Assuming that the city of Toronto ever succumbs to an apocalypse, or a civil war, Trinity Bellwoods Park on June 28 might give some insight as to what it may look like. Imagine: playgrounds destroyed, children screaming, people wielding medieval weaponry, and a horde of tuxedo-clad men nervously chanting “dear me, old sport!” while gunning it for Queen Street. This scene could be but one of many possible outcomes of scheduling a Gatsby-themed garden party, and a Game of Thrones cosplay battle for the same time, in the exact same place.By now, the Spadina Museum’s Gatsby Garden Party has sparked so much attention that it has somehow managed to garner backlash, likely from some of those who were unable to get tickets. In turn, this resulted in a second, unrelated Gatsby Garden Party – initially named “Ghetto Gatsby Garden Party” before the name was promptly switched to “Jimmy Gatz Garden Party:” the alliteration game was strong, but not strong enough to humour the disapproving attendees. The event currently holds 2,900 guests, and it is scheduled for 1:00pm at Trinity Bellwoods on June 28.Meanwhile, another Facebook event was brewing. Toronto’s prominent cosplay group, Underworld LARP (Live Action Role Playing), had planned a Game of Thrones-themed battle, and had scheduled the battle to take place in Trinity Bellwoods Park for 3:00pm, also on June 28.Co-owner of Underworld LARP, David Ashby, cites the decision to host this Game of Thrones-themed battle back to a “young guy who was interested in ‘LARPing.’ He posted it on Facebook, and then realized the event may be a little out of his scope. So we decided to take it on ourselves.”“Basically, people who want to show up and take part in the combat are going to have to bring their own weapons themselves,” Ashby tells me. “For army versus army combat we’ll be having 100 to 150 people participating in one battle at a time, so if six groups of 100 people show up, then we’ll run six battles around the park.”I mean, what could possibly go wrong? No red flags here — it’s not as if the thirty year-old man dressed as a dragon is going to come crashing into the jam-band’s upright bassist. A pedestrian walking their dog might be impaled by a stray White Walker, and an unassuming tennis-player may be swept off their feet by some spaghetti-legged jazzman wearing a straw hat.The host of the Jimmy Gatz Garden Party, who asked to remain anonymous, basically tells me to calm down. “I kind of doubt all 2,900 will show up. Especially with social media, this stuff snowballs — but I wouldn’t expect all of them to actually show up. It’s also a big park, and at least the people I know who are interested in the garden party are also Game of Thrones fans. So if anything, this whole thing will be embraced.”Fair enough. Trinity Bellwoods’ enormousness may be able to hold both parties, and for anyone not attending the Pride Parade, these events will at least provide for two more, fun activities for a summer day in Toronto. Put on a tuxedo or a dress and join in the garden party, or dawn a helmet and sword and partake in an epic battle. Either way, you may want to proceed with caution; it may be June, but winter is definitely coming.
Published: 2:29 pm, 23 June 2015
under Arts & Culture