Scottish & Irish folk songs combined with Lord of the Rings music and Celtic music fun at Renaissance Faires

Brobdingnagian Bards Tales

The latest music news, stories, and events of The Original Celtic Renaissance music group, the Brobdingnagian Bards. CELTIC GEEK at its Best! Find out more from the Nagians page.

Brobdingnagian Bards at LARF

We just received the exciting news. We will return to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival this Fall. But even better than that is we'll be there for the entire run of the faire!

The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is a little different from most of the faires we attend. This one is built around a small "lake". Okay, it's more like a pond, but it's a nice-sized body of water. It has beautifully built structures, a great cast, and an atmosphere that leaves me yearning to go back every year. That's why I'm so excited that we now have this notice earlier than usual.

Some of our favorite Renaissance Festival performers are there too, like Vince Conaway, The Limeybirds, Craig of Farrington, Paolo Garbanzo, The Tortuga Twins, and lots more.

This year, we'll have more intimate stages too, which will add to the atmosphere.

Weekends, Nov 3 - Dec 9, 2007 and Friday Nov 23rd (day after Thanksgiving)
Louisiana Renaissance Festival
46468 River Road
Hammond LA, 70401
Cost : $14 adult 1-day pass


Peninsula Stage: 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm
Dance: 2:30pm

I hope you'll not just be there, but tell a friend. Invite them to experience the faire and share a musical experience with the Brobdingnagian Bards.

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, August 21, 2007
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Oklahoma Renaissance Faire

I think it was in 1999, our first year as a band, that we last performed at Castle Muskogee. The faire was just a few years old at the time. And even then, it was a cool faire. Nice site, great cast, and lots of good entertainment. I remember playing non-stop for 12 hours on one Saturday. It was amazing.

Oh! And we even released our very first CD at the end of the festival. If you were lucky, you never got a copy. That CD was terrible.

But what is great is all the entertainment at the Oklahoma Renaissance Faire. Many of our faire friends are out there like Bedlam Bards, Queen's Gambit, Nancy Daily-Green, The Lord Mayor's Company, Shantyman & Bonnie Lass, Red McWilliams, and Lord Kerridwynn. Plus, we'll get to see some folks I've yet to meet like Howl-O.

Some come out and join us for our exciting return to OKRF!

May 19-20, 2007
Oklahoma Renaissance Faire
3400 W Fern Mountain Rd
Muskogee, OK 74401

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, May 10, 2007
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Shakespeare and Friends Renaissance Faire

June 2-3, 2007
Shakespeare and Friends Renaissance Faire
Located in Historic Rogersville
Rogersville, TN
Ph# 423-754-4495
10 a.m.-6p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Admission $10 adults - $8 students and seniors (under 18-over 60)
Two day ticket price $16 adults - $12 students and seniors
Children 12 and under free
No Pets Please

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, April 24, 2007
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This faire is my new favorite for small Renaissance festivals in Texas. And it's actually a decent-size site. They have a fantastic joust, lots of great music and entertainment, and an beautiful site.

Four Winds Renaissance Faire
Troup, TX (South of Tyler)
Phone: (903) 839-5271
Four shows daily

Read my review of the our first weekend at Four Winds Renaissance Faire.

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, April 02, 2007
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Four Winds Faire Review

Just got back from the Four Winds Renaissance Faire up by Tyler, Texas. I must admit it wasn't what I expected.

Going from pictures and a few people I expected a desolate faire out in the middle of a cow field somewhere. I was pleasantly surprised. The faire began thirteen years ago. And it is still a fairly small site considering the duration. However, it is bigger than the original Excalibur Fantasy Faire site. Much bigger, in fact. And I was surprised to find that despite its size, the land was well used.

Last year, Andrew and I were talking about the "perfect" faire. We thought a smart faire site would do what Excalibur did. Start with a small hexagonal piece of land and add new hexagonal pieces each time you start packing the original pieces.

Four Winds forced me to re-think that idea. The majority of their shops line one side of the faire. On the other is a lot of open space for dancing, watching jousts, archery, smithying, and just lounging. You see, I'm still a big fan of small faires. I like the fact that with small faires, you can see all there is to see and only Then, will you really experience the faire.

