The “Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum” (MPS for short, meaning “Fantastic Medieval Spectacle) is one of the biggest and oldest festivals here in Germany and since 1994, this gorgeous event has been touring Germany. It’s not simply a renaissance fair! It is a medieval fantasy world featuring great artists and a whole load of bands. Mix that with jugglers, stilts walkers, workshops and a lot of great merchants and craftsmen and you might get an impression of what the MPS really is. I normally work here for about 20 weekends a year and I still have troubles grasping everything. So I can only try to tell you how fantastic this event really is. And yes, I am biased.
This year’s motto is “Be What You Wish”. In contrast to “normal” ren fairs, this event has nothing to do with sticking as close to history as possible; on the contrary, this festival is all about getting wild. Pirates meet Steampunk meets GoT meets Vikings, knights, dragons and even Alice in Wonderland. The crazier you cosplay the better.
The MPS is absolutely family-friendly. There are plenty activities on offer especially for kids – felting, blacksmithing, storytelling and juggling; there are also huge straw-playgrounds, filled with wooden ponies, just waiting for little knights and princesses to play. Kids can take part in a children’s tourney, caress different animals at the medieval zoo or watch the wild birds of Achim, the Falconer of Hearts.
Adults can visit one of the workshops in medieval dancing or learn how to play a medieval instrument like the bagpipe or symphonia, try their hand at archery or axe throwing or relax in the medieval bath house, enjoying a hot Zuber or a soothing massage.
You can taste a myriad of different foods, like Falaffel, finger shaped potatoe dumplings with differeng toppings, sweet “Baumstriezel”, vegan foods or hearty garlic bread, all kinds of meats, dragon eggs…. the list is endless. You can enjoy cocktails at the pirate’s bar “Tortuga Inn”, hot cocoa or cold beer, or visit “The Blackhouse” to taste Scottish beers and whisky. If you don’t like any of these, you can go to the “Drachenschenke” to taste different types of mead – rose mead being my personal favourite.
Jugglers and artists like Forzarello, beggar “Hässlicher Hans“, “Die Feuervögel” or “Der Gawan” are all over the place and there’s a simply great line-up of bands playing on three different stages. Saltatio Mortis, Faun, Omnia, Versengold, Corvus Corax, Rapalje, Saor Patrol and Ye Bannished Privateers being just a few of them.
Medieval sword fighting is displayed by Fictum, a czech fighter’s group, whether the knighting show on horseback is offered by Ars Equitandi. Throughout the day, different groups presents their medieval or fantastic camps show acts. Brother Rectus – a sinner… oops …. a monk – who presents the MPS and the groups to the visitors, is a real show per se, and not to be missed. In the dark you can watch the plague procession, illuminated by torches, followed by a nightly knight’s tournament. One of my favourite shows is definitely the fire spectacle performed by the gorgeous artists of “Danse Infernale“.
All this creates an incredible atmosphere. The mood is vibrant and there’s a great flow of energy between participants and visitors. A visit at the MPS always feels like coming home. It’s a place to meet old friends and make new ones. There’s so much to do and see and explore that one weekend is simply not enough. Organizer and creative head of the MPS, Gisbert Hiller and his team, have created more than just an event. They created a different world, a fantastic world to lose yourself intp and enjoy. There are no right words to describe the MPS – so “Be what you wish” and visit to see for yourself!