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reducing our carbon footprint

GUEST,FloraG 09 Nov 13 - 04:12 AM
Doug Chadwick 09 Nov 13 - 06:15 AM
Bobert 09 Nov 13 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Nov 13 - 08:48 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 13 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,FloraG 10 Nov 13 - 04:52 AM
Will Fly 10 Nov 13 - 05:30 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Nov 13 - 05:47 AM
Mo the caller 10 Nov 13 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,FloraG 11 Nov 13 - 03:39 AM
Will Fly 11 Nov 13 - 04:01 AM
Howard Jones 11 Nov 13 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,FloraG 12 Nov 13 - 04:37 AM
Mo the caller 12 Nov 13 - 05:52 AM
Will Fly 12 Nov 13 - 08:48 AM
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Subject: reducing our carbon footprint
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 09 Nov 13 - 04:12 AM

How can we help?
A few months ago someone was looking for a barn dance band and my reply was we could do it as it was in our county ( 25 miles away) but I thought there must be a more local band. Then someone from the other side of the country said they could and would be willing to do it. That was missing the point, methinks.
This made me think about how to reduce our carbon miles as part of the global community.
One of our local pubs has a PA already rigged up. This saves a bit of time and petrol.
Any thoughts?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 09 Nov 13 - 06:15 AM

How can I become an international superstar if I am not prepared to travel?

DC


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Nov 13 - 06:24 AM

Travel, unfortunately, is part of gigging... Goes way back... If you can think of a way out of that you'd be a lot smarter than millions of musicians who, like myself, must take my music to the market...

But the thought of cutting one's carbon footprint is a good one and I try the best I can to not add unnecessary carbon, including recycling, clothes line, sweater rather than turning up the heat, etc...

Good luck...

B~


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Nov 13 - 08:48 AM

Bands capable of playing traditional dance music all night are probably not common, Flora. It's not just a matter of playing tunes together - it takes confidence, social skills, dance knowledge and good repertoire.

How to reduce the footprint when travelling:

have vehicles tuned up
share vehicles
don't carry excess weight
don't speed
don't use a PA unless you really have to


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 13 - 10:57 AM

Megaphones are the coming thing.


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 04:52 AM

I thought I would have lots of suggestions for this by now.
Festivals seem good. Especially when named artists stay for the week. You get a lot of music / dance for the miles travelled with a festival like Whitby.
I'm amused by agents who seem to have no knowledge of geography when orgnising a tour.
Leena - thanks for the reply. I think there are quite a few bands in kent - but kent is the sort of county its easy to get from anywhere to london - but more difficult to travel North South.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 05:30 AM

If you really want to decrease your carbon footprint, then:

Play acoustically
Use public transport or walk
Don't travel
Or don't go out as a band

As Bobert said above, if you want to go out at as a band and use amplification, then there's really very little that you can do. I've never yet played a venue that had its own PA system (don't do festivals), and our band is 7-strong - too large for anything but a big mini-van.

As for public transport, our band members all live in villages with restricted bus services and not a train station in sight. I'm not knocking the concept, but the practicalities are very difficult to overcome.


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 05:47 AM

In my young day, we danced to a clockwork fiddle machine a bit like THIS. Usually in the woods, skyclad; our bonfire was made from recycled fully sustainable wood-effect logs, and at the end of the night we took the smoke home in biodegradable sacks to put on the compost heap. Every little helps.

Alas, these days, truly Organic Renewable Folk Music Experience is getting difficult to source despite some very pressing Government Initiatives in recent years. There are grants available for the planting of new Oral Traditions, but these things take time to mature and naturalise. Future generations will benefit, but in the meantime the best we can do is use a windy-up gramophone and seek out old EFDSS 78s - and some Jimmy Shands for good measure.

Live music is the problem - it's killing the planet.


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 09:52 AM

If I am asked to call and it is left to me to chose the band I ask one that is near the venue, rather than further away. I call within a 50 mile radius so if I asked a band from Lancashire for a southern gig they might be travelling 100miles each way.
At least one of the bands I work with books me when they have a gig in Cheshire, and have other callers if they were going further north.
Well that's the theory, in practise it depends who is available on the night. And the preferences of the customer of course.

I do tend to assume that if someone asks me it's because they know I'm best for the job, not just that they've stuck a pin in Google.

When I am dancing there are some very good local bands and callers, but I wouldn't want to dance to the same combination every week - variety is good.


