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Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing

Dave Higham 06 Oct 08 - 07:00 PM
Richard Atkins 06 Oct 08 - 08:07 PM
bubblyrat 07 Oct 08 - 05:43 AM
greg stephens 07 Oct 08 - 06:17 AM
.spiderman 07 Oct 08 - 07:11 AM
Mo the caller 07 Oct 08 - 08:16 AM
Dave Higham 07 Oct 08 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 07 Oct 08 - 08:46 AM
muppitz 07 Oct 08 - 09:12 AM
Acorn4 07 Oct 08 - 09:41 AM
Mr Happy 07 Oct 08 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Oct 08 - 09:53 AM
Les in Chorlton 07 Oct 08 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Betsy at Work 07 Oct 08 - 09:59 AM
Dave Higham 07 Oct 08 - 11:05 AM
Aeola 07 Oct 08 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Charts 07 Oct 08 - 12:09 PM
greg stephens 07 Oct 08 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Steve - Canada 07 Oct 08 - 01:31 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Oct 08 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Manita B 07 Oct 08 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Sandra 07 Oct 08 - 02:57 PM
greg stephens 07 Oct 08 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Sandra 07 Oct 08 - 02:59 PM
Dave Higham 07 Oct 08 - 03:02 PM
BB 07 Oct 08 - 03:06 PM
greg stephens 07 Oct 08 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 07 Oct 08 - 03:13 PM
Dave Higham 07 Oct 08 - 04:08 PM
Dave Higham 07 Oct 08 - 04:20 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Oct 08 - 04:54 PM
Bryn Pinzgauer 07 Oct 08 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Sandra 07 Oct 08 - 06:16 PM
John J 08 Oct 08 - 04:01 AM
Abdul The Bul Bul 08 Oct 08 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 08 Oct 08 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,caitlín 08 Oct 08 - 05:14 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Oct 08 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Sandra 08 Oct 08 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,The Lame-Brained Organiser 08 Oct 08 - 06:47 AM
Mr Red 08 Oct 08 - 08:09 AM
Ruth Archer 08 Oct 08 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Alan Surtees - Shrewsbury Folk Festival 08 Oct 08 - 08:35 AM
Folkie 08 Oct 08 - 08:36 AM
the lemonade lady 08 Oct 08 - 09:00 AM
danensis 08 Oct 08 - 09:04 AM
Vin2 08 Oct 08 - 09:05 AM
Ruth Archer 08 Oct 08 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Trainer54 08 Oct 08 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 08 Oct 08 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 08 Oct 08 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Sandra 08 Oct 08 - 11:01 AM
the lemonade lady 08 Oct 08 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Sandra 08 Oct 08 - 11:08 AM
billybob 08 Oct 08 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Sandra 08 Oct 08 - 11:19 AM
Vin2 08 Oct 08 - 11:47 AM
Kampervan 08 Oct 08 - 04:58 PM
Dave Higham 08 Oct 08 - 08:35 PM
Aeola 09 Oct 08 - 06:37 AM
.spiderman 09 Oct 08 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,baz parkes 09 Oct 08 - 09:01 AM
the lemonade lady 09 Oct 08 - 09:12 AM
RobbieWilson 09 Oct 08 - 09:22 AM
The Villan 09 Oct 08 - 09:50 AM
Fran 09 Oct 08 - 01:03 PM
Dave Hunt 09 Oct 08 - 02:43 PM
Mr Happy 10 Oct 08 - 10:55 AM
Aeola 10 Oct 08 - 03:57 PM
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Subject: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Dave Higham
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 07:00 PM

Yes, I know this is a bit late in the day, but I've only just got back from a 2-month Mudfest in the UK. We were towed ONTO and OFF 2 campsites! 'Why', I hear you ask, 'would anyone who lives in SW France want to spend 2 months on holiday in the UK?' Well, because my French wife loves England and prefers English rain to French sunshine. No, I don't understand either.

So, this is what the blurb on the Shrewsbury web-site said:

'We will be using the wonderful "Scola" tensile marquee we used last year as our main venue. To prevent the seated audience having their view interrupted when people at the front stand up, (in the moshing pit) we have decided to increase the height of the stage and use crowd control barriers behind the standing area. This will create a line of demarcation and the first seated rows will be positioned three metres behind the barriers. This means if anyone stands up the seated audience will see straight over their heads.'

So we forked out £174 for 2 tickets and off we went.

Own up organisers, you got it 100% WRONG. After queuing 2 hours (including the obligatory 45 minutes or more after the scheduled start of each concert) we got seats on the front row. Then the people came and stood in front of us in the 'mosh pit' and we could not see anyone on stage. A steward actually came and asked us if we could see, so I let her sit in my seat. She got the message. I don't know if the organisers did.

I found later on that by sitting about 20 or 30 rows from the front and craning your neck you could see the artists on stage from the waist up. Great for clog dancers or Irish dancers! The Ukulele Orchestra perform sitting down. We could just about see their heads! Of course, if you went right to the back of the marquee you could almost see the feet of the people on stage (with a telescope).

So whose lame-brained idea was it to allow a couple of hundred selfish people to stand at the front and effectively spoil the concert for a couple of thousand people sitting behind them? In theory this area is for exhibitionists to come and make complete idiots of themselves by jigging about in a way that ranges from the ridiculous to the frankly embarrassing. (Why don't they do it at ceilidhs? Is it because they'd feel stupid doing it in front of people who can dance?). But in fact, what happens is that people just go and stand there and block the view of those behind. Some even had children sitting on their shoulders! Why not reserve a space for the gesticulators at the back of the marquee, or better still, invite them to go and do it outside?

