In Creatures of Castlefest, we want to put the wondrous creatures, that are part of the world of Castlefest, in the spotlight. From visitor to entertainer, from exhibitor to volunteer. What moves them and which role does Castlefest play in their lives? This week: Martin, the glitter-viking-battle-fairy of Castlefest.
I've been going to other fantasy events for years and my girlfriend has been coming to Castlefest for a long time. She wanted to bring me along for a while, but it’s never happened until last year. We got a ticket for both of us and spent a whole weekend in costume, of course.
My Castlefest costume is inspired by someone who I once saw walking in a Tinkerbell outfit. Big man, big beard and big cigar. I obviously had to top that, so the glitter came out. At first, I had another Tinkerbell planned, but the outfit did not work very well and the glitters were all that was left.
It is a bit too cold during the Castlefest Winter Edition for the original "glitter-Viking-battle-fairy", as it was named on the Castlefest Fanpage and by other visitors. But I think I managed to do it justice by dyeing my hair in unicorn colours! Besides, comfort is important. So today is mainly about keeping warm.
During the summer edition, I look like I fell into a ton of glitter, big axe in my hand, elven wings on my back and a kilt on.
Others sometimes ask how heavy my axe is because I can do a lot of tricks and like to show them to people. It’s five kilos and since that’s often not expected, it tends to lead to funny moments.
Last year I shaved number 15 on my head for the 15th edition. Castlefest was just so good from the beginning that I thought it was an appropriate way to celebrate the party.
The cool thing about such a recognizable costume is that people recognize you. Last edition I got a lot of comments from other visitors that they enjoyed seeing me again, and that they were happy to be back. These are, of course, sounds you like to hear.
Castlefest really feels like coming home, and when it's over we go on holiday to reality, as it were. Here everyone is friends, family. Everyone is nice and helps each other. You can always approach someone if something is wrong.
For example, on the Castlefest Facebook page, I saw a lot of posts about people who were insecure and looking for someone to walk with or who were having trouble connecting with others.
I reacted to those posts that, if you feel insecure, and you find me at the festival (me and my costume seem to stand out in a crowd), wave hello and I’ll just come to you. I have had replies from many people and at the festival I have been able to take several people with me for a bit. In this way, I try to contribute to the Castlefest atmosphere. It feels very good that I can contribute to the festival in this way. People don't have to be alone here, and I like to help ensure that they don't have to be.
Everyone radiates energy, and you notice this very much in the Wicker ritual. The build-up to the ritual, how you feel the energy rising and the release when it catches fire. Everyone hugs each other, tears, emotion. That shared relief that radiates from the crowd always touches me.
The music fits in with this. I love listening to bands that you can dance to. Prima Nocta, the Seed and the pirate bands are always on our personal festival program. I also enjoy listening to bands that can bring their energy to the audience very well. I like quieter bands for the background, for lunch or shopping at the stalls nearby.
The energies of the wicker, the dancing at the stages and the energy of all the visitors together and the togetherness itself are my favourite things about the festival.
Castlefest is the place where when the weekend is over, I rise again like a phoenix for the "outside world".