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Frome Folk festival

GUEST,brass monkey 20 Feb 12 - 08:51 AM
GUEST 20 Feb 12 - 09:40 AM
Skipjack K8 20 Feb 12 - 11:11 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 12 - 02:41 PM
evansakes 24 Feb 12 - 06:03 AM
evansakes 24 Feb 12 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Feb 12 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Martin 05 Mar 12 - 07:19 PM
Suegorgeous 05 Mar 12 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,Folknacious 05 Mar 12 - 07:57 PM
GUEST 05 Mar 12 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,SESSIONS 21 Sep 12 - 07:29 AM
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Subject: Frome's First Folk festival
From: GUEST,brass monkey
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 08:51 AM

Did anyone go to Frome's first folk festival? What did you think? I thought it was overpriced for what it was. Some pubs even had the cheek to charge for entry to terrible performances (songs about 3 jellyfish sung in true primary school style comes to mind with too much vivacity!) and there were no singarounds! Argh! Can we organise this better next year please? I have just moved here and am suffering from a lack of good folk sessions! Kent, all is forgiven!

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 09:40 AM

There's a blog from Frome. I was a bit unhappy about the, um, hotel I stayed at. But it was all that was available at short notice. The town's got two festivals now... maybe it'll get some more amenities as a result.

The music was great though. In particular I liked Miranda Sykes, Spiers and Boden and Jamie Smith's Mabon :-)

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 20 Feb 12 - 11:11 AM

We were flogging Black Diamond Accordions on the Saturday in the Westway Precinct, where the morris displays were, so didn't get to see any of the performers. The organisation was absolutely chaotic, quite frankly, but we had a lot of interest from passing punters, completely oblivious to the fact the folk festival was on at all. Very different from Cheltenham, the weekend before, which the town council had supported royally, big posters on every lamp post.

Paul Hutchinson of Belshazzar's Feast and Edwin Beasant of Pilgrim's Way dropped by for a play (Edwin has a new monster box from Beltuna that is absolutely stunning) and several other delightful people gave us a tune.

After we'd packed up and had some nosh, we hit the Blue Boar, as we read that there was some kind of a session there, but it turned out to be 'folk-a-oake', or karaoke folky, so we were out of the door like a whirlwind. How the organisers had the gall to put that rubbish on the programme, I don't know.


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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
Date: 21 Feb 12 - 02:41 PM

All in all, I'd say the headliners such as Jamie Smith's Mabon were excellent. The sound engineers in the Cheese and Grain needed their heads seen to and main gigs should be standing mainly not seats! The events in the pubs were pretty dire and too twee.
Most of the locals weren't even aware of it and if they were it was too expensive for them (according to some people and a pub landlady I chatted to).

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
From: evansakes
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 06:03 AM

Why do so many moan and groan when folks have the vision and courage (brass balls more like) to stick their neck out to organise an event such as this in an adverse economic climate (and in a town with no particular association with folk music).

It's hard enough at the moment running small folk music events at established folk venues (we can testify to that)

Get behind these people for once....they don't HAVE to do it! There was no funding for this....the promoters risked their own money and apparently broke even. All the musicians supported it willingly and were paid accordingly. They weren't coerced into being there against their will. By any definition it was a stunning line-up for a festival debut.

Don't know why the locals would have been unaware of it. There were posters everywhere and it was the main story on the front page of the local newspaper. Yes, there were teething problems but what would you expect? The organisers and volunteers will learn from it and it'll all run smoother next year.

Here's something positive from the local media!


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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
From: evansakes
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 06:08 AM

Here's more positive feedback about the Frome Folk Festival.

UK Festival Guides

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 11:34 AM

For the past 5 or 6 years now relatively nearby Burnham on sea
has been hosting an extremely well organised and successful local FREE Autumn community 'folkfest';
with venue staging, PA equipment and sound mixing being of an applaudable consistent good 'pro' quality.

Yet this excellent festival, first weekend in September, is barely known outside of their own town,
existing quietly unnoticed off the national festival circuit radar,
because B.O.S 'Folkfest' organisers can't overstretch the budget for well known high profile media darling performers;
and seem disinclined to engage in trendy middle class media marketing and promotion.

It's an interesting & valuable contrast to expensive, exclusive, inaccessible Priddy;
and now this new Frome event which seems to be clumsily emulating the more upper high end market demographic festivals
whilst lacking the experience and expertise of Burnham's local home grown reliable well skilled event management team.

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
From: GUEST,Martin
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 07:19 PM

Interesting to hear the carping on this page. As Programme Manager at the Cheese and Grain, I can honestly say we were delighted with the Folk Festival. The acts were terrific and most people I spoke to very happy. Several bookings have already been taken for next year.
There were no problems at all when our in- house sound engineer was at the desk. Visiting engineers sometimes struggle with the acoustic in the room, but I was there much of the time and didn't hear many problems. Bear in mind NO ONE gets a sound check in these festivals. It was an enormous task to organise and thanks to that goes to SNG the promoting company. There was no subsidy from any quarter. I think comparisons with Cheltenham are odious. Yes, there will be a very high level of support from a relatively big City council in a wealthy middle class area. Frome isn't like that. The whole of Somerset gets no Arts Council subsidy at all, and the County and District Councils have pulled every penny in funding in the last year. So a great first festival and the promise of better to come. I can't quite see what Burnham is complaining about.I'm sure your festival's terrific but if its unknown outside the town, whose fault is that? Try publicity.

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 07:47 PM

Yes, all very grumpy! why? And what's the problem re Burnham? how can Frome possibly have the experience of Burnham when it's their first one? don't understand the comparison.

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 07:57 PM

For what it's worth, some friends of mine went and had a good time, their email reported that it was pretty full in the main venues, the concerts were good, they liked that "it wasn't overloaded with the usual big names, giving us a chance to enjoy people like Jamie Smith's Mabon, Jackie Oates, Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin and Tim Edey & Brendan Power" and they also "particularly enjoyed the Spiers & Boden ceilidh." They ventured out to a few pub sessions but said it was mostly local floor singers - their comment was "it was good of the organisers to involve so many locals, and particularly good to put them where we could avoid them" (!!)They liked the "big market hall" and "an old cinema" as venues, their only real adverse comments were about the in-venue catering and the morris sides ("uniformly dreadful").

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 11:17 PM

What was the date of this festival please

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Subject: RE: Frome Folk festival
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 07:29 AM


there was a session at Griffin, Milk street on the Festival's Saturday afternoon, good response and was a busy one. Went on for about 3 hours. Yes it lacked evening session but i have mentioned to the organisers of a decent pub for next festival, hoping to have a session in evening of the Saturday at the lamb and fountain, castle st as part of folk fest 2013. They havent replied yet but will still have a sess there either way. The other place will be the Griffin but that'll probably be an afternoon one again no doubt...!..
i live in frome and hold sessions at Griffin last Tuesday of month and Lamb and fountain 2nd Thursday of month. Mainly celtic stuff but anything trad goes, very laid back sessions with good amount of folkies turning up usually! We dont bite and anyone can some along..
There is also a session at the castle in Bruton which is very good ...not sure of dates though.
I agree with some of comments...well done for getting a folk festival to Frome! it will evolve over time no doubt, lets give it our support and keep folk alive!

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Mudcat time: 19 September 12:48 PM EDT

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