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A bard is an SCA performing artist, generally a singer, poet, or storyteller. (In some regions the term is expanded to include jugglers, puppet theater, improv, instrumental music, etc.) The Northern Oaken region has a loose affiliation of bards called the Northern Oaken Gorsedd (pr. GOR-seth).

See also: Bardic Bardic Champion

Bardic Madness is an annual day-long event focused exclusively on the bardic arts. It features classes on different aspects of the performing arts, and a series of challenges (NOT competitions) that encourage performers to stretch and try something new. Challenges are announced in advance, and each generally has a patron who gives each entrant a small token, often tied to the theme of the event or the challenge. Some challenges require advance preparation, but many require the entrant to compose their response on the day, sometimes on the spot! (e.g., "Here's a picture (drawn earlier in the day, often by kids), here's a tune (drawn from a hat). Make a song about the picture using that tune. You have fifteen seconds. GO!")

There is always a good deal of laughter, as challenges often encourage humorous, if not downright silly, responses. There is typically a lunch tavern and a simple feast in the evening. Often, the venue allows for a post-revel bardic circle that can last into the wee hours.

Badric Madness 2017 will take place November 18th in the Barony of Rivenstar (Lafayette, IN)

From 2007 to 2015, the NO Gorsedd hosted an annual event called Bardic Roundhouse. It was a midsummer camping event with a deliberately relaxed schedule. ("What's scheduled between 12:30 and 3?" "NOTHING!") The site fee included meals, featuring a baked-potato bar for lunch on Saturday, and a picnic cookout - with hamburders and hot dogs - Saturday evening. The event was supported by the baronies Cleftlands (who provided financial backing and official sponsorship) and Brendoken (who provided their giant tent, "Monstro".) The event went on hiatus in 2016 due to the 50-year event; it's unclear whether it will return.


There are no Bardic-specific awards, but skilled performers (and usually, dedicated teachers) may be recognized with any of the Arts awards: Order of the Willow, Order of the Evergreen, or Order of the Laurel

External Links

Midrealm bardic websites

Northern Oaken Gorsedd page: [1]

Bards of the Midrealm: [2]

Mistress Elashava's YouTube channel, featuring bards from all over the Known World: [3]

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