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What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?

Acorn4 21 Dec 17 - 07:34 PM
GUEST 22 Dec 17 - 02:46 AM
r.padgett 22 Dec 17 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,henryp 22 Dec 17 - 04:30 AM
Steve Gardham 22 Dec 17 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Jilly 22 Dec 17 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 22 Dec 17 - 12:41 PM
r.padgett 22 Dec 17 - 01:19 PM
Rob Naylor 22 Dec 17 - 01:56 PM
peteaberdeen 22 Dec 17 - 01:58 PM
peteaberdeen 22 Dec 17 - 02:16 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Dec 17 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 22 Dec 17 - 04:13 PM
peteaberdeen 22 Dec 17 - 05:41 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 Dec 17 - 08:32 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 Dec 17 - 08:39 PM
theleveller 23 Dec 17 - 04:30 AM
The Sandman 23 Dec 17 - 05:12 AM
theleveller 23 Dec 17 - 06:38 AM
TheSnail 23 Dec 17 - 07:30 AM
Mr Red 23 Dec 17 - 08:00 AM
Mr Red 23 Dec 17 - 08:54 AM
John MacKenzie 23 Dec 17 - 12:10 PM
The Sandman 23 Dec 17 - 07:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 17 - 09:52 PM
Mr Red 24 Dec 17 - 07:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 17 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Morris-ey 24 Dec 17 - 12:16 PM
Mr Red 24 Dec 17 - 12:30 PM
The Sandman 26 Dec 17 - 06:13 AM
Mr Red 26 Dec 17 - 10:44 AM
GUEST 26 Dec 17 - 11:17 AM
JHW 26 Dec 17 - 03:53 PM
Tattie Bogle 26 Dec 17 - 07:48 PM
Jack Campin 27 Dec 17 - 11:51 AM
Acorn4 27 Dec 17 - 01:44 PM
The Sandman 27 Dec 17 - 02:00 PM
Mr Red 27 Dec 17 - 04:27 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Dec 17 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Dec 17 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 28 Dec 17 - 06:35 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Dec 17 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 28 Dec 17 - 04:53 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Dec 17 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Joe G 29 Dec 17 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 29 Dec 17 - 02:36 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Dec 17 - 02:45 PM
Jack Campin 29 Dec 17 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,Guest 30 Dec 17 - 06:32 AM
The Sandman 30 Dec 17 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,ripov 30 Dec 17 - 10:15 PM
r.padgett 31 Dec 17 - 02:23 AM
Mr Red 31 Dec 17 - 05:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Dec 17 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Guest 31 Dec 17 - 08:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Dec 17 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,ripov 31 Dec 17 - 07:48 PM
Acorn4 31 Dec 17 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,Guest 31 Dec 17 - 11:05 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jan 18 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Guest 01 Jan 18 - 07:30 AM
Steve Gardham 01 Jan 18 - 02:38 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jan 18 - 05:54 PM
Jack Campin 01 Jan 18 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,pauperback 01 Jan 18 - 08:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jan 18 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Guest 01 Jan 18 - 10:59 PM
Mr Red 02 Jan 18 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,Observer 02 Jan 18 - 12:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jan 18 - 01:41 PM
Vic Smith 02 Jan 18 - 03:31 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jan 18 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,ripov 02 Jan 18 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,ripov 02 Jan 18 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,IvanB 02 Jan 18 - 06:45 PM
Jack Campin 03 Jan 18 - 03:44 AM
r.padgett 03 Jan 18 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Observer 03 Jan 18 - 06:26 AM
Jack Campin 03 Jan 18 - 07:11 AM
The Sandman 03 Jan 18 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Occasional Lurker 03 Jan 18 - 07:55 AM
The Sandman 03 Jan 18 - 10:21 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Jan 18 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Morris-ey 03 Jan 18 - 11:39 AM
The Sandman 03 Jan 18 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Observer 03 Jan 18 - 01:23 PM
The Sandman 03 Jan 18 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 03 Jan 18 - 07:07 PM
The Sandman 03 Jan 18 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,Airy 03 Jan 18 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Guest 04 Jan 18 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,Observer 04 Jan 18 - 12:36 AM
r.padgett 04 Jan 18 - 09:29 AM
Vic Smith 04 Jan 18 - 10:57 AM
Mr Red 04 Jan 18 - 11:10 AM
peteaberdeen 04 Jan 18 - 12:11 PM
Mr Red 05 Jan 18 - 03:07 AM
r.padgett 05 Jan 18 - 03:43 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 05 Jan 18 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Guest 05 Jan 18 - 06:38 AM
Tattie Bogle 05 Jan 18 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 05 Jan 18 - 08:58 AM
r.padgett 05 Jan 18 - 10:26 AM
Tattie Bogle 05 Jan 18 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 05 Jan 18 - 06:58 PM
r.padgett 06 Jan 18 - 03:30 AM
Jack Campin 06 Jan 18 - 07:49 AM
Mr Red 06 Jan 18 - 08:35 AM
r.padgett 06 Jan 18 - 10:57 AM
Vic Smith 06 Jan 18 - 11:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Jan 18 - 12:42 PM
Tattie Bogle 06 Jan 18 - 05:32 PM
r.padgett 07 Jan 18 - 03:56 AM
Jack Campin 07 Jan 18 - 12:02 PM
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Subject: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Dec 17 - 07:34 PM