Four Winds is small, but not too small like the old Excalibur where some patrons might wonder if they're getting their money's worth. Here, you have a beautiful site with with well placed stages for belly dancers with loud drums that don't drown out the rest of the shows. They have sharp looking pirate stage, and the acoustics at the tavern and in the pavillion are just... well, very admirable. I've been bummed with a lot of faires because they don't have good music stages. This is the first site I've seen that has Several!

Now the one downside was some of the buildings. I'm a little biased towards buildings that look like they are out of the Renaissance. Okay, in this case, I'd like to see some that looked like they were out of Musketeer France (their theme). But there are several that do a brilliant job at keeping the theme.

Overall, I must say I loved playing here. This was the first time in a long time that I've been to a faire, the day came to a close, and I was quite ready to leave. I can't wait to go back there in three weeks.

April 21-22, 2007
Four Winds Renaissance Faire
Troup, TX (South of Tyler)
Phone: (903) 839-5271
Four shows daily

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, April 02, 2007
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Justin Timberlake Has Nothing on Us

The 2nd Annual Renaissance Festival Awards winners were announced a couple o'weeks, and we won! Okay, not really.

As the host of the Renaissance Festival Awards, the Brobdingnagian Bards are unable to win. So I made a special award just for us--"Best Ineligible Band".

Yes, it's true. We beat out Madonna, U2, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and countless other ineligible bands to win this special award. *sniff* Thank you, Mom!

And after mentioning that we won in our podcast, our friend Mike, who designed the award graphics, made one for us too. (Thanks Mike!:)

So let this be a lesson to you all. When it comes to ineligibility, we can't be beat!

*scratches head*

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, February 12, 2007
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Georgia Renaissance Festival in Review

The Georgia Renaissance Festival is over, and we're getting ready to leave Georgia in an hour or so. I must say that I am disappointed to go. I've had a wonderful time here all around. Plus, GARF really impressed me. If you've listened to my Renaissance Festival Podcast, you know that I was really impressed with the performers I knew from there BEFORE I went. But now, having attended the faire, I'm really impressed all around.

The faire is indeed a beautiful site. Lots of well-constructed structures and a very intelligent design. You can tell they thought out how to make the site when they bought the land. The site is smaller than most of the faires we attend. The closest in size is the Kansas City Renaissance Festival which we won't be at this year (though we've a K.C. gig on Weds). But this one has even better stages designed to fit larger audiences to sit through a show.

The Greenwood Stage, on which we performed, was rather well-designed for stage performances though it could use a slightly better natural acoustics. Other than that, it was a great stage, with good shade for the audience and nice look. I can't wait to see some of the pictures for the faire. Hopefully, folks will start emailing pics soon.

Yet, it's the performers that shine the most. They put on amazing shows. Three Quarter Ale, Joni Minstrel, and the well-loved The Lost Boys are brilliant at telling a story, filling a niche, and providing enjoyable songs you can sing-a-long to, laugh with, or just fill with incredible delight. And they were just the start of what I've come to love about the faire. There's a lot more. You'll hear that in my Ren Fest Podcast.

All in all, it is sad to leave, but Andrew's hounding me to start packing. We still have many more roads to travel. Meantime, I can't wait until we get back for DragonCon.

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, May 15, 2006
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C.W. Post Renaissance Faire

No sooner had we left Long Island then we were invited back. This time for a Renaissance festival--CW Post Renaissance Faire.

This faire is being held at the CW Post Campus in Brookville, New York. We're still trying to gather up the details. But here's all that I know so far.

