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Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)

Phil Edwards 28 Jun 13 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,CS 28 Jun 13 - 10:38 AM
Paul Davenport 28 Jun 13 - 11:04 AM
Marje 28 Jun 13 - 11:07 AM
GUEST 28 Jun 13 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Fantum 28 Jun 13 - 11:24 AM
Jack Campin 28 Jun 13 - 11:36 AM
Paul Davenport 28 Jun 13 - 12:11 PM
Michael 28 Jun 13 - 12:34 PM
Elmore 28 Jun 13 - 01:31 PM
Paul Davenport 28 Jun 13 - 01:48 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Jun 13 - 01:48 PM
Elmore 28 Jun 13 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Hully 28 Jun 13 - 03:49 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Jun 13 - 04:27 PM
LesB 29 Jun 13 - 04:16 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Jun 13 - 04:35 AM
Old Grey Wolf 29 Jun 13 - 04:51 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Jun 13 - 05:02 AM
Mo the caller 29 Jun 13 - 07:12 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Jun 13 - 01:22 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 13 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,ST 30 Jun 13 - 01:02 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Jun 13 - 03:14 PM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jul 13 - 12:01 PM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jul 13 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Dicky boy 01 Jul 13 - 01:36 PM
Phil Edwards 01 Jul 13 - 05:09 PM
Mr Red 02 Jul 13 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 02 Jul 13 - 10:20 AM
Herga Kitty 03 Jul 13 - 12:38 AM
OldNicKilby 03 Jul 13 - 08:39 AM
Tattie Bogle 03 Jul 13 - 09:41 AM
Phil Edwards 04 Jul 13 - 03:51 PM
Mr Red 05 Jul 13 - 09:35 AM
Phil Edwards 14 Jul 13 - 05:03 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Jul 13 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,FloraG 15 Jul 13 - 03:24 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Jul 13 - 04:50 PM
Mr Red 16 Jul 13 - 08:45 AM
Tootler 16 Jul 13 - 10:15 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Jul 13 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,FloraG 16 Jul 13 - 02:40 PM
Mo the caller 16 Jul 13 - 03:29 PM
GUEST 09 Jan 14 - 07:17 AM
Noreen 09 Jan 14 - 07:20 PM
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Subject: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 10:29 AM

I like singing. A lot. I like singing solo, I like singing with people joining in, I like joining in with other people. I like listening to singers, if they're good. I like meeting people I know from Mudcat and people I've met at sessions and singarounds; I like that feeling of being part of a scene. I quite like playing tunes, and I'm very fond of drinking beer in good company. But most of all I like singing.

Festivals and me would seem like a good fit. But I've got a problem with festivals - well, several problems. In no particular order:

1. I've never been camping, never wanted to go camping & don't want to start now. I like being out in the open, but I wouldn't want to live there. My idea of roughing it is a hotel room without a kettle.

2. I got into this stuff (a) as an adult and (b) not very long ago; this means that (a) I've got a family and (b) they still think I'm mad. If I go singing I go alone. This isn't a problem when I'm going singing on a weekday evening, but disappearing for a weekend would take some negotiating - let alone an entire week. Not that it'd be impossible, just that I would need to have a really good reason to go.

3. I do like singing (see above). There are some people I'd like to listen to for an hour or more, but not very many. Some festivals seem to be mostly concerts with a few sessions and singarounds; that wouldn't suit me. Of course, not all sessions are the same - but that brings me on to

4. How does everyone seem to know all this stuff? You going along next weekend? "Um... is that Rothershaw?" Naah, Rothershaw was two weeks ago - I always remember, because it's the week after Bickersdyke as was, you know, the one that's in Chippenthorpe these days. No, next weekend is Pittenwich. Should be good, they've managed to get the headline act from Buckinthwaite... How do you stay on top of it all? Is it something to do with having been into this stuff for the whole of your adult life (see 2.)?