Second complaint (no, I haven't finished). The sound in the wonderful 'Scola' marquee was, for the most part, atrocious. Not all the sound crew's fault I think. It must have a natural air resonance which meant that certain bass notes caused feed-back. With only a couple of instruments they could try to control it, although with little success. With 4 or more on stage the answer seemed to be to ignore it and crank up the decibels. The worst case was the Duhks' concert. The compare (poor man) enthusiastically told us that there wouldn't be an empty seat in the house! Before the end of it three quarters of the audience had left. We left when the sound level became physically painful.

So much for the wonderful Scola marquee. If it's the same next year we won't be back. But then, who gives a monkey's?

On the other hand, later on we went to Bromyard. I asked one of the organisers if there'd be a 'mosh pit' in the main concert marquee. He said "Over my dead body"! We'll go back to Bromyard. Even if there's mud a foot deep again.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Richard Atkins
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 08:07 PM

Dave I second your thoughs entirely,having watched on the screen outside that marquee, not worth going in then!
Pritty from outside but a disaster for any sound man.
Brill festival though but too big now.
Apologies to Allan and Sandra


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: bubblyrat
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 05:43 AM

It's not so bad if A) the band ASK people to come to front of stage and fling themselves about, as per The Oyster Band at both FAREHAM and LEICESTER this year, assuming B) that the venue/seating/stage-height are all suitable (they were !), but when a seething mass of uncontrolled drunken humanity make total prats of themselves by wildly cavorting in the area between front-row seats and stage where this is both unfeasible and undesirable,as at WARWICK this year,it can totally ruin EVERYTHING ---and I was NOT HAPPY !! ( Warwick ,and other,organisers, TAKE NOTE !!) And---under the circumstances, I shall DEFINITELY NOT now be attending SHREWSBURY !! ( It was on my list as a possible for next year).


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 06:17 AM

I don't know about the big marquee at Shrewsbury, I didn't play there. But in the smaller marquee(where I did play, with the Boat Band) everything seemed quite civilised. Those who wanted to listen sat down, and thopse that wanted to dance went to the side aisles. Whether they were officially allowed to I dont know, but the stewards let them and a good time was had by all.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: .spiderman
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 07:11 AM

How strange - I had such a wonderful time at Shrewsbury (it was my first visit)! I thought they had the set-up just right - there's no way you can please everyone, but I'm sure the majority had as good a time as I did. I was in the 'mosh-pit' for some things, near the front of the seating area for others (bobbing heads didn't annoy me at all - people were just enjoying themselves!) - it certainly worked a lot better than the other folk feativals I regularly go to (Cambridge, Leigh-on-Sea, Cropredy). I really do think that the organisers got it spot on at Shrewsbury - well done them! If you go to a large festival expecting perfect sound you are just setting yourself up for disappoinment, but on the whole it was great. I think the thing to do is to just enter into the spirit of things and you're guaranteed to have a good time (beer helps!). Roll on Shrewsbury 2009!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Mo the caller
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 08:16 AM

If you can't expect good sound then what is the point?


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Dave Higham
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 08:43 AM

Every time I hear a band encourage people to come down to the front and dance, my heart sinks. OK, if the conditions are appropriate (but they seldom are) however I still think it's more about an ego trip for the band than anything else. Who was it who said 'This tune's got a great beat, so if you feel like clapping along to it, please DON'T'! Whoever it was, had the right idea.

It's true that in the smaller marquee the sound was much better. Partly, I think, because it was smaller and partly because Alistair Russell was in charge of it. It still sometimes got very loud though. I suppose I'm too old to appreciate fiddles so loud they hurt my ears and drums that give me an unpleasant thudding in my chest.

As to not expecting perfect sound. I think if I've paid £174 (a lot of money on a pension) to hear world-class artists I have every right to expect world-class sound.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 08:46 AM

Of course you can expect good sound.

"Perfect" sound is a little more difficult to achieve in these big structures, but that is what we are continually striving for.

For your information, it is the same sound company (mine!) that does Warwick, Bromyard and Shrewsbury - using the same high quality equipment. There is just more of it at Shrewsbury, in order to cover the much larger area.

I am not going to get into an argument about which was better, and whether it was too loud, or too quiet (both opinions have been expressed). All it proves is that different people have different perceptions, and expectations, and you'll never please everybody.

Suffice it to say that we take all sensible criticism seriously, and you'll find that myself, along with Alan & Sandra Surtees, are actually our own harshest critics, and are usually well aware of what works and what doesn't.

G


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: muppitz
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 09:12 AM

Being a mate of the sound crew I would like to point out that all of the major/finishing acts at Shrewsbury had their own sound engineer so please don't be so quick to attack the people who are there days before any of us setting up and days afterwards taking it all back down again as they are the same crew also do the sound for the stages at other festivals, *including* Bromyard and they do a damn good job!

I will often stand with them at the back when I go in to see concerts and I've never observed feedback being unattended, nor do they try to mask it with volume, wherever I sit in a marquee that Graham and his team are working the sound is neither painful or inappropriate.
You can and you should expect good sound.

In terms of the 'mosh pit', I have my reservations on this idea, it's great that the people who want to dance have a space to do it where they're not going to inadvertantly fall into the lap of the people who don't, however, maybe a better idea would be to raise the height of the seating rather than the stage then the people who queue for hours on end to get to the front row won't have such an anti-climactical experience.

And no, people who dance at concerts do not feel stupid dancing in front of people who can actually dance, it's an expression of rhythm, also known as 'enjoying yourself' and having the freedom to move witout feeling like you have to conform to a set of steps and potentially feeling like an idiot if you don't know said steps.

