The entertainment at Bristol spans 16 different performance areas and all the streets in between! You’ll find daredevil acrobats, soulful musicians, side-splitting comedians, three full-contact jousts, and hundreds of performers who bring the city of Bristol to life!
2 Noisy Knights
With the help of yarn (over 75 lbs and growing) the “Knights” give a new perspective to familiar, and some not so familiar tales. With the motto “Why just listen to a story when you can live an adventure,” they encourage their audience to be involved in the experience.
Adam Crack: Fire Whip (all season)
Holder of NINE Guinness Book World Records, Adam Crack’s skills are unrivaled anywhere. Adam performs sophisticated, high-energy routines, featuring his own dry humor in spoken material, anecdotes, historical or educational stories. And yes, there is always room for audience participation, so come prepared!
Aerial Silk Fantasy (July 6 – Aug 4)
Lauryn Murray graces the floor and nimbly climbs the precarious heights of silk, appearing as though gravity were merely a suggestion, not reality. Lauryn’s beauty, grace and skill will awe the young and old alike as she floats effortlessly 30 feet above Shakespeare’s Meadow near the RenQuest™ encampment.
Arne Parrott (July 6, 7, 20 – 28, Aug. 17 – Sept. 2)
Whimsical, wonderful and always witty, Arnie Parrott’s music captures the simple enchantment of the faire and encapsulates it within a myriad of musical mirth.
Barely Balanced (all season)
Bristol’s favorite masters of acrobatic comedy have come home to roost, climb, balance and amaze! Performing acrobatic feats that you will see nowhere else, as well as their end of day fire show, Barely Balanced must not be missed!
Belly Dance With The Great Antone (all season)
Performing with authentic instruments that date from before the Renaissance, the exotic sounds and hypnotic dance will sweep you away to distant lands where poets found solace and inspiration in moonlit rose gardens. Don’t be surprised, you may be inspired to join in with the dance.
Billy Miller & Misti Bernard
With boundless joy and a sweeping timelessness that will haunt your memory, this is music in its truest form.
Bounding Main (July 6/7 and August 17/18 ONLY)
Bounding Main’s arrangements of traditional nautical music bring the listener into the world of pirates, adventure and romance.
Breakfast With Brass (all season)
Start the morning entertainment off with an infusion of music that will carry you throughout the day. Bristol’s Royal Brass is a team of master musicians who play their way through a morning set that both provokes and invigorates. Awaken the dawn and have a cup of Breakfast with the Brass.
The Bristol Buskin’ Frolic (all season)
The Bristol Buskin’ Frolic can be found dancing and singing throughout the city. Whether they are at the Maypole, in Kids’ Kingdom or in the city streets, this group is the life of the entertainment party!
Broon (July 6 – 28, August 24 – Sept. 2)
Broon brings a conversational style to the variety comedy world with less emphasis on corny gags and empty flash and more on audience interaction and personality. While cracking bullwhips, juggling bowling balls or eating fire Broon keeps the laughs alive with a dry wit and extemporaneous style that keeps audiences in stitches. With his variety skills and stand-up comedy style Broon presents a show filled end to end with sly humor and impressive stunts and Broon’s extensive improvisational experience guarantees no two shows will be exactly alike.
By the Sword (all season)
Come, heroes and villains alike, and prepare yourselves for lighting fast steel and razor sharp wit! Since its beginning, By the Sword has maintained a tradition of including on its cast a troupe of stage combatants who provide guests the thrill and excitement of live swordplay as entertainment, both on the streets and stage.
Chalk Artist (all season)
Bristol’s own Magdalena daVinci returns! Join the incredibly talented and self taught chalk artist as she creates massive works of art!
Cirque du Sewer (July 6 – August 11)
Welcome, Cirque du Sewer – the world’s only acrobat, rat, and confused cat show, for the most unique comedy acrobatics that must be seen to be believed!
Clan Tynker (Aug 10 – Sept. 2 ONLY)
An enchanting kaleidoscope of skills from around the world, performed to live music. Fun for the whole family!