Several of the folk festivals that we usually go to are not running next year because the people that organise them are of my generation in their seventies and are suffering from the resultant health issues and not wanting any more the stress involved in organising such large scale events.

There are a lot of really good young acts playing excellent traditional music but where are they going to play if no one takes on the mantle of the aging generation of event organisers?

Do the people running the folk degree courses include a module on how to run a folk festival?

In most cases the organisers have a wealth of experience accumulated over several years.

Are we going to end up with the young musicians having to throw in the towel and get "proper jobs" because there is nowhere to play?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 02:46 AM

This being Mudcat somebody will soon come back with an examply of a single organiser under pension age which will supposedly prove you wrong.

There is a more general issue over the lack of new (and younger) people getting into the organisation of events. Part of the problem is a lack of succession planning. In part this is down to a lack of people interested in becoming involved and in part down to organisers not being willing to let go.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 03:01 AM

What a good question:

Yes it seems many festivals of long standing as with folk clubs are in danger~

To my mind clubs and festivals were largely based on the tradition and supported by club goers and occasionals ~ many festivals were and are summer events and family based holidays

many gatherings and indeed weekly and monthly events have become fragmented and many people still want to do their own thing!

The key word is AUDIENCE ~ every is looking for and audience and paying customers for their take on what is folk music/festivals

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 04:30 AM

Looking at the audiences in folk clubs and concerts, I would say that members of the audience are going the same way as folk festival organisers.

Many people in folk circles belong to the same generation - including performers, organisers and audiences.

There are initiatives to introduce young musicians to folk music. But where will the new audiences come from? The nature of festivals will adapt to meet future demand.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 11:50 AM

'Part of the problem is a lack of succession planning.' That is the root cause. This problem is endemic in society as a whole. There are plenty of young people who are willing and able in all walks of life, but in most arenas I come across our throwaway, live-for-today society has neglected succession planning, to the extent that these keen young people have to keep re-inventing the wheel. It is OUR fault!

What can we do? Offer to go back into work on a volunteer basis and help. As retired people we can give them our time and expertise. That's what we're trying to do in Hull but it needs a more coordinated approach and encouragement from the top.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Jilly
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 12:20 PM

The trouble is there's no money to be made in it.
In the 'old days' people ran local festivals - and clubs for that matter - regardless of that fact, they did it because they wanted to out of a love for the music. Break even was good enough. I recall a conversation with an organiser who used to book and pay acts out of his own pocket and who frequently lost money. He compared it to spending money on other hobbies; playing golf was the analogy he used, and he reckoned he got more pleasure from the music than most get from golf.
Then it all became a business, there's nothing wrong with being business - like but folk music and the pursuit of profit don't often go hand in hand. A lot of festivals got too big for their boots with predictable results. People went to sponsors with the wrong attitude too, expecting hand outs instead of asking what the sponsors could get out of it.
When or if it becomes viable financially there will be a resurgence, I just hope it's not too late for the current generation, many of whom are far more talented than a lot of us old hacks !


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 12:41 PM

There are more folk festivals in the UK now than ever. I believe more people go to festivals than to clubs. Nothing is happening to festivals other than younger people are going to festivals rather than to clubs.

