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UK Festivals changed

Mr Happy 20 Feb 13 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Peter 20 Feb 13 - 10:46 AM
Mr Happy 20 Feb 13 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Peter 20 Feb 13 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Gibsonboy 20 Feb 13 - 12:10 PM
Leadfingers 20 Feb 13 - 12:11 PM
Leadfingers 20 Feb 13 - 12:16 PM
Jack Campin 20 Feb 13 - 01:38 PM
Paul Davenport 20 Feb 13 - 01:40 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Feb 13 - 02:06 PM
Mo the caller 20 Feb 13 - 02:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Feb 13 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,CS 20 Feb 13 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Rachel 20 Feb 13 - 03:58 PM
Leadfingers 20 Feb 13 - 05:43 PM
Splott Man 21 Feb 13 - 04:00 AM
Paul Davenport 21 Feb 13 - 04:47 AM
Mr Happy 21 Feb 13 - 05:07 AM
banjoman 21 Feb 13 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,FloraG 21 Feb 13 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,CS 21 Feb 13 - 06:10 AM
Mo the caller 21 Feb 13 - 06:13 AM
GUEST,CS 21 Feb 13 - 06:26 AM
Mr Red 21 Feb 13 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,JHW(cookie on old computer) 21 Feb 13 - 10:42 AM
Mr Happy 21 Feb 13 - 10:59 AM
Acorn4 21 Feb 13 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Albert O'Balsom 21 Feb 13 - 11:35 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 13 - 11:36 AM
Mr Happy 21 Feb 13 - 11:49 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 13 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Albert O'Balsom 21 Feb 13 - 12:22 PM
Mr Happy 21 Feb 13 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Albert O'Balsom 21 Feb 13 - 12:47 PM
Mr Happy 21 Feb 13 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 21 Feb 13 - 01:20 PM
Mo the caller 21 Feb 13 - 01:39 PM
The Barden of England 21 Feb 13 - 03:12 PM
The Barden of England 21 Feb 13 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Gibsonboy 21 Feb 13 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 21 Feb 13 - 06:44 PM
GUEST 21 Feb 13 - 07:12 PM
Jack Campin 21 Feb 13 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Peter 22 Feb 13 - 05:16 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Feb 13 - 06:21 AM
Mr Happy 22 Feb 13 - 07:08 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Feb 13 - 07:15 AM
Jack Campin 22 Feb 13 - 07:47 AM
Mr Red 22 Feb 13 - 08:00 AM
Mo the caller 22 Feb 13 - 08:16 AM
Mo the caller 22 Feb 13 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,FloraG 22 Feb 13 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 22 Feb 13 - 06:06 PM
GUEST 21 Mar 13 - 03:09 PM
Mr Happy 22 Mar 13 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Banjman 22 Mar 13 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 22 Mar 13 - 03:58 PM
Mo the caller 23 Mar 13 - 08:58 AM
selby 23 Mar 13 - 09:58 AM
Mo the caller 23 Mar 13 - 12:20 PM
selby 23 Mar 13 - 01:32 PM
Stanron 23 Mar 13 - 02:44 PM
Mr Happy 24 Mar 13 - 08:18 AM
selby 24 Mar 13 - 08:30 AM
Mo the caller 24 Mar 13 - 09:40 AM
Mr Happy 24 Mar 13 - 09:47 AM
selby 24 Mar 13 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 24 Mar 13 - 12:08 PM
Mr Happy 24 Mar 13 - 12:11 PM
Spectacled Warbler 24 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM
Stanron 24 Mar 13 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Banjiman 24 Mar 13 - 12:52 PM
Stanron 24 Mar 13 - 12:57 PM
selby 24 Mar 13 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Banjiman 24 Mar 13 - 01:19 PM
Stanron 24 Mar 13 - 02:11 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Mar 13 - 06:55 PM
ripov 24 Mar 13 - 09:03 PM
ripov 24 Mar 13 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Hardraw Folk Gathering 25 Mar 13 - 04:15 AM
GUEST 25 Mar 13 - 05:15 AM
Tattie Bogle 25 Mar 13 - 06:19 AM
Mr Happy 25 Mar 13 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,JHW 25 Mar 13 - 07:03 AM
Mr Happy 25 Mar 13 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 25 Mar 13 - 07:26 AM
Mr Happy 25 Mar 13 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 25 Mar 13 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,JW 25 Mar 13 - 12:55 PM
Stanron 25 Mar 13 - 06:15 PM
Mr Happy 26 Mar 13 - 04:26 AM
Tattie Bogle 27 Mar 13 - 05:18 AM
selby 27 Mar 13 - 07:42 AM
Mo the caller 27 Mar 13 - 07:55 AM
Mr Happy 27 Mar 13 - 08:33 AM
selby 27 Mar 13 - 08:44 AM
Tattie Bogle 28 Mar 13 - 06:18 AM
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Subject: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 10:37 AM

When I first began to attend folk festivals from the late 70's, as well as the organised concerts, dances & workshops, there was always a strong fringe element of impromptu music & song sessions in many pubs & other venues in the vicinity.