People who danced in the mosh pit are NOT SELFISH, the service was provided to protect those who sit in the front row and are at risk of people falling over onto you and your pint, if there was no mosh pit, people would just get up and dance at the front of the stage a mere few centimetres away from your legs, no one would use a mosh pit that was at the other end of the marquee, we would be back to people complaining about the dancers being too close and crowding the front of the marquee.
So what's the next step? By the tone of your message I would guess that you would want to ban dancing in the main marquee? Also not going to happen, maybe your time would be better spent thinking up some constructive solutions rather than just moaning about everything that wasn't to your personal taste.

Here's a constructive suggestion, send an e-mail to the organisers of Shrewsbury Folk Festival, let them know about your concerns and use my suggestion that they raise the height of the seating to enable a better view for those who don't want to be exhibitionists that come and make complete idiots of themselves and I won't even tell them the idea wasn't yours.

That is, if you can be bothered to be constructive towards a festival you're never going to go to again.

My few pennies worth!

muppitz
x


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 09:41 AM

One answer is to replace the "mosh pit" with the "mush pit" experienced at Bromyard - knee deep mud isn't conducive to dancing - it was a dredit to Tarras (with a bit of help from Keith Donnelly!), who, in spite of obviously not being to everyone's taste managed to get people dancing, where even S and B had not done so.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Mr Happy
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 09:52 AM

Well, Mr Happy * the Gloom Band had a fantastic time in Shrewsb'ry!

There's some links posted on the other thread here thread.cfm?threadid=106684#2425237 where you can watch lots've this years concerts on YTube - your view unobscured!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 09:53 AM

'different people have different perceptions, and expectations, and you'll never please everybody.'

Nice platitudes. Now how about some science?

If there is feedback, then equipment is either set up wrong or too loud. Figure it out - before the concert.

If people are feeling pain from the sound, then it's too loud. What is the decibel level? Figure it out.

If 3/4 of the audience have left, something is wrong. Figure it out.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 09:56 AM

Perhaps part of the bill for sound could be spent on the toilets. I thought the sound OK.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Betsy at Work
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 09:59 AM

Leeneia - I don't know about Science - it sounded like plain old common sense to me .Well said.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Dave Higham
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 11:05 AM

Constructive criticism? Raise the height of the stage. I actually worked out, while there, that if the stage was raised by 1 metre there would be no problem. You'd even see what the step dancers' feet were doing. As to raising the seating. How many seats were there? 3000? 4000? Doesn't sound realistic to me.

I apologise to Graham Bradshaw if I seemed to be saying it was all the sound crew's fault. I realise that that tent is probably a sound engineer's nightmare. I also knew that a lot of the 'stars' bring their own man. I've noticed on more than one occasion that that's when it all starts going downhill. Richard Thompson's sound was excellent (I don't know who did it)and although it was just one voice and acoustic guitar I'm sure Graham will tell us that that's not as easy as you'd think.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Aeola
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 11:48 AM

Raising the stage is more feasible than the seating, and yes, the sound in the main marquee was not good all the time. Strikes me that if it can be good some of the time and not at other times maybe there is some problem with set up etc, whoever is doing it. However I have noticed this 'phenomena' at other Fests where artists insist on their own sound men.Maybe there could be some sort of liaison between the 'on-site sound man' and the 'visiting sound man'.After all it's the punter who is paying!! I also noticed that the sound from the Main Marquee ssounded infinitely better as you walked towards the food area!! Generally I really enjoyed the Festival!& will be there next year!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Charts
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 12:09 PM

Regarding the sound in the main marquee, I understand completely Grahams dilema! I have been following most of the comments regarding this years SFF and with many people making comments on 'bad sound' in marquee one, I felt I had to say something to defend someone I know does a lot of good work!

Being a sound engineer myself, the problems associated with very large venues are often extremely daunting, and sometimes great sound is unachievable without spending 100s of thousands of pounds on the best pa rig on the planet, and even then I doubt it would be perfect!

As for the bass feedback comment, I suspect the person nearly got it right by commenting on 'air resonance'. All stuctures have a resonant frequency, the larger the venue the lower the note, and when this note is played the structure naturally amplifies it to the point of it sounding like feedback. Without extensive testing to discover the exact frequency, this effect cant be eradicated. Only a reduction can be achieved using equalising techiniques. The only suggestion I could give to possibly reduce a)volume levels and b)bass resonance, is to create more dispersion by putting delay stacks half way down the arena. This can often alleviate the problems of trying to drive the sound all the way from the front, and reduce the reflections experienced at the rear, ending up with less overall volume required to fill the venue.

Any how, Im probably getting a bit too techie, and boring the pants off anyone who is reading this. The point Im trying to make is that Grahams task is a very daunting one and I dont envy you your job of trying to sort this one out! What I do know though is that Graham has years of experience in the PA world and Im sure he has got plenty of ideas of how to build on and create more improvemants for next year.

PS The band I mix for is Elbow Jane, and although I was unable to attend SFF this year I do know the lads were very happy with Alistairs work in marquee two and also Grahams work in Marquee one! I was also very happy to know that my guys were in safe hands!

Keep up the good work Graham and dont let the whingers get you down!

Charts


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 12:26 PM

Could I echo muppitz's v sensible comments. If you have a criticism of some aspect of a festival, sending a polite email or other communication to the organisers is likely to have a much better outcome than some full-on whinge on a public forum which needlessly raises hackles. Surely we are all in this together, trying to have a good time at a festival, enjoy a bit of music.
And, on one specific point. It will be a sad day when nobody wants to jump about to well-played rhythmic dance music; and not everybody likes being told to do-si-do by a caller. Some do, some don't. It'd be very boring if we all liked the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Steve - Canada
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 01:31 PM

Folk Festival?

Mosh Pit?

Stop ruining 'FOLK MUSIC' bigger, louder not at all 'BETTER'   

Give us a break!

