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The Fringe at festivals

selby 28 Aug 12 - 08:13 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Aug 12 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 28 Aug 12 - 09:29 AM
Leadfingers 28 Aug 12 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 28 Aug 12 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Aug 12 - 11:05 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Aug 12 - 11:17 AM
Herga Kitty 28 Aug 12 - 11:18 AM
Leadfingers 28 Aug 12 - 11:24 AM
theleveller 28 Aug 12 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,henryp 28 Aug 12 - 11:46 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Aug 12 - 11:50 AM
The Barden of England 28 Aug 12 - 11:52 AM
treewind 28 Aug 12 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Aug 12 - 01:12 PM
Leadfingers 28 Aug 12 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Keith Price 28 Aug 12 - 01:40 PM
Carol 28 Aug 12 - 02:19 PM
Betsy 28 Aug 12 - 02:40 PM
Stanron 28 Aug 12 - 03:17 PM
Van 28 Aug 12 - 03:26 PM
johncharles 28 Aug 12 - 03:28 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Aug 12 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,Ripov (not at home) 28 Aug 12 - 09:34 PM
banjoman 29 Aug 12 - 04:55 AM
selby 29 Aug 12 - 05:18 AM
Marje 29 Aug 12 - 09:41 AM
Les from Hull 29 Aug 12 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Seayaker 29 Aug 12 - 09:56 AM
Les from Hull 29 Aug 12 - 09:58 AM
Girl Friday 29 Aug 12 - 10:14 AM
Mo the caller 29 Aug 12 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,FloraG 30 Aug 12 - 04:01 AM
Stanron 31 Aug 12 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,FloraG 31 Aug 12 - 08:13 AM
selby 31 Aug 12 - 09:59 AM
Jack Campin 31 Aug 12 - 10:15 AM
selby 31 Aug 12 - 10:58 AM
GUEST 31 Aug 12 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Keith Price 31 Aug 12 - 11:28 AM
Stanron 31 Aug 12 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Keith Price 31 Aug 12 - 11:49 AM
Tootler 31 Aug 12 - 12:24 PM
selby 31 Aug 12 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Keith Price 31 Aug 12 - 01:11 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Aug 12 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Fringe Parasite 01 Sep 12 - 06:24 AM
JHW 01 Sep 12 - 07:34 AM
Jack Campin 01 Sep 12 - 07:58 AM
johncharles 01 Sep 12 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Fringe Parasite 01 Sep 12 - 02:20 PM
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Subject: The Fringe at festivals
From: selby
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 08:13 AM

In my experience all town based Festivals have a Fringe. In light of a some other threads around at the moment.
Does the Fringe at Festivals complement, detract or serve no use full purpose at all. Discuss


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:00 AM

It is the prime objective.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:29 AM

Depends on your perspective ...... and the aims of the festival really.

The Festival we're planning next year is looking to put sessions in the pubs, performances in local cafes, galleries (and even the barbers)in exchange for a little sponsorship from these businesses (to help festival running costs). These will obviously be free to participants and audience.

There will also be a session and Ceilidh marquee (with bar) located on the campsite (available to w/e ticket holders only).

Formal ticketed concerts will be held in a couple of venues in the town.

Ticket types available will be for

1/ Full festival - weekend tickets £40 - £50 (including concerts)+ £2.50 per night camping
2/ Sessions/ ceilidhs and camping - weekend tickets (3 nights) - £22 - £28
3/ Individual concert tickets


Interested in feedback as to the perception of this model. I guess we're trying to create a fringe but very much as part of the festival........ and get some revenue from this to make the festival viable.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:39 AM

To quote the late Jake Thackeray I am a 'Playing Oik' not a 'Listening Oik' so not that interested in Concerts , much happier at Sessions and singarounds so I am definately Pro Fringe .
Fortunately there are enough people who feel the same , so most fests have events to suit .
That looks like a decent format Banjiman - Who do I contact for a booking ??


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:52 AM

I though you were a session man Leadfingers? :-)

Info available from -

BAMfest Facebook page link You'll need to be on Facebook though.