Location: CW Post Campus at Riggs Lawn
Time: noon-6pm
Our Times: noon and 3pm
City: Brookville, NY
Phone #: 631.632.6045
Website: for driving directions see:


The Brobdingnagian Bards - 12pm & 3pm
C.W. Post Madrigals - 2pm
The Commedia dell' Arte Players - 4:30pm

*Participating Clubs - Activities*

Say Anything Improv., PTSA - Human chess game
Pre-Law Assoc. - History of Medieval law, Stock pictures
Anime Club - Dunk Tank (Drench-a-Wench)
L.O.G.S. - "Werewolf" game
Alpha Xi Delta - Ribbon Wreaths (headresses)
Indian Pride Club - Henna
Latin American Women's Society- Hair Braiding

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Friday, April 07, 2006
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CD Release Party for The Circle, Katrina Relief Benefit CD

Five months ago, a devasting hurricane wrecked on the Gulf Coast where many of our dear friends live. So when Bob Brinkman of Modern Bard suggested that we create a Renaissance festival compilation CD to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina, I jumped at the opportunity.

The CD is now complete. It's called The Circle. It features 22 tracks of great Ren Faire music. On February 18th, we're having a CD release party at Mother Egan's Pub to celebrate the new album. Also performing is the Bedlam Bards.

February 18, 2006
Mother Egan's Irish Pub @ 7-10PM
Location: 715 West 6th St.
City: Austin, Texas
Phone #: 512.478.7747

Help us out by telling all your friends to join the fun!

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Friday, January 27, 2006
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Renaissance Musicians Join Forces to Aid Katrina Victims

Many were hit hard when Hurricane Katrina battered the southern states with her fury. Further devastation ensued in her wake by Rita. To help alleviate the stress these two storms have caused, Bob Brinkman from Modern Bard and Marc Gunn from the Brobdingnagian Bards have compiled a CD titled Circle. Many wonderful artists have contributed to this album, including the Brobdingnagian Bards, 3 Pints Gone, Empty Hats and the Rogues. For a complete track listing go to Let's show these musicians we are as dedicated as they are. The CD will he available in the next two weeks.

Find out more about The Circle here.


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, January 10, 2006
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Louisiana Ren Fest in Review

It is trips like these that remind me why I love being a musician so much. We just got back from a brilliant adventure in Louisiana.

We drove out there on last Monday so we could perform at their School Days event. Last year was our first year doing a School Days function and we didn't know what to expect. We were grossly unprepared. This year, we did some great preparation. We worked out the format on the drive up. This included deciding on what songs to play that we would play over and over and over again for our three shows.

This was the first time since our first year that we did the SAME show for each performance. We're big on rotating our set list to keep it interesting for us as well as our audience. So doing that for School Days was a big change. And it was a hit. We picked some good songs and Andrew did a fantastic job educating the few kids who could sit still long enough.

It inspired us a lot this past weekend too. Not to say we played the same show over and over. Fortunately, we have enough songs to avoid doing that, but it was the presentation that really made it for me. It still kinda boggles my mind when when we put on, what I consider, a great show. And we had several.

You see, one of the big challenges facing music groups at Renaissance faires is that if you only play music, you don't keep a crowd UNLESS you have a big sound or something highly visual. Bagpipes and drums go over amazingly. We talked with one group there who did a couple stage shows and they ran into this problem too. People don't want to sit and watch a thirty minute music set. So you have to provide additional entertainment. Their response was to add more comedy and only play three songs. We, however, were able to play a full eight songs, and keep people glued to their seats while others came to join in the fun. It was highly rewarding to see.

Plus, I had my first ever successful time hawking a show. I've never been fond of hawking, but our secluded stage kinda demanded that we hawked our show. So I did, and it was fairly successful at bringing in a few new faces to our crowd.

The rest of the time was a blast too. We hung out with Vince Conaway, the hammered dulcimer rock star ;), Craig o'Farrington, the beautiful and fun Limey Birds, The Tortuga Twins, The Duelists, The Pirate Shantyman and his Bonnie Lass, and of course, the ultimate, amazingly talented and admirably humble Owain Phyfe. We were truly blessed with some amazing musicians and friends. It was a delight.

Then, of course, we could not help but be even more blessed and thankful to be hosted by Haeuser family. They are wonderful people.

I also got one of the coolest Christmas presents outside of my WishList. It was Emilee Rush who is a brilliant photographer in Oklahoma City area. She took my rocking autoharp picture you see as my userpic. But she made Andrew and me each a photo album filled with pictures she's taken of us at most of our gigs this past year. It's like a visual journal of everything we've done this year. It's too cool!