I look at lists of fests from time to time, but I just see a great list of things going off on assorted random weekends - some too soon to fit in, some months and months away, some in between; some close enough to get to, some far too far, some in between; some I definitely wouldn't want to go to, some I definitely would, a lot in between... I read down the list, notice how many of them talk about camping, remember how I feel about camping, wonder vaguely if it would be a good thing to get into anyway, then try and make a note of all the ones that definitely sound interesting and aren't too far away. Half an hour later I give up and forget about it for another three months. By which time Pittenwich is long gone and Rothersdyke's coming round again, in fact it's probably too late to book, and it is a bit far away but still...

End of whine. For anyone who's read this far, I've got two questions. First, what's a good festival, with lots of singarounds and not too much sitting around listening to singer-songwriters, in striking distance of Manchester, where it's not compulsory to sleep on the ground and get wet feet? And second, can you remind me again about three weeks ahead of time?


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 10:38 AM

Sounds like you're after a small weekend event that combines song & tune sessions with some local acts. They're definitely out there - I don't know about near Manchester. Bound to be someone here who knows though!


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 11:04 AM

Well, it seems to me that you're the person for whom Sheffield's Session Festival was made!
We sort of share your mind-set and so we run a festival over the Easter weekend that exactly fits your requirements!
http://www.sheffieldseshfest.org.uk/Welcome.html
should get you there
see you in 2014!


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Marje
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 11:07 AM

I haven't done a lot of festivals, but in my experience, singers do tend to get squeezed out where venues are limited (I speak as a singer and also an instrumentalist, so I can change horses as required). The main singing events at festivals - this is a bit of a generalisation - tend to be either noisy bar-room free-for-alls where lusty choruses win the day, or folk-club-style events in an upstairs room somewhere, which can be as good or as bad as those attending them.

You might want to consider one of the specialist singers' events held around the country. Maddy Prior runs some in the Borders (google for Stones Barn). Folkworks may have something suitable in north-east England, although I don't think they're residential, you'd need to find accommodation. Halsway Manor in Somerset run some interesting-looking residential singers' weekends, one of which a friend and I are booked in for later this year. But you'd need to get leave of absence from home, and anything residential is not cheap.

I hope someone can suggest a festival that ticks the boxes for you. The main problem may be accommodation, as many festival venues don't have enough B&B to meet the demand. If you're prepared to drive a bit at the end of the day, this gives you a wider choice of places to stay, but if you like to drink, this makes it trickier.The good thing about a festival is that you can take the family and they'll probably find something to entertain them, but you all have to find somewhere to stay.

I'll watch this thread with interest as we've recently sold our camper van and are now restricted to events where there's B&B or simlar placse to stay.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 11:21 AM

I was going to suggest that a campervan might be the answer. You could then maybe travel around some of the singers clubs, sessions and smaller festivals, not have to worry about driving home that night unless tomorrow is a working day, sleep in your own bed, and put the kettle on in the morning in relative luxury (compared with one of those flappy things with strings attached).

On the other had why not start a minifest of your own? I'd come.

Tone


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST,Fantum
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 11:24 AM

Phil
You sound just like me and some years ago I went to the festival at Saltburn and loved it.
The festival has all the usual things guest artists, local artists, concerts sing arounds workshops etc. Most of the venues are inside and there's beer and stuff if you want it. There is a thriving fringe where there are sing arounds complete with m\cs (no free for alls). Its small enough so that you are not fighting crowds and its large enough to give a good range of performers. Here is the Cutty Wren Folk Club web site and if you look under Saltburn Folk Festival then programme you can see whats on. http://www.cuttywrenfolkclub.com/
Now the bad news, getting a reminder from me about 3 weeks prior to the event is like pushing butter up a hedgehogs bottom using a red hot needle, it aint gonna happen

Regards   Fantum


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 11:36 AM

It would help if the Sheffield Session Festival had some info on their website about what happened last year. Mostly, if you're deciding which festival you want to go to, you'll look at past form if you can.