In recent years, I've noticed a diminution of available venues for this type of activity, with paid bands being put on in mini-concert type set ups.

Anyone else aware of these changes?

Suggestions?


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 10:46 AM

Considering the rate at which pubs are closing there is bound to be a loss of available venues.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 10:58 AM

No, if you read what I've written, it's plain I'm talking about places which are open


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 11:25 AM

Festival guests or landlords putting on live bands to cash in on the festival?

Haven't noticed at the festivals that I go to but of course the loss of a regular venue may displace those events to one that is already music friendly.

Examples?


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Gibsonboy
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 12:10 PM

I've noticed the same thing Mr Happy. There used to be some fantastic sessions in the Volunteer at Sidmouth FF, alas now displaced by PA's and booked/packaged bands, some not folk and many not that good.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 12:11 PM

At Sidmouth The Swan and The Volounteer have had electric bands in the bar or in a marquee for SOME of the Festival in recent years , as have other pubs that in the past have housed 'fringe' sessions


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 12:16 PM

SNAP !!


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 01:38 PM

I haven't noticed any band gigs creeping in to Whitby.

The only other English festival I've been to was Woodbridge (RIP) a few years ago, where nondescript local rock bands had managed to squeeze almost everything else out. The best session venue was a sailing barge some friendly people had brought up for a visit - not something to count on, since nobody had managed to get one there for 100 years.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 01:40 PM

Very interesting - perhaps explains why we're having a run on tickets for Whitby Folk Week? We have a massive 'fringe' and 600+ organised events in addition! (People often go to a workshop in the morning and then spend the afternoon/evening in a session practicing what they just learned.)


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 02:06 PM

Hmm. Very much in tune with my thoughts. When is Whitby? I've never been but if it's the only gam left in town perhaps I should consider dusting off teh Starship Enterprise and travelling to teh Delta Quadrant.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 02:24 PM

The week before the August bank holiday - it finishes on the the Friday before the bank holiday Monday.

Whitby has both a free-but-on-the programme fringe, and an unofficial-for-those-who-know fringe. The season tickets for the full week are excellent value if you want to go to several of the concerts, workshops, dances and ceilidhs - it gives flexibility to try a bit then go somewhere else, but you can also pay-as-you go. £5 for a workshop I think.
If you buy a week season ticket there is cheap camping available organised by the festival, also a campsite for those attending part of the festival or fringe, run by Moor & Coast. A bit dearer but good value. Both on school playing fields.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 02:55 PM

The Vounteer sessions at Sidmouth gone? That's a real shame. And I can't imagine that any paid band would be likely to bring in a bigger crowd than they did. Sounds like a crazy landlord who'd have done that. Though I suppose they might sell more drink with fewer people - it was a job getting to the bar with all the people jammed in.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 03:43 PM

I've fancied Whitby for ages. Long before I began singing a couple of friends of mine used to go Morris dancing there every year and spoke very highly of the event.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Rachel
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 03:58 PM

Hmmmmn. I fancy this too. You going, CS?


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 05:43 PM

Kevin - re The Volounteer - The Traditional bash still happens inside the pub , the bands have all been in the garden over the last couple of years .
NO Electric bands in The Newt yet though .


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Splott Man
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 04:00 AM

The Dame & I found plenty of sessions and singarounds at Sidmouth last year. All non-ticket events.
Since the 70s, the proportion of people who participate rather than audient has increased immensely. Some of the festivals I go to seem to be all full fringe events and empty concerts.

Splott Man


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 04:47 AM

Try http://www.whitbyfolk.co.uk and there's also a Facebook page simply, 'Whitby Folk Week' One thing we guarantee, no electric bands at this festival which prides itself on celebrating the traditional music and song of the UK.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 05:07 AM

Splott Man,

Thanks for your comment:

Some of the festivals I go to seem to be all full fringe events and empty concerts.

A most significant observation of which I've also been aware of late.

Pity more fest organisers don't take this under consideration


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: banjoman
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 05:57 AM

Went to Whitby last year after a gap of many years. A really great festival with plenty of "Fringe " events as well as the usual line up of artists who appear at every festival.

The festival that has changed most IMO is Broadstairs which has almost become a pop event with very few opportunities to join in unless your able to climb the stairs to the sailing club or squeeze into the overpacked sessionbs at the Wrotham.
Mind you, the artistic director once told me that she wasn't a folkie but a jazz enthusiast.A pity to see what was a great event so much in decline.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:00 AM

I think the ticket at Whitby is good value, so we would tend to buy one even if we are not going to a lot of the organised events. The camp site is a bit crowded but fairly central.
The only concern is the concerts tend to be very long, and mostly second rankers. If there is one act you want to see and you have a disability and want a seat that means getting there at the start.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:10 AM

"Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Rachel
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 03:58 PM

Hmmmmn. I fancy this too. You going, CS?"

