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Folk Performers Association

Alan Day 16 Apr 11 - 03:25 PM
Phil Cooper 16 Apr 11 - 03:47 PM
DebC 17 Apr 11 - 08:54 AM
Alan Day 17 Apr 11 - 01:34 PM
doc.tom 17 Apr 11 - 01:38 PM
Andy Jackson 17 Apr 11 - 04:22 PM
Folknacious 17 Apr 11 - 04:37 PM
Ann N 18 Apr 11 - 03:23 AM
Alan Day 18 Apr 11 - 05:06 AM
DebC 18 Apr 11 - 08:38 AM
Ann N 18 Apr 11 - 08:38 AM
Ann N 18 Apr 11 - 08:53 AM
Alan Day 18 Apr 11 - 11:02 AM
Ann N 18 Apr 11 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 18 Apr 11 - 02:56 PM
Leadfingers 18 Apr 11 - 04:51 PM
Alan Day 18 Apr 11 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 19 Apr 11 - 02:32 AM
Alan Day 19 Apr 11 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 19 Apr 11 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 19 Apr 11 - 07:01 AM
Alan Day 19 Apr 11 - 07:45 AM
ConcertinaChap 19 Apr 11 - 07:50 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 19 Apr 11 - 08:25 AM
Alan Day 19 Apr 11 - 08:43 AM
Will Fly 19 Apr 11 - 09:06 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 19 Apr 11 - 09:19 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 19 Apr 11 - 09:22 AM
GUEST 19 Apr 11 - 09:30 AM
Will Fly 19 Apr 11 - 10:22 AM
Alan Day 19 Apr 11 - 10:39 AM
Will Fly 19 Apr 11 - 10:54 AM
Nigel Parsons 19 Apr 11 - 11:41 AM
Alan Day 19 Apr 11 - 11:54 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 19 Apr 11 - 12:16 PM
Vic Smith 19 Apr 11 - 12:32 PM
Alan Day 23 Apr 11 - 06:53 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 23 Apr 11 - 07:19 AM
Alan Day 23 Apr 11 - 08:19 AM
Leadfingers 23 Apr 11 - 09:16 AM
Alan Day 23 Apr 11 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 23 Apr 11 - 10:59 AM
Alan Day 23 Apr 11 - 12:54 PM
Alan Day 01 May 11 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 01 May 11 - 06:14 AM
Peter C 01 May 11 - 06:33 AM
Alan Day 01 May 11 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 01 May 11 - 01:13 PM
Alan Day 01 May 11 - 03:23 PM
Bounty Hound 01 May 11 - 06:42 PM
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Subject: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 03:25 PM

Should we start one ?


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 03:47 PM

There are several out there. North American Folk Alliance for one. Depends on what your goals are. Folk alliance, itself, has been accused of being more commercial/singer/songwriter oriented. On the other hand, that side of the folk world is better at articulating what they want. I, personally, have liked all the Folk alliance conferences I've gone to, but it's hard to say how cost effective going can be.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: DebC
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 08:54 AM

The American Federation of Musician Local 1000 is a trade union specifically chartered for folk and acoustic musicians who perform the majority of their gigs outside their local jurisdiction.

We advocate for fair wages and better working conditions for traveling musicians. We are also one of the fastest growing Locals in the AFM.

Oh yeah...we do a lot of singing when we get together :-)

Debra Cowan
Eastern-Representative
Executive Board, AFM Local 1000


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 01:34 PM

It is the sort of organisation I was thinking of when I posted this. Not a straight attempt at undermining the EFDSS, but take representation of Folk musicians a bit further.
If most think it is not a good idea in the UK then no harm done.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: doc.tom
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 01:38 PM

Anybody remember PERFORM ?


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 04:22 PM

Short lived but good intentions as I remeber Tom.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Folknacious
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 04:37 PM

What's a folk performer?


(off to get my asbestos suit…)


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Ann N
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 03:23 AM

Interesting idea, how would it differ from the Folk ,Roots & Traditional music section of the Musicians Union?


