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Time for reflection-what works?

Soldier boy 04 Nov 08 - 10:22 PM
Paul Burke 05 Nov 08 - 03:23 AM
Acorn4 05 Nov 08 - 03:26 AM
Liz the Squeak 05 Nov 08 - 03:45 AM
Sooz 05 Nov 08 - 04:23 AM
Acorn4 05 Nov 08 - 09:08 AM
Acorn4 05 Nov 08 - 09:09 AM
theleveller 05 Nov 08 - 10:18 AM
Acorn4 05 Nov 08 - 10:43 AM
Soldier boy 05 Nov 08 - 07:21 PM
GUEST 06 Nov 08 - 09:22 PM
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Subject: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 10:22 PM

The cold nights now draw in in the UK.
After a wonderful folk season this year when I have been to more folk festivals in the UK than my befuddled brain cares to remember I am left wondering why some folk festivals work big time and everyone seems to be happy but others seem to miss the plot and people leave feeling dissatisfied.
I have been racking my brain and I can't find the answer.
Can you?
What is the ideal recipe to create the right mix of ingrediants to make a folk festival really work or is it a case of keeping to a tried and tested formula or experimenting with new ideas and line- ups.
Is it also a case of finding the right balance between elements of the devoted concert-going people and those that prefer to enjoy the "fringe" scene of many festivals? Or a bit of both?
Now we can look back (hopefully for you) on a personally rewarding   folk season in 2008 what worked for you?


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:23 AM

I suppose it all depends if you find a willing young wench...


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Acorn4
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:26 AM

Actually, I've enjoyed all the festivals I've been to, partly because they are all slightly different to each other. Two of my favourites have been "Sussex Folk and Ale" and Shrewsbury, which are poles apart as regards size.


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:45 AM

A festival works for me when I've spent more time singing than I have sleeping... and when I've seen more old friends than I have wasps!

A lot of these festivals "work" because they're the same people attending every year. Oddly enough, I see some of the same people at a different festival and the vibe is completely different.

It gets the feeling of a big family gathering. You have the older generations sitting back, doing what they always do and looking on at the youngsters with that feeling of 'they're relations, we have to tolerate them'; the younger generations looking at the oldies and thinking 'man, what squares, if I ever get like that, shoot me'; and the middle generations wanting to be with the younger crowd but thinking privately that it would be nice to sit by the fire with a beer and chat about the old times...

I'm the batty old aunty who recognises no social boundary and whom no-one wants to come for Christmas. :D

LTS


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Sooz
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:23 AM

I'll be reading this thread with great interest.
Gainsborough Folk Festival has been running for nine years now and has gained a reputation as "the little festival with the big heart" from our regular supporters. However, we really struggle to gain the attention of a wider audience despite taking a lot of trouble to advertise and keep our ticket prices down to a very affordable level.
We have comfortable venues, book well-known artists as well as give less well-known ones a chance. We encourage sing arounds (despite the fact that they bring us no revenue) and put free music into the local community.
What else do we have to do?


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Acorn4
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 09:08 AM

We just managed to get to the Saturday singaround at the "Brewers" this year. We'll try to get to the whole festival next year, as someone in the pub told us he had been able to park his caravan very close by - if people are coming from a distance then being able to have a drink before driving back is a big factor.

One of the factors might be that you're getting to the chillier end of the year, and camping is becoming something only for the hardy. We have certainly enhoyed it every time we've been there.


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Acorn4
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 09:09 AM

Sorry.. that should have read "a drink without having to drive back".


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: theleveller
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 10:18 AM

Let's face it, we all like (and dislike) different things and, as various threads here have shown, you can't please everyone. If you have a festival that's been going for several years, you must be doing something right ? so keep on doing it and try to get the maximum publicity. Starting a new festival is always going to be "suck it and see".


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Acorn4
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 10:43 AM

That's true - new festivals are always going to have a few teething problems; Southwell has done a really good job of getting up to a good level quickly.


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 07:21 PM

I like the "batty old Aunty" image Liz the Squeak but I'm not sure that such distinct social boundaries exist between the different generations.

I definately agree with you however about what works about a festival is very often because you see and get to know the same people that attend the same circuit of festivals every year.
I do think that this has to be a major reason why certain festivals work for me because over the years I have made some very good friends who have become very special to me and when we meet up again it's like a grand reunion.
In fact they have become almost an 'extended family' to me and I miss them horribly over the dark winter months.
They give me a warm feeling when I just think about them and they make me feel like I belong. God bless 'em.
In this 'extended family' however there are people of all ages - young and old (including whole families) - who all seem to get along and enjoy each others company.
So I don't know if I have just been lucky or not Liz the Squeak but I have'nt really experienced the sort of generation divide that you describe.

I do know what you mean about when you can see the same old friends at a different festival and the 'vibe' can feel completely different.
Some festivals can feel a bit 'stuffy' and it can tend to put a dampener on your natural exuberance. But if that is the case we just collectively say stuff it we will make our own fun - and get on with it.

And spending more time singing than sleeping sounds good to me !

And being able to have a drink without having to drive back is definately a prerequisite for me Acorn4.
Give me outdoor/indoor camping at festivals everytime.


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Subject: RE: Time for reflection-what works?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 09:22 PM

refresh


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