So, you’re attending your first event. Wonderful!
This is a great opportunity to dress up. Pull out that old fancy dress costume, wear a baggy t-shirt as a tunic, or simply come as you are and we’ll find you something. Dressing in an approximation of medieval garb is almost the only rule of the society, which is why we have a big box of spare garb to lend to newcomers. Do let us know if you will need something so we know to bring the box along.
Will this event involve eating? Often events include a feast, where all the food is provided, but utensils generally are not. Bring along some feast gear which probably should include a plate, a bowl, a cup, a knife and a spoon. Interestingly, forks are late period in many cultures so tend not to be used much in the SCA. If this feast is in the evening, a candlestick and candle would be a good idea (but not compulsory).
Each event is run by an event steward, sometimes called the autocrat. When you arrive at the event, you should chat to any of the friendly people about and find out who that is. The event steward will want to welcome you, introduce you to some people and get you settled watching the tournament, seated at the feast table, or joining a conversation. There is no need to know anything about history or about the ins and outs of the SCA.
Another of the rules of the SCA is that everyone behave like a lady or gentleman. The general atmosphere of chivalry and courtesy is what attracts many people to the SCA. You will eventually find that some people in the SCA have titles and sometimes you might even see a coronet being worn. As a general rule, address people as “my lord” or “my lady” and you will always be right. Any details can be worked out some other day.
Some events have an event fee, to cover the cost of the hall hire and the food. If so, the event steward can tell you how much. Some events, typically tournaments in a public park with no catering, are without charge.
In short, bring yourself, a willingness to have a tunic flung over your head and an interest in spending a few hours with interesting people doing interesting things.