Don't know as yet Rachel, though I have downloaded the Stewarding Application form available here:

http://www.whitbyfolk.co.uk/Stewards

Surprisingly coach prices are around £60 return for the 250 miles from witham to whitby, which isn't too bad. Though all day coach travelling can be a drag it gets you there.

If a few peeps I know were likely to go, that would definitely make it more appealing!


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:13 AM

I'm not sure how your ranking system works, Flora.
I don't go to many concerts, but the ones I do go to at Whitby are most enjoyable.
I don't think Whitby books many of the 'big names', but most guests are excellent, on my ranking.

Those festivals that do book big names send me searching for my earplugs and moving to the back row, or even out of the marquee, when they come on.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:26 AM

Blimey Whitby is pretty reasonable. A full season ticket including camping is £140 if booked before May - £150 if bought in August.

Definitely worth considering. Compared to Sidmouth (£300 for season ticket plus cost for one adult camping) it's a bargain.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Red
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 10:05 AM

Upton upon Severn has a healthy clutch of sessions and SAR. Given that it is a smallish festival & they can't afford an excess of paid entertainment I counted 4/5 sessions running most of the time. The Talbot always had an amplified set cashing-in on the weekend.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,JHW(cookie on old computer)
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 10:42 AM

Don't know how far back you are reflecting but 'once upon a time' fringe events had substantial populations of folks who had no festival ticket. Still the case with big festivals such as Sidmouth and Whitby aforementioned as they have all sorts of accommodation. Long since though the weekend festivals moved, for good reasons, to restricting festival camping to seasoned ticket holders. This barred the many looking for a cheap weekend away.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 10:59 AM

If people are only attending fringe events, why do they need at festival ticket?


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 11:19 AM

We've deserted Shrewsbury for Whitby in the last couple of years for the reasons outlined above.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Albert O'Balsom
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 11:35 AM

Mr Happy, surely they must realise that the festival has been organised at a cost. No fringe without a festival, and much hard work, and possible financial input by those organising.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 11:36 AM

Is it that you are to ti
ght to buy a ticket and dont want to support the festivals


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 11:49 AM

The work you mention is for the official festival & I agree that people need a ticket for concerts & other events at the festival.

However, how do you conclude that people in public houses need tickets?


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 12:15 PM

because without people paying the festival cannot excist somebody has to pay.we all cant be freeloaders


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Albert O'Balsom
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 12:22 PM

Hello Mr Happy, If your response is to my post, I do not conclude that people in public houses need tickets. I merely meant to point out that festivals are organised, calendered events. Howerer,without organisation, often volunteer led, many festivals would not exist. By all means have your fringe events. I have myself participated in such for more than 30 years, while also engaged in performance. I do believe, however,that we must acknowledge our responsibility to those who bring it all together and make these events happen.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 12:22 PM

It's a poor show that a festival can't exist for the reason you give.

There's many folk events which exist which are totally free


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Albert O'Balsom
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 12:47 PM

Totally free? I play in my local pub and acknowledge that it costs the landlord to remain open. If our music does not generate sufficient interest and income to a venue then we must perhaps our accept our position of minority. Would that it were different.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 01:05 PM

I also play in many pubs but I've never been charged money to do so


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 01:20 PM

A few observations on the discussion.
Different festivals have different artistic policies, with different guest lists. There's already discussion about the same names turning up on festival guest lists, without trying to make them even more the same!!
I personally have eclectic tastes, and enjoy both Sidmouth and Whitby. I'm not surprised Whitby is cheaper than Sidmouth - they have different approaches - one is not better than the other, they are just different, IMHO.
Whitby is a larger town than Sidmouth and has a more proactive approach to tourism with a range of different events throughout the year (Goth weekend anyone?) Sidmouth is smaller and different, and FolkWeek is a crucial event in the local economy. I am not surprised, though sometimes dismayed!, when local pubs put on rock bands during the festival week. I bet there are pubs in Whitby that have rock bands during folk week, but there are more pubs in Whitby!
Any festival that has guests and events have to have income. Some people buy season tickets, some buy event tickets. Some buy no tickets at all, yet take advantage of the festival being there to enjoy the atmosphere. We can't do anything about that (though, as I say above, I am sometimes dismayed.....)!

Derek


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 01:39 PM

Some buy tickets, some put money in collecting tins, some go to part of the free fringe at local festivals and buy tickets for those further afield, some pay their 'folkie dues' by organising regular local events, some come to the fringe and add to the ambience by playing or singing in pubs - good for trade in the town, some are just members of the general public enjoying the spectacle, or moaning about the disruption.

Room for all.
I don't like the term freeloaders.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: The Barden of England
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 03:12 PM

CS - Ask V Tam about Sidmouth.

