The difference between the two is not all that great. A 'Revel' is not so formal, more often pot-luck or bring your own meals, likely to be set in an Inn, Tavern, or Picnic type of location. The event copy will give you the details.
A feast is a more formal occasion, including a meal of at least three food courses. With entertainment in between (to let the food settle a bit!) Courts are a often a feature at feasts; the event copy will tell you if the Monarch is going to be in attendance. Frequently, there is dancing (don't worry: beginners are welcome) and many people bring game boards. If you are a performer (acting, singing or instrumental), your performance would greatly enhance the feast.
Sometimes we do Feasts or Revels as a Potluck. A potluck, and what type of dish you should bring, will have been stipulated in the Event copy. Bring a dish to feed about 6 people. Try to make something that COULD have been served in Period even if it is not a period recipe. Have the recipe posted near the dish as people who have allergies appreciate this, as do persons enjoying the dish who would like the recipe.
Children are welcome at feasts. Parents are asked to be sure to bring things to entertain them. (I would rather have a kid playing with modern toys than being miserable as they are forced to 'sit still' or participate in something they have no interest in.) Pricing for Children's seats depends on how large the hall is. IF there are only 30 seats and the event's break-even cash point depends on selling them all, seats are same price for all ages. IF, as is the more usual situation, there is lots of room, Children are usually much cheaper - and very often simpler fare is prepared for them, too. Babes in arms are, of course, free, though you have to be prepared to pass them around for admiration from all! The event copy will give you details on prices.
To prepare to attend a Feast, you will need:
- Eating equipment - Within this group we all have and bring our own - that way it fits our persona (and the people putting on the feast don't have an overwhelming amount of things they need to bring)
- A plate, a bowl, a drinking vessel. - Many wooden ones are easily found. Be sure the paint or varnish is food safe. Metal dishes look lovely - again, do be sure they are of a food safe material. Metal drinking vessels can be hot to the lips, and also may make a wine 'taste'.
- Eating Utensils - In period, you would have had a belt knife and perhaps a spoon. In practice, most of us have knives, forks and spoons; we do try to find utensils that are not glaringly modern.
- A napkin, a Tablecloth, Napkins for your fingers, a Tablecloth to dress up your 'place'.
- Candles and Candle holders - to light your dinner and help set the stage for your persona.
- Drinks - The event copy will tell you if you can bring alcohol to the feast ; if it is a dry site, please respect this. Places like the Boy Scouts Sites have NO alcohol tolerance. One can always bring a (carefully disguised) bottle of pop, thermos of coffee or similar beverage, should one wish to. The feast will often have a beverage served with it.
- A basket to carry all this, and a (carefully tucked away) plastic bag to take home dirty dishes. - There are often dish washing areas at a feast but I find it's easier to take them home than risk getting dishwater on my garb.
- Your Garb (clothing) - If you only have one set, then it will do!! But it's fun to read the copy and see if this is a Courtly feast or a Peasant feast or any other theme that might have been dreamed up and dress accordingly.
- Attitude - the RIGHT attitude !! Be willing to leave discussions of movies, computers and other mundanities at home. Here we are setting a stage to re-enact our persona's life, times and attitudes.