S.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 01:37 PM

Good point Steve,

"Stop ruining 'FOLK MUSIC' bigger, louder not at all 'BETTER'"
   
but I have to say that last year I thought Bellowhead, Peat Bog Faries and Salsa Celtica and i would say they were bigger, louder and different and very exciting,=.

I have also enjoyed The Boat Band with 20 odd others in a small pub in Swinton and then in the second tent at Shrewsbury and enjoyed the way they were amplified without loosing any of the quality and originality that they bring to old songs and tunes.

Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Manita B
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 02:36 PM

Does anyone have a big garden in which we can have a smaller cheaper gathering? These festivals are getting "...bigger, louder not at all 'BETTER'"

MB


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 02:57 PM

I think some comments deserve a response - so here goes.

We ordered a higher stage than we got. The marquees arrive on the Sun/Mon and each hour of every day is planned and jobs have to dovetail into one another. Getting the stage we ordered was not going to happen. Dave Higham, what would you have done? Would you have said 'right that's it - the festival is cancelled' I think not! In short we had to continue with the festival build.

If sound checks overrun it is always for a very good reason. For instance, Friday evening started late because two members of the Oysterband where let down by their own transport company and arrived one and a half hours late - they (and we) were upset but there was nothing we could do about it.

All concerts did not start 45 mins late.

Before we had a mosh pit people used to stand at the back, get very loud and upset people. The mosh pit had been requested for years before we decided to have one. I don't know how many feedback forms I have had this year but there must be over 1000 and NO one has said it's a bad idea or it doesn't work. They did, however, say the stage wasn't high enough but I have already covered that and it will be higher next year.

There were precisely 2000 seats in the main marquee.

Dancing in marquee two is definitely allowed in the side isles!

….and we do give a monkeys – that's why we improve things every year!

Sandra Surtees

SFF organiser


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 02:58 PM

Seems to me if you go in the big 2000-and-up seater marquees at festivals, you are going to get that sort of experience. If you don't like it, go for different venues. At Shrewsbury you could go in the Pavilion, and hear people you wanted to acoustically in a little room.Which is what I did. I dont particularly like big marquees. What I don't do is go and sit in big marquees, hate it, and then complain because I hated it!
   Let's face it, if you want to see two or three acts in an evening that charge fees thousands of pounds , you are going to end up sat with a load of other people and the PA may be loud...that's economics. And if the music is dancy, well some youngsters (or young-at-hearts) will be down the front jumping about and shouting and drinking beer. Personally I don't see that as non-folk. What could be more folk than having a good time while people are playing folk music? THat's fine by me; I am now a touch on the grey-haired side, and mostly inclined to go for the quiet listening space or the pub session, drunk but unamplified, but I have been known to get over-excited.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 02:59 PM

....by the way

the 2008 festival was exactly the same size as the 2007 festival


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Dave Higham
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 03:02 PM

Although I admit to knowing next to nothing about PA I did wonder when I first went into that enormous tent why there were no speaker stacks halfway down. Perhaps it's all down to £££.

A long time ago, someone is supposed to have asked Finbar Fury why he played everything so fast. He's reputed to have replied "Because I f*****g can"! Is that why sound engineers turn it up so loud? I do think that people who regularly work in these conditions must have damaged hearing and, perhaps, don't realised to what extent they risk damaging other people's.

This is folk (I prefer the word traditional) music after all. I suppose if Fred Jordan were still around and singing in the Scola marquee they'd be able to hear him in Shrewsbury bus station. But it doesn't seem right somehow.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: BB
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 03:06 PM

These exist, Manita, certainly in this country. There really are festivals for everyone's tastes, and generally speaking, reading forums like this will point you towards what will suit you - and what won't!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 03:08 PM

I should think if Fred Jordan turned up at Shrewsbury(by some strange quirk of fate) he would sing in the Pavilion unamplified and that would suit the people who wanted to see him (such as myself, and I imagine David Higham). On no occasion did I fail to get into the Pavilion when I wanted to see someone. Luckily, not everyone likes unamplified trad!(I am speaking as a listener there: obviously I would prefer it,speaking professionally, if rather more people did like it!)


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 03:13 PM

Having not yet visited Shrewsbury festival, let me get this right.
The band are set on a stage that is knowingly not as high as ordered.
The seated audience are therefore not far from the same head height as the musicians especially if they are also seated. Between the seated audience and the performers are people dancing to the music.

HELLO??


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Dave Higham
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 04:08 PM

A lot of people type much faster than me, which is why I've just seen the last 7 messages.

Sandra, thank you for replying to my whinges.

You say you didn't get the stage you ordered. OK I wouldn't expect you to cancell the festival, I'd expect you to cancell the mosh pit. Why is it so important that 100 or so people be allowed to stand in front of the other 2000. I'm not talking about 'dancing' now. They only 'danced' in one of the 5 concerts we attended. In the others they just stood in front of everyone else. The least I'd expect is a public explanation that what was said in the festival publicity hadn't materialised.

You're quite right, all concerts did not start 45 minutes late. They varied between 45 minutes and 15 minutes. None of them started on time but if you say there was always a good reason...

So no-one complained about the mosh-pit but they did complain about the height of the stage. Doesn't that amount to the same thing? But that's the English disease isn't it? Never complain. Perhaps I've lived too long where people do complain if something's not right. As to people standing at the back and getting too loud, I can't imagine they'd be noticed at those sound levels. And why is it better if they get noisy (and a visual nuisance) at the front?

Only 2000 seats? It seemed a helluva lot bigger than the Bromyard tent that held 1120 (I counted 'em).