Website under construction - keep checking back for details

I'll start a thread on here when more of the planning is completed and more details available


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:05 AM

What an interesting topic. I think a fringe venues could be quite parasitic. No contribution to the festival expenses, advertising etc but happy to take all the extra revenue. I should be interested to hear the experience of the Wimbourne festival organisers.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:17 AM

Wow, Leadfingers, I never thought I'd ever live to say I had something in common with Jake Thackeray! Sessions for ever and long live the Fringe.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:18 AM

Some people enjoy sessions or singarounds as well as concerts, and some festivals (including Sidmouth and Swanage)give information about free and/or fringe events in their programme, and money for the festival is collected in official collecting tins.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: T |Ihe Fringe at festivals
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:24 AM

'Playing Oik' not 'Listening Oik' means I am not good Audience !! I sing a wide variety of stuff with Guitar or Banjo , and do Tunes on Mandolin and Whistle as well as Whistle Workshops !
I am actually happier jamming with other competent musos and singers than ego tripping on my own !


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:26 AM

For me, a good festival should have both. I love to be entertained by good artistes - especially if it includes some local ones who contribute to the overall ambience, but I also like to subject a few unsuspecting victims to my renditions.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:46 AM

Do the players in the sessions feel any obligation to support the festival financially?


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:50 AM

Generally speaking, Henry, obligation? Don't know about that but I do know many of them contribute in a myriad of ways to festival finances, even if indirectly. Some are stewards, some are also performers, some buy a ticket, some man the stalls, some are related to ticket holders/performers, etc. etc.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: The Barden of England
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:52 AM

Do the players in the sessions feel any obligation to support the festival financially?

I most certainly do, and as has already been said here quite a few of the fringe venues put money into festival coffers. Without the festival would there be any fringe?

John Barden


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: treewind
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 12:52 PM

"Without the festival would there be any fringe?"

Quite. Come on, why doesn't someone organise a fringe without a festival, since the paid-for tickets and concert functions are (allegedly) so superfluous?


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 01:12 PM

I attended one a bit like that a few weeks ago. There was camping in the pub, a morris side and musos during the day and evening. Very nice and relaxed it was too.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 01:39 PM

A Fringe without a festival is just a weekend away at a pub with camping Several 'Song And Ales' , and perhaps even The Wail might qualify !!


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 01:40 PM

They do treewind they call them singarounds and sessions week in and week out up and down the country.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Carol
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 02:19 PM

Paul's ticket model looks great - I just wish more festivals would do that type of thing. The Wirral had a mini ticket which in effect allowed you to go anywhere except concerts but they seem to have dropped that so I haven't been again. Personally I would much rather pay about £28 or so and contribute something towards a festival than nothing at   all - saying that I do usually try to contribute financially but won't spend more than £30 for a ticket when I don't go into concerts etc.

Yes I admit Song and Ale types are my favourites


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Betsy
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 02:40 PM

Great Thread / Subject.
The Fringe is definitely important and I largely share Leadfinger's views.
The difficulty is that there are Town-based Fests, and Marquee-based Fests (the latter which I don't care for) and both generally have a different sort of Fringe.I write from Town-based point of view,and as for whether there should be a contribution in sessions is difficult. Many times musicians are populating pubs to breaking point - many of which would be normally quiet-ish. So pubs , eating houses and all the other places we spend our money benefit from our presence in the Town.
It's fine if there's a collection for local causes ,i.e. lifeboats etc., but whether we should subsidise the Main Events is a question I shall leave you to ponder.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Stanron
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 03:17 PM

There are a couple of issues here.

Fringers, if I may call them that, contribute to a festival in more ways than one. They will pay camping fees, if they are allowed, they provide free music to festival goers who are not otherwise engaged and they input into the local economy. They will also pay to see an act if they really want to.