John Barden


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: The Barden of England
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 03:16 PM

By the way, you can go camping only to Sidmouth, cost is £95, then you can go to a concert if you wish or not, plenty of sessions and the Middle Bar is right up your street. I've rarely seen electric music there, and always put money in the collection tins. No festival, no fringe.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Gibsonboy
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 03:38 PM

Middle Bar had to move upstairs to allow for the electric folk in the rear yard. Some artists ok but mostly very poor for me.

My other gripe with Sidmouth is that the Market Traders have now almost totally taken over along the Promenade. It used be artists every few yards, now just a few squeezed out to each end. IT all started to go wrong when the Peruvian pipers came along, all heavily amplified, and if I'm not mistaken playing to backing tracks.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 06:44 PM

Market traders on the seafront - not in any sense organised by the festival. Totally the responsibility of East devon District Council, to who all letters of complaint should be directed! Another thing that dismays me!
Derek


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 07:12 PM

When the 'Official' Beverley festival folded a few years back , they ran a 'Fringe' festival the following year , ALL sessions in pubs that
was successful enough that that they restarted the 'Official' Festival the following year


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Feb 13 - 08:06 PM

I bet there are pubs in Whitby that have rock bands during folk week, but there are more pubs in Whitby!

If there are, they must be somewhere I didn't think of going. I never had the experience at Whitby of going to a pub expecting a session or singaround and getting a booked band instead.

think the only other festival I've been to that was comparably pub-band-free was Kirriemuir, but that's tiny in comparison.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 05:16 AM

"I also play in many pubs but I've never been charged money to do so "
Where are these pubs where you can stay all night without buying a drink?


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 06:21 AM

The players pay the same price as other drinkers, so they are not paying to play. Indeed I have seen them get bought a pint or so each.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 07:08 AM

Indeed, every venue I've ever held the session & we're presently in our 4th 'home', at the very outset, given that we can guarantee any publican of a fullish roomful every week, that they supply refreshments in the form of butties etc & this has always been the case


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 07:15 AM

What, hypothetically, would it be like to go to Whitby in Folk Week without a ticket for anything? Would you

a) find there were so many unmissable acts were on that you'd end up getting day tickets anyway
b) have a whale of a time in the sessions and singarounds without ever paying for anything except beer (and the odd quid in a tin)

or something in between?

I ask because I'm much more interested in participating than sitting in audiences, as a general thing. Of course there are exceptions - in the list of performers on the main Folk Week page there are a good five or six people I'd really like to see. On the other hand, there are a lot more than five or six people on that list! Does the Folk Week crowd divide into sessioners, dancers and concert-goers, or does everyone do everything?

Genuine question - I'm a festival virgin (the odd day trip aside), so I really can't picture the scene, as it were.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 07:47 AM

We've bought weekly tickets up to now, but we'll pay on the door this year as we didn't quite go to enough to make the ticket worthwhile last year. One advantage of the weekly ticket is that it gets you further up the queue for popular events, but hardly anything sold out last year.

I do a lot of sessioning and quite a lot of workshop and concert-going. There are a crowd of pub-session-only types as well, like the Irish-trad crowd at the Ship and the singer-with-guitar bunch at the Middle Earth. But it's a big enough place that nobody treads on each other's toes.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 08:00 AM

At Bromyard you can see all sorts of tickets displayed in the unorganised sessions in the town.
At Sidmouth we have camped opposite the the Caravan Park (Golf Club) in a bigger field that is flat & cheaper and relatively quiet. The bus comes by morning and evening & late, it is 1 hour's pleasant walk but not recommended in the dark.
I am not sure buying a ticket for the events we go to is cost effective, but it gives a measure of freedom of choice. But if the venue is oversubscribed the ticket doesn't give much priority, only queuing early will do that.
The rugby club is a good camping site for motor caravans, but not caravans, they don't allow even a 9 footer! People who have booked have got on with a large enough caravan (pick your excuse).

There is enough fringe at Sidmouth - though you can tire of them in the week without the free ceilidhs in the Anchor Gardens.

There is always the Connaught Tea Rooms - their portion control could be a problem if you are on a diet. But highly recommended. There is enough time in a week to do it all.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 08:16 AM

Some of each.
It depends what your friends are doing.
There are certainly people who come to Whitby for the sessions.I know there is a group that camp together each year and spend all their time in a pub session.
Some who spend most of their time at sessions but pay a fiver for a workshop most days (and are careful to allow time to get to the workshops - Whitby is spread through the town and both sides of the cliff, and if you have a season ticket you might dash out of one event and make a ten minute sprint to get to the next not too late).

