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how to improve folk clubs

The Sandman 30 Jan 09 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 30 Jan 09 - 07:23 AM
The Villan 30 Jan 09 - 07:38 AM
matt milton 30 Jan 09 - 07:48 AM
The Sandman 30 Jan 09 - 07:51 AM
TheSnail 30 Jan 09 - 07:57 AM
matt milton 30 Jan 09 - 08:13 AM
Jack Campin 30 Jan 09 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Guest: folkandroots 30 Jan 09 - 08:46 AM
The Villan 30 Jan 09 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,davemc 30 Jan 09 - 08:48 AM
TheSnail 30 Jan 09 - 09:06 AM
Jack Campin 30 Jan 09 - 09:42 AM
The Villan 30 Jan 09 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 30 Jan 09 - 09:53 AM
greg stephens 30 Jan 09 - 09:59 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Jan 09 - 10:05 AM
Will Fly 30 Jan 09 - 10:05 AM
TheSnail 30 Jan 09 - 10:13 AM
Will Fly 30 Jan 09 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 30 Jan 09 - 10:47 AM
Nigel Parsons 30 Jan 09 - 11:05 AM
The Sandman 30 Jan 09 - 11:05 AM
The Villan 30 Jan 09 - 11:14 AM
greg stephens 30 Jan 09 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Alan Surtees 30 Jan 09 - 11:23 AM
Becks 30 Jan 09 - 11:26 AM
Musket 30 Jan 09 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 30 Jan 09 - 11:29 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Jan 09 - 11:49 AM
Mark Dowding 30 Jan 09 - 12:00 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jan 09 - 01:03 PM
Will Fly 30 Jan 09 - 01:11 PM
Will Fly 30 Jan 09 - 01:12 PM
TheSnail 30 Jan 09 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,PeterC 30 Jan 09 - 01:44 PM
Big Al Whittle 31 Jan 09 - 04:02 AM
Sooz 31 Jan 09 - 04:29 AM
Backwoodsman 04 Feb 09 - 08:09 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM
The Villan 04 Feb 09 - 11:46 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Feb 09 - 12:05 PM
TheSnail 04 Feb 09 - 12:10 PM
The Villan 04 Feb 09 - 12:37 PM
TheSnail 04 Feb 09 - 01:29 PM
High Hopes (inactive) 04 Feb 09 - 01:37 PM
evansakes 04 Feb 09 - 01:53 PM
High Hopes (inactive) 04 Feb 09 - 01:56 PM
The Sandman 04 Feb 09 - 03:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Feb 09 - 05:21 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Feb 09 - 08:36 AM
The Villan 05 Feb 09 - 09:01 AM
Dave Sutherland 05 Feb 09 - 11:59 AM
goatfell 05 Feb 09 - 12:10 PM
Musket 06 Feb 09 - 06:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Feb 09 - 06:23 AM
Banjiman 06 Feb 09 - 06:58 AM
Musket 06 Feb 09 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Allen in OZ 06 Feb 09 - 05:49 PM
Girl Friday 06 Feb 09 - 06:28 PM
Jack Campin 06 Feb 09 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,PeterC 07 Feb 09 - 11:45 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 07 Feb 09 - 12:39 PM
Stringsinger 07 Feb 09 - 01:18 PM
Backwoodsman 08 Feb 09 - 03:43 AM
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Subject: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 07:07 AM

Positive suggestions welcomed .


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 07:23 AM

That link once again... - collated from ideas contributed by and nicked from many.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 07:38 AM

Shut them :-)

or look at Tom Bliss's link. It saves anybody else having to reply :-)


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: matt milton
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 07:48 AM

I think the single thing that would improve most folk clubs – or at least improve their attendance – is if they were better publicized. More specifically, better publicized online.

Example: I have been listening to folk properly for about 7 years. But I had no idea Cecil Sharp house (and the EFDSS) even existed until about 2 years ago. And that was solely because the Magpie's Nest promoters were putting on an all-day event there. (Sam Lee seems to be, in contrast to a lot of folk-club organisers, an excellent publicist.)

