There are many small teams that I coordinate for Fantasy Faire, but all of them have to do with either the website, or with spreading the word about the Faire outside the Faire itself. They all have to do with recording memories for the future, for making sure the beauty and the details of each Faire are preserved.
The oldest of these teams consists of only five people: Caitlin Tobias, JustenTyme, Sachi (Vix Zhou), Sunny Difference and Wildstar Beaumont. They are the official region photographers. They make sure that by the opening the website has pictures of all the Fairelands, and they keep on taking more during the Faire. More, and more, and more. They are the reason why the website has access to stunning region photography without us needing to do the dance of asking and waiting for response for each picture we’d like to use, and they are also the reason why we have such stunning header graphic materials for Alia Baroque to combine — and why you can buy those same headers as banner mementos. I must also give kudos and credit where it’s due and mention that Wildstar Beaumont was a Faire photographer probably right from the start, before we had any official anythings, and has played an important role in preserving the history of the Fairelands.
Then there’s the event poster photography team. It tends to change a little bit depending on the year and people’s time and availability, but mostly it has stayed the same for years now. This year we had photographs from Caitlin Tobias, Adair (Nadjanator), Sachi (Vix Zhou) and Sukubia Scarmon as the base for the event posters that Alia Baroque makes. These posters are both on the website and in-world, creating a consistent look and way to inform people of the various activities and events we have within the Faire.
One of my favorite brainchildren and pet projects has been the Shopping Guide. It has been quite an uphill battle limited by the website itself and the growing amount of merchants. This year there were fifteen people in the team, grabbing straight booth SLurls and taking pictures of RFL vendors, and even extra pictures for those special galleries for men, dinkies, horses and so forth that has been another pet project of mine. We used Pinterest the first years for its convenience, but in time it became clearer and clearer that a large amount of Fairelanders could not or would not use it, so this year we set up galleries on the website itself. This required sometimes steep learning curves from the team members and I am so grateful and pleased for that patience and determination that got everyone through. If you enjoyed the shopping guide this year, you have these people to thank for it: Adair (Nadjanator), Aerlinniel Vella, Aznana Shieldmaiden, DevinVaughn, Duchess Flux, Gwen Enchanted, Helena Stringer, LilithVon Hexem, Melyna Foxclaw, Nina DiLeonardi, Roxi Firanelli, SkylerStormySky, Softpaw Sommer, Sugah Pancake, and Tamzin Xigalia. I also want to thank Sukubia Scarmon for doing a thorough double-check round for those special galleries, that was a huge help!
For years now we’ve also had another preview gallery, another puzzle piece that was sorely needed: the quest prize catalogue. Adair (Nadjanator) and Aznana Shieldmaiden have conjured it into being with occasional help from someone else, but this year they did it just between the two of them, and provided the Fairelanders with the opportunity to window-shop the prizes before embarking on the quest.
The website has also official correspondents and liaisons to various parts of the Faire. It is impossible for anyone to be aware of everything that is happening, let alone be so familiar with different events that they could write anything beyond ‘this is a thing that is happening, have a slurl’. (That is me, with the time-place-eventname-slurl. Don’t ask for details, though!) Without our liaisons that is all you would get, so be grateful for Aelva (dance and particle performances), Asil Ares (The NeoVictoria roleplay information), ChuuAkamine (tabletop games), Fauve Aeon (The Children of Stories roleplay updates), Saffia Widdershins (Literary Festival), and Zander Greene (Fantasy Faire Radio and Live at the FaireChylde information).
In addition to the official liaison correspondents there are always some authors that I invite in to write their own Faire Stories, whether they are event visiting reports or roleplay stories happening within the Fairelands. Faire has so many events, and evokes so much inspiration, that it needs many voices to express even a fragment of the possibilities. This year the authors were: Adair (Nadjanator), Caitlin Tobias, Gwen Enchanted, Helena Stringer, KulaanDragon, and Ryanna Foxclaw.
Then we get to the largest group — the Heralds, the Chroniclers, or as they are called outside the Faire-time: the bloggers. Coordinating bloggers was my original assignment when I joined the Faire team in 2013, and during all the years since I have tried my best to figure out systems that would be fair to the merchants providing review copies and to the bloggers doing their best to showcase the amount of wonder and inspiration that the Fairelands create. We have gone through many scripted review copy systems to eventually settle into a blogger room. We have moved from ‘please report your posts to the merchants you blogged’, to website comment form reports, to finally settle into a form and spreadsheet combination. I’ve had years of wishing we could have an automated blog feed, only to realize that as things have been developing in the recent years, it wouldn’t work anyway because so much of SL blogging is actually just in flickr, not in blogs. This year as the non-functioning SL group situation drove us into Discord servers, most of us got finally a preview of what that would be like, that Faire blog feed. The #blogposts channel has been a wonder to see, a Faire post after Faire post. I think it has also made it easy for everyone to see just how hard our bloggers work, and appreciate them all the more for it.
Everything within Faire takes teams of people to achieve, every task is important, all these smaller parts form the great entity and experience known as Fantasy Faire, and each volunteer adds to the creation, every Fairelander helps. Somewhere before, after and during that amazing immersion the various chroniclers, heralds, authors, correspondents and photographers manage to catch that magic and present it for others to see. It is a complicated spell to weave, and every year it amazes me to see it succeed and bloom.