All in all a great adventure. OH! And I also got a few compliments for my new kilt I got from Things Celtic. The temperature was cold most of the weekend, but I was surprised how easy it was nonetheless wearing the kilt.

Okay, time to forage through a few hundred email now. Slainte!


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, December 12, 2005
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Booked at the Texas Renaissance Festival Nov 5-6

We've had a lot of folks ask if we were going to be at Texas Renaissance Festival. So much so that we decided to make sure we're there for at least one weekend.

Well, that weekend is confirmed. It's the first weekend of November. We're still waiting for show times. So keep an eye out on our here for details.

I hope many of you can make it out that weekend. Slainte!


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, October 06, 2005
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Announcing the Renaissance Festival Podcast

I started something new that I think could be really call for the Renaissance Festival community. It's called the Renaissance Festival Podcast. If you're not familiar with podcasting, this is basically a weekly downloadable radio program featuring music and entertainment from groups performing at upcoming (this weekend) Renaissance Festivals. It's sort of Ren Faire report of what's happening.

I recorded the first one this weekend. It's a big rough around the edges, but you can subscribe to the podcast or download it and listen to it on your iPod or MP3 Player.

I'd love to get some feedback and have people contribute faire soundbytes as well. Let me know if you have an idea you'd like to contribute.

I'd also appreciate it if you would share this info with your Ren Friends.



--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Friday, June 24, 2005
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Return to the Hamlet of Mid-Missouri Renaissance Festival

Yes, we ARE confirmed for the Hamlet of Mid-Missouri Renaissance Festival. I lost track of how many years we've performed there. Was it 2000 when we started playing there?

It's been a while. I'm looking forward to seeing some great friends including, Queen's Gambit, Nancy Daily Green, Mother Pockets and Seymoure. Plus, there's to be a killer Highland Games this year. It will be a blast, so join us at this great wee Renaissance festival in the heart of Missouri.

Oh! And I'm pretty sure we will have our annual Nagian Gathering on Sunday evening. Just have to check my work schedule. (just one month and 10 days to go!)

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--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, May 19, 2005
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King Arthur Returns to Excalibur Fantasy Faire

It's funny. I consider Excalibur to be a staple of our annual venues. But it occurred to me when we were at the Irish Dragoon a few weeks back that some people don't know a thing about our home faire.

Excalibur Fantasy Faire is a tiny little faire just East of Austin, past Bastrop in Smithville, Texas. The faire began in 1999. This was the faire that invited me out to an audition where I grabbed Andrew, and we formed the Brobdingnagian Bards.

I still remember bits and pieces of those early days. I think we had three songs we tried out with... Not even sure I remember what they were, but for some crazy reason, the Glen, the Entertainment Director, liked our performance enough to allows us to play.

I can't imagine why.

I bow my head in shame when I think what we must've been like... Actually, I know what it was like. We have a video we made as a test performance before some of our friends. Yikes! They did stone us or anything, but boy were we rough. Nevertheless, we made it out there. We started playing the "Do Virgins Taste Better Medley," and when we wrote "If I Had A Million Ducats" our fate was set. Of course, many of those songs eventually made it on to our renaissance festival CD, A Faire to Remember.

Happily, we've grown a LOT since then. And so has the faire. Yes, the site is still pretty small. It will take you an hour or two to see all the shops, and then comes the real fun... relaxing in the Medieval Renaissance.

That's what I love about Ren Faires--the opportunity to just relax and take it easy, chatting with friends, and sharing in the atmosphere.

Excalibur is exceptional in that way. It's a people faire. It's built around community, music, and entertainment, AND you can shop. It's not just about shopping like many faires.

So if you're free March 12-April 3, come see what's different about a faire for the people who love faires, reenactments, fantasy and history. Let's sit together at the Golden Cockerell and drink a pint (after hours for me) or relax under the Live Oak and share faire stories.

I look forward to seeing you out there. Check out the Excalibur Fantasy Faire website and order your tickets now.


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, January 27, 2005
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