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Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009

Soldier boy 20 Jul 09 - 08:41 PM
nutty 22 Jul 09 - 12:16 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 22 Jul 09 - 12:42 PM
Edain 22 Jul 09 - 06:46 PM
Soldier boy 22 Jul 09 - 09:58 PM
JHW 23 Jul 09 - 04:54 PM
Jack Blandiver 24 Jul 09 - 09:40 AM
Soldier boy 27 Jul 09 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,Frank Lee 27 Jul 09 - 08:07 AM
GUEST 27 Jul 09 - 09:04 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Jul 09 - 10:33 AM
Carol 28 Jul 09 - 09:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 28 Jul 09 - 09:46 AM
Tyke 28 Jul 09 - 09:54 AM
ian1943 28 Jul 09 - 11:37 AM
Carol 28 Jul 09 - 01:44 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 28 Jul 09 - 02:48 PM
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Subject: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Soldier boy
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 08:41 PM

Any mudcatters going to this?

I'll be there in me red soldiers jacket and pith helmet bashing me drum for the Slubbing Billys.

I really like this festival and we have been going to it on quite a regular basis now. I especially like camping by the river near the Rowing Club and seeing and hearing all the rowers sailing past on instructions from a coach on a bicycle on the opposite bank.
Silly I know but it's a very summer thing!

But more importantly, apart from the Rowing Club, where do the best singarounds and playarounds occur in the pubs in Durham in the evening and where can you find the best and largest range of hand-pulled real ale.

As I said, we have been going to this smashing festival for a number of years but I'm still not sure if we have found the best venues for supping/playing/singing so any extra guidance or know-how would be really appreciated.

Just want to know where people go to play together as musicians and where they go for a good sing and not for the side to confuse or interfere with either because I appreciate that musicians and singers require seperate venues - unless of course the venue is big enough to accomodate both easily which is even better.

Many thanks.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: nutty
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 12:16 PM

I hope to be over on Saturday.

See you all then


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 12:42 PM

I'll also will be there on Saturday - watching a bit of Morris, before going to the afternoon singarounds (one is just for ballads), before the evening singaround a couple of hours later. Sorry I can't remember the pubs - may have to visit the tourist centre to get the guide.


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Edain
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:46 PM

Alas I'll be at Warwick.

Watch where you camp though. That whole area was under water last weekend as the Wear was over 12 feet higher than usual. SHe's back withing her banks now but especially after the rain today she's still high. I believe the forcast is good for the weekend though.


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Soldier boy
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 09:58 PM

Thanks for the warning Edain.


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: JHW
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 04:54 PM

Let every man so pitch his tent...


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:40 AM

Alas we won't be there owing to us both being rather under par healthwise right now. Here's the WOAW:

Friday                
8.00 pm        Rowing Club        Singaround
8.00 pm        Dun Cow        Dancer's Get-together

Saturday                
12 Noon        Market Place        Massed Display of Dancing
12 Noon Dun Cow               Singaround
1.00 pm        Shakespeare        Dancers' Respite
2.00 pm        Market Place        Massed Display of Dancing
4.00pm        Dun Cow               Ballad Session
8.00pm        Rowing Club        Singaround
8.00pm        St Oswald's Hall - Ceilidh with the Joint Stock Band
                
Sunday                 
12 Noon        Market Place        Massed Display of dancing
12 Noon Dun Cow Inn        Singaround
1.00 pm        Shakespeare        Dancers' Respite
8.00 pm        Rowing Club        Survivors' Session

Hope it's a good one!