I go to a lot of gigs, I read the listings in Time Out and I enjoy nosing out relatively obscure venues. A lot more than other gig-goers I know. If it took me this long to discover such places then I suspect hundreds of people will *never* hear about them – people who I know would be interested.

The daft thing about the traditional folk clubs in London – Court Sessions, the Cellar Upstairs, Orpington and others – is that you have to already know of their existence to be able to find their websites. I've always assumed that the majority of folk clubs simply didn't *want* larger audiences, because if they did they would have set themselves up with myspace and facebook pages ages ago and reached out to people. After all, it's an easy enough thing to do.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 07:51 AM

are there any advantages to having a membership,and allowing a discount to members?
is free entry fo two as a raffle prize a good idea?


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 07:57 AM

matt milton

I think the single thing that would improve most folk clubs – or at least improve their attendance – is if they were better publicized. More specifically, better publicized online.

Google - folk music London


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: matt milton
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 08:13 AM

Sure, and that's how I found about a lot of things. But I'm saying *BETTER* publicized. You can Google anything under the sun.

Another example. I'm on myspace and facebook. On those sites I've been informed of gigs by canny promoters for musical events I would never have heard of otherwise. I've gone to a lot of them. I've never had that from a folk club, the only exceptions being the Goose Is Out and the Magpie's Nest.

A lot of the people who would spend 20 quid on a ticket to see, say, Martin Carthy play at the Barbican simply have no idea that they could be watching him at a local folk club for less money. They simply haven't heard about that whole scene because it's completely off their radar.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 08:30 AM

I'd been living in Newtongrange for two years before I found it even had a folk club - it meets in a back room of the main village pub, which I went past almost every day. And I only found out by talking to people at a folk club in Bristol.

Newtongrange FC still doesn't put advance notice of its guest nights on the web. For that matter they don't even regularly put them on the pub noticeboard.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,Guest: folkandroots
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 08:46 AM

To be fair Matt, some of the examples you give are listed in Time Out every week as well as elsewhere, including a lot of the events taking place at C House, sure its certainly the case that some clubs are more professional than others in promoting their events but as often as not this comes down to time and resources (bearing in mind that the average folk club organiser has a full time job, family and other responsibilities).
Also just to go back to your example of Martin C, every folk club gig he does in London attracts a full room, usually composed of people who wouldnt attend at any other time during the year so they must be finding out from somewhere?
None of which is to say you arent right and that clubs couldnt be better publicised but I do think (at least in the case of London) its a little generalised.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 08:48 AM

I couldn't agree with you more Matt.

I have my own website http://www.faldingworthlive.co.uk

I have a Myspace account http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=310835943

Details also can be found on several websites other than my own.

For every concert, I send details to quite a number of newspapers.

The events get announced on 2 folk radio programs.

Posters get put up around the local areas, which we design ourselves. We never use the posters that each artists sends us. We have to inform people in many cases who these artist are etc etc.

Updated diaries get handed out at each event for people to take away with them.

Of course there is good old Mudcat.

On top of that, there is a core base of regulars and each new act brings a certain number of fans in. So the acts themselves ciculate to their fans.

There is only one time I didn't do most of that and that was with Vin Garbutt. Why, becuase you are normally sold out before you get the chance to publicise :-)

Having IT skills is a great asset for any organiser, especially if they can create their own websites.

I can never understand, why having booked artists, organisers sit back and just wait for it to happen. Invariably it doesn't unless you work hard on the publicity.

Les


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,davemc
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 08:48 AM

If there are resident singers prior to a booked act on a guest night, please keep their sets mercifully short and DON'T, under any circumstances, give them a second set as well in the second half. I'd go to my local club more often if I didn't have to humour the "treats" from most of the residents each time.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 09:06 AM

matt milton

Sure, and that's how I found about a lot of things. But I'm saying *BETTER* publicized.

OK. So, as the Captain said, positive suggestions please.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 09:42 AM

Venue lighting?

