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Whitby Folk Week newbie steward

TopcatBanjo 10 Aug 10 - 06:39 AM
Les from Hull 10 Aug 10 - 09:25 AM
Tyke 10 Aug 10 - 10:23 AM
Arthur_itus 10 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM
TopcatBanjo 10 Aug 10 - 12:37 PM
Tig 10 Aug 10 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 10 Aug 10 - 02:53 PM
Joe Offer 10 Aug 10 - 03:54 PM
TopcatBanjo 10 Aug 10 - 04:00 PM
Noreen 10 Aug 10 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 10 Aug 10 - 09:24 PM
TopcatBanjo 11 Aug 10 - 04:11 AM
Tyke 11 Aug 10 - 07:18 AM
Tyke 11 Aug 10 - 07:30 AM
TopcatBanjo 11 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM
Geoff the Duck 11 Aug 10 - 12:54 PM
The Sandman 11 Aug 10 - 01:09 PM
TopcatBanjo 11 Aug 10 - 01:10 PM
Noreen 11 Aug 10 - 02:49 PM
Geoff the Duck 11 Aug 10 - 02:55 PM
TopcatBanjo 11 Aug 10 - 03:48 PM
TopcatBanjo 11 Aug 10 - 03:51 PM
Noreen 11 Aug 10 - 05:42 PM
Ann N 11 Aug 10 - 06:01 PM
bfdk 12 Aug 10 - 05:24 AM
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Subject: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 06:39 AM

Hi all,

I thought it would be nice to get some feedback from the experienced WFF (Whitby Folk Week) attendees rather than bug the festival organisers with my questions, not essential but would be great to know a bit more before I get there....

I'm going to be stewarding at the Folk Week and it will also be the first time I have ever been, after thinking about it for years but something always getting in the way of going. As part of the steward arrangements I'll be camping anyway (at the Rugby Club). I'll be getting a programme when I get there as part of my steward's kit, so I don't have one yet and have almost no clue of what events there are. A few questions I hoped some of you may have an idea about...

- Is it better to arrive on Friday (if I can) rather than leave it until Saturday to get there and set up camp?
- Do the facilities for the campsite include showers? I do hope so!! Presumably so if it's a rugby clubhouse?
- More generally, does anyone know if there are ever any bluegrass/ old time type sessions at Folk Week? That's my particular interest, although hopefully I might also be tolerated playing chords ever-so-quietly on my 5-string banjo in an English/Irish tune session....;o)
- I'm already planning to go to as many of the Sacred Harp singing workshops as I can as that's my other main musical love


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Les from Hull
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 09:25 AM

There's sometimes an old-timey session sets up in the Board in the afternoon. As this is a 'fringe' type event it might not appear in the programme, or even occur at all!


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Tyke
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 10:23 AM

Tell the campsite steward, on your arival, that you play the banjo there is a section of the campsite allotted to Banjo Players.

Banjos are not permitted in the Showers! Never leave your Banjo on the Back Seat of your Car someone did it last year and when they got back to their car they found the windscreen smashed! And two more Banjos on the front seat!

Need a spare set of Banjo strings? Please note that these are not available from the Cafeteria at the Whitby Pavilion or Mr Chip's.

A Banjo exemption certificate is available from the RNLI near the Bandstand as long as they are in tune. This certificate will allow you to play your banjo in the Middle of the road outside the Middle Earth.

Watch out for the Whitby Seagulls they have formed their own Banjo appreciation Society so playing the Banjo outdoors is not recommended unless you are under a brolly. Have a great Whitby Folk Week. :-)

PS. There is a Bluegrass Banjo Session everyday at the Resolution Hotel its in room 101.


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM

Thats funny, I always thought that the banjo's were used for splattering those annoying seagulls.

I assume you have read this

http://www.whitbyfolk.co.uk/stewards_info.html

From which, you can e-mail the stewards with any queries or concerns.


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 12:37 PM

Thanks Les.

Tyke - yes, hilarious (yawn).

Arthur - yes, I have read that page. As I pointed out in my OP, it's not essential that I know any of this ahead of time and I didn't want to bug the organisers with trivia. I just hoped to get some friendly advice from those who had been there before.

Still living in hope of that......(with exception of Les' post which was useful, ta!)


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Tig
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 02:45 PM

They are having you on Topcat!