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 05:06 AM

Possibly it's already all covered by them Ann, this is really just a discussion to see if it might be worthwhile.
I would think that it would be a way for Folk Musicians to be a representative body that would be a larger individual voice to promote Folk Music in general, take advantage of the numbers to negotiate better deals for Instrument Insurance etc. Possible help to create funds for artists in financial difficulties due to bad health, or accident. These are just a few my thoughts, but the membership would make the decisions on policy.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: DebC
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 08:38 AM

Alan-We do have one UK member in Local 1000, Billy Bragg. But he does come to the States quite regularly and tours over here. What you describe above is EXACTLY what Local 1000 does. I would check with the UK Musicians's Union that Ann mentions above. Why re-invent the wheeel?

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Ann N
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 08:38 AM

It would be good to have an organisation that catered for "play for the fun of it, folk/morris musicians, non-professionals" (I hesitate to put amateur as there are a lot of very good performers who only ever play at their local folk club/Morris side), as well as people who earn their living by folk music.   

The ratio of non-professional folk musicians to professionals must be well in favour of the non-professional :)


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Ann N
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 08:53 AM

....... especially if the organisation charged less than the MU's £160 a year membership (for those earning less than £20,000 per annum from music, no discounted rates unless you're a bona fide music student)


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 11:02 AM

No inventions here DebC only a discussion. Something may come of it or not.
I was thinking along the same lines as you Ann ,not aiming for specific professional, or even semi professional groups ,but all Folk musicians.
There need be no fees involved , unless it was a legal matter and even there we could have a member who specialised in music matters.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Ann N
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 02:18 PM

A "Musicians Friendly Society" for friendly folk musicians    :D


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 02:56 PM

The dividing line between professionals and non-professionals is very blurred in folk music. In how many other genres do non-professional musicians (by which I mean those who rely on other sources of income for a living) regularly appear at major festivals, not only on the same bill as the leading musicians but possibly even on the same stage?

However I'm not sure what role such an organisation would be able to fulfil. The full-time performers have Britfolk as a source of advice and support, and the MU is there to provide pensions, insurance and the other support services the self-employed need, but which the non-professionals probably obtain from other sources. Promoting folk music should really be the role of EFDSS, and whilst I agree it could do better (extending its vision beyond Camden would be a start) I can't really see what Alan is suggesting being able to do a better job than it or the regional folk organisations.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 04:51 PM

At least these days EFDSS is no longer only interested in Social Dance ! And there are a VERY small proortion of Folk Performers who have Folk as their ONLY souce of income !


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 05:37 PM

Howard I am just looking at whether we as a group could provide something better for the UK Folk musicians. It has been interesting that many of the alternatives suggested I have never heard of and certainly I have been around a long time. Perhaps more communication of what is being provided may be useful. From two steps back it all looks very disjointed. Perhaps Britfolk should open their doors wider.
We always look towards the EFDSS to take a lead and in some cases they do, but as an organisation they cannot cover all the interests of Folk Musicians Professional and non professional.or do you think that is wrong?
I must stress that this posting is suggestions for possible improvements,if any, if the majority of opinion is that organisations already exist are doing a good job and are not too expensive, then we can let this topic slide down the page to obscurity.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 02:32 AM

I'm not sure we're really homogenous enough. Jim Carrol always reckoned the folk revival lost its snap in England when you started turning up for an evening of traditional folk music and found jasper Carrot or somesuch character.

I've always felt it was the other way round - jasper seemed to fill most venues and people would get pissed off with interminable jigs reels and ballads about doom and gloom, and decide not to come next week.