One of the most attractive things about Edinburgh and Leith Folk Clubs is their controllable lighting. Nobody wants to spend their evening out sitting under the uniform fluorescent glare you typically get in school classrooms and community centres if they've got an alternative.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 09:45 AM

designing a crisp packet that doesn't make a noise


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 09:53 AM

Venue lighting? YES YES YES!

It's not by accident that I mention lighting ALL the time. Poor lighting is a crucial subliminal decider (too bright = no atmos, too dim = can't see fingers and lips, and naked bulbs in the stage area should be banned on health grounds). Being an ex-driector it's something I always pick up on, because I know how it impacts on the emotions - but without people realising it's doing so. If you ask people why they don't like a certain club they'll almost never say lighting. But improve the lighting and everything gets better in a jiffy. It's one of the easiest things to fix.

Tom


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 09:59 AM

Put on the Boat Band. You are guaranteed a good crowd, you get 99% traditional folk material. What more could anyone want?


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 10:05 AM

I agree totally with Tom about lighting. It is one of the reasons that the school sessions at Broadstairs have gone so downhill


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 10:05 AM

Put on the Boat Band. You are guaranteed a good crowd, you get 99% traditional folk material. What more could anyone want?

Having you about 180 miles nearer to Sussex would be a help. Anyway, when are your next gigs - might have to slip a sleeping-bag into the back of the old Volvo Estate...


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 10:13 AM

Boat Band at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club sometime next year. Sorry, forgotten the exact date.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 10:23 AM

Excellent - and how dare you forget the date. If you'd told me last night I'd have bought you a drink.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 10:47 AM

Lighting??!! For God's sake, we didn't have fancy lighting in my day - and it never did me any harm!


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:05 AM

To mis-quote Stephen Stills
If you can't find the club you love, love the one you're with'!


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:05 AM

so next; chairs.
preferably with slightly sloping back,not quite 90 degrees upright,but at least comfortable chairs.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:14 AM

So next sufficient Leg Room

Quite often no consideration is given to long legegd people and people who need leg room, becuase of arthritus and circulation issues.
I suufer badly and need that leg space and have to find out about any new venue before even going there.

gigs that are totally standing descriminate against people with leg issues.

So if you are an organiser try to take such things into account.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:17 AM

Make sure the pub has at least one hand-pulled decent, weakish(less than 4%) session bitter. A lot of folkies don't like the new fashion for stronger bitters.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,Alan Surtees
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:23 AM

I don't know if anyone has made this suggestion.

Get the email addresses of everyone who attends your club, and then go to other clubs and collect the email addresses of attendees (with the permission of the organisers), this is easily done by passing a clipboard around. Then email everyone on a regular basis with information about your club events and a pointer to your web site.
Give everyone an opt-out opportunity.
This has to be the cheapest way to advertise your events. It's free.

Just a thought

All the Best

Alan


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Becks
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:26 AM

Marvellous idea, Alan!!! I would sign up for that on.
Easy to do aswell as you can create mailing groups so you only have to send one email and it will issue it to all!


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Musket
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:29 AM

How to improve folk clubs?

Have a long read at the thread "Why fold clubs are dying"

Everybody seems to know what is needed to make them work...

Just that everybody thinks everybody else is wrong.



On a serious note, when I used to help run a club, (30 years ago...) we came to the realisation that we were providing an evening's entertainment and at the same time giving people a chance to see if they could hack it playing to an audience.

Played the middle ground with a formula that seemed to work then. If they are not working now, is it the formula or the very idea that turns people away?


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:29 AM

It's essential that everyone signs up to your list voluntarily. (That's Data Protection as well as manners/good practice). More on that on my page (see link in 2nd post). Good idea to visit neighbours - and passing round works well. I quadrupled my take-up when I started doing that.

Chairs - beggars can't always choose. But some clubs do supply cushions (take a bow Gainsborough :-) Failing that, advise people (on website etc) to bring their own.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 11:49 AM

Ah Shimrod, in those days we put candles in bottles, and blew smoke through the flames to make a flicker - but now the Elves and Safe Teas would have an embolism at the thought...