I'm surprised that some people see them as parasitic. I'd guess that most festivals have a regular set of fringers and these will be enhanced by some of the paid performers on their time off. It enriches the experience of festival goers at no expense to the organisers.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Van
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 03:26 PM

I suppose it all depends on the festival. In Edinburgh the fringe has practically become the festival. Posh folks go to the rather expesive festival, the rest go to the not quite so expensive fringe.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: johncharles
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 03:28 PM

I confess I spent a week in Whitby "fringeing". it was a great week.
house rent,taxi home every day(lazy old me) beer in the pub, food in the restaurants,money in festival collecting boxes; probably best part of £600 to local economy.
john


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 04:05 PM

Arguably the most important of these many ways Fringers contribute to a festival is in boosting the local economy. In many cases local councils provide backing/venues/co-operation and this is a vital part of a festival. Local traders, the inhabitants of said town, are more likely to make a festival welcome that boosts the local economy.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Ripov (not at home)
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:34 PM

Quite right Leadfingers, and a festival without a fringe would just be a load of concerts in a tent.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: banjoman
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 04:55 AM

Room for both - I have met some people who bought tickets for major festivals and never used them, spending their time at fringe events.
Surely the fringe is an integral part of any festival except the very small ones which operate on one site. Its good to see a whole town involved and to hear music coming from every pub.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: selby
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 05:18 AM

I believe the Fringe has a place at major festivals, there is one thing that does worry me that in some instances people have forgotten the principle of without the festival there is not a fringe. Therefore they are part of the festival and should respect and support the festival. I have recently seen some bad behaviour by fringe people who appear to have lost the plot.
Keith


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Marje
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:41 AM

I normally like to get a ticket for the whole thing, and divide my time between Fringe (free, DIY) events and paid concerts/workshops. That way I get to hear some great professional acts, and lean some new stuff in the workshops, as well as enjoying the tunes, songs and general crack in the sessions.

I think there are plenty of festival-goers of all ages who are not simply intersted in sessions and fringe stuff, but come mainly or entirely for the concerts. Others come entirely for fringe events and absolutely refuse to pay for any musical event if they can help it. Sometime they boast of how they've been jamming with the professional performers at late-night sessions, appearing not to appreciate that these top people wouldn't be there at all unless the rest of us were paying them. That attitude seems a bit parasitic to me.

I think both the above groups are missing out. If you are not yet an active participant in folk, festivals offer entry-level workshops in various sorts of dance, song, and instrument-playing, offering everyone a chance to become actively involved. If people don't take advantage of any of this, it's their choice but they're losing out. Similarly, the singers and players who meet up year after year to sing and play the same old stuff at every event they go to, installing themselves in one bar for the whole weekend, are closing their minds and missing out on the new perfomances by top bands and performers that keep the folk scene from becoming stale and fossilised.

For me, a good festival will have a balance of main and fringe events.

Majre


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Les from Hull
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:54 AM

Yes, I confess, I'm a fringer. Maggie and I run pub singarounds, because we like singing and playing as much as listening. But at these singarounds we get ticket holders (who regard these events as extra entertainment), locals (supporting the festival in the local community), booked performers (who welcome the opportunity to join in with others), off-duty stewards and dance teams (who get the chance to sing and play with friends) as well as other fringers.We also attend workshops and other events, for which we pay.

People who say that the fringe does n Yes, I confess, I'm a fringer. Maggie and I run pub singarounds, because we like singing and playing as much as listening. But at these singarounds we get ticket holders (who regard these events as extra entertainment), locals (supporting the festival in the local community), booked performers (who welcome the opportunity to join in with others), off-duty stewards and dance teams (who get the chance to sing and play with friends) as well as other fringers.We also attend workshops and other events, for which we pay.

People who say that the fringe does not contribute to the festival have little or no experience of the fringe. And not everyone can afford a ticket for about eighty quid in addition to travel accommodation and catering expenses.

And as for Treewind's comment about organising a fringe only event, that's exactly what we did (with the help of Mudcat) when Beverley Festival couldn't get funding one year. It helped to keep that weekend available for the Festival, was entirely free, concerts, dances, sessions singarounds ot contribute to the festival have little or no experience of the fringe. And not everyone can afford a ticket for about eighty quid in addition to travel accommodation and catering expenses.