Anyone who says there is no money to be made is, simply, wrong.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 01:19 PM

Hard work and very difficult for newcomers to make a living from Folk music unless you have talent and are able to offer a number of strings for your bow ~ be a multi talented person and prepared to travel any where anytime any place ~ I would cite the likes of Flossie Malavialle and Matt Quinn and Pete Coe

There seem to be a number of ways that people can be successful ~ really good luck to them ~ but I would ask on what basis could or should people running a club and be supportive also be a presumed audience member and for go his/her usual night of singing/playing? This is down to personal preference, funds and inclination, is it not?

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 01:56 PM

I think that, in the UK, in some areas of the country there are actually too many festivals. I can think of at least three that have started up recently within an hour's drive of Sidmouth, for example. Bridport is organising its second one in 2018,the first one in 2017 having apparently gone well. There are only so many summer weekends that the festival going public can spread their time over!


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: peteaberdeen
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 01:58 PM

in terms of performers struggling to make a living. a few years ago i met the great michael mcgoldrick at the b0eer tent at shrewsbury festival and thanked for having played twice at a very small venue in cumbria where i live. as he is (in folk terms) a highly successful performer and had recently backed mark knopfler on a US tour with dylan i asked him if it was worthwhile playing such small gigs as cockermouth. he said he just needed to make a living and needed to play where he was asked


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: peteaberdeen
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 02:16 PM

i read that the organiser of the huge and very successful Glasgow Celtic Connections festival was having some difficulties in signing acts from overseas because of tighter controls on immigration (see effects of this brexit business) and on the falling value of the pound. a shame, particularly as scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 03:10 PM

You should try getting a permit to work in the USA pete.
Brexit as an excuse, is a red herring.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 04:13 PM

Couldn't agree more Mr. McKenzie. A certain group will blame everything on Brexit even although it has not yet happened and will not happen until the end of March 2019 at the earliest!

The trouble with festivals would appear to be that they are becoming "Music" Festivals where anything goes as opposed to "Folk" Festivals where those turning up expect to hear folk music. The Clubs went that way a long time ago. They now appear to be the preferred stalking ground of the singer/songwriter.

Locally someone who runs two festivals, one of which is billed as a "Folk" Festival, because that is the mantle he took over absolutely hates, loathes and detests "folk" music, but if it wasn't for "folk" clubs and "folk" festivals he and his band would have nowhere to play.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: peteaberdeen
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 05:41 PM

i wasn't expressing an opinion - it is a fact that brexit has had an economic effect already so our pound is worth less abroad.
it's also fact that many people have left this coutry or are less willing to come after the vote and the shambles of our government's attempts to deal with it. i don't know - nor does anyone -what the long/medium term effects will be but it is already affecting some british citizens and people who would like to come and work here.
and while in ireland and scotland the situation is marginally better, the nasty, regressive attitude of little england is making many parts a more hostile environment for everyone


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 08:32 PM

Steve G has hit it with "succession planning". I was one of the main organisers of a festival for 6 or 7 years: 2-3 of that before I retired from a very busy job, and the rest after. I indicated that I wanted to retire after 5 years, but, really there was no-one to carry it on, although we had a good number of people come on Committee that year, but they were just not ready yet to take on running a festival. But they all knuckled in and got better at making their own decisions in the succeeding years.
In my final year as Festival Coordinator, I did my best to pull together all the threads, contacts, forms, risk assessments, insurance docs et al, which had previously been dispersed among different Committee members, and put them all together in a single (Multi-faceted!) Festival Handbook - in electronic version so that any changes could be rapidly incorporated. As as I retired eventually after 3 years of trying, everyone on that Committee then got a copy of said handbook on a CD-ROM. However, as I had said I didn't mind being contacted with any queries during m first year off Committee, I often got such enquiries as "How do we contact so-and-so?" "All in the Hand-book" said I, to which, "What Handbook?" Bah, gah, doh, banging heid off wa'!! But have to say that succeeding years have been good if different!


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 08:39 PM

P.S. Expecting young folk to run festivals - difficult as they tend to be busy doing Uni courses, gap years, moving somewhere else after the above, and so on.
So what age group make the best FF organisers? Part from "anyone willing" maybe those who still have the energy and love of the music but have slightly older kids who can be cajoled to come along, even help, absorb the music, etc! (so am talking late 40s, 50s??)
And I'll leave politics out of it: not terribly relevant IMHO for this particular issue.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 04:30 AM

One of the biggest problems of the folk scene is that a lot of younger people (and older ones including me) are fed up with the pedantry, intolerance, arrogance and huge egos of many of the older generation who run much of the scene. You just have to read a few Mudcat threads to see what I mean.