Anyway, there was a civil war. you lot won. we stand in the wreckage. the jury's still out on whether we are talking to each other yet. theres a lot of frigid politeness about. i guess we'll have to meet up in the darby and joan club together, and play bingo and dominoes for a bag of sugar, and talk of the old times when we were all simply wonderful darling.

the reason the MU works is that its strictly business. You need to be a member of that or Equity in case you guitar string breaks off and blinds somebody in the front row.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 03:45 AM

Well Alan you seem to have gone off at a tangent here and of course I remember those days as well as you. I did not enjoy and I still do not enjoy more chat than music, in fact my sing arounds do not contain any
chat at all, just music, singing and poetry (if a poet turns up ), no introductions at all.
There were a few very good comedians/Folk artists and a hell of a lot of second rate clones, what finished me off was going to a Folk Club on two separate nights, in two different places and seeing the identical act, word for word, joke for joke and songs performed by two different artists. One of which must have recorded the other and learnt the lot.

There is a lot that can be done for all artists now on the Internet, links to their Websites,New CD releases, events, Folk Club listing with links. All available now and spread around friend on Facebook etc.
Perhaps an initial dedicated page on Facebook may be a starting point. These things only work however if people are enthusiastic and join in.I see no reason why anyone should have to pay to join.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 06:26 AM

Hi Alan.

I think it sounds like a great idea. I tried to do something similar in Liverpool last year but didn't get any takers. I think part of the reason for that is that on the Irish circuit, particularly, musicians can be very territorial and jealous about safeguarding their 'patch' which means it is very difficult to persuade people to make short-term individual sacrifices for some uncertain, long-term collective gain. Basically, people instinctively look after number 1. I think I still have a copy of the proposal I drafted somewhere if you want to have a look at it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 07:01 AM

I remember putting the same point to someone who had the idea - years ago. I said, how are we going to unite - we are basically all small businessmen in competition with each other. we'd all cut each others throat for a twenty five quid gig.

He said, well the bosses do it. they have the CBI, and they're in competition.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 07:45 AM

Thanks for your support Chris.I would be interested in your proposals
Once a site has been set up then artists would post all their own links and gig details,it would only require a few people, or even one initially to make sure the site is not being abused.Not sure there would be room for Utube postings, unless relevant to something being discussed or in the news.
Causes ,Politics and Religion, again requires serious thought.
I will hold your coat Alan
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 07:50 AM

> Perhaps an initial dedicated page on Facebook may be a starting point.

Sounds like a good thought, Al.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 08:25 AM

Well, I'm one of the moderators for Britfolk, so I'll respond first to the comment about us widening our doors.

The door is already quite wide open, the official line is: "A discussion list exclusively for UK-based professional folk performers, including singers, instrumentalists, dancers, callers and storytellers. This list is restricted to performers living, working or seriously touring in the UK and earning all, or a significant part of their income in that way."

The reason we restrict to the UK is to keep a focus on UK issues and prevent the confusions that we sometimes see in international fora like this one. The 'siginificant part of their income' bit is to ensure that were all on a level field and feel happy to discuss things like incomes, fees and other sensitive issues.

When we set up Brifolk's sister list for Club Organisers, we decided for good reasons to allow non-club organisers who had some other business interest to join. It all came horribly unstuck as a result a few years later. I left at that point so I don't know how it's going now, but it hasn't convinced me to take the Britfolk door off it's hinges.

Note that BF is just a discussion group. It does operate a little like a union, in that there have been times when we (or rather perhaps folkWISE, the parent organisation) have done things that unions do, but there is, I think a consensus that BF is not a campaigning group. (I've been guilty at times of trying to make it so, so I know).

Some of the key MU FRTM people are members of BF, but not all BFs are in the MU, and not all agree with FRTM policy. I'm a big MU supporter (I'm in two other unions as well), but I don't agree with everything FRTM does - particularly when it comes to negotiations with PRS and the Government, where I feel the very reasonable MU focus on professional performers can run against the interests of the wider folk movement, and therefore the longer term interests of folk field performers.

So yes, I do think a Folk Performers Association that contains pros, semi-pros and ams is a good idea (as I still do of a Folk Club and Small Acoustic Venue Organisers Association - which was the reason I started the FCO group in the first place).