And as for the apple log fire and red-hot poker that there used to be at Farningham -


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 12:00 PM

If anybody new comes to the club then talk to them and make them feel welcome and part of the group. I always make a point of asking names and welcoming newbies when I start the night at my club or maybe at the interval if they've sneaked in when we've started. I always ask them if they've enjoyed the evening at the end of the night and hopefully they have although they're unlikely to tell me it was a load of rubbish I imagine!

Furniture is usually a case of making do with what's there. I don't think I've been anywhere where people bring their own chairs - cue a series of posts calling me a liar! The club I go to on a Sunday has chairs where the seat padding has seen better days and the bolts that hold the seat to the frame can cause a bit of grief (you may have noticed last Sunday Tom!) but people bring cushions or use beer mats as padding over the bolts.

Lighting may be a case of experimenting with the switches and seeing what works best. At my club I usually turn the middle lights off and leave the side lights on and ceiling down spots faded down at one end but up at the performance end. It depends what's in the room.

Cheers
Mark


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 01:03 PM

I'm sure much good advice and help has been described above and people can see what they think will fit their local circumstance but definitely book the Boat Band.

I think another way of looking at things is sometimes needed. The once a week Folk Club is just one activity amongst many. Maybe it was best when we were young and poor and every song and tune was fresh?

If you consider Folk Clubs, song sessions, tune sessions, workshops, Barn Dances, Morris, individual clog & step dancing, Mumming and other seasonal activities, then we have a lot to offer.

Perhaps different Folk activities or collections of activities work best in different places. In large towns and cities with good public transport Folk Clubs and lots of other things can work well.

In less densely populated areas a different collection of activities would work better.

I am not suggesting a formula because some or all of the above currently work in a wide variety of social settings. I just think that the once a week club is a hard act to sustain and other choices may be a better bet.

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 01:11 PM

I just think that the once a week club is a hard act to sustain and other choices may be a better bet.

Very true, Les. I sometimes wonder how the weekly club perpetuates itself in less urban areas. Some book a guest every fortnight and use the "singers" night take as a way of funding the guest. Some have a guest every week and some a guest occasionally. Not being a club organiser I don't know the ins and outs of the finances here. The acoustic session I run is monthly, and alternates with another monthly session in the area. Some in Brighton run weekly, but country ones - like ours - couldn't sustain a greater frequency.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 01:12 PM

Hm. Should have hit Preview.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 01:29 PM

Les in Chorlton

In large towns and cities with good public transport Folk Clubs and lots of other things can work well.

In less densely populated areas a different collection of activities would work better.


Just an observation but I'm not so sure about that. Around here, Brighton (and Hove actually), a city of going on for half a million, has about half a dozen clubs some of them monthly but most of the other clubs in Sussex are weekly in small towns or even villages. Never quite understood the logic.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 01:44 PM

I was about to write a long spiel based on my experiences as an organiser and magazine editor but I think Tom's link covered it all.

To summarise:
Getting the customers in isn't rocket science but it is time consuming and hard work.
Getting them to come back takes the skill and involves everything from the MC's style to the state of the chairs.

You have to know your audience, which means talking to them. All of them, not just the floor singers.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 04:02 AM

I think the organiser needs to be ruthlessly honest with him or herself. Theres a lot of bloody cold nights in England. Nights when theres something quite good on the telly.

people aren't going to travel miles to somwhere that is uncomfortable and then be asked to pay over the odds for a boring experience.

Quite often, I feel I should like to support someone who I'm quite friendly with on the scene - and thirty years ago - I would have done. No question. As you get older and your stock of days and nights start to dwindle - you ask yourself, is it fair to ask a friend or family member to accompany you to some dirty dump to be bored shitless. Come to that, do I want to devote a night away from the home I have made comfortable?

I should like to see the ethic of the entertainer restored - particularly amongst the professionals. presentational skills improved and the value of them re-emphasised to the young. It never was enough to smile and play. okay if you've got the recording contract behind you - you can hope it will work out. However developing performance skills will hopefully help you if you're hoping to make folk music a career.