I can contrast this with my experiences over that last three years as a volunteer with The Woodland Trust on the nationwide Observatree Project. Charity volunteers tend to be predominantly over the age of 50 but, on this project, at least half of those I have met have been under 50, with a fair few in their 20s and 30s. The atmosphere, camaraderie and co-operation have been fantastic - from novices through to professional experts who have gone out of their way to spread their knowledge and experience of tree health and threats and give help and encouragement whenever it's needed. Nationwide, Observatree has been a huge success and is set to continue for the next few years at least. If the attitudes that are prevalent here were to be mirrored in the folk scene, there would be no need for threads like this.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 05:12 AM

One of the biggest problems of the folk scene is that a lot of younger people (and older ones including me) are fed up with the pedantry, intolerance, arrogance and huge egos of many of the older generation who run much of the scene. You just have to read a few Mudcat threads to see what I mean."
leveller
   i suggest you start running a festival yourself, I have been ruuning a festival for 7 years, i am a comparative novice compared to John Taylor 50 years and some other organisers, however i have booked the following people Martin , Rosie Stewart, Martin Carthy Andy Irvine, Tom Lewis, Jim Mageaan, Rosin White,Chris Wilson, Ann Alderson other artists including bluegrass, singer songwriters, norwegian shanty choirs.
people like the leveller who go around with the" half empty philosophy", should get off their arse and try organising themselve.,


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 06:38 AM

So, Sandman, you're saying that my experience of the folk scene is not relevant? I think that just reinforces the point I'm making. I have no desire to organise a festival, nor do I have the skills, and I really appreciate the hard work of those like, for example, Leila Cooper who organises the amazing Moonbeams Festival. Typically, you are not prepared to listen to criticism so, as far as I'm concerned, you and your ilk can fuck off - I have better things to do with my time.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 07:30 AM

Going back to the beginning -
Are we going to end up with the young musicians having to throw in the towel and get "proper jobs" because there is nowhere to play?
Is it too much to ask that some of those young musicians started to do some organising themselves. That's what was happening fifty and more years ago. Performers ran their own clubs and festivals and booked each other.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 08:00 AM

The real answer, surely, is that the organisers of those disappearing festivals started them as a hobby. A passion for the genre.

In this day and age the vision is predominantly materialistic, and those that are interested in folk music are likely to be musicians rather than entrepreneurs.

Towersey was started by Steve Heap's father (et al) and he is handing over a large part of it to his son who is in his 30s. The headline acts reveal his taste in music and drive to grow the festival. But they ain't Folk. Joan Armatrading? Billy Bragg, if [politcal hectoring is more important than any musicality. Proclaimers?**
Singer songwriters are all good fare for Folk, but multi-Kw sound systems that need earplugs are Music Festival stuff. Folk is about people, clue's in the name. Anyone will tell you that the budget for ALL ceilidh bands there is less than that for the headline concert act. And the dance floor is never big enough. Full of Yoof.

At the end of the day, they have to make money, enough to cover a bad year. You can't sustain a loss every time. And the bigger they come, the more it is a full-time endeavour, which needs a stipend. Big risk.

The austerity and reduced disposable income we see, and predict for time to come will maybe generate small festivals that inevitably won't be visible. It doesn't mean they don't exist. And it doesn't mean they will be what we call Folk. Dylan was a shock to Folkies of the 60's, not to us. Was it ever thus?

Mr Happy - Denbigh is an example of small festivals that I mean.



** Richard Thompson is a bigger draw than. This year. IMNSHO


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 08:54 AM

Warwick has grown under the shepherdship of Dick Dixon, and his son is taking over much of it.

Upton upon Severn would be considered a small festival and though Ceri is not exactly a teenager she has been a musician since nappies and joined the committee this year. Her father started and made Bromyard. The whole family get involved each year, still.

With some festivals maybe there is the clue in "dynasty". That may be the Achilles heel of Shrewsbury but I know little (or wish to) of the hierarchy there. Cambridge ditto.

Then there is the IBM effect. IBM are not a small company, and the Watsons were a family, but the name is not on everybodies' lips these days. Unless you are into niche markets. Even folk has niche markets.