The last few years I have been one of the Artist Campsite stewards and should have been this year but my body let me down :-(

You take your choice as to whether to go Friday or Saturday morning. Site opens at about 4.30 usually but you will be told which area to camp in as the team members are allocated an area together. Same goes for stewards.

As far as I know there will be showers. We may have had some strange arrangements in the past but showers there were! In fact by now the changing rooms have hopefully been done out with extra facilities for both sexes.

If you are going as a general steward you will need to get your stuff from the Office but you will be allowed on the Rugby Club site if you give your name. Once you've got your stuff check it to see how many times you need to swop venue at short notice :-) Remember the hills take time.

Have a great Whitby. I'm going as a punter this year - hopefully I'll be back stewarding next.

Cheers
Tig


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 02:53 PM

I would suggest you arrive on Friday after 3.00pm, this will give you time to prove your bone fide and set up so that you can be bright eyed and only slightly hungover on Saturday when you meet your steward leader.
It will also give you time to orientate yourself or set up your own walking sat-nav.
You should find some common ground in between your duties but as Les pointed out it might not be in the 'official' programme.
Best of luck


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 03:54 PM

Malcolm, I hope you'll get the opportunity to meet Mudcat founder Max Spiegel. I think you'll like him.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 04:00 PM

Thanks, Tig and Malcolm!


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Noreen
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 05:18 PM

Definitely get there Friday (if you can) to feel the excitement building as people arrive and set up, greet old friends, put kettles on/open cans/bottles, get out instruments and start playing... if you sit by your tent playing 'Speed the Plough'(or something similar) I guarantee someone will join in :0)

I went to a couple of the Shape Note workshops a few years ago and may do some more this year- they were in the small church hall across the road from the Endeavour- don't know if they still are. I will try to remember to wear my Mudcat badge and possibly t-shirt, so do say hello if you spot me.

Just so much to do, see and join in with- you'll have a wonderful time!


(Feel free to PM me if there's anything you need to ask without fear of Banjoist comments :/ )


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 09:24 PM

Joe Offer

I have always preferred to make my own judgements but we shall see - or not!!!


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 04:11 AM

Thanks for the advice Noreen, I will definitely come up on Friday then! Do come to the shape note workshops if you can; I think my singing friends mentioned that the workshops are going to be in the Rugby Club.

I am used to banjoist comments, I just found half a page of it with no actual advice a little dispiriting.....;o) I'll PM you if I think of anything else, and perhaps will get to say hello there!


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Tyke
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 07:18 AM

Ok TopcatBanjo this is what to do.
1) Find a Pub with an empty seat.
2) Sit down tune up and join in.
Or
1) Find a pub without a session going on.
2) Look around outside and if you see anyone carrying an instrument ask them if they fancy a session in said Pub.

Do a search on the Mudcat for Humphrey Smith and realize that he will not allow any music or television in a Sam Smiths Pub. This means The Plough and The Jolly Sailors in Whitby.

Some people do tend to move from one Pub to another during the week and once you have identify a Group of Friend who play your kind of Music ask them if what their plan are for the next day or that evening.

Things can change quickly so be flexible a sign on the Pub Door saying Folkies welcome is a good hint.

Typical Crawl
If you start at the Board Inn on Church Street on the East Side and work your way to the Friendship Rowing Club Downstairs Bar, Then on to the Fisher lads Rowing Club and the Black Horse and then The Dolphin on to the Endeavour (Shanties Lunchtime till 3pm ish) Then the Fleece (Front Room, Lounge and Balcony) then on to the Middle Earth (inside outside and in a Ladies Chamber and spilling out into Church Street) you should be able to make The Bottom House.

If you haven't found a session going on or about to start TopcatBanjo you have arrived in Whitby on the Wrong Week!

You should also check out the Station Inn (Session in all Three Rooms). Although some of the Pubs are Open till the early Hours lots of festival goers head up to the Pavilion at 10pm ish to meet up with Family and Friends.

Apart from being aware that some of the Locals can be anti Folk the most are not! Whitby Folk Week Is The Friendly Festival you will just have put up with the Banjo Jokes I have to!

PS A good clue as to Closing time is the Pubs who don't have Late Music are the ones that are in residential Ear Shot.


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Tyke
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 07:30 AM

Oh to keep in Touch via a Mobile Phone Vodafone works on Both East and West Side of Whitby with blind spots. O2 works on the West Side not sure about Orange which works at the Bottom of Robin Hoods Bay. I don't have much of problem with Tmobil East or West Side. Take note of some Taxi Numbers it is a long uphill walk to the Rugby Club from the Bottom House.