I started going to Whitby as a ceilidh dancer - it expanded my horizons in all sorts of ways. Dancing among experts in Playford, American, Irish sets, tasting the workshops in Sword and clog. Then going to the Harmony singing, and Join the Band. Then we had a break, but went back after we'd started going to tunes sessions - Whitby has sessions for every level of player (including a 'Not quite ready for a Session', and George Garside's Steady pace session). We tend not to go to the singarounds and shanties at Whitby - I think they are hard to get a good seat in if you arrive in a dash.

So yes, people do come to Whitby with special interests and find others who take those interests to a higher level - we dance dances that I would never dream of calling at home. But also try other things - I was early in the pub for a session and found myself with a set of bagpipes under my arm.

The halfway house between week-season (paid in advance is cheapest), and pay-as-you-go, is to look at the programme and work out if there is any day when you want to go to several things. Day/weekend tickets can be good value.

With a week season I can do as I please - start the evening in the Ceilidh, when I've had enough or it gets crowded pop downstairs to the dancers dance, look into the latenight ceilidh even if I don't stay long, or go over the road to catch one act in a late night concert. And not worry that I'm wasting my money on 4 acts I don't want to hear, or even sleep through.
One year one of our group didn't have a season ticket - she found it expensive to keep up with our wanderings.
I always buy my next ticket at the extra-early-price, before the festival ends.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 09:21 AM

If anyone is thinking of going to Whiby and doesn't want to bring a tent or van the accomodation is booked well in advance (I reserve next years flat in June when I pay the balance of this years, a lot are kept from year to year.
Some years the festival clashes with the Regatta, so accomodation parking spaces and pubs are extra full. But if you like watching the Red Arrows etc.... This year it is the week earlier.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 09:41 AM

Mo - no offence. I just think the concerts could be shorter at Whitby with a longer set from the headline act.
Faversham festival in Kent now suffers from too many street traders - so instead of reducing the traders they reduced the number of morris sides on H and S grounds - with the result that there were few morris musicians and singers to make up the sessions, and less for the public to watch.
I was disappointed with Sidmouth last year that there was nowhere to eat a pasty never mind have a session down the front. It was a bit like a giant boot fair, and little room for dancing.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 06:06 PM

Flora G - see my earlier message about who to complain to!!
Derek


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 03:09 PM

Has anybody tried Cleckheaton FF - fringe events for musicians and singers, main concerts with headliners, smaller concerts with local talent, Morris sides, Street Theatre - it's got the lot and if you're rea;;y lucky great weather (it's in July)!!!


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 06:52 AM

Been to Clecky many times, inc the 1st one, which on reflection was probably the best.

Plenty venues with allsorts sessions.

Haven't been again for about 4 years as it'd started to go the way I've described above - just a few places for seshes, the very overcrowded Wickham & Commercial for diddleys.

Just got fed up saminess of it all


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Banjman
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 09:19 AM

Check out Bedale Acoustic Music festival. There is a mixture of 'acoustic music' genres being performed but lots and lots of folk (Bob Fox, Young'uns, Blackbeards TP, Tom & Barbara Brown etc, etc).

3 singaround/ session venues over the weekend and plenty of space around The Big Sheep Little Little Cow Farm where the campsite and some other events are located for impromptu singing and playing.

This is a brand new festival in North Yorkshire just a mile or so off the A1.

BAMfest Website


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 03:58 PM

I spend much of my time in sessions. I usually manage to get to a few workshops, but I find I'm not sufficiently organised or disciplined to get to many of the programmed events. Even if I've highlighted something in the programme, when the time comes and I'm faced with the prospect of packing away my instruments, making my way across town to queue for an hour to get in, the temptation to get another pint and carry on playing is usually too much.

I also recognise the need to contribute financially to the main festival, without which the fringe sessions wouldn't be happening. One year at Sidmouth I totted up what it would have cost to pay on the door for those events I did get to, compared with the cost of the week's season, and it was well under 10%. There has to be a balance between making a reasonable contribution and getting value for money.

Sidmouth's camping passport means I can make a reasonable financial contribution and then only have to pay for the events I get to.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 08:58 AM

I think the musicians like Howard are contributing to the festival too. Providing a backbone for the sessions that the aspiring musicians go to and try to join in with. As well as atmosphere for those who like to listen.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: selby
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 09:58 AM

For me there remains one issue without people paying for festivals and the organisers of festival talking to the local population there will not be FREE sessions in pubs for people to go to.
Somebody somewhere has to pay to keep festivals going.
Keith


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 12:20 PM

Those who can - do
Those who can't - pay.

I have no objection to the Morris teams getting a free ticket, so why should I moan about the people who are good enough to want to play in the pub all day doing that free (except what it costs them in drinks, which no doubt adds to the goodwill for the festival.