The French do things differently, one week at Gennetines proved a committee there can think properly. And it was FUN! If you dance.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 12:10 PM

One further point on festivals. There are too many of them, and there is a huge overlap of guest artistes. I would suggest that this overprovision of festivals, is one of the things that is killing our folk clubs. It gives both performers, and audiences a false image.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 07:43 PM

From: John MacKenzie - PM
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 12:10 PM

One further point on festivals. There are too many of them, and there is a huge overlap of guest artistes. I would suggest that this overprovision of festivals, is one of the things that is killing our folk clubs. It gives both performers, and audiences a false image."
I agree they do not help folk clubs


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 09:52 PM

I can't see that anything is wrong with them. they seem very varied - reflecting s lot of different ideas about folk music.

I'm sorry if some organisers are retiring, but nothing is forever, and I seem to see lots of newish festivals - the folk dance gang seems very active.

Festivals are always evolving.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Dec 17 - 07:10 AM

It is the responsibility of current organisers to encourage and identify future potential talent in people. But.........
I well remember Bob Berry (Chippenham Folk Festival) lamenting the paucity of such talent. He tried for several years to identify such people, and didn't find any volunteers. He was hoping to train-up people. It was several years before I heard that in 2018 he will not be in charge, though around, I am sure. Just like Dick Stanger still is (his predecessor).
I well remember Gill commenting that Bob would pass up on 50,000 GBP worth of business to give him time to organise the festival and from what I see, he didn't get any stipend as organiser. And Chippers isn't that small.

Ya gotta want to be an organiser. I prefer to help in ways that suit my psyche.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 17 - 09:48 AM

i think in a way they have already done their work - because they have enthused other people with the music.

i think the kind of fire in your belly to become a great organiser is something rather distinct. something you won't pick up in folk music 101. its a combination of hard headed business sense - and that really only comes from growing in a business minded family. plus idealism to ignore the fact that folk music is a minority interest, and fly in the face of economic sense.

When you see someone like Chris Deacon putting together the new Bridport Folk Music Festival , its quite inspiring. In a way every folk club and festival that Chris has attended has been his training and inspiration for the job. You can't be sure that there will be someone like that in your community to keep a festival going after the original creator retires,


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 24 Dec 17 - 12:16 PM

Many of the destination festivals are to do with making money and they do it very well. The days of the passionate amateur with a marquee in a field are long gone. Discerning punters expect better for their money.

I remember Bromyard when it was a small festival, supported by the West Midlands Folk Federation. It was pretty good back in the 70s but that sort of amateurism simply does not appeal to today's festival goer.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Dec 17 - 12:30 PM

The days of the passionate amateur with a marquee in a field are long gone.

Or maybe the ones you don't know about have a following and little in the way of PR.
True the big festivals take a lot of the interest, and nimbyism another tranche.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Dec 17 - 06:13 AM

"It was pretty good back in the 70s but that sort of amateurism simply does not appeal to today's festival goer."
a generalisation, todays festival folk goers appear to have differing tastes some like festivals with lots of singarounds some people prefer concerts, some people like a mix. guest Morriss ey, seems to be good at making uninformed statements and being rude.
just because someone runs a festival as a hobby and is amateurish in the sense that they arenot running a festival purely for commercial profiut but are running it to break even does not mean that their approach as regards organisation such as publicity or providing good facilties is amateurish, guest morriss sey has just made a sweeping generalisatrion that denigrates the efforts of many hard working passionate well organised festival organisers


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 26 Dec 17 - 10:44 AM

the folk dance gang seems very active

IVFDF (Inter-Varsity Folk Dance Festival) very much so. Run by Uni students with help from others. And it is popular. A different Uni each year, though certain Universities have a thriving caucus of aficionados. And it should be on the syllabus, certainly for business students, the hoops they have to jump thrugh to get it together is excellent training. I haven't been to a bad one yet.
So much popular it has spawned an ICBINI (I Can't Believe it's not IVFDF)

And Contra, long a preserve of older dancers, has a young following.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Dec 17 - 11:17 AM

Whilst I have been not been involved with folk festivals for a very long time (Durham many years ago) I am now concerned with sport admin.
As you ask I play lawn bowls, and am involved with the County admin - although this is thought of as old man's marbles the top players in this country and worldwide are no more than in their 30s.They would not, however, be able to play if there was not someone to organise the event.
The comparison with folk clubs and festivals is that, as a pensioner, I am younger than many of those who work in administration.
The comparison, in both my sport and in folk music is that they won't survive unless younger people are prepared to take on the hard work.