Many is the time I have pointed people at discussions here and elsewhere, and found they've not bothered to read the debate, or have just dismissed the points being aired as a minority view. Sometimes you do need to play the 'establishment' game, and be able to wave an 'official' badge to be taken seriously - even if your Association is very casual. If you're able to voice the zeitgeist, or just the consensus, or just be able to outline a list of well-supported points of view, you can make more progress than you can standing on your little soap box all alo-ney and a-lonely-o.

The Association would need excellent links with EFDSS, BF, FRTM and others for sure.

You'd have to decide if there was a committee, and if so how that would be constituted / elected / nominated (without spokesmen there wouldn't be much point of have the thing).

Fees? Well, actually I would suggest there should be a small nominal charge - first to provide a little cash for things like websites and expenses for tips to London for meetings or whatever, and second to prove a degree of commitment by the members. But without having to run a Cyril House Flats, or pension schemes or library/archive etc, the fee could be very small, and there could be a BF style discussion group too.

Though maybe Mudcat already serves that purpose - so should it just be the Mudcat Association?


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 08:43 AM

Tom thanks for your very interesting reply and suggestions that are based on experience.
I too agree that Mudcat offers an extremely good service to the Folk World in general, the information however gradually disappears down the page and useful links are gone with it. I would personally prefer all the business to be internet driven as that seems to be the best for communication, but these are only my thoughts.
I would much prefer a dedicated team to work together rather than make a job for me,which I could do without , I am happy to kick start it to get it going and then hopefully it would mainly run itself.
Or perhaps Britfolk covers all the requirements for everyone and this is unnecessary.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 09:06 AM

A discussion list exclusively for UK-based professional folk performers, including singers, instrumentalists, dancers, callers and storytellers. This list is restricted to performers living, working or seriously touring in the UK and earning all, or a significant part of their income in that way.

Not much of an opening here for those wishing to get a foot in the door. There may well be a number of aspiring performers who don't fit the criteria for Britfolk. I'm not criticising those criteria, by the way - I'm sure they're perfectly reasonable for the aims of that organisation - but there may well be a case for some kind of association for those that are a long way the income bracket.

I wouldn't join any association myself as (a) I don't count myself as a pure "folk" performer and (b) I'm loathe to join any association that would have me as a member... "-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 09:19 AM

Well I would say that Britfolk and the other existing organisations do what they do well, but there's no voice for the grassroots (well EFDSS include, but their very correct and worthwhile agenda does not address some important issues).

For example, we (might have been just me, actually) managed to persuade PRS to provide a reduced rate tariff for free-entry, no fee, all trad sessions, but at some point they stopped negotiating with me and went (without informing me) back to the usual suspects - and as a result it's not fit for purpose. When I found out what had happened I did try to rally support through the existing channels but did not make any progress, because I was one voice against powerful vested interests . That's the sort of thing your Association might re-balance.

A club organiser told me only this weekend that he wants to move the club - the current venue is not suitable, but the previous venue won't have them back because of the licensing issue, and he knows the other pubs in the area have the same objection. The new tariff could have done the trick because it it's held and paid for by the club, not the venue, but it only applies to a free-entry all-trad session or singaround - and this club has guests. What's needed is club-owned licences that can move with the club, while also having a reduced rate to allow for a percentage of public domain and non PRS member material.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 09:22 AM

Will, we avoid the W I F debate. We use the broadest possible definition - in fact we don't really define at all. It's easy to spot the players who use the same ball as us - you'd qualify on that score for sure.

I'm also not a joiner, but if there'd never been any unions...


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 09:30 AM

Mike wrote;-
"I'm loathe to join any association that would have me as a member... "-)"


Perhaps the most rehashed of all the thousands of memorable quips by Groucho Marx.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 10:22 AM

Ah, Groucho - The Master - a quotation I've used many times...


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 10:39 AM

Will ,many wouldn't have you as a playing partner,
but somebody had to.
I got the short straw !!
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 10:54 AM

It's a dirty job, Al but - as you say - someone has to do it... :-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 11:41 AM

....... especially if the organisation charged less than the MU's £160 a year membership (for those earning less than £20,000 per annum from music, no discounted rates unless you're a bona fide music student)
Reading the website, it doesn't have to be a music student to benefit from the (small) reduction

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 11:54 AM

I would want a hell of a return for that sort of money Nigel.
Big money if you have a few thousand members.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 12:16 PM

£160 is a very reasonable sum, given what the MU does and represents.