Country Dancing (all season)
Can you hear the beat of the drums? The sweet melody of the violin? Perhaps the soaring notes of a flute? It must be time for country dancing with the Dirty Duck Inn! Join us as we set aside our daily chores to celebrate the Queen’s arrival in Bristol by dancing with our family, friends, neighbors, and even travelers from distant lands. You can come to watch, or even better, grab a partner and join the dance!
Court of Common Pleas (all season)
Laugh your way to the stocks as Bristol’s Guilde Masters hear the many zany crimes committed on this festival day and hand out their special brand of justice. No crime, however small or obscure, will be ignored while the Queen is in the city. photo: Byron Paris Landerman
Courtly Fashion (all season)
Have you ever wondered how many layers the nobles are really wearing? Why do certain nobles wear certain items? How long does it take to put all of that stuff on? All of these questions and more will be answered during this time period, and if you are lucky, Her Majesty the Queen may stop in to display what the current style is while on progress. photo: TG Davison
Craig of Farrington (all season)
A wandering minstrel, specializing in love songs and bawdy songs. Craig of Farrington has been a fixture of Bristol since our inaugural season and continues to delight lovers and sweethearts with songs to bring them closer together. This delightful balladeer can be found wandering the lanes throughout the festival. Stop, listen, and learn to love.
Cutlass Cooking (all season)
Place pirates, a chest, and cooking utensils on a stage. Mix well and let form into outrageous comedy! The Hawser family set out to make dinner in the strangest cooking show ever to sail the seven seas. Fun for the whole family!
Dan the Bard
Teller of tales, singer of songs, master of musical humor Dan walks the land, singing songs, telling tales, and doing good deeds. Listen to the tale of the “Drunken Gnome Illusionist.” Learn why a mouse, a bird, and a sausage are doomed to death! Be sure to look for Dan near the RenQuest™ encampment and ask about this one time… at Bard camp…
Danse Macabre (all season weather permitting)
The Danse Macabre at Bristol is a faithful reenactment of this tradition. As the characters in the allegory of the Danse come from all walks of life, the performers of the Danse are drawn from across all of Bristol’s participants. Weather permitting, the mysterious and elusive Danse Macabre will arise near the end of the faire day for a performance that must be seen to be believed.
Ded Bob Sho (Rated PG-13) (July 6 – August 11)
“Hey Audience!” Announcing the return of the Ded Bob Sho! The hardest working cadaver in show business is back with all matters bawdy and profane. Corpse comedy and audience interaction at their finest!
Dirk & Guido: The Swordsmen (all season)
Blades flash in the sunlight and the cry of “What ho!” echoes through the air. Dirk & Guido: The Swordsmen, return to Bristol for their twenty-second season of flashing steel, daring do and the wooing of women. Bold and Stupid Men at your Service!
The Mighty Drum Jam with The Great Antone (all season)
This is the roaring crescendo of a day at Bristol, where the thunder of drums fuses with the crashing waves of dance to form the sound and fury that is the Bristol Drum Jam.
Eddie Jeff Cahill (July 13 – August 11)
Songs, stories and tall tales tumble from his lips like barrels over a waterfall, shattering rings & staves on the water. A True Wandering Minstrel!
Fantastikals (all season)
The Fantastikals bring magic, wonder, and surprise to the town of Bristol! The Queen’s visit loosens the boundary of the enchanted realms, and fairies, elves, elementals, and spirit archetypes materialize, their supernatural energy swirling through the town, and manifesting a magical forest right at the heart of everyday Bristol. Humans both young and grown who are gifted with “second sight” (maybe just for this one special day) may find themselves seeing and even communicating with these wordless beings– be ready for goosebumps!
