And don't necessarily assume that everyone on this thread has necessarily got it all right. Mr Red for instance classed the Traditional sessions (lunchtime)in the Volunteer as a singaround, which is something they are definitely not. Singers are invited to provide a song,which may or may not be traditional (most are, but not all), and the proceedings are interspersed with a couple of tunes from the pitband of the day. Most singers there are regulars,and a number are guests at festivals in their own right. The MC and invited MC of the day are experienced singers/musicians,so know a large majority of those present, and try to provide a varied and balanced selection of songs, song types and singers. They are quite happy to receive requests to sing from individuals that they don't know. As to the implication of having to wait a long time to sing if you are a newcomer ... that applies to experienced known faces as well.I never expect that I will necessarily be asked to sing (sometimes I haven't) and nor do I know when it's likely to be (I've sung at the beginning, the end, the middle). And as has already been indicated age makes no difference. In fact it's more likely that young singers will be welcomed with open arms rather than cold shouldered. (IMHO)
By the way Anon - are you still out there? It would be interesting to know which venues you tried? As has already been said, all sessions ,singarounds, song events are run on different lines, and you need to find out which ones are actualy to your taste, and, if you don't know anyone, approach the session organiser to let him/her know that you are a singer and would like the chance to be heard. Hope you persist.