You need to look beyond what it seems to do for you directly, and consider what it does for music and musicians in general - from which you do in fact benefit.

And then think of the support for musicians in distress. Because there, to date, but for fortune...


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 12:32 PM

From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 09:30 AM


was a cookie-less Vic Smith. When I decide to empty my internet cache to save space and time when I am on-line, I lose my Mudcat cookie - and I don't always notice when I post subsequently.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 06:53 AM

I have now formed a page on Facebook
Just type in Folk Performers Association.
This will be dedicated initially for New CD releases, Folk Club information, Folk events, publications.
Open to the general public so be careful of what you put on there.
This is just a Pilot Scheme to assess the interest. If there is none then no harm done.
It is a non profit association of members.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 07:19 AM

A good start, Alan, but I for one won't be able to join up. I do have a facebook page, but it's switched off because I can't be bothered to work out how to delete it (and occasionally have to swtich on in order to contact someone). I couldn't stand the thing on bit. I think you'll find a lot of musicians are the same. You might want to do a MySpace as well, though I'll be stopping mine at some point, for the same reason, and I think a lot of folk performers are doing the same.

So if you don't get a lot of response vie FaceBook, don't assume that no-one's interested - though of course they may not be!

It might be good to have a place that people can join without having to sign up for all the tittle-tatle, prattling, flirting and brass-necked promotion that, for many, makes social networking sites a no go zone.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 08:19 AM

I agree with that Tom,particularly "Causes" many of which I totally agree with, but to join it is so aggressive that I do not want to be involved with it.
I will listen to people like yourself and see what the general reaction is. If nothing, then no harm done ,no money changing hands, so no refunds to worry about.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 09:16 AM

I just poked my nose in to the Facebook Page


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 09:20 AM

Nice to see you on there.
Why not add your photo
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 10:59 AM

Am I invited, even though Richard Bridge says I don't sing folk music?

I won't be offended, i've beeen excluded from from all kinds of places and take rejection and subsequent humiliation with complete sang froid and dignified silenece; albeit laced with black, implacable, vitriolic hatred.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 12:54 PM

Dear Alan
There is nothing to stop you joining it is an open page for those that wish to join.
As a matter of policy if anyone posts an offensive, or unfriendly comment on the site ,it will be deleted.
On a personal note ,I take people as I find them, so I have no objections based on past experiences.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 01 May 11 - 06:05 AM

We are progressing nicely with this Facebook page.
There is currently a small discussion on Tax matters for performing artists and we are starting to get a few using it for advertising their current or forthcoming Folk events. It is a self post site for artists and Folk organisers to use and open to the general public.My old playing partner Clive Williams (Melodeon.net)is assisting me.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 01 May 11 - 06:14 AM

I went to the page but i couldn't see what you had to do to become a member.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Peter C
Date: 01 May 11 - 06:33 AM

I too cannot see what you have to do to join the Facebook page! Is it me?


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 01 May 11 - 07:13 AM

Just click like and that's it
If you are a member of Facebook then your picture (or page)comes up on the list.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 01 May 11 - 01:13 PM

done it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Alan Day
Date: 01 May 11 - 03:23 PM

Well done Alan and welcome.
Hope you will contribute.
Al


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Subject: RE: Folk Performers Association
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 01 May 11 - 06:42 PM

I'd ignore Tom's advice above and steer well clear of myspace at the moment, last time I updated the Bounty Hounds myspace page I lost the will to live!
Agree totally with him about some of the rubbish people post on FB, but a huge number of performers do use FB as a means of promotion and networking, and just giving fans/friends an update on what you have been up to, so you will have to expect people to use it as a promotional tool as well as a means of sharing information and ideas.
Well done with the page, look forward to seeing it develop
John


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