When I said 'who gives a monkey's' I meant whether or not I come back next year, not whether or not I air my views on the Internet.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Dave Higham
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 04:20 PM

John from Kemsing, No you haven't got it quite right. The height of the stage is such that when people are dancing (but more often than not just standing in a crowd) in front of the stage, those sitting on the front row can't see anyone on stage. The further back you sit, the more you can see of whoever's on stage, until right at the back (about 100 metres away) you can almost see all of them. They do appear rather tiny though. This is deemed to be better than having people standing at the back, talking.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 04:54 PM

It's a live music festival Dave. It's in a field with hundreds of musicians and thousands of people. It's probably the best if it's kind.

What have you to do on this weekend that can't wait 15 to 45 minutes on a site with 8 or 9 venues, the best beer in England and an extraordinary range of food and company?

What ever you do don't organise anything and let people know how critical you have been of Shrewsbury

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Bryn Pinzgauer
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 06:14 PM

I had a great time at Shrewsbury but mainly in the smaller tent and the Pavilion.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 06:16 PM

Dave

Venues and audience numbers are carefully calculated. The mosh pit holds about 500 people. If we had cancelled the mosh pit where do you think all of those people would have gone?

Festival goers do not suffer from the English disease - if they feel it necessary they complain.

The seated audience did hear if people were talking at the back. They complained for years until we had the mosh pit. Overall the mosh pit is a success and with a higher stage next year it will be even better.

2000 seats - we had more isles in the main marquee than they did at Bromyard plus ours were wider and started further back.

And when I said 'we do give a monkeys' I meant about the festival!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: John J
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 04:01 AM

I think Shrewsbury is a smashing festival. Sure there are things I don't like about it but there is plenty I do like and I plan my festival weekend accordingly. The same goes for any festival I go to.

For example: I don't like the Upturned Udder Tent, it's generally far too loud (for me, not necessarily for others) and it really gets up my nose when members of the audience insist on standing in the aisles or in front of the stage blocking the view of the seated audience.

In consequence I only visit that venue if there is something I REALLY want to see (Bellowhead, Ukes, Demon Barbers).

The rest of the time I go to venues that I do like which makes for a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

Organisers are having to juggle furiously to keep their customers (us!) happy. It must be incredibly hard work, I certainly wouldn't want the job!

John


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 04:07 AM

Well, IMHO if at a festival there are seats arranged towards the front of the marquee and and people are allowed to stand in between them and the stage, I simply cross the festival off the list. There are still plenty of others to try.

I remember a Saul canal weekend where the family joined others sitting on the grass (no seats)about 2 feet away from the front barrier and still the ignorant people came and stood up to the barrier in front of us.
Yes i did ask them to move and they suggested I stood up.

Al


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 04:30 AM

I worry sometimes that this forum seems to attract 'whingers'. Shrewbury was this year (and last year) the highlight of my Festival year. It's fantastically run and looks after people well. The concerts running late are without doubt due to sound checks overrunning either cos the acts are being fastidous or due them arriving late for whatever reason. Celebrate the fact it's a great Festival, it can't be perfect but it as near as damn it is as good as it gets. I'm very happy to be involved and part of the team.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,caitlín
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 05:14 AM

> Before we had a mosh pit people used to stand at the back, get very loud and upset people.

Get very loud? Upset people? Doesn't that tell you something? So you give them a place right in front instead where they can block the view? (And does being in front make them any quieter?)

> no one would use a mosh pit that was at the other end of the marquee

Why not?   

£87 each is a lot to fork out to not be able to see. I don't think there's any excuse for depriving your seated audience for the sake of the moshers (who misbehave if they don't get their own way, it sounds like). Was this event billed as a concert or a dance?

If you must have a mosh pit why on earth can't you allocate space to the side for it, even if it means a having narrower section of seats? You can't short-circuit one portion of your audience for the dictates of another. So move the sodding mosh pit if you absolutely must have one. And I really think you should have cancelled this one if the stage was the wrong height.

Another question this issue raises is, what do these dancers do when the music being played is quiet and not beat-driven, or is a slow song with words which are meant to be heard and understood? Do they stand silently and listen, or do they get bored because they can't dance to it and then start talking? Performers are usually sensitive to the mood of their audience so they may feel the need to just keep pumping out the rhythm, to the detriment of all other types of material.

I don't think catering to the demands of those who in the organiser's own words will "get very loud and upset people" sends an attractive signal to the rest of the customers, who will then HAVE to look at them, whether they want to or not, instead of the artists they paid to see.   

You need to rework this one, not make excuses. Those complaints are not whingeing, McFat. They're about not getting value for money. Even if that wasn't the intention, it's still what happened. Insulting everyone who disagrees with your opinion won't solve anything.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 05:38 AM

OK, this is in danger of turning in to one of those threads in which people post without reading all the previous posts, apologies to those who have.

If the right stage had been delivered then the moshers would not really have been a problem. I can only say that with my vast experience of running Scout Camps (1963 - 71) organisers of these types of events have to be pragmatic.

Shrewsbury remains probably the best of it's kind.

Chiz,

L in C


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 06:45 AM

Caitlin

>Get very loud? Upset people? So you give them a place right in front instead where they can block the view?
they would not have blocked the view if the stage had been the height we ordered

>And does being in front make them any quieter?)   
it MAY not, but seated people can't hear them because there is distance between them

>Was this event billed as a concert or a dance?   
it clearly says in the programme that people will stand in the main marquee

>And I really think you should have cancelled this one if the stage was the wrong height'   
Can you imagine the riot that would have taken place if we had cancelled over a stage – do get real!

>I don't think catering to the demands of those who in the organiser's own words will "get very loud and upset people" sends an attractive signal to the rest of the customers, who will then HAVE to look at them, whether they want to or not, instead of the artists they paid to see.   
It's obvious that all of the people can't be pleased all of the time. Having said that we do try to provide what we hope is a great festival experience for the majority. Feedback is an extremely helpful tool and that is why we have a mosh pit at the front.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,The Lame-Brained Organiser
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 06:47 AM

I do think Mr Higham makes a good point, but I do wonder why he appears to be so angry six weeks after the event. I think Sandra has tried to address his complaints and I'm sure we can create a better situation in our "wonderful Scola marquee" next year.

