The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109916 Message #2302222
Posted By: Ruth Archer
31-Mar-08 - 01:48 PM
Thread Name: Our ghastly folk tradition
Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
"I just wanted to point out that it isn't just Young Folkies having a hard time; some of us Old Buggers aren't having much of a laugh either. There IS an audience out there, if only we are allowed near them. And many of them are young, although I don't think we should be concerning ourselves too much about the age issue; I think this has only become an issue due to the fact that there is a generation gap, which there wasn't in the old days. Folk music isn't an age-related music."
I agree, John. I think there is a cult of youth in folk at the moment. It's important to have a range of ages represented in both audiences and artists, but many artists of all ages find it hard to get gigs.
Whe we were at the Folk Arts England conference this year, my boyfriend summed t up really well, I think: there seems to be an assumption that folk is like an escalator: either people get on at the bottom (in their teens or early 20s), or you've missed them forever. But folk is more like a lift: it stops at every floor, and some people will get on, and some will get off. Their reasons for opting out at certain times can be myriad, but like you, often are to do with family commitments. As a 40 year old, I find that the REAL gap is in my age group: all of my friends seem to be at least 10 years older or 10 years younger than me, but there are very few 35 - 45 year olds around. Apparently we're the "lost generation".
Similarly, there are reasons why people opt in as they get older. Our music tastes change, we get more adventurous...there are new people finding the music (and dance) all the time - of all ages.