And as for Treewind's comment about organising a fringe only event, that's exactly what we did (with the help of Mudcat) when Beverley Festival couldn't get funding one year. It helped to keep that weekend available for the Festival, was entirely free, concerts, dances, sessions singarounds


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Seayaker
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:56 AM

Treewind wrote "Come on, why doesn't someone organise a fringe without a festival?"

They do.

Bull Bay Anglesey, Easter and end of September, The Fox at Wroxby, Yorkshire Folk Gathering,there are probably more as well.

You'll find them advertised on here at the appropriate time.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Les from Hull
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:58 AM

I should also add that the regular fringers I know are most respectful. And should not be mistaken for 'local bloke with guitar'.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Girl Friday
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 10:14 AM

Sidmouth has it right.... you can go to fringe events only, and support the Festival by buying a campsiote passport and paying for your pitch. You can pick and choose which concert, workshop, ceilidh, whatever you want to do as well. I would say that there were not enough collecting tins in evidence though. Perhaps that had something to do with lack of volunteers.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 01:25 PM

If I'm travelling I pick a festival with enough that I want to go to that I get value from my season ticket, since I'm paying for accomodation anyway.
If there is a local festival I might go to the fringe even if booked acts don't thrill me.

There are 2 kinds of fringe, too. The programmed, free, events, and the spontaneous unofficial (for those who know).

There should be room for all, and when I have a season ticket I still enjoy a mix of concerts and sessions.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 04:01 AM

How do you get the people who benefit from the fringe to contribute?
You would expect concerts etc. to be self funding but there are expenses running a festival like advertising that are common to programme and fringe. A few pence in a tin is not likely to cover this.
I am thinking mainly
pubs and brewries
food places
stay places
car parks
The simple solution is a grant from the council funded by the rates these organisations have paid. I know some would argue that they pay rates and do not benefit; a counter argument is that the festival revenue often keeps these places going in the lean winter months.
Any thoughts
FloraG


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Stanron
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 06:22 AM

FloraG
Without wishing to start world war 3 I think I contest your initial inference that people who benefit from the fringe do not contribute to the festival. There are several posts above that appear to agree with me.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 08:13 AM

I'm sure they contribute - some more than others. Its the overall funding proble that would concern me if people want to keep festivals going.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: selby
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 09:59 AM

I was in an organised session at Whitby and when the collecting tin came round NOBODY including myself put anything in the tin.There where people there who I know do not buy tickets, taking from the festival and not giving. Whitby is unique in so much as they do not do wrist bands but a lot of people do put there ticket on a lanyard. There are fringe type weekends, but at large festivals with a fringe, there are a lot of non financial contributors.
The festival obviously accepts this loss for the greater good of the festival.
Keith


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 10:15 AM

I was in one organized session at Whitby where everybody (including me) put something in the tin. It took a bit of prompting to make sure the tin circulated properly, but once people got it in front of them, they all contributed.

Why do you think it didn't happen at your session?

What could you do differently next time?


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: selby
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 10:58 AM

A young person with the tin and the first person she gave it to, gave a look of disgust and passed it on this person I know for definite does not by a ticket, the scene was set, I was one of the last people in the room.
I have been in organised things when the collector come in and asks if they can see tickets and then rattles the tin that works.
I have seen people leave at this point and return when the collector has left
I have about 25 years of Whitby experience but only go up for a day now as I now prefer Shrewsbury
Keith


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:23 AM


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:28 AM

Forgive my ignorance what is an organized session? is it in a Public house, do the players get paid? I've played in sessions in Ireland and England but I've never paid to play.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Stanron
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:41 AM

If you buy beer in a session you are paying to play. Only once I got in a session and the bar was so crowded (like four or five punters deep all the way along) and the tunes were so good that I sat down behind an empty glass and played all night. No one complained, at least not to me.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 11:49 AM

No I think you'll find you're paying for the beer the same as everyone else.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Tootler
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 12:24 PM

I was in an organised session at Whitby and when the collecting tin came round NOBODY including myself put anything in the tin.