Flight of the Raptor (all season)
Falconry was not just the “sport of kings” or entertainment for the royal court, it was a way of survival. Join us as we embark upon a journey to understand how these magnificent creatures hunt their prey and discover how the partnership between humans and raptors was forged and spread to all parts of Europe. Flight of the Raptor showcases this captivating history in both storytelling and flight demonstrations designed to enlighten, educate, and inspire our audiences. Most of all you will be enraptured by their beauty and drawn to the spectacle of their flight.
Gabriel Q (all season)
Gabriel Q is a puppeteer, costume and puppet builder and a variety performer. He has performed for 25 years at major Renaissance Festivals across the country. He has also performed at the Kim Tom Clown festival in Shaghai, China in 2008. For the past 10 years Gabriel has built and performed large puppets for the krewes of Orpheus and Muses for the Marti Gras parades in New Orleans.
The Guilde of St. Lawrence, AKA The Dirty Duck Inn (all season)
Welcome to the Dirty Duck Inn, finest inn in three counties! Centrally located in the heart of Bristol, right across from the Cheshire Chase Action Stage, The Dirty Duck Inn plays host to the citizens of Bristol as they take their sup. Come on in and enjoy the shade of our dining hall, meet the town folk, sing along with us as we work, and catch up on the local gossip of the town of Bristol.
How Not to Die! (all season)
Whether its succumbing to disease or getting three feet of steel thrust at you, health and wellness in the 16th Century can be hard work! Join your Bristol Trayn’d Bande in an entertaining look at health, swordplay, and learn the most valuable lesson of How Not to Die!
How Weapons Work (all season)
The Bristol Trayn’d Bande takes you on a journey through history showcasing how weapons and armor work. On hand is our trusty Barber Surgeon to fix all of the damage we cause. Caution! Exploding produce is a daily occurrence!
Iris & Rose – (Rated R)(all season)
Iris & Rose – Wild & Thorny! is a naughty, bawdy, comedy experience. Taking top honors for several years running in the Best Bawdy Act category of the Renaissance Festival Podcast Awards, these two singing sisters share suggestive songs, tickling toasts, lusty limericks, and jaw-dropping jokes. Iris & Rose encourage mature audiences to laugh and make merry with them as they make light of life’s more serious subjects. Hoist a pint and lift up your cares!
Iron Hill Vagabonds (all season)
Iron Hill Vagabonds is an acoustic music duo performing a mix of traditional and original instrumental pieces and songs. This material includes Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional American, English and Irish songs from many eras, Renaissance Faire, Celtic, Folk, and Bluegrass standards, as well as original songs and instrumental compositions in many styles.
Ivanovich! (all season)
He will read your mind, multiply your money, and metal objects twist with the power of thought. And that’s just the first 5 minutes. Comedy, magic, and a guided tour of the impossible!
The Jackdaws (all season)
The Jackdaws deliver original, contemporary, and traditional Irish Rock to audiences across the land. This trailblazing trio will excite and have you coming back for more with their driving melodies and relentlessly aggressive lyrics. More Irish than a drunken roar, and a damned sight messier, meet The Jackdaws.
Jeremiah Wiggins, Politician for the Faeries & the Raven (all season except August 3/4)
For over two decades Joshua Safford has been mesmerizing and tickling the imagination of Renaissance and Faerie festival patrons in the streets across the country under the guises of the Raven and Jeremiah Wiggins, a politician for the faeries.
Jesse Linder (all season)
Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. Jock Stewart’s warm, comforting voice and tender guitar playing will take you away to a time when the troubadour’s music was truly an art, and the art was truly magical. Jesse Linder continues to delight faire-goers season after season.
Johnathan Blackquill – Aspiring Playwright (all season)
A completely improvised show where you, the audience, get to influence the story, who is who, and what happens next!
The Jousters (all season)
The Jousters are excited to bring their fully armored, hard-hitting and wholly unique style of jousting to Bristol again in 2018. This is a true sport – every lance break and shield shatter achieved is done in an authentic quest for victory! Come cheer for majestic steeds and noble knights as they compete for The Golden Chain of Bristol!