I'm not suggesting that young performers go on joke telling courses (though it might not be a bad idea). However folk club audiences tend to be the more intelligent end of the community. The best performers have always found some way of registering that fact and showing their respect for the audience.

Okay some people have been very famous and successful by being glum as buggery and serving up the music with quiet industry (I've suffered for this music and now its your turn) - but they ain't the ones that tempt me out of a winters night.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Sooz
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 04:29 AM

If you are an organiser, you should visit lots of other clubs and pinch their best ideas. However, if you are a club, you should always be aware of your members' feelings, tastes etc.

Our club had to find a new home at two days notice when the pub we used closed. We were taken in by a social club and given the use of a dismal upstairs room furnished with one huge table and moulded plastic chairs. Uninspiring to say the least - but reliable.

We've sidelined the huge table, provided new, clean cushions for the chairs, got (most) of the wall lights in working order and bought folding tables for drinks.

After visiting other clubs where there were several floor spots in each half reducing the time available for the guest, we decided to have one floor spot in each half decided in advance. This has made an enormous difference (if only to my stress levels trying to fit everyone in!)

We book the guests our members ask for and I only occasionally indulge myself!

In our singarounds we encourage our less experienced members to perform but our system of raffling the last 4 or 5 songs at the end of the evening usually ensures that visitors get some extra time. Regulars are also likely to pass on a turn to give a visitor an extra song - new material welcomed enthusiastically.

We always welcome newcomers and try to make them feel at home.

New suggestions are welcome though - we aren't claiming to be perfect!


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 08:09 AM

Just nearly! :-)


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM

Is this a grid I see before me?

Columns have headings like

               folk club   singaround    tunes session   morris    mumming   Ceilidh

weekly
fortnightly
monthly
termly
yearly
randomly


And then rows down the side with headings like those above.

By ticking appropriate boxes or more to the point getting likely punters to tick boxes ew might get a better idea of what people want or perhaps think they want?

Cheer

L in C


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 11:46 AM

If you already run something and it works succesfully, why would you want to do that Les.

If you were thinking of starting up, then it would be a good idea.

Les


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 12:05 PM

Good point Les,

I guess I never should have read "Beyond Guerrilla Marketting Vol. 2"

Fair enough, if it's not fixed etc.

I have dallied with most things clubs, singarounds, sessions, morris, mumming and so on. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. I think the every week folk club is tricky to sustain and people who enjoy folkie things might enjoy a greater variety.

So, we stumble forward

Les, so to speak


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 12:10 PM

All of the above and more of them. More folk clubs, singarounds, tunes sessions, morris sides, mumming, ceilidhs and more variety in the forms and styles of each. There is no right way of doing it just be seen to do it and to be enjoying do it.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 12:37 PM

And have somebody who is prepared to put all those things on :-)


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 01:29 PM

There seem to be plenty of people willing to lay down the law on how it should be done. Let them give it a try.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 01:37 PM

"There seem to be plenty of people willing to lay down the law on how it should be done. Let them give it a try"

armchair folk club organisers...no, no, say it isn't so!!!


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: evansakes
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 01:53 PM

"armchair folk club organisers"

You're more likely to run into BACKSEAT folk club organisers. They're the ones you need to watch out for. There's actually quite a few that hang around here on Mudcat....


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 01:56 PM

"There's actually quite a few that hang around here on Mudcat..."

Twick, having read this thread through a couple of times, I heartly agree with you *LOL*


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 03:28 PM

I spent many years doing it .and successfully .


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 05:21 PM

They could put toilet paper in the lavatory.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 08:36 AM

"armchair folk club organisers.."
On the other hand, there are ex-folk club organisers (and residents) who have watched the club scene go down the pan and wondered why!!!
Safe pair of hands my arse!!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: The Villan
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 09:01 AM

>>They could put toilet paper in the lavatory. <<

You use your fingers at ours, and when you have finished, you put your fingers in the hole in the wall. The person behind the wall hits your hands with a hammer. You can guess the rest. :-)


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 11:59 AM

>>They could put toilet paper in the lavatory. <<

We don't need any at our club - I thought that traditional ballads were supposed to bore people shitless.


