Widdershins, LLC is a New Jersey-based company owned and run by Jeff Mach. Under the name Jeff Mach Events, the company presents multiple events in New Jersey each year, structured similarly to Renaissance fairs, including entertainment, vendors, and participation by costumed attendees.
Jeff Mach Events
Whereas traditional Renaissance fairs attempt to immerse participants in a cohesive thematic experience, Jeff Mach Events cater to a wider range of "fringe interests", Mach refers to the events as "Cuisinart events", wherein devoted fans of various subcultures have the opportunity to intermingle, collaborate, and blend their passions together, often yielding surprising and entertaining results. The events ground themselves in the cultural solidarity of their participants who, despite their differing tastes, share the common bonds of free-form creative expression and indulgence in fantasy without shame. "People mixed genres freely" at the event. This environment is furthered by one of the events' main goals, which is to create a home for "unusual people".
This broad theme of inclusiveness has particularly extended to welcoming LGBTQ folks, polyamorists, BDSM practitioners, steampunk aficionados, goths, and neopagans. A number of entertainers have become "regulars" at Jeff Mach Events, including (but not limited to) Voltaire, Isaac Bonewits and Frenchy and the Punk formerly The Gypsy Nomads.
Jeff Mach Events are typically one or two days long, compared to the weeks to months of a traditional Renaissance faire.
The first Jeff Mach Event was the Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire, which began in 2006 at the New Jersey Expo Center in Edison, New Jersey. It was a completely indoor event held in February. In addition to the Renaissance theme, each year the Faire includes a non-traditional theme. These themes have included science fiction, Lovecraftian horror, superheroes, ninjas, pirates, anime, and even Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Company founder Jeff Mach explains that his reason for including an additional theme besides Renaissance to the faires is to "take something that people like, for different reasons maybe – Renaissance Faires ... and layer on top of that all kinds of other interesting [activities]". The result is what Mach likes to call "A Renaissance Faire With Benefits," comprising three days of "damn good times, made from a formidable array of entertainments, games, and experiences spanning several genres, set against the backdrop of a slightly twisted, not-for-kids Renaissance Faire".
Past and current productions
- Dark Fantasy Faire
- Dark Fantasy Faire II: Yoshiwara Village
- Halloween in December
- The Anachronism
- The Big Brass Ball
- The Geeky Kink Event(s)
- The Totally Normal Event
- Wicked Good Time
- Wicked Labyrinth
- Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire