As the International Medieval Festival 2015 draws to a close, MEETinLEEDS looks back on this year’s event that took place on 6-9 July 2015, and takes a peek toward next year’s event.

The event this year really made the most of the open spaces and communal areas on campus, as well as the excellent facilities at the Refectory, Parkinson Building, Michael Sadler Building, stage@leeds, and University House.

“IMC 2015 passed a major milestone of including over 2000 actively involved participants”

Hosting the Congress is a collaborative effort, with MEETinLEEDS not only ensuring that everyone has enough to eat and drink but also making sure that all the different meeting rooms and lecture theatres are fully resourced so that delegates have a seamless Congress. Many of the delegates attending the conference will stay at the University’s latest facility, Storm Jameson Court, which has been accredited with a 4-star grading for campus accommodation from Visit England.

IMC 2015 passed a major milestone of including over 2000 actively involved participants, with the academic programme featuring a total of 653 sessions and round table discussions.

The theme for this year was ‘Reform and Renewal’, for the crucial importance of both phenomena in social and intellectual discourse, both medieval and modern, as well as their impact on many aspects of the human experience.

A number of new additions to the programme were added this year, including a special session in conjunction with the University Library’s Special Collections, sampling some of the riches of the collections’ holdings, such as their archives on J.R.R Tolkien.

Congress-AleThe traditional Congress Ale was again available for delegate refreshment. This excellent ale is brewed using a complex mix of malts and hops producing a well-balanced, traditional Yorkshire beer. As the ale is an IMC exclusive, if you didn’t have your fill this year you will have to wait until 2016!

The final day of the event, which is quickly becoming a staple fixture of the Congress are the ‘Making Leeds Medieval’ activities where a will bring a number of medieval-inspired activities to the main campus, with displays of crafts and local produce as well as live entertainment including music, combat displays, re-enactment demonstrations, and a falconry display.

Combat-DisplayThe combat display, by The European Historical Combat Guild, featured 2 knights pitted against each other in a battle of honour; a Knights Templar (think Monty Python and the Holy Grail) against the Sheriff of Nottingham (not he of Robin Hood fame, though).

The dining display was also a highlight, with The Copper Pot demonstrating medieval dining and recipes.

IMC 2016 (04-07 July 2016) promises to be even bigger and better, with the special thematic strand of “Food, Feast & Famine”. You can keep up to date with developments on the IMC website.

We for one cannot wait to welcome all for another summer filled with medieval merriment!


Are you interested in holding a large scale event like the IMC? Contact us and we will be happy to help.