I'll get my coat


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: goatfell
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 12:10 PM

as a crisp eater at lest I wait until the boring song is finished


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Musket
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 06:02 AM

Many years ago, a local folk club had to stop for a short while whilst the pub was refurbished, and re-launched themselves.

Now, the club had been dying on its feet. Rightly or wrongly, they decided the term folk club had stereotype connotations. SO.. they used the term acoustic music nights.

Lots of people came out of the woodwork, still had some excellent local traditional musicians and singer, and the spread of music didn't really alter from before. The difference was the turnout. Fairly full most weeks.

I still to this day haven't decided if it was changing the word folk to acoustic, (the intended change) or whether the possibly inadvertent dropping of the word club did it.

Club can be construed as belonging, being part of something, and perhaps many people, often without giving it much thought, feel they want to drop in and out as the mood takes them, but would feel clubs have by definition members so would feel obliged to involve themselves?

Just a thought... Casual attenders may pick up on the word club and back off?


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 06:23 AM

I don't think 'club' has any special terrors for most people - although our initiation ceremony with the thing from the anne summers catalogue on a black and decker drill did put one or two off.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Banjiman
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 06:58 AM

"although our initiation ceremony with the thing from the anne summers catalogue on a black and decker drill did put one or two off."

Can I join?


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Musket
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 08:54 AM

No wonder you get to wear an apron....


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,Allen in OZ
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 05:49 PM

The Toongabbie Music Club here in Sydney meets each fortnight on a Friday night in the local Scouts Hall. We sit in a circle and each performer is allowed two songs or poems at a time . This continues around the circle all evening , being interrupted only by supper.

The second Friday meeting of each month is a "theme " night ( eg places , human body parts, people's names etc) All good fun and not compulsory . In winter we have a log fire at which poets are allowed special permission to recite...it is titled appropriately "Poets Corner" or even Poets Cornered !

It seems to work as attendances have been increasing over the past 3 or 4 years and a good time is had by all

AD


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Girl Friday
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 06:28 PM

I tried once, issuing a questionnaire to canvas oppinion. Had about 2 back..... seems people are content to me.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 07:06 PM

Many years ago, a local folk club had to stop for a short while whilst the pub was refurbished, and re-launched themselves.

Now, the club had been dying on its feet. Rightly or wrongly, they decided the term folk club had stereotype connotations. SO.. they used the term acoustic music nights. [...] Fairly full most weeks.

I still to this day haven't decided if it was changing the word folk to acoustic, (the intended change) or whether the possibly inadvertent dropping of the word club did it.


It couldn't just be that the refurbishment had something to do with it?

It doesn't matter much what you call yourselves if you're meeting in a grubby depressing shithole.


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 11:45 AM

The dedicated folkie ignores the surroundings and concentrates on the music. Question is do you want to sing to an audience or to a handful of equally dedicated mates?


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 12:39 PM

"I tried once, issuing a questionnaire to canvas oppinion. Had about 2 back..... seems people are content to me."

that or they simply couldn't be arsed to fill out the questionnaire


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 01:18 PM

Here's how.

1. Educate the audience. Explain what they are hearing and seeing.
2. Differentiate between folk and pop. (They are not the same even though sometimes       they overlap.)
3. Provide honest (not hype) background on the performers.
4. Establish a newsletter for upcoming performances.
5. Start a small school or fan club. It could teach:
    A. Folklore   B. Performance skills and ettiquette C. Source material (books, CD's etc.)
    E. Accompanying instrument skills. F. Sessions (folk-based...Celtic, Old-Time etc.)

This is what keeps me from going to folk clubs. Tobacco smoke. (Deal with it)

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: how to improve folk clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 03:43 AM

"This is what keeps me from going to folk clubs. Tobacco smoke. (Deal with it)"

Already dealt with, Frank. Presumably you're not a resident of the UK or Ireland?


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