Jynks the Jester (all season)
The original tallest man in Bristol, Jynks has become a staple of the city and something of a local dignitary. Jynks is most often spotted along Guilde Hall Row and the Queen’s Kitchens.
Kids’ Kingdom (all season)
This is the pocket of Bristol designed for children. Come and explore our pirate ships, adventure among our hobbit houses, and meet our playful group of fairy tale characters. We have stage shows, hunts, pretend picnics, stories and games. Fun for everyone!
Lady Ettie – Lady Ettie’s “Me Place” (all season)
Join Lady Ettie for her version of tea-time as she takes a well-deserved break from her self-appointed position as Bristol’s welcoming committee. Bring the whole family to what is truly a mad tea-party, filled with games, stories, and laughter.
The Lynx Show (all season)
The Lynx Show is a unique blend of magic, sword swallowing, and comedy. Lynx is a veteran when it comes to performing at Renaissance festivals across the country. Not only is there audience interaction and participation but a strong positive message at the end. From death-defying feats of amazement to bewildering moments that just can’t be explained, The Lynx Show is sure to thrill you! So, don’t miss out and be part of the fun!
Manticore Consort (all season)
Share a musical moment with the Manticore Consort as they travel the lanes of Bristol presenting a magical blend of music performed on an intriguing array of ancient musical instruments including the hurdy-gurdy, gemshorn, recorders and more!
Menage a Moi (Rated R)(all season)
“Dirty comedy, clean booze. Booze costs extra.” Menage a Moi is the bawdy comedy experience your mother warned you about. Raise a pint, sing along, and enjoy the show!
Mo Leannán Band (all season)
Mo Leannán Band (Pronounced Mo lahn-nan) is an Irish music duo here to rock your socks off. Playing traditional Irish tunes with a twist, Sammy Jo Zale on Fiddle and MaryFran Stefanich on Guitar are only using the most gettin’-“jiggy”-with-it music. Mo Leannán will “REELY” kick your Irish dancing feet into gear!
MooNie the Magnif’Cent (all season)
Enchanting audiences for over 20 years without saying so much as a word, MooNie is the undisputed master of Bristol’s Globe stage. MooNie presents a show that combines classic clowning, slack rope work and enough comedy to leave you gasping for breath. Enter the mind of MooNie. Visit MooNie’s Website
Musical Blades (August 10 – 18)
Since the turn of the century, this fearless band of misfit rogues has been terrorizing and delighting the Midwest with a unique blend of hilarity and harmonies. The Musical Blades have spent the last 13 years bringing soaring vocals and vibrant performances to countless renaissance festivals and clubs in 11 states across the country’s midsection.
Musket Demonstrations (all season)
Join your Bristol Trayn’d Bandes as they showcase the latest in modern military technology. Witness how black powder firearms were used historically, and the spectacle of smoke and fire!
Nazario Chickpeazio (all season)
While touring the busy lanes of Bristol, just keep a lookout for belly dance chickens, or listen for his lovely Oud and Lute music.
New Minstrel Revue (all season)
The New Minstrel Revue has traveled all across America sharing their unique mixture of original and traditional music to exited and appreciative audiences. With a focus on vocal harmonies and a high level of musicianship these seasoned performers are consistently finding new ways to make you laugh, make you cry, or make you want to get drunk and start a band.
Ogham (all season)
Ogham (pronounced om) features multi-instrumentalists and vocalists T.J. Hull and Amanda Caretta-Hull. Based in Milwaukee, but performing all over the Midwest and beyond, they specialize in high-energy Irish dance music on fiddle and bodhran, and Renaissance period vocals backed by bouzouki. Their music will carry you away and fill your heart with joy. Ogham is where the heart is. photo: Carl Rollmann
Preshow with Odorferious Thunderbottom – Front Gate (all season)
Start your day at the fair, BEFORE the faire with the preshow provided by Bristol’s “Keeper of the Privies.” Audience participation is just the thing to set the right tone for a wonderful day at the faire, and Odorferious Thunderbottom (aka “OTB”)’s just the thing to get you started. Watch as contestants are put through their paces in a series of challenges that only the mind of a Thunderbottom could provide. Come down to the show before the show!