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 11 Nov 13 - 03:39 AM

Mo - 50 miles doesn't sound too bad. I was thinking of those who travel 100's to do one gig, while at the same time there are perfectly good band travelling 100s in the other direction.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Nov 13 - 04:01 AM

Just a quick comment on the "perfectly good band" theory - which I'm sure has merit. The problem is that sometimes bands don't get booked just because they're close. We've had one or two bookings which were a couple of hours drive away, simply because the people booking us specifically wanted us - they'd come down for a wedding at which we'd played and were so impressed that they wanted us - and no-one else - for their own wedding. A number of gigs we do every year are from word of mouth, so that people book us because they want us.

In fairness, our prices for travelling beyond a 30-mile radius of "home" become excessive - which is one way of not getting long-distance gigs!

I once flew to Dublin, hired a car and stayed in a hotel in Waterford - just to see Leon Redbone in his only European appearance for years. In the ticket-check queue near us were people who'd come from Reading - and one chap from Barcelona! Leon certainly generated a large carbon footprint that night...


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Howard Jones
Date: 11 Nov 13 - 09:04 AM

Bands (and callers too) aren't interchangeable - or at least the ones that are probably aren't very good. Good bands have a distinctive sound and repertoire which differentiates them from other good bands, which is why people want to book specific bands even if they cost more. As Mo points out, it soon gets boring dancing to the same band and caller every week. Most dancers want variety, which is why the most popular bands are gigging all around the country and people are prepared to travel to go and see them.

Unless you are extraordinarily fortunate in your locality, a band won't get much work unless they are prepared to travel. There are only so many dance clubs, weddings and PTA fundraisers a small area can sustain.

As for 'house PAs' in my experience these are usually set up for rock bands rather than acoustic ceilidh bands. Even if you can use their amp and speakers, you'll probably want to take your own mixing desk and mics as well as any effects, and some musicians will need their own guitar amps. The savings in weight and petrol may not be as much as you think. It may save a bit of time unloading and setting up but this is offset by the time taken to figure out an unfamiliar setup, leaving aside the risks that it doesn't work or no one has the keys to the cupboard. In the end you might as well take your usual kit.

The band is not the only group travelling to a ceilidh. The audience may also have travelled a considerable distance taken cumulatively. (although perhaps not as far as Will). That's without the cost of heating and lighting the hall, and supplying food and drink.

Bands don't get paid much, and the price of fuel these days takes such a large chunk of the fee that most will try to mitigate this as far as possible. Whether its purely on cost grounds or because of concerns about their carbon footprint, most bands are already doing what they can.

It's also appropriate to keep a sense of proportion. Most ceilidh bands are only playing at weekends - my own band, which is comfortably busy, averages under 2 gigs a month overall. Gigging makes up only a tiny proportion of my total carbon footprint and if I want to reduce this there are other areas to look at first which would have a bigger impact.


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 12 Nov 13 - 04:37 AM

Howard - you are right to be careful of house PA unless you know it. Also it helps to have an additional source of income.
How do you calculate what to charge? I tend to charge a basic amount - less for just me and a box, more for when its the full band, then add a bit more on if its over 20 miles away. However, its all a bit ad hoc. I always write down how much I've quoted on the booking form immediately.
If you stay local, and are doing an open fund raising charity, then you can e mail those people you know who like barn dancing. This means you get more people to the events - a bonus for the charity.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Mo the caller
Date: 12 Nov 13 - 05:52 AM

"How do you calculate what to charge?"

Now there's a question.
Some bands ask £100 / person. Which sounds a lot until you reckon that by the time you've loaded the car, travelled (and allowed time for the unexpected), hung around because weddings always run late set up, played the gig (anything beyween 4 hours and 'but we only want you for an hour'), then done all that in reverse, it is an 8 hour day so it's not much / hour. Some bands play for half of that or what the customer can afford.
When I'm booked with a band I let them set the price and take same as the musicians. If I am asked if I can do the gig with recorded music I quote £100 then try to persuade them that for 'a little bit more' they can have a much better evening. When I've found out what their max is I see who's available within that price (I'll split whatever it is so end up getting between £30 & £75), with my recorded music as a fall-back - hard work, less fun for everyone but at least I'm getting a decent pay.


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Subject: RE: reducing our carbon footprint
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Nov 13 - 08:48 AM

We currently play for £600 for a 6-piece and a caller for 3 hours of music - a nice round sum, which goes up if we go more than 30 miles outside the band epicentre, play for more than 3 hours or play after midnight.

But, as you rightly say, if you add on two hours for setting up and striking down - plus the inevitable wedding wait (!) - then it's a very average wage. Good job we actually do it mainly because we like playing!


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