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Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs

The Sandman 26 Jan 12 - 04:12 PM
Georgiansilver 26 Jan 12 - 04:21 PM
The Sandman 26 Jan 12 - 04:23 PM
Linda Kelly 26 Jan 12 - 04:27 PM
Joe Nicholson 26 Jan 12 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,Ian Mather sans cookie 27 Jan 12 - 04:13 AM
Johnny J 27 Jan 12 - 04:40 AM
Johnny J 27 Jan 12 - 04:41 AM
Les in Chorlton 27 Jan 12 - 05:54 AM
The Sandman 27 Jan 12 - 07:09 AM
Marje 27 Jan 12 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,FloraG 27 Jan 12 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,SteveG 27 Jan 12 - 03:08 PM
theleveller 27 Jan 12 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 28 Jan 12 - 01:35 PM
GUEST 28 Jan 12 - 10:08 PM
ChanteyLass 29 Jan 12 - 02:11 AM
GUEST,SteveG 29 Jan 12 - 12:47 PM
growler 29 Jan 12 - 03:08 PM
Ebbie 29 Jan 12 - 03:31 PM
the lemonade lady 29 Jan 12 - 03:54 PM
Mo the caller 30 Jan 12 - 08:49 AM
Mo the caller 30 Jan 12 - 09:22 AM
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Subject: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:12 PM

Do the former encourage audiences to go to the latter?, or are the audiences different from each other, do Folk Festival draw audiences away from clubs?


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:21 PM

Sometimes! But I'm sure it's not a problem!


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:23 PM

did anyone say it was a problem?


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:27 PM

The majority of our audience have never been to a festival!


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Joe Nicholson
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 07:29 PM

Some clubs which have a lot of festivalgoers close in the Summer months.

Joe Nicholson


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Ian Mather sans cookie
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 04:13 AM

Interesting. Festivals can be large commercial affairs or supra club events in a different town. Likewise clubs can be get up and do a mini spot before a guest artiste or they can be sing around.

Many people who go to large corporate festivals wouldn't feel comfortable in a sing around and vice versa.   Friends in our village goes to some festivals but looked at me gone out when I suggested they come to the local sing around session. Likewise, I know many people for whom hearing unaccompanied traditional songs is a matter for bowed head and ernest contemplation but view a microphone as a karaoke instrument used in the next pub down the road that they have never been in.

I reckon curiosity can lead to trying the other, but sustaining it? Sometimes a very different world.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Johnny J
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 04:40 AM

Many folk clubbers also go to festivals but clubs seldom seem to attract new interest from the bulk of the festival crowds although they might come along on a "one off basis" to see a particular act.

You'll also get many people attending festivals who are just there for the occasion or event and or not particularly interested in the music at all. they might just be there for the drink, camp site parties or whatever... even to create havoc. The clubs are probably better off without them.

Also, a festival will attract families which can be considered a good thing as many clubs are not geared up to accomodate these. So, there will be spouses, offspring, freinds, and even pets who will accompany the folkies themselves. They may or not be that interested in the music either.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Johnny J
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 04:41 AM

Excuse the typos and spelling above. I'm not quite awake.
:-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 05:54 AM

We went to a concert with Peggy Seeger and a number of Critics Group Singers a few years ago in Salford. I forget the event but I found myself being resentful that no mention was made of the folk clubs of Greater Manchester.

Many clubs have come and gone but some remain and others have sprouted up. I guess I have no right to feel resentful but a mention of the Swinton Club:

Here

would have made an important historical connection between all that Seeger, MacColl et al did in the 60's and after and what great clubs like Swinton

And here

are still doing today.

Perhaps festivals could have a message board or meeting place for folk club related stuff?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 07:09 AM

Perhaps festivals could have a message board or meeting place for folk club related stuff?
a very good idea


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Marje
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 07:14 AM

I do agreee there could be more crossover, at least in terms of spreading information. But I see a lot of people at festivals who seem to want simply to attend the concerts and be entertained. They'll pay to come to a club or a concert if there's a good guest, but they simply don't want to participate musically in any active way. I'm not saying this is all bad, it's just how things are.

I have to say that this passive approach is more prevalent among younger festival-goers, in my experience. I know that there are lots of young people who play in sessions etc, but it seems to me that a higher proportion of the over-50s at festivals are there to play and sing, as well as (or sometime instead of) attending the concerts.

I can't see that festivals can be taking people away from the clubs or harming them in any way, as they only last for a weekend or a week, and in any case clubs often close down for the summer festival season. At least festivals help to stir up a bit of enthusiasm for the big names as well as those who are trying to make their way professionally, and they offer the chance to dip into all sorts of performances, so people can find out who they'd like to see again (and who they'd avoid).

I'm sure that if folk club organisers in the local area asked to put up a notice or display at a festival, or make fliers about their club available (this does happen sometimes) the festival management would encourage it. But the clubs need to take the initiative if they want to make themselves known to a wider audience.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 11:00 AM

Cambridge festival get the local clubs to organise an evening at the festival. They compare it and get to pick a few guests who have longer spots, as well as the festival sending them a few spots.   I know this could lead to a degree of nepotism, but as far as I know the clubs take their choice of artists very seriously.
I can't help but think this benefits both club attendance and the festival.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 03:08 PM

Nearly all of the festivals in Yorkshire have close connections with the local folk clubs. Some actually were organised originally by the local folk club members and some still are run by local folk club members.