I'm quite happy to pay for my ticket if I get some good bands and callers to dance to, an occasional concert (not too earsplitting) and a good session.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: selby
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 01:32 PM

The point I am making Mo is no one organised and no one paid there would not be a festival
Keith


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Stanron
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 02:44 PM

selby
I can think of two get togethers over this Easter which are free and mainly for session players. Not everyone wants to listen to others playing or singing all night. Some people want to play or sing themselves. OK someone has to organise these events, and more power to their generous elbows for so doing, but once you take away the business of paying artists to perform you have a win win situation. Those who want to listen can listen without paying for more than their drinks and those who want to play usually have a choice of session types to attend, usually tune sessions or singarounds. In these times of tightened pockets I'd like to see more of these.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 08:18 AM

selby,

As the organiser of one of the sessions only events mentioned above, there's in reality no need whatsoever for anyone participating in informal pub sessions to pay any money, in fact the way I negotiate the gathering & also the weekly session I run locally ensues that attendees have donated refreshments in the form of butties etc by the publicans.

Please qualify why you expect anyone to pay for these events


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: selby
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 08:30 AM

A festival is not a session only event, it is people attaching to the festival. In these financial hard times, if festivals do not get income they will fold. In my opinion they all need financial assistance, turning up when a festival is on and playing although nice for the landlord, nice for the participants and nice for the locals does not help the festival to keep going.
Organised sessions and weekend sessions are a completely different thing,s they are not paying performers who equally without festivals in some instances will suffer.
Keith


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 09:40 AM

Yes, I saw your point Keith. But my point was that my choice of festivals partly depends on the sessions available.
So the session players are indirectly supporting the festival by bringing in people like me. More so than the expensive 'big names' concert performers that the festival books to attract the people who like to watch them all weekend. And the Morris teams that might attract others.
Room for everyone. (And Whitby sends collectors round to rattle tins at people enjoying the pub music and outdoor displays).


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 09:47 AM

Blaming the inadequacies of festival management on session players in pubs is IMO unjustified.

There's mainstream festivals around which are properly managed & do break even simply because they don't outlay huge sums for guest artistes, marquees, venue hire etc themselves, instead engaging with local amenities & facilities to put on concerts etc for those folk needing to be entertained & just pay on the door


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: selby
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 09:53 AM

Having spent a day at Whitby last year and watching a tin go round very very few put in. in fact as a casual observer a few musicians in a pub we where in where pig ignorant.
Without folk week there would be no pubs welcoming people. I agree there is room for everyone but you have to aid financially or festivals and sessions at festivals or whatever your bent will disappear.
Keith


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 12:08 PM

The other approach (and one we employing for BAMfest) is to ask the pubs that will host the sessions to sponsor the festival ..... seems to be working very well for us.

And the local brewery (Theakstons -lucky us!) is the main festival sponsor too ......... just to make sure we have the whole supply chain contributing.

We will also charge session goers for camping if they want somewhere within handy walking distance of the session venues (as well as performance venues) to stay.

That all seems fair to me!


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 12:11 PM

GUEST,Banjiman,

Yes, you've hit the nail on the head - that's exactly the right way to fund a festival!


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Spectacled Warbler
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM

I go to Whitby mainly for the music sessions, attend maybe half a dozen workshops and one concert, but buy a season ticket because if the festival wasn't there, the sessions wouldn't be.   I get my money's worth of enjoyment and more.

On the other hand, I can understand why it makes sense to other people not to buy tickets if they're not going to official activities, and I think the festival is much more vibrant because those people are there, so am glad they attend.    There's room for all opinions I think.

Joy


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Stanron
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 12:43 PM

The two session fests available to me over Easter (I'm in Manchester UK) are Sheffield and Anglesea. Sheffield has to charge for campervan parking and Anglesea doesn't. It's not Sheffield's fault that they have to charge but as a pensioner on a state pension and savings it's going to have to be Anglesea for me. If the weather improves. My camper needs work before I next sleep in it and this cold weather is getting in the way.

BAM fest looks reasonably priced, the difference between the camping only price and the full ticket is not that much. As I said before, these days money considerations are paramount and if festival organisers follow the economic models of five or six years ago they are going to struggle. Punishing those people who go to play for free seems silly.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 12:52 PM

I'm struggling to understand your point Stanron.

You say BAMfest looks reasonably priced and then are you saying the 'small' price differential between full and camping + session is a good thing or a bad thing?

Full price full festival tickets are £55 and camping + session only (with a free Ceilidh if you like that sort of thing!) are £28.

Both these prices are discounted if you purchase before April 1st.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Stanron
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 12:57 PM

Woops, I must have read the site wrong. Sorry. The camping and session still looks good and compared with many sites the full ticket is affordable.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: selby
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 01:11 PM

Punishing those people who go to play for free seems silly. Stanron Who has suggested punishing these people nobody as far as I am aware,
Keith


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 01:19 PM

We've tried to make it good value ........ our fundraiser has done an amazing job getting sponsorship and advertising revenue from local businesses, they all seem fully behind it. She even managed to get a little help from the town council and a couple of its offshoots.