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Soldier boy
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 12:02 AM

Very good weekend. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to all the organisers.
BUT still very UNHAPPY that morris team members are forced to pay £12 per person for camping over the weekend.
I don't agree with any festival charging morris teams for camping when they provide their services free of charge, have to cover their own travel costs (some from quite a distance around the country) and contribute lots to the atmosphere of a festival and the local economy in spending on drink,food and shopping.
If you got a free weekend ticket to reward all your efforts (which you don't (I think!) all you would get is a free Ceilidh ticket as that is all that is on offer, otherwise,there are some singarounds and playarounds at no more than three pubs/clubs in Durham.
There are no concerts. No line up of artists at this festival.
I'm very sorry to be so negative, this is not like me. I like to praise all the positive aspects of the many festivals that I go to around the country but I am unable to do so on this occasion.
What made matters even worse was that on arrival when I protested (with good humour) that morris teams should'nt have to pay for camping for the reasons that I have stated above I was told by the campsite steward that he was sorry but it was the campsite fees that actually paid for/funded the festival.
When you consider that 66-70% of campers at this weekend were morris team members I hope that you can understand my anger.
This is blatently using morris dancers to screw as milch cows and cover the costs.
This,I believe, is not ethical or fair.
There is very little you can offer morris teams by way of reward/compensation or some kind of thank you for turning up!
Unless you really make the effort to get a proper line up of artists to make this a proper 'folk festival'and offer morris teams a free weekend ticket to reward them as true entertainers,to go some way to cover their costs, I'm afraid that this festival will continue to diminish and die.
And from what I saw this weekend,compared to previous years, it is already sliding fast into oblivion.
Have you not saught funding from the arts council et al so that you can afford to book some proper artists?
I apologise again for being negative but I just feel exasperated at the lack of effort and the lack of consideration for us valient morris dancers who obviously enable you to fund this so called "folk party" mainly on what we pay into your coffers.
For that reason, and I can't speak for the rest of my side, the Slubbing Billys, but I will not be returning to this festival.

Me and my wife are no longer willing to be a milch cow to be squeezed dry to fund what is actually a poor excuse for a 'folk festival'
Which is a great shame because I love coming to Durham.


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: GUEST,Frank Lee
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 08:07 AM

I'd love to have time to respond more fully to this last post (Soldier Boy), but to do so would probably take up most of the rest of my working day.

Everything you say about it is correct, with one glaring exception.   You entirely miss the point of the whole event. It is NOT a folk festival. It is called Durham Folk Party. It is not, in any way, to be compared with a folk festival. It is CERTAINLY NOT a poor excuse for a folk festival. There are no concerts, it is, overall, non profit making; it sometimes makes a loss. We made a small profit last year, and probably will have done so this year, but in 2006 and 2007 we lost money. If losses can't be bolstered by the party kitty, they have to be made good from the pockets of myself and Ian McCulloch.   

As I say in my introductory blurb to new teams, it is, in effect, a weekend of dance, but we have a host city, rather than a host dance team. At the end of the weekend, we are all, organisers and teams alike, out of pocket financially, and particularly in the case of the organisers, Ian and myself, and Burt Hunter who does the comparing, we have paid handsomely in time, as well as money for this 'privilege'. We do it for the genuine love of it, and the reason we keep doing it is because dance teams return, year after year, and tell us what a wonderful weekend they have had. I can tell you that by the end of yesterday afternoon I was finding it difficult to fight back my tears, it had just been such a lovely occasion.
   
Those who derive their pleasure from singing, and this may include some of the dancers, are pretty well catered for already. The rest of us, and I include myself in this, currently do have a problem with what to do in the evening if the ceilidh is not to our taste. The rowing club building and campsite have much to commend them, but also a major shortcoming in that the building could do with just one more room in which the dancers and their musicians could party and play in the way they currently do in the small 'marquees' belonging to Flagcrackers and Stockport Morris. So it is not ideal, and I'm keeping my eye open for a pub with good beer, and a friendly attitude to musos and dancers. Durham, for all its wonders, does seem lacking in this area on a Saturday evening.

Durham Folk Party was handed to me as a kicking, screaming baby, and I am as aware as any of you (don't forget I contribute both as a participant and an organiser) of the shortcomings. These will be addressed as best we can, given our circumstances, one way or another, and over time, but nothing's ever perfect.