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM

Thank you Tyke.


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 12:54 PM

TopcatBanjo - there are a number of people at folk week who play either old-time or bluegrass music (I am old-time banjo), but they may not be in any specific predictable location at any given time.
I have chanced across old-time in the Board on occasions when my banjo was on the other side of the river. I have also played old-time outside the Middle Earth where where some regulars are known to take wooden boards and do Appalachian Clogging if suitable music is played.

As Tyke says, if you sit in a pub where music is welcomed and start playing, someone also into the same style of music may wander past and join in. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to keep wandering round saying "nobody is playing/singing my sort of music" - they are probably all doing the same. Start something up and people will find you.

You may (or may not) be aware that there will be some American Mudcatters visiting Whitby during Folk Week this year. Dick Greenhaus and Susan of DT get across about one year in two. These are the people who created and maintain the Digital Tradition database of folk songs, which is hosted by the Mudcat Cafe. This year they will be joined by Max Spiegel, who owns and runs the Mudcat web site. Plans for Max to meet UK 'Catters during Folk Week are being discussed here - Max's Whitby Folk Week MudGatherings. You may be interested in catching up with an assortment of 'Catters including Max, Susan and Dick at times and places listed. Dick plays banjo, and on his last visit had a short necked 5-string "banjuearine?" with him.

As I have also mentioned, I play old-time 5-string banjo. It might be nice to have a play if times and schedules allow.

Quack!"
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 01:09 PM

Ifirst went to Whitby in 1976, I was booked as a performing artiste 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1985 and 1997, it was a great festival when EFDSS used to run it, and Malcolm did a good job too, it would be very nice to be asked back before I die.


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 01:10 PM

Thanks so much Geoff, that's really useful. The thing is, I've only been playing a couple of years so I am not really competent enough to start/lead a session (!) - I tend to tag along and join in as quietly as possible. Especially as I am of the bluegrassy persuasion and don't really know "folk" tunes (well I recognise some but I don't know how to play them. I enjoy folk sessions too and hope that I might maybe join in, playing backup chords at some, provided the "wrong kind" of banjo (i.e. not Irish tenor) isn't frowned on everywhere....I know, I know, they're ALL the wrong kind. ;o)

I have seen the references to Max's visit and will check the other thread out. How might I recognise you amongst the throngs? (that's THRONGS with an R)


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 02:49 PM

Geoff the Duck


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 02:55 PM

The Ducks are fairly well known. We tend to spend a lot of time around The Station (pub not railway) but do venture in other directions.
I am easily spotted, as is my banjo whether in or out of its case.
Geoff the Duck - Yorkshire Gathering 2003, Miskin 2005 - second photo down,
Banbury 2004 - yellow shirt - 3rd photo down.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 03:48 PM

Thanks guys.

Geoff, I see what you mean about your banjo being "easily spotted"!! Cheers again for all the great bits of info and I will see you there!

Maria


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 03:51 PM

PS For Noreen and anyone else who might be interested, the Sacred Harp workshops at WFF will indeed be at the Rugby Club from 11:30am Monday-Friday, confirmed that with Cath Tyler today over at the shape note site.

UK ShapeNote

Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 05:42 PM

Thanks Maria!

For further ease of identification, 3rd pic down-Les and Maggie from Hull, 4th pic down is me.

Les and Maggie run the evening mixed session in the Endeavour, and various other stuff- the Black Horse springs to mind :)

(Blast from the past going through those pics from old gatherings, eh Geoff? I'd forgotten about the kazoo orchestra!)


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: Ann N
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 06:01 PM

Thanks for the link to the Shape Note site, I'm expecting to have some Morris Dancers in the attic for WFF [it's a bit like having bats but only for one week in August each year :) ] and I know it's something that would interest them.   
                              Cheers   Ann


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Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week newbie steward
From: bfdk
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 05:24 AM

Bats, eh? :o) Being batty enough to enjoy Border Morris, but also being a furriner, I won't be getting my program until I get there. I've looked at the names of the Morris sides mentioned on the homepage, but I've no idea which ones (if any) are Border. Would anybody be kind enough to enlighten me? I do hope there's a workshop this year, too, I had great fun dancing with Jet Set last year!

Sorry for the thread drift..

Best wishes,

Bente


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