there will be an armored tournament put on by the Vermont Combat Co., which will feature a number of different events, including a longsword competition and a knight’s fight, in which the competitors can choose their own weapons.

Additionally, there will be ales from Berkshire Brewing Co. and mead from Sap House Meadery. There will also be raptors, falcons and owls, along with information about the roles they played in medieval Europe, as well as activities and games for children.

In the future, Mutton and Mead organizers hope to have more events focused on different aspects of Renaissance festivals.

“It’s kind of like a celebration of the full festival, but also, we’re trying to do something new,” Agro said. “The hope is … we might take other elements from the full festival, which was a very multifaceted event, and create other events for the community.”

Agro added, “The thing that attracts me to Renaissance fairs is the creativity, the passion people have. … There’s all sorts of ways to be involved and people pour their hearts into it. Around them form these beautiful communities. And that’s really what attracted me — the community that can form around us.”

For more information, visit muttonandmead.org.