Some people prefer the festivals simply for the sheer variety on offer and the opportunities to perform regularly, which are not always possible in a folk club setting.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: theleveller
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 04:33 PM

Variety is the spice of life - it could even be the spice of folk music. Try thinking outside your little boxes.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 01:35 PM

I'd be surprised if festivals are not advertising themselves at folk clubs in the same area, and vice versa. Festival publicity material is generally of a high standard - as it should be - they are comnpeting with other forms of entertainment and have to compete in terms of quality of performance, staging, publicity etc (and I don't mean mimic - we don't need X factor staging!). And clubs that are presenting guests and charging people to get in also need good quality publicity.

Regarding Marje's posting on passive audiences ... Thinking back to the folk club I was involved in organising in the 70s and 80s, most of the audience were "passive" - it they weren't floor singers, or performers or musicians etc. They came to be entertained. I think that was probably typical of clubs at the time.

Derek


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 10:08 PM

I wouldn't know there isn't anything folk in my town just a bunch of hip-hop kids


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 02:11 AM

Around here, most folk venues operate during what I call the "academic year"--September through May or early June. Festivals operate during the late spring, summer, and early fall. When there's an overlap of dates, I have been known to drive from a festival to an evening concert at a folk venue on a Saturday night and then returning to the festival on Sunday. It is good to see someone who played at a folk venue as a relative unknown appear at a folk festival and become known to many more people. The downside is that sometimes after that happens the folk venues can no longer afford the price the performer can now command! Sometimes, though, they do come back to the folk venues, asking for an affordable fee.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 12:47 PM

Good point, CL.
A good number of festivals in the UK do take place in or around the summer holidays and quite a few clubs close down during this period, partly because their members go off to the festivals. Of course as ever also a large slice of the folk scene participants consists of teachers. All of the artists I know who have been successful on the festival circuit still do the clubs for a reasonable fee as a matter of policy, which is probably one reason why the festival scene and the club scene can exist together side by side in harmony.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: growler
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 03:08 PM

I think that wee are lucky in The Good Intent, Rochester UK, We have a well attended folk club 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. Our local Festival is Sweeps, on the Mayday Weekend, where everyone is welcome. Last year the landlord sold 32 barrels of ale in two days


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 03:31 PM

Seven years ago three other people and I started whet we call a folk club. It is far from what most people expect/require from a folk club- for instance, we are not in a pub, but a church with great acoustics -, we are small, seating 130 people at best, and we run only from October through March. But it suits us. We have been told repeatedly that we are the best monthly thing going in Juneau, our attendance is routinely at 65 or so people and they are enthusiastic and supportive.

Our format involves five 20-minute all-acoustic sets, starting at 7:30 and ending at 10 o'clock, with a 20-minute intermission where we have coffee and goodies. I record everything then present each with a CD of their set.

We don't start until October each year because in September we have a popular mountaintop concert; we stop in March because in April Alaska holds its annual Folk Festival in Juneau.

The Alaska Folk Festival is now in its 37th year and imo it is literally the best event of the year. People come from all over Alaska and the West Coast for the Festival's seven-day and night performances and workshops.

Many of our Folk Club performers perfect their acts for the Folk Fest, while some others have never performed in public before.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 03:54 PM

I think the folk clubs offer a good showcase for organisers to attend. Also the more folk clubs on the Artist's gig list, the more likely the festival organiser is to go and see them at a folk club before booking them for a festival.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Mo the caller
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 08:49 AM

Chester Festival certainly has a notice board and flyers table in the caravan/office, so that people can see the club ads while queueing for their tickets.
I go to 3 or 4 festivals a year, hardly ever to a 'folk club' most of my time is spent at dance clubs and pub sessions.

Festivals are different from my weekly fare. I go to some concerts and hear acts I enjoy. I dance to top bands and callers with expert dancers. Learn from expert players in workshops and sessions.

Some festivals specialise in dance (Whitby, Lichfield, Chippenham Bromyard's Saturday DofD, & probably Sidmouth though I don't go). These fertilise the dance clubs, give those running them new ideas and inspiration.


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Subject: RE: Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs
From: Mo the caller
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 09:22 AM

There has been a bit of discussion at dance clubs I go to about the economics of putting on Saturday dances.
The dance clubs usually meet every week, dance to recorded music, with dances taught by a regular caller or rota of callers. The main expenses are rent, licence to play the recordings, EFDSS membershio which provides insurance. So the members subs are low (often less than £2 / evening)

Some clubs put on a few dances each year with a band and caller brought in. Now that petrol prices are so high it is difficult to make these dances break even. People travel to the dances from some way, so a clash with a dance 50 miles away can badly affect numbers as the people living somewhere between them weigh the merits of the bands and callers. Many of the club members don't attend their clubs dances. So the debate is, should their money be used to subsidise them?

IMO they, like the festivals, are an important part of the scene. If the club callers and enthusiasts couldn't develope their dance skills and knowledge in this way the home clubs would be poorer.


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