Falkland is a new one (largely replacing the recently defunct Auchtermuchty festival) with lots of very good singers involved, but it's a long way from Manchester and it's a small town with not much accommodation, so you'd have to book in advance (though if you have a car staying in Cupar would be feasible).


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 12:11 PM

You're right Jack. Bit tricky when everyone was so busy doing stuff that there were very few photos taken. But I guess we should have left last years programme up. Ah well, a lesson learned.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Michael
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 12:34 PM

Have a look at Derby Folk Festival, 4th to 6th October,in the city centre. there are links on the site for accommodation.
And it's a 'rate good do'.

As is Butlin's Great British Folk Festival in Skegness 29th November to 2nd December.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Elmore
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 01:31 PM

Question: Are there any festivals in the UK held in one large venue with workshops held around that spot instead of all over town? The prospect of going a mile or so to every event seems quite daunting.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 01:48 PM

Photos now on Sheffield Sessions site might help? Also new map. Elmore, nobody walks a mile at our festival! Ok, you may have to cross a carpark or maybe hike a few hundred yards but mile? Nah!


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 01:48 PM

Wareham Wail?


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Elmore
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 02:13 PM

Thanks Richard and Paul .Just an impression I got from surfing festival websites.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST,Hully
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 03:49 PM

This might be worth a visit. Plenty of free events.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 04:27 PM

Great thread! Wareham, Falkland, Hull and Saltburn all sound good (Wareham sounds amazing), but they're a bit outside my geographical range. Not totally convinced about Butlin's in Skeg - I've seen some bad reviews.

Thanks for the Derby and Sheffield recommendations - noted!

(Oh, and thanks to everyone who didn't say "just get a tent, it's great, you'll love it"...)


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: LesB
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 04:16 AM

Surprised nobody had mentioned Whitby. Take the family for a weeks holiday, (if you can find any vacencies), don't buy a ticket, because there are more fringe sessions & singarounds than you can shake a stick at. Dancing all over the town & concerts galore when your voice gives out & best of all you get to spend a week in Whitby.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 04:35 AM

Take the family for a week's holiday

That would be the difficult part. What shall we do today? "Well, I don't know about you lot..."


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Old Grey Wolf
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 04:51 AM

This is a possibilty, its about an hour and a half from Manchester. Set off early to beat the traffic, spend all day there, go home late - job done!

http://www.furnesstradition.org.uk/

The fest is at various venues in the town, but Ulverston is a small market town where you can walk from one side of the town centre to the other in two or three minutes. There is lots of free stuff going on such as pub singing and morris dancers (male & female morris sides) dancing in the streets as well as the organised professionals booked for the Coronation Hall. There is camping available if you need it. We've never camped there as we only live five miles away!

Ralph.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 05:02 AM

Thanks for that - looks like a fun day. I have to say, though, that there's only one singaround listed; not only that, but it clashes with the Young 'Uns, of all people.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 07:12 AM

Just because they have a campsite for those who couldn't afford to go to a festival every weekend and pay as much for accomodation as their ticket doesn't mean that the people like me who go to 3 or 4 a year HAVE to camp. You do tend to need to book B&B early. Which reminds me, maybe I should renew my Whitby flat now for next year. Plenty of Fringe free stuff at Whitby though I certainly get good value out of my season ticket. I don't know so much about the singing side, except that we don't try to get into Jim Mcgeans singaround because it is packed long before the start time, and we are doing something else. I've been to the Craig Morgan Robson workshops - harmony singing, 5 or 6 workshops and a performance at the end (about £5 / workshop , singarounds are free)
Looking at a listing for 2011
11.30 - 12.50 Harmony workshop CMR
1.00 -3.00 Ballad session
1.00 -3.00 Singaround
1.00 -3.00 Shanties
5.00 - 7.00 Singaround
8.00 -11.00 Singaround
I think that's one of the good things about Mudcat - if you are wondering about a specific festival you can ask here and people who know the details will tell you which of the items on the programme will suit your tastes. And where to get the best fish & chips if you have time to eat.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 01:22 PM

