Interesting Thread this. I think the 'your dad was editing it' was a bit unfair. Our kid couldn't have an opinion when I was editing it and now apparently can't have one either. So here's my shot.
When I was editing the magzine I tried to revitalise it by giving as much exposure to young performers as I could. There was a hell of a lot of hate mail came through my post box in the early days as a result of that. I personally think that Derek has turned the clock back since then. The editor is dependent on what is sent in but frankly Derek's preposterous guidelines for format are somewhat off putting. Liz and I spent long nights typing in good, but hand written material in anything but an approved format. That's called giving people a say. I didn't always like what they said but I did have a right of reply. Thanks for the comment on the Pig Dyke photo by the way, I went to so many festivals that year taking photos like that one that I was able to solicit a lot of material by personal contact. This too was my editorial style. Dave had not been a really visible editor around the country and when I took over I felt visibility was what was needed. I was and remain, a fierce supporter of the Society as a matter of ppersonal principle.
On another angle I think Jonny is not being totally realistic. Don't kid yourselves, this is 'trendy people ' music. The artists you see at festivals are not all there on merit, many are present because of the 'deals' that record companies are making and it's a pretty poor agent who doesn't push their weaker acts on the back of their 'top liners'.
I'm afraid quality doesn't sell in folk any more than it does in the highstreet. What does sell is sharp design, good photography and snappy articles. What puts people off is wordy worthy articles with bibliographies as long as the article. Also, bear in mind that the reading age average in this country is around 12 years. By making a publication academically biased you are removing it from the realm of the very 'folk' to whom the tradition belongs. A guy I'd never met came up to me at a festival a couple of years ago and said, " I'm not an educated man, I never read EDS before because I couldn't understand most of it, thank you for making it something that I can enjoy without feeling studpid. I've joined the society because of that." I wonder if he's still a member? There again, is the society bothered?