The local Chamber of Trade chairwoman has joined the committee ...... I think we might even be managing to turn her into a folkie!

We do need support in the form of people buying tickets but mainly to give us a secure base to plan next year. As we are using existing venues (we want it to be part of the town), none of them are very big (150 max) which does limit ticket revenue.

Apparently sponsorship is harder to come by after year one. We'll see .......


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Stanron
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 02:11 PM

It's not just you selby but in a similar recent thread there seemed to be an attitude that those people who turn up at festivals to play in pubs are freeloading on the festival and should be ashamed of themselves for so doing. You yourself mentioned, with apparent disapprobation, seeing session players not putting money in collection buckets and uncomfortable as it might make me feel I would probably not put money in myself. If I want to watch an event or workshop I will pay. If the festival does not want me, (and not selling camping tickets without also selling concert tickets is telling me that) I will not go. There is quite a few of them. That is why I'm pleased to see the session festivals develop.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 06:55 PM

Agree with that, although I will put money in tins.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: ripov
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 09:03 PM

some may feel that the boot is on the other foot - that the gathering of musicians to spend a happy few days with their peers is the festival, and that paid entertainers are the intruders.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: ripov
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 09:05 PM

that is not to suggest that things happen on their own. Organisers are still needed and deserve some recognition of their work.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Hardraw Folk Gathering
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 04:15 AM

There will be sessions and singarounds all day and right through the night (probably 'til dawn!) at the Green Dragon near Hawes in June during the Hardraw Folk Gathering. No charge to join in - you only buy a ticket if you want to enjoy the 3 main concerts (Young'uns, O'Hooley & Tidow, Pilgrims Way, Flossie etc etc). Info at: www.hardrawfolkgathering.co.uk or email: hardrawmaygather@aol.com


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 05:15 AM

There is a session I go to every year at Whitby, amongst others, where I will make a donation to the tin as it goes round. Meanwhile, every night the pub is packed to overflowing with spectators who are no doubt putting good business the way of the pub. You could argue that the pub should be putting money into the tin and not the musicians but who's to quibble? I don't buy a season ticket, have a whole load of fun and can afford a few quid for the organisers by way of a thank you.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 06:19 AM

Going back to Mr Happy's original post, I stopped going to one festival as their "pub sessions" were over-amped live bands with the "audience" not listening but screaming at each other over the noise! I pointed out to one of the organisers that some of wanted to go somewhere we could play ourselves, and he really seemed to think we were odd to suggest such a thing.
At our own festival , we have usually, at least on the first night, asked a group of musicians to go in to kick-start a session. They play purely acoustically, and are told their role is to facilitate the session and involve other players and singers, not to make it a performance by themselves. This was after one year where it seemed no-one wanted to be the first to start, and there were lots of potential spectators sitting around saying "Where's the music?"! On that occasion, 2 of us on the committee just sang a couple of rousing chorus songs, and in a very short time others joined in and within minutes a full-blown session was under way. We have 3 or 4 venues at our disposal including a private club, which is easier for including any musical children, and we put out posters of where all the sessions are, "Musicians welcome" signs at said venues, and some indication of what type of session it might be, e.g. Tunes, mixed, Bluegrass.

Incidentally, re Sidmouth Middle Bar, the main rreason for the sessions moving upstairs was the fact that the pub converted the bar we used to use into a dining room! We still get the noise from the ceilidhs in the back garden blasting through even up there!

As others have mentioned, pubs come and go (perhaps more go) or change hands over the years, with new managers/owners having different concepts of what sort of music, if any, they want in their hostelry.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 06:31 AM

Tattie Bogle,

Where & when is your own festival?


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:03 AM

At my first few Sidmouths I bought a full ticket so had the chance to dip in to anything.
I don't care for sitting in concerts (and don't like the sweaty Ham marquee) but what I won't do is queue. Queue for half an hour not knowing if I'm going to get in. This is not a complaint. I tried it and decided I don't do it. I'd rather walk on to something I can go straight in to. I always put money in the tins. There are lots of folks who do appreciate the events I pass by.
But singing against a rock band is a dead loss.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:15 AM

A couple of significant points raised by ripov & Tattie;

'some may feel that the boot is on the other foot - that the gathering of musicians to spend a happy few days with their peers is the festival, and that paid entertainers are the intruders. '

I do agree, to my mind, traditional song & music is not a paid performance

&

'I pointed out to one of the organisers that some of wanted to go somewhere we could play ourselves, and he really seemed to think we were odd to suggest such a thing.'


I feel this reflects that many FF committees are composed of non active, passive audient types who expect 'entertainment' rather than anything self-generated


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:26 AM

Really, Mr Happy?

I enjoy both listening to others and playing myself ....... though being a banjo player I think others probably appreciate it when I do the former.

Out of the 8 on our committee, 6 are players/ singers of a good standard. And no, we haven't given ourselves any gigs at the festival.

