The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #118525   Message #2570975
Posted By: GUEST,Tom Bliss
19-Feb-09 - 12:18 PM
Thread Name: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
Subject: RE: should the BBC folk awards be scrapped
There are lots of other ways of skinning this particular cat.

But like it or not it's the only cat in town at the moment, so it would be advisable to skin it without killing it.

The BBC see folk music as a minority genre, and they have bean counters who allocate funds accordingly. This is a science and not one that can be fudged. There might be a better way of spending that money, but we're unlikely to have anyone better placed than John Leonard to fight our corner - which he does well. (There would be no awards at all without his tenacity and vision).

Yes, you can make a case for an open vote (the MH request shows are not far from what you're suggesting - albeit filtered through the bbc brief) - but if you're planning to use the MH show as a conduit, bear in mind that this has instructions to keep its audience from the NB country show before it (if it doesn't, it'll lose its contract, and there will be NO folk on R2 at all), so you'll probably get more 'acoustic/country' folk winners than '58 folk' winners. I doubt that's what many want. You can fling the door open and have a full public vote - but this has been ruled out in the past on the basis that the people with the biggest PR machine would definitely win every time.

Alternatively you could change to a Mercury committee system - and this has merit, but doesn't appeal to JL, and he has his reasons.

I've suggested a bigger panel (more democracy), but through a vetting committee with editorial clout (more accountability/common sense/room for outsiders).

But all the changes I've suggested are merely to reduce the bickering and improve the PR, not to change the outcome.