Fair fury

Onlookers watch as two noble knights battle ‘to the death’ at the 2021 Gumeracha Medieval Fair.

News that Gumeracha’s immensely popular medieval fair will be moved from the town next year has shocked the local community.
Following the end of the recent 15th event – which again drew a crowd of more than 12,000 people to the town – it’s new organising committee announced on Facebook the fair would move to another location next year.
The removal of the post, which did not reveal a new location, and the committee’s subsequent refusal to address mounting community concerns, has understandably left locals confused and frustrated.
Gumeracha has nurtured the fair from its humble beginnings through to its current status as one the most consistently successful community events in the Hills.
It has brought in tens of thousands of people to the district, hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local economy and its profits – usually more $10,000 – are donated to local community groups after each event.
It also has been strongly supported by the Adelaide Hills Council, which has made certain to consider the fair in its plans for past and future upgrades to Federation Park where the event is held.
The fair’s constitution says it was created to promote Gumeracha and its surrounds as a tourist destination and financially benefit the area’s community groups and charities.
While it has undoubtedly achieved that goal and the new committee is well within its rights to change the event as it sees fit, moving it from the area appears to require a change to the constitution, which would give members a vote on the matter.
If the intention is to move the fair from the district it was created to benefit, that should have been openly communicated to the residents, the council and business owners to whom the event is so important.
The committee’s silence on the matter since it was raised via its own Facebook post is concerning for those who are close to the event and Gumeracha.
Recently another nearby Hills community wrested back control of the annual Lobethal lights festival after growing disengagement with the event’s organising committee.
Perhaps the Gumeracha community will also have an opportunity to reclaim an event which has become part of the town’s fabric.