The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110739   Message #2327518
Posted By: gnomad
28-Apr-08 - 08:50 AM
Thread Name: Tight Folkies
Subject: RE: Tight Folkies
I don't feel that folkies as a whole deserve the reputation which MaxwellSH ascribes to them, though we have a percentage of skinflints just the same as any other group. Some have few resources and husband them with remarkable zeal, others are relatively well-off (some of these are in that position through a lifetime of careful resource-guarding, others through hard work) some indeed have few resources but a generous hand; basically we include all sorts.

What does distinguish the folk crowd from the general run of holidaymaker is different priorities. We will spend to see performances by artists we like, but spend little in discotheques. Musical instruments probably don't feature in the basket of commodities regarded as essential living expenses for inflation calculations, but they feature heavily in many a folky's expenditure.

Coming to Whitby we don't spend highly on plastic souvenirs, tattoos, goth memorabilia or donkey rides, these are not why we come to folk week. However we do sell out all forms of accomodation in the town year after year, the restaurant and pub trade do some of their best business of the year, shops selling certain food, fashion, and trinket lines do well.

I came to the town as a folk week punter for many years, so know it well from that angle. Now that I live here, working in a tourist trade, I see the other side as well. Our business does relatively poorly out of the folk crowd (boat trips use up time you could spend singing, dancing or [yes] drinking) but I have been surprised when talking to passengers how many of them deliberately make a visit during folk week simply to take in the festival atmosphere and street entertainment. These people spend on the same things that most trippers do, but they come because of the folkies, a similar thing applies in Goth week.

With regard to MSH's bar-owning friend, I am sorry that his venture was not a success. I would suggest that 8.00 am was an unlikely time to expect to be selling significant amounts of food and drink (particularly to singers and dancers) but that does not excuse people bringing their own if the deal was that the premises were provided on the basis described, and the deal had been communicated to participants. I would hope that the staff laid on got on with the other myriad jobs which need doing in any bar, so their employment should not have been a complete loss, though clearly not as profitable as could be hoped. Perhaps a different deal with the organisers next time?