I spend twelve months planning the festival and then get four days to build the entire infrastructure. This is a challenging job, and almost invariably I have to make some compromise from the original plan. I was very upset when the stage height was incorrect this year but decided to keep the rest of the plan together. You will appreciate (I hope) that making changes with only hours to spare is very difficult.

I try to put together an event which offers something for everyone and allows our visitors to enjoy the festival in their own way; Standing or seated, loud or quiet, traditional or contemporary, English, Scottish, Welsh or world music. The festival is not just one venue, in fact, it is very much more than one venue.

There would seem to be several things we could do to change the audience environment in the main marquee.

1. Stop inviting high energy bands to the festival. This would stop those people who insist on standing (and boping) at the front, but this would deprive our audience from some excellent performances.

2. Ban any standing at the front in the main marquee, harsh and almost impossible to enforce.

3. Continue with what has happened in recent years where people stand up right in front of the seated audience and completely block their view.

4. Open a third marquee (Dance House) for the high energy acts only, where it would be standing only. This would deprive the seated audience from seeing the high energy stuff.

5. Add tiered seating (too expensive at £40,000 for the main marquee)

What I want to do is allow all of our seated audience to see artists on stage from the very first row. We can achieve this by making the stage higher, limiting the moshing area, buy using the back row crowd control barriers, as we did this year, and maintaining a three metre distance from the crowd barrier to the first seated row. I also intend adding giant screens next year either side of the stage, so that our audience can see the artist's faces.

I will try my very best to give our audiences all that can be done within physical and financial constraints. I hate disappointing people. I will never stop trying to improve the festival. The vast majority of our audiences are happy with progress so far.

All the Best

Alan


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 08:09 AM

Dave Higham

There is no magic formula. The festival is moving in a direction that does not satisfy you. This is part and parcel of the business plan. Think Cambridge as a goal (well documented).

The waiting & safety concerns are a direct result of the size of the festival and the only solution, which if you wait a year or two, will be large video screens (precedent already set) and the marquee will be missing. Sound stage instead (note sound not music).
And the reprehensible experience of the year before may very well have come to the attention of the appropriate authorities who gave no quarter with the safety provisions.

But who cares? not the folkies who have decided that size does not constitute a goal worth participating in. And don't favour some of the consequences.

If you were a dancer I could suggest a better experience (including French and Breton most years). And the general buzz is better too.

I was watching championship motorcross so I can't speak from experience this year. But that was quieter - the authorities have rightly nailed-down regulations with competion motorbikes.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 08:17 AM

Sandra and Alan, I haven't yet been to Shrewsbury, but the buzz around the festival this year was so strong that i feel it behooves me to attend for at least a day next year and see what you've managed to achieve there. Sympathies with having to make the best of what was clearly a difficult situation at short notice, Alan.

I am only going on hearsay and what I've seen on your website, but it really feels like Shrewsbury is setting a new benchmark for what folk festivals CAN achieve in terms of infrastructure. You guys have taken risks and been innovative, and other festivals will no doubt pick and choose aspects of your good practice to emulate in future.

Best wishes,

Joan


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Alan Surtees - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 08:35 AM

"Think Cambridge as a goal (well documented)".

WHERE?

I think for the sake of Mudcats credibility Cresby you try the truth for a change.

You have no idea what my intentions are for the SFF

you really are a rather nasty, attention seeking little drip


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Folkie
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 08:36 AM

I don't like loud amplification or mosh pits but luckily at a festival like Shrewsbury there is a huge choice of alternatives. I enjoyed every minute of the festival and never went in the main marquee once. Don't stay in a venue you don't enjoy, go and try another one.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 09:00 AM

All i can think of is MOSH PIT??? Isn't this a folk festival?

Sal


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: danensis
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 09:04 AM

Alan, it seems a shame that when you don't have a good defence you have to resort to ad-hominem attacks. It does not help your case one whit.

JOhn


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Vin2
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 09:05 AM

HI, not been to Shrewsbury yet (tis on me list tho) and reading the criticisms above does not deter me. I have been to festivals both pop/rock and folk in the past e.g. Reading in 1972 (yes i'm that old), Saddleworth (every year bar one), Cropredy and even 'V' and there will always (in my experience) be something that 'gets up yer nose' but i try and judge the festival overall. Saddleworth for instance tho much smaller, i guess, than Shrewsbury is all in doors, the Civic Hall being the main venue and some years are better than others but there's always something going on around-about to please.

Re staging. I've seen the Pogues twice and although usually stay towards the back, the 'mosh' pit is almost as part of the performance as the band i.e. the atmosphere just would not be the same without it - it's fun to watch!!. Same with Mark Radcliffe's Family Mahone gigs and oyster band!!

Obviously, a higher stage is the answer and it's not the organizer's fault if the right one doesn't arrive.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 09:47 AM

danensis, I'm not really sure what Alan's "case" is or indeed should be. He has devoted an incredible amount of time and effort to the development of his festival, and there has been a persistent level of sniping from certain punters and traders who have not been happy with the way the festival has grown.

With over 300 folk festivals to choose from in the UK, surely if a festival no longer meets your needs or desires, you simply find one that does. I find it difficult to understand why anyone would want to take a pop at people who basically devote their whole lives to producing the best festival that they can. Anyone would lose their rag after a while.