Given that you say you enjoy the "festival', I can only assume that £12 and some principle is more important to you than your enjoyment. I should think the Folk Party piggy bank can afford (this year at least) to refund your money.

You know who I am, you could have talked to me face-to-face.


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:04 AM

I could complain as Chris and I pay £12 each to camp even though he is my driver/carer and doesn't join in with any of the sessions these days, but to be honest it works out at £8 per night to camp which is pretty reasonable nowadays, especially now they have the new loos, showers etc. As a singer I do appreciate that parties/song weekends do have to be paid for by someone, even if it's just for the camping.
Anyhow having won the Copper Kettle this year I must at least say that I enjoyed the weekend thoroughly.


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 10:33 AM

Congrats on winning the Kettle, Guest! The closest I came was a tie back in 2007 in which Steve da Hat & I were pitched in play off. Steve (his eye on the prize!) went for a crowd pleaser - a barnstorming rendering of Jez Lowe's Old Bones that even had Wor Jez looking on with wry bemusement from the bar! As for myself, having just encountered an open-sty of free-range sandy & black piglets* over Houghall way whilst on our way to the Rowing Club, I was moved to sing McGinties Meal an' Ale, much to the bafflement of the bar-staff - so no Copper Kettle for me!

Couldn't make it this year, alas, which is a shame as it was the first without Matt who was the heart & soul of the DFP in so many ways. From what I hear it sounds like it was good one.

Next year? Let's hope so!

Sean

*I made a wee film of them a couple of weeks later. Here they are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNfqNLSTmts


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Carol
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 09:14 AM

The Guest was me, I think I'd lost my cookies or just another senior moment amonst many. Missed you this year Sean, hope to see you in 2010

Carol


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 09:46 AM

What song won you the kettle, Carol?


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Tyke
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 09:54 AM

Please don't get too upset with Soldier Boy he is not the riches man in the world at the moment. I hate to think what he would have said to £10 per night camping and paying over £3 a pint elsewhere (no names please). I have not been free to go to the Durham Folk Party for several years however when I did I had a great time.

I do not agree with paying to play but this is not the same thing Chris and I'm sure if you practised playing your drum more at home more your neighbours would throw a few bob into the bag to sponsor your Partying and Festival trips. Which I know you look forward too! (As they allegedly do!)

As a penance I think your should organize a folk weekend at the Sayer with free camping for Musicians, Singers and Dancers. To fund it you could have raffles put on Fund raising concerts pack bags for people in supermarkets or run an alternative campsites at other festivals to fund your own.


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: ian1943
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 11:37 AM

I concur with all Frank Lee's diatribe about Soldier Boy's post. A bit of history may explain the problem, When we used the rugby club, there was a downstairs bar for socialising and an upstairs bar for singing and it worked. Unfortunately the rugby club wanted too much money from us so we moved to the rowing club where there is only one room with a bar. We could have either given it over to dancers or to singers, we chose singers and offered the Dun Cow for dancers.In retrospect this was probably the wrong decision. If we look forward to DFP 2010,and it's only the following Tuesday we will sort the perceived problem out by providing facilities for dancers and also for singers which was never the idea of the folk party


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: Carol
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 01:44 PM

I'm not sure how it works really Sean but I sang a song about Lizzie Pearson, the last woman hanged in Durham Jail and then they asked 4 of us to sing again, so I sang Dunbartons Drums - aparently they had a secret judge, who was a prof. musician! Anyhow I had a bad cough and sore throat all over the weekend which I don't think was helped by the dehumidifiers that were drying the building out. not really 'into' competitions but it meant that I got to sing 2 extra songs!!!!
Anyhow had a great weekend and back to reality now!


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Subject: RE: Durham Folk Party 24 - 26 July 2009
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 28 Jul 09 - 02:48 PM

I enjoyed both the (some camping) Morris dancers AND the (some camping) singers.


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