In both cases there is a danger of failure due to apathy from the younger generations.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: JHW
Date: 26 Dec 17 - 03:53 PM

'apathy from the younger generations'

Today (Boxing Day 2017) I watched Redcar Sword Dancers perform the Greatham Sword Dance Play at Greatham, nr Hartlepool I think for the fiftyfirst year. As sizeable an audience there as I've seen on many visits. Many of them young. Some very young. The sword dancers performing are mostly of the generation that 'invented' the revival. They can't keep it going a further fifty years.
Same with Festivals; same with Folk Clubs; same even with pubs. Most of the folks I see out walking or cycling or on motorbikes and in the tearoom are retired. My guess is that when we are all gone so will be the many strands of the folk revival.

At least many very young folks had enough interest in old folks doing an old custom to turned out and watch today.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Dec 17 - 07:48 PM

Most of the festivals I go to are what you might class as smaller ones, just running over a weekend, but I do go to a few of the bigger ones. ALL of them depend on a vast amount of goodwill from volunteer organisers and helpers. Many people who are happy to help as stewards do not want to get involved in the main management of the festival but are happy to turn up and do as asked of them.
I had no specific training or experience in organising festivals when I came to it: I just had a huge love of the music and the festival, and wanted to give back something. My day job was in no way related, but did involve some management and organising and PEOPLE skills (also not trained to do but learned as I went along!) I learned an awful lot on the job, and tried to set down in writing for other Committee members any policies, risk assessments and guidelines for future incumbents. I did not want to be seen as a figure-head, but rather that I was pulling all the loose threads together into one coherent mass, with the same aim of getting out a good festival.
You soon find out who does not respond to emails, or say they'll do something and then don't, or even people who are allocated duties and then don't turn up. You maybe don't delegate enough for these reasons, but the job gets done, and you hopefully keep everyone on side on the way.
You find out that, on the whole, your great heroes and heroines that you have booked are nice and reasonable people, even if sometimes their agents are a bit over-zealous in the quest for riders. Again the people skills come in, in working around any perceived unreasonable demands.
There are always ups and downs on organising committees but the PEOPLE bit is finding a way through without alienating anyone.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Dec 17 - 11:51 AM

A lot of festivals (in Scotland at least) got a helping hand from local authorities who had some other kind of event going on at the same time. The Auchtermuchty folk festival did very well piggybacking on the community festival - shared venues and publicity. Then the council told them to get lost. Moving the folk content to Falkland has left it in obscurity and whatever the Auchtermuchty community festival may be doing has remained a mystery to me (probably just a lot of people getting drunk).

What relationships with the council have other festivals had? Where have those relationships continued?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Acorn4
Date: 27 Dec 17 - 01:44 PM

Involvement of local councils is now rather rare I feel.

Sometimes had some weird outcomes such as one of our local ones where council employees ushered people to their seats - the only time I've seen that at a folk festival.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Dec 17 - 02:00 PM

I have sponsaorsahip of 500 euros from cork county council, Ireceive it 6 months after the festival after filling in forms showing invoices etc so it is really more useful for funding the following year or covering a loss


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 27 Dec 17 - 04:27 PM

Stroud Folk Weekend get a small fund from the town council which has to be spent locally. The festival organises Morris and sessions and sometimes workshops. Concerts are put on by venues and we advertise it. Essentially we are an umbrella organisation for the main events.

September 21-23 2018, since you asked.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Dec 17 - 06:21 PM

West Lothian Council gives grants to Linlithgow Folk Festival and to other events run by the TMSA (Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland) within its boundaries.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Dec 17 - 02:59 AM

Cambridge has been run by the council for a number of years. They also involve local folk clubs running the club tent.
Rochester gives a grant for the Sweeps.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 28 Dec 17 - 06:35 AM

I did not really want to get involved with this but the mentions of grants did remind me of my dealings with Scarborough Borough Council vis-a-vis Whitby Folk Week.
At the time we (myself and Edmund Jenkinson) were running the festival for the EFDSS we did manage to extract a fairly meaningful grant from the council together with the provision of "free" ie discounted use of certain council facilities.
Once we became an independent organisation quite a lot of that so called goodwill disappeared.
I (Edmund had pulled out due to pressures in the real job) tackled them on this and they agreed that it would be fitting for them to contribute in some way to the festival.
After some debating and being buggered about (councils seem good at that) it was agreed that we would receive a certain figure but would need to pay for an entry in the local tourist guide whether we wanted it or not.
That was fine for a couple of years until the price of the entry went up and the grant went down such that they equalled each other. I still had to go through the usual rigmarole of filling in multitudinous forms, pay for the entry in advance and wait at least six months for the corresponding grant. Needless to say I ceased to bother. The person who was employed to administer these grants was on a salary in excess of the grants he was administering and was most shocked when I responded to his reminder that I had not yet applied for the following year by pointing out the bleeding obvious.
We/I had a similar sort of relationship with Yorkshire Arts until the grants (never huge) were discontinued. I used their one time artists in residence scheme to boost the payments we could make to eligible artists (100% to the artist) and I did manage to outfox them when a new officer was installed and was offering capital grants. We got a new shower unit for the main campsite - still in use I believe. The money bought us the box and the materials - the labour was provided by myself and the transport by Mike Rust.
Happy days