So you just followed the herd did you? Shame on you. There was nothing to stop you putting something in the tin. What was wrong with setting an example by making a contribution?

I was in two organised sessions at Whitby where the tin was passed round and my experience was like Jack Campin's; everyone contributed.

I am not really that bothered about concerts and I mostly seek out participatory events so I go to workshops, which usually charge, sessions and singarounds. I am quite happy to pay as appropriate or to put money in a tin but a day or weekly ticket simply does not represent good value for money to me, so I pay as I go.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: selby
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 12:28 PM

Organised session (a la Whitby) is where the festival, put a musician who is performing at the festival, in a room, advertise it in the programme at say 17:00 to 19:00, you get the chance to play for a couple of hours with a top musician, in a session environment.
Keith


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 01:11 PM

Thanks Keith I'm that much wiser now.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 03:43 PM

Some of the sessions just about everybody there has a performer's ticket or has bought a ticket. Thinking about the ones in the Rowing Club. Those in pub bars like the Ship which is not a festival venue do not and shouldn't need to contribute to the festival. The pub owners are musicians and many of the musicians in there are personal friends. You'll be charging Derek and Dorothy next for having a shop in Whitby. I know, Mick Haywood should pay double rent during festival week!


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Fringe Parasite
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 06:24 AM

As a "fringe" player/singer at the Whitby festival now for the last 18 years I have to smile at the comments that suggest we should support the festival by buying tickets or making donations via the collecting tin etc. The folk week brings an estimated £3.5m to the local economy. I know of many people (audience) who attend sessions in the Fleece and Middle Earth year after year - they come to Whitby for the festival fringe. In its final week of festival fringers (before Humphrey pulled the plug on live music) the Plough netted approx £36,000.

The new landlord and landlady at the Fleece worked non-stop all week to serve thousands of drinks; both rooms (plus the balcony) being packed throughout. When festival collectors came in contributions were made. Every year I buy a program - even though I don't go to any of the events.

Every year I return home with sore fingers and sometimes a sore throat too. It's a small price to pay for a great week. As far as making a contribution goes, I like to think that approx 40 to 50 un-paid hours of playing guitar, mandolin and harmonica (plus the singing) goes some way towards supporting the festival that supports those performers who do a 40 to 50 minute spot for payment.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: JHW
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 07:34 AM

Festivals would not have their atmosphere without a Fringe.
As you wander around Sidmouth or Whitby it is all those things going on everywhere that creates that feel of festival (nowhere more indeed than Edinburgh) and as Parasite says above makes it worthwhile for the host town.


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 07:58 AM

But, if the paid-for festival dies so does the fringe. If you want to do fringe things it's still a good idea to help support the parent festival. Simply buying drinks, food and accommodation doesn't do that.

The Edinburgh Fringe is not a fringe in the sense the word is used in the folk scene - everything about it costs money. (There is a fringe of the Fringe there which works on a less commercial model and doesn't have a name yet).


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: johncharles
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 09:04 AM

Like fringe parasite i spent a week playing in informal sessions in whitby pubs. Were i to have attended concerts or workshops of course I would have payed. Asking people to pay for something they do not use seems unreasonable.
festivals are like any other market and supply and demand determine their future. As for fringe players I guess it is communal music making which is their preference and they will always find somewhere to indulge their hobby festivals or no.
john


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Subject: RE: The Fringe at festivals
From: GUEST,Fringe Parasite
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 02:20 PM

"if the paid-for festival dies so does the fringe. If you want to do fringe things it's still a good idea to help support the parent festival. Simply buying drinks, food and accommodation doesn't do that."

Likewise - If the fringe dies so does the festival (they are co-dependent); the very high numbers of folks attending the Whitby festival is testimony to the success of both - they should not be seen as being mutually exclusive. It's not a question of one half attending the parent festival and the other half attending the fringe festival; clearly there is considerable cross-over. It could easily be argued that the fringe provides the essential support to the parent festival!


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