From what I've been able to tell, the Surteeses are the good guys. Even if Shrewsbury isn't your kind of festival, that's still the case.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Trainer54
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 10:37 AM

I think we are getting quite a lot of contributions from those who were not there this year, or indeed, last.
I was there for both festivals and they were undoubtedly, the highlights of my festival seasons. No-one on the circuit goes to greater lengths to cater both for audience and artists. The camping is probably the best there is. I never once used an unacceptable loo. The food, beer etc was excellent. I watched dance teams (though it's not particularly my thing), heard acoustic acts, amplified acts, danced in the pit for Kerfuffle and Bellowhead, sat for Kerr Fagan Harbron, stood at the back for the Oysters, went to a ceilidh, etc etc. All in all, a most excellent weekend that offered a wide variety of music and activities for 4 days. Alan and Sandra work their socks off to make this run. I think they deserve some credit for their efforts and their amazing openness to comment and criticism. I'm not aware of any other festival where such a level of comment is welcomed.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 10:44 AM

Why are Alan and Sandra getting all this crap. They are loely people and committed to making Shrewsbury one of the best Festivals around. I (and many others agree) that they are doing just that. Things can't be perfect but in the main at Shrewsbury they are.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 10:53 AM

that should be 'lovely people' not loey


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:01 AM

Cresby you don't like Shrewsbury Folk Festival! We got that message over 14 months ago. And that's absolutly fine - everyone can't like every festival. I have read most of your postings on Mudcat, the Annexe, on the ceilidh web sites and the BBC message board and, if I didn't know better, I would think you were waging a vendetta. You know my phone number, email address and my postal address, why did you never contact me direct to discuss your issues? You masqueraded as a friend for at least 10 years and when you started your postings I for one was rather hurt. I'm not going to drag all your horrible and sometimes downright untrue comments up – they are best laid to rest.

You say you were watching motorcross this year, during the bank holiday weekend, so how can you comment on a festival you did't attend. And how can you presume to know what we think!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:03 AM

So my question is why have a mosh pit?

Wiki says...

'Moshing or slamming refers to the activity in which audience members at live music performances aggressively push or slam into each other. Moshing is frequently accompanied by stage diving, crowd surfing, and headbanging. It is commonly associated with concerts by heavy metal, punk rock, and alternative rock artists.'

So where does health and safety come into all of this then?

Sal


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:08 AM

Sal now you are being silly - you know very well that non of the above happens in a mosh pit at a folk festival. We use the term very lightly. I suppose we should just call it 'the standing when you don't want to dance area'.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: billybob
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:15 AM

Sounds to me that Alan and Sandra should get loads of credit for working so hard to ensure hundreds of folk have a great weekend. Billy and I organised a festival for over 15 years. Now we go to other peoples festivals to enjoy ourselves! Why?

15 years of weeks of preperation and meetings.
Anyone who had a complaint was always told" go see Wendy"
Artists taking too long on sound checks or arriving late for them.
Spending the whole weekend in the box office or back stage, so I never actually saw a complete concert.
Artists asking for the running order to be changed as they needed to get on the road early Sunday evening to get to the next gig.
I could go on.....
but we had a wonderful time , made fabulous friends, had lots of laughs and treasured memories.
Never been to Shrewsbury but it sounds good to me... maybe next year!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:19 AM

that was obviously none and not non


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Vin2
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:47 AM

I guess at the end of the day if more people are disatisfied than satisfied with this (or any) event enough not to go back next year, then the event probably won't survive but i suspect that's far from the case with Shrewsbury. It's like muscicians you never reach perfection - the fun is in the trying. Enjoy whilst we've got it!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Kampervan
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 04:58 PM

Jeez, why does anyone organise a festival?

I've been to Shrewsbury twice now and enjoyed both visits, (missed this year).


The organisers are actually trying to get it right - that way people come back.

And while I'm sure the organisers always appreciate constructive feedback, there's no need or excuse for it to get vicious.

Thanks to Alan and Sandra and here's to more great festivals at Shrewsbury.

K/van


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Dave Higham
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 08:35 PM

Just a note to Alan to say that I wasn't really angry, just disappointed. And I did explain that I've been out of internet contact until I started this thread.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Aeola
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 06:37 AM

Prsonally I do not enjoy 'The Big Concerts' but there is a large variety of other events at Shrewsbury to enjoy. I did visit the large Marquee on several occasions and the Buzz was exciting, everyone did appear to be enjoing themselves. The people at the front dancing added to the atmosphere. Whether this is the way folk music shouild be is another matter! Shrewsbury is one of the main concerts in the country and the organisation cannot be changed at the last minute without causing some ripples elsewhere which might finish up a bigger problem than the original.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: .spiderman
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 08:12 AM

I'm tempted to start a thread entitled 'Shrewsbury Festival - How wonderful!' Just to re-iterate my original point which seems to have been lost amongst all the complaining. A festival of this size is not going to please everyone - rather than complain unconstructively, do something about it. If you don't like it vote with your feet and find a smaller festival to attend. I would hate to think that I was spoiling someone's festival by rushing to get in the 'Mosh Pit' where I really appreciated being able to get close to some of my favourite acts as well as jumping around like a loon to Bellowhead - so please, Mr Higham don't come again! I also enjoyed sitting on the chairs for some of the quieter acts and had no problem with the much smaller crowds that wanted to stand at the front. I am quite sure that there are enough folkies like me that will make Shrewsbury the first date in their diary for years to come! I think it has the balance just right and well done to all those with the vision, passion and enthusiasm to take it to the level it has achieved.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 09:01 AM

Hasn't there always been a "mosh pit" element at concerts and festivals?

Some of us are old enough to remember Fred Woods' mag Folk Review...I seem to remember a heated discussion in the letters page about the problems of so called "idiot dancing" or "jigging" which was particularly evident at Steeleye gigs. I seem to remember there was no one answer then. And yes, "mosh pit" is an unfortunate term...but irony and the internet were ever strangers. FWIW Ray, our bass player, refers to the set nearest to the band at ceilidhs as the mosh pit. It isn't.