Privy Council (all season)
What does government look like when you are traveling across country with the queen? Is it all hunting and games, or is there actually government work getting accomplished? Privy Council will bring legal issues and concerns forward for decisions to be presented to the queen for her approval or denial. See how government works and who really has the power. photo: Denise Prohaska
Queen’s Welcome (all season)
With the sound of trumpets and the pageantry of courtly progress, Her Majesty the Queen has, at last, arrived in Bristol for a celebration! Meet the Lord Mayor, local hosts and dignitaries, find out what new achievements Bristol has unlocked this year, and see the Queen receive unexpected gifts and a surprise request or two. Although some business cannot wait, one thing is for certain: today is a day of joy and merriment, and kindness reigns supreme!
Rambling Sailors (all season)
Rambling Sailors is a new effort by performers Gregg and Susan Csikos. Both successful soloists in their own right, Gregg and Susan performed for over a decade individually. Now with a combined experience of 25 years on the circuit, a repertoire of hundreds of songs, and harmonies that please the ear and lift the spirit, Rambling Sailors is on a mission to bring traditional sea music, history and stories to the stage, delivered in the style that inspired generations of sailors to go to sea.
RenQuest (all season)
RenQuest is designed for players age 13+. Sign up for RenQuest at the red vardo from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., across from the Friends of Faire Garden. RenQuest costs $10 per day to play. Each episode lasts 2-3 hours, can be played at your own pace, and must be completed by 4:30 p.m. to be elligible for the final battle.
Sewing Circle (all season)
Have you ever wondered what it took to hand sew an Elizabethan shirt or other types of clothing? Ladies from the court will be in the Nobles’ Glade working on current projects, everything from clothing, to hand blackwork embroidery, to weaving and more. Please look on the schedule and come to the glade to ask questions and see the ladies hard at work at this educational entertainment. photo: Chuck Bennorth
The Skald’s Circle
Laugh, Learn, and Love the myths and folklore tales as told by Casimir and Mynogan.
The Shanty Shipwreck Show (rated R)
Hear the naughtiest nautical songs in Bristol. A shipload of original music awaits you at this entertainment extravaganza.
Street Corner Shakespeare (all season)
Witness our favorite scenes, monologues, and sonnets that the Bard penned. A different cast every morning, no two shows have ever been the same. If YOU have a brief (3 minute or less) piece that you would like to perform, you are welcomed and encouraged! You won’t find a more receptive audience anywhere else!
Sturdy Beggars Mud Show® – The Mud Pit™ (Rated PG-13) (all season)
The original Mud Show
Celebrating their 40th year anniversary, all we know for sure is that in 1979 The Sturdy Beggars™ first “fell” into their special “field” of “entertainment” somewhere in the rich and tasty top soil of the Midwest. Since then the first, the only, the original Mud Show® (Reg No. 1,985,845 with the United States Patent & Trademark Office) has toured to over 22 Renaissance Faires across the continental United States. With their adage “the whole world’s a stage, just add water,” this “greatest show in earth” has left nothing but laughter and mayhem in its sullied wake.
Tortuga Twins (Rated PG-13) (July 6 – Aug 11)
Playful, bawdy and unabashed, the Tortuga Twins (all three of them) return! Their special blend of stage comedy and audience participation has been labeled “Asthma-Attack Inducingly Funny.” Be warned.
Washing Well Wenches (all season)
The Washing Well Wenches take up residence in Bristol to earn a living by cleaning laundry… or by marrying a wealthy man. This naughty and tempestuous twoseome will win your hearts with a rollicking, laugh-filled, one of a kind show!
Weapons of War (all season)
Your Bristol Trayn’d Bande is ready to take on any foe! We’ll show you how to do it too, if only our Captain and Lieutenant can agree on the best soldier for the job. Comedy and violence erupt as the battle between Pike, Shotte, and Cavalry takes place!