The festival we are putting on in Bedale is aimed at the people of the town as well as bringing people in from outside.

Most people in the town don't sing or play. Therefore our focus is on putting together decent quality concerts ..... though of course there is free music in 3 of the pubs, some performed and some informal.

I really think you need to be careful with sweeping generalisations. I'll be at 10 other festivals this year ..... thinking through, most are actually run by people who sing and play.

Why can't you accept that there is room for both formal and informal music? I do!


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:48 AM

'Why can't you accept that there is room for both formal and informal music? I do! '

Where in this discourse have I said anything different?

Re 'sweeping generalisations' - you'll note I said 'many' not 'all'

so 'sweeping'? - I think not


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 09:43 AM

Festivals cover a wide range, from those which are primarily focussed on concerts to those which are purely sessions. Most fall somewhere in between.

I don't think people who go to festivals only to participate in sessions are freeloaders. They contribute to the atmosphere of the festival, and in most cases if there were required to buy a ticket they would simply go elsewhere, so the argument that the festival is losing out doesn't hold water.

On the other hand, the festival is the catalyst which brings people together for the sessions, so it would be churlish not to acknowledge that by making some contribution, whether by buying a ticket or a donation. However I think it should be entirely voluntary.

I think this may be particularly true of small festivals where a few ticket sales may make quite a difference to financial success or failure. If all they succeed in doing is attract large crowds of sessioners who don't make a financial contribution then they might not happen again.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: GUEST,JW
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 12:55 PM

Those who go to a festival for the pub sessions and don't see why they should pay for a festival season ticket should try going to the same pub on a different weekend and see if it has the same ambience.

Festivals cost money to run, they require income. If not from tickets then from sponsorship and donations. If the publicans gave the festival a reasonable sum for the extra revenue the festival had created there may be a justification for the "free" fringe.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Stanron
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 06:15 PM

GUEST,JW

I wonder if, by now, you have read through the rest of this thread. It started with an observation that modern festivals seem to have less fringe/free events than in the past and has also touched on the apparency that some of today's folk festivals struggle for money. Could there be a connection between a dwindling fringe and festivals struggling for money?

More than one poster has expressed the view that fringe participants take more than they give but regular fringe attendees will disagree, and the idea that the fringe would not exist without a financially supported festival can be tested by attending one of the free session fests going on this coming weekend. Try it, you might like it.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 04:26 AM

GUEST,JW,

Ditto what Stanron et al have said, it's not at all necessary for a big money outlay in order to hold folking about events, all that's needed are the folk!

If you are able to come our gathering in Anglesey this weekend & wish to make a donation, you can buy me a pint! 8-)


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 05:18 AM

Mr Happy, the festival I help to organise is Linlithgow Folk Festival, which is second weekend in September, so this year's dates are 11th- 15th.

Linlithgow Folk Festival

Hope you have a good weekend in Anglesey.

Sad to say that Auchtermuchty Traditional Music Festival is no more ( recent announcement) largely for financial reasons. It has been in existence for over 30 years.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: selby
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 07:42 AM

Sorry to labour the point but as seen from Tattie Bogle,s post without finance festivals can not continue.
Keith


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 07:55 AM

Not every festival has the same costs.
Artists fees vary a lot, and a low fee doesn't always mean low quality.
E.g. I believe some singers charge far more than the dance bands and callers that lure me to festivals.
Some are trying to make a living through performing, others have a reasonable paid job with good holidays (in education etc.) and can afford to charge little more than expenses.


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 08:33 AM

'without finance festivals can not continue'

Maybe you're right for the standard formula events, but I'd be very sure that gatherings will continue & judging by the more +ve responses to this type of exploit will probably increase in future.

Perhaps fest organisers should be looking to modify their current modus operandi?


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: selby
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 08:44 AM

Perhaps fest organisers should be looking to modify their current modus operandi?
I am sure they are all the time, It was mentioned in a post earlier about turning up in pubs with no festival on, how we would be greeted. I Know from newspaper reports of a festival that the " locals" hate, business,s and pubs accept the profit they make but the "locals" would quite happily see the festival disappear.
Keith


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Subject: RE: UK Festivals changed
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 06:18 AM

Well I have to correct what I said about Auchtermuchty. What is happening is that it will no longer be a TMSA ( Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland) festival, but there will still be some sort of musical input into the weekend of what is a week-long local gala. If anyone really wants to know, they have set up a Facebook page entitled Auchtermuchty Festival 2013, or there's discussion over on the Footstompin forum, some of which is a bit cryptic.
Regarding funding of festivals, this is a bit of postcode lottery, with some being well supported by local businesses and councils, and others having to rely on ticket sales, raffle sand bar takings to keep afloat without any external grants. It is also a fact that grant applications are becoming more and more complicated, with potential funders wanting statistics of attendances, "economic impact assessments" , business plans, novel projects rather than simple core funding, before they will agree to support.


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