Mo - where Whitby's concerned, it's not really about the camping. There is no way my family will consent to spend a week's holiday in Whitby with me disappearing off to sing all day. (Nor would they consent for me to disappear for a week!) Until the kids move out and my wife gets converted (I'm working on it), anything lasting longer than a weekend is not an option.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 03:14 PM

You could do a lot worse than visit Cleckheaton 5th - 7th July 2013. Lots of opportunity to sing in sinagrounds all weekend, Festival Folk Club all Saturday night , singarounds on Sunday plus concerts, workshops, meets, sessions. {Proverbial "something for everybody" most within 300yds of the Town Hall. Hotels in town and Premier Inn 1 mile away. Look forward to seeing some of you there !!


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 30 Jun 13 - 01:02 PM

Phil; I haven't got any useful advice about alternatives to camping but, as for how long to go for, don't forget that, at longer, town-based festivals like Whitby, there's no need to buy a season ticket or go for the whole week. From Manchester I'd opt for Whitby and just go for one night or perhaps two. When I was trying to get to the occasional festival and juggling work and family, that's what I did. From Manchester you could set off for Whitby after breakfast and get there in time for the lunchtime/afternoon and evening sessions at the fringe events or buy a single ticket to an evening concert if that took your fancy. Stay overnight, take in a morning workshop, lunchtime and afternoon sessions or concerts and perhaps the first part of an evening singaround and you could still be home for bed. From my experience of family commitments, it's the number of nights away that are problematical, not the daytimes.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jun 13 - 03:14 PM

Swinton (Late October) would have been perfect for you - No camping. On major bus routes from Manchester. Free all day sing/playaround in the bar. Sunday hangover session. Trouble is... We wound it up last year :-( I am pretty sure we will do something this year - I say we but I am out of it now, having emigrated to Yorkshire - but I am still very much in touch so I will try to keep you posted.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 12:01 PM

Phil, a couple of very good singing festivals up here in Scotland (OK nowhere near Manchester, but worth the effort: there are a number of people - not just guest artists - who come further!)
In order of future happening:
Cullerlie Traditional Singing Weekend, this year July 26-28. This is in Aberdeenshire. Not too far from Aberdeen or Dyce airport if funds stretch to that. Camping on site or B&Bs and budget hotels within short driving distance.
See: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/events/cullerlie2013/index.shtml

Edinburgh & Lothians TMSA Muckle Sing or Singers' Gathering, usually about mid-February: a day of song workshops plus evening concert. In West Lothian, within easy reach by road, bus and rail from Edinburgh.
http://eltmsa.blogspot.co.uk/

Fifesing: 16-16 May 2014 at Collessie in Fife. Camping on site or hotels and B&Bs not too far away. See: http://www.springthyme.co.uk/fifesing/


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 12:06 PM

Oops, should have been 16-18 May for Fifesing!

And Cullerlie is al unaccompanied singing, some accompanying instruments at the others this most sing unaccompanied.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST,Dicky boy
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 01:36 PM

moonbeams wold top folk festival fantastic smallish festival and at a brewery as well 12th-13th july ...


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 05:09 PM

Holding a folk festival at a brewery seems like a thoroughly good idea! But Moonbeams looks big on acts (and amplification), not so good for song sessions.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jul 13 - 09:49 AM

if you are thinking South West UK have a look at cresby.com > festivals though from the OP I can see you won't like Shrewsbury. Loud, in a big field (did I mean a flood plain known to flood around Aug/Sept?) nearest hotel 30 mins walk away and not much SAR going on.

