This year’s Medieval Week on the island of Gotland was a reduced affair, and disappointing in a number of ways.
Because of Covid, last year was digital only. No meeting up with folks on Gotland, no people dressing up in Medieval costume, no jousting tournaments or battle re-enactments. One lone advantage was that the ambitious schedule of lectures was maintained, online. You had to pay a fee for the lectures, but you would have had to do that anyway for the physical events.
This year Medieval Week was back, but with some significant changes. The various event sites were roped off as “Medieval islands” and you had to have a pass to enter. The idea was a good one with Covid still around, but essentially this meant you had to pay for things that used to be free, like to visit the Medieval Market, which is one of the highpoints of the week. And you had to pay twice over for things that used to, and still had, a ticket price. The system was also a bit disorganized, since even if you bought a day ticket ahead of time, at least on the first day, you had to stand in the same line as the people who hadn’t bought tickets, to get the paper wristband that was the real ticket.