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Where are the kids (part2)

Ian Stephenson 25 Jun 99 - 07:43 AM
The Shambles 25 Jun 99 - 09:56 AM
katlaughing 25 Jun 99 - 10:49 AM
Bill in Alabama 25 Jun 99 - 10:50 AM
Fadac 25 Jun 99 - 11:03 AM
Fadac 25 Jun 99 - 11:04 AM
kathlyn 25 Jun 99 - 11:45 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Jun 99 - 05:07 PM
The Shambles 26 Jun 99 - 05:32 AM
Pete (inactive) 26 Jun 99 - 06:43 PM
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Subject: Where are the kids
From: Ian Stephenson
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 07:43 AM

I thought I would start this thread again because I think us young folkies ie. under 25's should be recognised. It seems to be a cliche that the tradition isn't carried on. I play in fairly large gigs at folk festivals all over the uk, and every time I play a gig, the introduction from the mc always includes "who said the tradition wasn't carrying on, eh!". I beleive that the main reason for this opinion (carried by what seems like everyone except the youngsters themselves)is that young people playing in the folk festivals have yet to be represented, supported by festival organisers, or promoted. For example. I have played in folk festivals all year and NOT ONCE has my band been payed a penny from the organisers other than free tickets. I know this is the case across the board of young performers, and the opinion that we can use it as an "opportunity" to promrote ourselves, and to get "seen" is ridiculous. We might seem to be happy with meer free tickets, but it is a slogg for us to get transported to festivals, and we don't even get basic expenses. The one time we got money this year was at Holmfirth festival, where we arranged sponsorship from langley farm dairies .
Opinions, Support?
Spread the word that the tradition is here to stay.
Ian Stephenson (17)

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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 09:56 AM

Welcome to the real world Ian. Opinions and support, follow.

I trust that you have recovered from the excesses of The Old Road Tavern. You do raise a number of good points, which I had been thinking of making anyway, but here goes.

We (us old fogies) do encourage young people like yourselves (and you all have undoubted talent, as I can personally confirm). This is done by having contests and organisations like the one whose umbrella your group comes under and generally by the fact that older folk naturally encourage younger folk. If I understand correctly, your group entered a competition for young musicians, won your section and part of the prize was an appearance at the festival.

You may have problems with the effectiveness of these measures, but they are there. There is no such encouragement given to older people wanting to make music professionally, (Old Musician Of The Year) such is the nature of the world and they just have to accept it.

We may in fact make things worse by this encouragement, by making the young people we encourage, think that this sort of special treatment is their right and will continue permanently? It will not and the earlier you learn this lesson the better.

Such is the arrogance of youth (and I speak from experience, having been young once) that they expect older people to constantly give and they will just continue to take, returning only their un-questioned talent and brilliance.

It was a delight to see and play with you and your friends, but a little humility and appreciation from yourselves for other's talent's playing there, both young and older, would have been very welcome. I was a little hurt I must confess, the first night, after making room for you to sit in, introducing myself, talking together, helping you with the festival map and playing, that you left, without even saying good night. Do people over a certain age cease to exist or is it an embarrassment to acknowledge to your friends that you actually know some elderly people?

You must accept and I know from speaking to you that you do, that the size of your grouping will present practical problems to those who would book you, as it was only the smaller group that was playing the festival. A smaller group would certainly solve some of your problems.

You are speaking from a position of having been given a very privileged entry into the world of music, one that not everyone else has. If you could try a little harder to see things from their perspective you may just see how fortunate you are and understand that the tradition will continue, with or without you.

I am sorry if this comes over as a personal attack, it is not intended as such, or as not being very supportive or encouraging, generally of young musicians. I hope that it may turn out to be helpful, in the long run.

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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 10:49 AM

It is wonderful to hear from younger phoaks and it will be interesting to see where this thread goes. here are some of my thoughts on the subject:

I consider whta you are going through to be paying your dues. The older musicians have been through the same crap and earned the privileges, money, and venues they enjoy. It takes perseverance to succeeed. Each time you perform is another brick in the career you are building. One doesn't start out with a house already built. One must first "pour the foundation" then add to it, brick by brick.