Upton upon Severn on the other hand is in the town, there are hotels and B&B and it is a small affair. If you like Morris - then it is a relatively big affair. Several venues cater for muso and one or two for singists. Say hello if you try it next year, (you will spot me)


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 02 Jul 13 - 10:20 AM

We should have a nice quiet venue sorted out for the BAMfest 'Folk Club' for next year.

This will be a weekend long singaround in a venue well away from the amplified bands with a couple of 45 min(ish) 'festival guest performance slots' per session. Completely unamplified of course.

Plenty of B & Bs and hotels in and around Bedale (North Yorks) and not that far from Manchester (depending on the state of the M62).

Keep looking on Mudcat, I would think I'll mention it here about 3 weeks beforehand ........ might be an idea to book your accomodation earlier though :-)


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 03 Jul 13 - 12:38 AM

You've just missed the Alcester summer festival for this year, but there's a winter fundraiser in February (21-23) and the next summer festival is 20-22 June 2014. Alcester is a lovely little town, there are lots of opportunities to sing and play, you can book B&B, and the Cotswolds, Stratford on Avon and Warwick aren't far away for your family to explore if so minded...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 03 Jul 13 - 08:39 AM

Go for Wareham it IS amazing. All singing, no headliners everybody mucks in and sings, and boy are there some lovely singers. The Yorkshire event at Drax is equally amazing. Welcome to our singing world. You could always try organizing your own Singing Session


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Jul 13 - 09:41 AM

There are casks of real ale and an honesty box at Cullerlie, otherwise BYOB (single malts feature prominently!). Good food at modest prices in the farm cafe.
Singing is tremendous tho' you may need a translator for some of the bothy ballads!


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Jul 13 - 03:51 PM

The Yorkshire event at Drax is equally amazing.

Tell me more...

Banjiman - BAMfest sounds amazing. Noted for 2014!


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Jul 13 - 09:35 AM

Banbury FF is in the town within walking distance of many hotels. Always a Mudgather (SAR) and other opportunities to sing. Buses and Railway Station.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Jul 13 - 05:03 PM

What have we got then?

Sheffield Session (Easter)
BAMFest (May)
Derby FF (October)
Drax - ???

Furness, Cleck... oops. Maybe next time round.

Anything else I've missed, singer-oriented, Manchester travelling distance? (Anyone been to Fleetwood lately?)


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Jul 13 - 06:23 PM

...not forgetting the possibility of a couple of days at Whitby (Aug).

Still intrigued about Drax.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 15 Jul 13 - 03:24 PM

Consider a festival where there are other things to do eg Broadstairs - great beach for the kids - day trips to france - Margate Turner gallery - really good ice cream. If the children are small there is daily entertainment each morning.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Jul 13 - 04:50 PM

Possibly we are losing sight of the need for sessions.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 08:45 AM

Mr Red hasn't lost sight of sessions, but the OP asks for SAR. What's Chester like for SAR? I am always at Chippenham and they have Pearl & Tony running the SAR there.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 10:15 AM


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 10:41 AM

Yes, singarounds (can we call them SAs rather than SARs?) are what I'm interested in. (I used to go to sessions a bit, but since switching instruments it's stopped happening - one of these days I'll get the concertina up to speed, but she's not quite there yet.)

Chester eh? Say on.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 02:40 PM

Another thought- in kent some of the best singing is found post morris dancing by the sides. There are some sided that get paid just for their singing. Is that the same where you live?


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 03:29 PM

Chester (actually Kelsall) is the Bank holiday w/end at the end of May. Not as big as Chippenham. I've lost this year's programme middle, not sure how many SAs, last year there was a SA and a Music & Song session each afternoon and a Folk Club each evening (including some floor singers).


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 07:17 AM

Check out BAMfest 2014 at www.bamfest.co.uk . It going to be bigger and better than last year's amazing event in Bedale, North Yorkshire.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for non-festival-goers (UK)
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 07:20 PM

This link works better:

BAMfest


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