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GUEST,eliza c fRoots magazine and the EFDSS (175* d) RE: fRoots magazine and the EFDSS 20 May 09

The reason that I didn't want my own contemporary music on folk festival stages, and the reason that I too had a great deal of trouble accepting SOH within the folk scene to start with along with other singer-songwriters, is that when they started the folk scene was very different than it is now, much smaller, not commercial and more fragile.
    There have always been stages for singer-songwriters. The folk scene I grew up in was for traditional music, contemporary or otherwise, was not supposed to be a jumping-off point for people that would then leave it behind to progress in their careers. Now, I'm talking about fifteen, twenty years ago. I thought that SOH were using the folk scene to develop an audience purely for themselves. I thought they were bringing commerciality and acoustic rock, which I saw as "me music" into a scene that was supposed to be for everybody. I could see that growing and swamping the fragile thing that I loved. What I loved was joint, cultural ownership and glorious participation in and forwarding of the continuation of the music of our ancestors. They were not that, and neither was the songwriting stuff I did. I do include myself in that. And I know Phil and Steve, let me stress that they are fine musicians and fine people.
   These days the folk scene is not so much about traditional music, and it turns out there is room for everybody, which is fine. What you don't understand is that the EFDSS doesn't have to have anything at all to do with the folk scene. It may have crossover points with it, but the folk scene could be irrelevant to the Society, at least the part of the Society that is concerned with the preservation of traditional music.
The Society should survive whether or not performers do because it keeps something precious for everybody, including everybody that isn't you and me: those people that don't know or care about Sidmouth festival and its like. It is up to us to support the Society, not the other way around. If everyone on the folk scene did that the Society would have much more clout and power and money to take the music we love out to the wider world. People have it completely backwards. It's no good sitting on the sidelines bitching about it, that achieves absolutely nothing. If those of us that care do nothing we have only ourselves to blame if it fails.
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