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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 10:50 AM

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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: Fadac
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 11:03 AM

Ian, Shambles makes a good point. In any trade, you have to pay your dues.

I have worked for free, many times, just to get the chance to learn. (Not alwise in music. my trade is electronics and computers.) For example, I am buying a pile of equipment to do post production for a friend that want's to do a CD. My work will be worth about $4000-5000 US. What am I going to charge...$0.00. Because I need to learn. This process only stops when they plant you. (I'm darn near 50, and I'm finding that there is a whole lot left out there to learn.)

Here in the US the Scottish games are not just cabor tossing. There is much muisic there too. I see groups of all ages on stage. Some are bands of just young people, some are familes, and my favorite is mixed. Not just old guys or just young whipper snappers, but a mix.

One last thing, then I'll get off my soapbox, :o) When your dealing with an established group, like Shambles, understand that he is helping his compititon when he helps you. (huh?) This shows a love for music that goes way beyond the price of the job. Someday you might get a nice paying gig, that Shambles might have played. Think about that for a second or two. there isn't very many bisiness that will do that. Do you think that BP would go across the street and help a Shell station. (Like, dude, put your sign up a bit higher, and use flaming red...) Not likley eh?

Ok, off soapbox mode.

"Go Forth and Prosper"


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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: Fadac
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 11:04 AM

Kat, Great minds think alike.


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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: kathlyn
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 11:45 AM

I just wanted to say that although I am not a 'kid' according to definition (being 28) I am the folk and blues DJ at a local college station early Saturday evenings. The response from the 'kids' has been great, in part because 'modern folk artists' like Ani DiFranco and Elliot Smith are popular enough that many young people will now listen and love straight folk if given the chance. I had a caller last week asking for Negativeland (not even vaguely folk, harsh electronic spoken word punk noise) and I obliged him by finding something that worked with my format (I try to find threads that connect alternative music with folk/blues/country and draw my listeners along that way), and he called in a few hours later to tell me that he was still listening and that he would listen every week! This was unexpected and exciting.

My point is that 'young people' should not rely on the 'old' (i.e. established) framework for success. What is going on now in folk music has little to do with the music of the 60s-70s-80s and has more in comman with the really old stuff. Around here (Colorado) there is a major Alternative Folk and Country music movement going on, there is an audience for it among the under 35 set, and the musicians get paid and press records and tour, but they are not welcomed by the establishment.

This is how it has always been. Some days this scene will be established and younger musicians will have trouble breaking in. They will respond by creating a new scene, different and exciting. This is how music grows.

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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 05:07 PM

Make a "kitchen" tape. Better still find someone with a CD writer and make a "kitchen" CD. CD's are cheaper to duplicate in bulk, I think. Put up a website with .wav or MP3 files.

Write, ring, email or otherwise contact Folk club organisers. Make sure they can hear your music. You could even try going to clubs and doing floorspots. If so, do some interesting or funny talking between the songs/tunes. Then (this bit is important) make it very clear that you are looking for paid gigs. If you are as good a shambles says, you will get piad gigs. You won't get rich, but it will more than cover the beer. Alas, pay plus free beer seems to have died out as a tradition!

Festivals tell everyone - not just the young - that they are a chance to enhance their reputation.

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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Jun 99 - 05:32 AM

This is the earlier thread, that Ian referred to. Bad Reputation

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Subject: RE: Where are the kids
From: Pete (inactive)
Date: 26 Jun 99 - 06:43 PM

Where are they?

Try Fylde Folk Festival - they encourage young people - as for working for free tickets - it was better than the free beer I got when I was starting out!

Take a look sometime as the artists that are now (young) household names that started by entering the Fylde Folk Festival Talent competition - or were encouraged to start performing by attending one of the workshops.

Becoming "famous" takes talent and hard work and many will fall by the wayside - but there's more help and friendship within the folk world that the dog eat dog pop business.

get to the Fylde Folk Web site and sign up for the competition - you may win...... and be in the final concert - centre stage.

Good Luck

Pete (Clansfolk)

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