Not that Alan, Sandra and team need my faint praise,but I've attended festivals as punter, morris dancer and musician, children/yoof entertainer and played for loads of ceilidhs for 32 years, and IMHO Shrewsbury is up there with the best.   I got my teeth knocked out at Bromyard. That didn't happen at Shrewsbury. Friends of mine had a load of gear nicked at Towersey. As far as I know that didn't happen at Shrewsbury. For heaven's sake, we were driven from the campsite at Chippenham one year by a swarm of bees Unlikely, but true:-)). That didn't happen at Shrewsbury.

If you don't like it, don't go, but don't slag off a load of people
who work bloody hard to ensure a load more people have a good time...but I'm sure you'll be able to tell us why where you were was so much better.

Baz


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 09:12 AM

Sandra it was tongue in cheek! It's bloody hard work organising a festival, and no matter how hard you try, there are always people out there getting a kick out of critisizing. You lot have a choice; you either go or you don't! Just stop moaning and picking on these two. I admire their strong constitution.

For God's sake just be thankful that there are people like Alan and Sandra willing to put their lives on the line to have a festival. Can you imagine the stress of running something this big? The meetings, the phone calls, the headaches? How many sleepless nights do you punters have before a festival, eh? The government have made it so difficult and consequently expensive to run a festival. We live in a nanny state, influenced by the americans sueing left right and centre.

Now I've made myself angry so I'll stop.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 09:22 AM

Here we are agiain with a number of people taking time and energy to carp on and on about one small aspect of a huge event, as if sitting in the front row as a passive consumer was the only thing on offer at Shrewsbury.

There are any number of things happen over the 4 days and night that don't particularly appeal to me. What I do is go and do something else. I didn't want to be part of the big noisy crowd watchimg Bellowhead, I went to Marquee 2 and watched the Wilsons instead. Most of the time I spent actually singing and playing with several different groups of friends, some of whom I only ever meet every year at Shrewsbury/Bridgnorth. Didn't much fancy the Ukelele Orchestra, although pretty much everyone I have spoken to who went raved about them and said their set was brilliant. I thought this was going to give me a problem because the one act I would go anywhere to see is Richard Thompson. Thankfully the standing area at the front allowed me and a number of other RT fans to get up close and watch. Dave H was of course free to join us but chose his own place. Where there are thousands of people we can't all have the best seat in the house. Life is full of these choices/ compromises. You want pick of the seats and no queues go see someone not many people like.

I think Alan and Sandra do an astounding job putting on such a big festival with such a choice of artists/ performance venues. The sheer size of it is not to my taste, but is one of the reasons that my daughter knows she can meet a number of friends year after year. If you don't like big festivals go to smaller ones but there is no need to slag off people puttinng in huge efforts to provide what so many people want year after year


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: The Villan
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 09:50 AM

How sad, that people who work there socks off to give so much enjoyment to many, have to put up with public floggings by the minority.

Basically, if there is something you don't like, talk to the organisers personally and state your case. If there is nothing they can do, then just stay away. Don't go public like this. Better still, go and help do the work to put it right. Or is that too much effort.

Its a wonder anybody bothers to run anything.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Fran
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:03 PM

Dave Higham there is a perfectly good feedback form on the Shrewsbury Festival website.

I am no dancer but do enjoy flinging myself about from time to time, would not like to think I was doing it at the expense of others enjoyment though.

I had a fantastic time at Shrewsbury this year.

I also was disappointed as Friday night queued for the front seats and then found it was not a treat as years before it has been, Alan your suggestion of a third "Dance house Marquee for the higher energy bands standing only and no mosh pit in Marquee one would be a dream come true, but probably too expensive.

Or moshing at the back only, if you don't like the noise sit nearer the front. However, that is all my cup of tea and I would never expect everyone else to have the same opinion.

I left my feed back on the website and if it is noted all the good but I don't think it is very nice creating a public thread with the title as such.

I also have read a lot of Mr Red's nasty comments and it has shocked me as I used to think he was nice. Best thing to do though is ignore his nasty comments, don't rise to the bait Alan and Sandra and then he will look bad not you guys.

I am very much looking forward to next years Festival, which I imagine you are already hard at work organising.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 02:43 PM

Just to add our two penn'uth -we are on the committee of SFF and know the hours and hours of work that Alan and Sandra, and many others, put in to ensure a sucessful festival. One that offers a huge variety of types of music and dance, and that appeals to a wide spectrum of any potential audience. This year our childrens tent was only just about big enough - so Alan immediately said 'OK I'll get you a bigger one next year, and it'll be a clearspan one too' Excellent, and no quibbles about it. I'm sure that the vast majority of people who come to SFF have a great time - which is evidenced by the comments on the feedback forms. We have already started a lot of the planning for next year, and as it's Darwin anniversary year in Shrewsbury [which was his birthplace] our theme for the childrens festival will be Darwin! - lets see what evolves!!
Dave and Maggie Hunt - Directors, Childrens Festival at SFF


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 10:55 AM

Consider this:

The organisers will be able to confirm just by examination of the returned feedback forms that most people who attended Shrewsbury both this year & last, thoroughly enjoyed the event & its support from the committee & staff.

Then compare the number of 'whinghers' to this number!

There was a big pile of folkies from my area, Chester attended + loads've others I know from all over.

Not one had a crossword about the fest nor about its organisation.

I guess if there were any minor quibbles, most everyone was focussed on drinking, folking, & cavorting, to let it spoil their enjoyment!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury Festival - How disappointing
From: Aeola
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 03:57 PM

Well said Mr Happy! You echo the thoughts of many of us. See you next year!!
Well done Alan & Sandra


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Mudcat time: 23 June 2:43 PM EDT

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