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Dec 17 - 10:43 AM

Hull Folk & Maritime Festival is now overseen by a charity 'Folk in Hull' along with other weekly events. For the last 5 years we have managed to get a substantial grant from the Council but this is not guaranteed and we normally get this only a couple of months before the July festival, not ideal for using to book guests. We are reasonably successful with grants from national bodies and local businesses and that seems to be the way forward as we are largely a free festival. British Waterways Marinas Ltd. sponsor our historic vessels in the Marina and some of these are used as stages for smaller concerts. We make great use of local artists cutting down on travel and accommodation.

As for younger people getting involved we are doing very well on this score with a deliberate policy of younger volunteers shadowing our older experienced volunteers, such that our performers and volunteers cover a wide age span.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 28 Dec 17 - 04:53 PM

One aspect of many festivals has been "fringe."

Or put another way, talkihg about a festival all the time, saying how good it used to be (despite having never paid to see a concert there) then moaning when it no longer exists.

I enjoy a good pub singaround with the best of them but feel awkward aroynd those who slag off the "official" festival but bitch with the worst of them if the organisers don't ensure singarounds exist, diluting concert numbers.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Dec 17 - 06:50 PM

Tricky one that, some bloke!
Can certainly recognise the scenario, that some people do come to festivals for just for the sessions, but on the other hand, the pubs where these sessions occur do well out of it, in terms of pints bought and meals ordered, and some of them, give them their due, do become festival sponsors.
At our local festival we do try to produce a list of pubs where sessions might be welcome and at what times, as well as putting this info on our website, and signs for the publicans to put in their windows - "Musicians and Singers Welcome". There is, in any case, an overlap between those who do sessions only and those who come to some or all of the main events.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 29 Dec 17 - 06:35 AM

Steve - I've been to the Hull Festival the last couple of years and it is very enjoyable. You and the team are doing a great job. Need to get the weather right though next year ;-)


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 29 Dec 17 - 02:36 PM

Aye, horses for courses.

But it is a fact that I hear many people in singarounds slagging off the festival, not making the link that their lack of engagement, especially not purchasing tickets leads to the demise.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Dec 17 - 02:45 PM

Thanks, Joe
We are working on the weather. The free ponchos was a master-stroke. Fitting gazebos onto the boat stages was a good idea in principle but it needs a bit more forethought next year. Leaving the PA out overnight on the main stage at the end of the pier was not really a good idea. We were the first act on on the Saturday and we had to contend with disappearing sound, exploding speakers and a smoke screen.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Dec 17 - 02:48 PM

There must be a shitload of festivals the anonymously gutless "some bloke" doesn't go to - they all have ground for complaint that he's not paying their ticket price.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 30 Dec 17 - 06:32 AM

Hello - there goes that Campin bloke again.

What is there to take offence with in what some bloke has posted?

Unless the cap fits of course.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 17 - 12:53 PM

malcolm storey did a great job running whitby


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 30 Dec 17 - 10:15 PM

Sorry "some bloke". If musicians, dancers and singers turn up. meet, and do their "thing" at an agreed location, that is a "festival", not a "fringe". There is no need for concerts at all, workshops may be a welcome addition or not. The only organisation needed for a truly "folk" festival is that "folk" agree when and where it is to happen. A bit like a flash mob, only much longer.
This is not to say that I/we don't appreciate all the work that goes into making a much bigger event of a festival, or the work put in to attempt to start off a regular event. I will never forget the amazing Wheaton Aston festival, where there was a session in the pub and the most amazing young bands played in the back, so that if you heard something you liked you stopped playing and went out to listen. And yet the organiserwonderful event of this could never get enough support.
But the real measure of a festival is not how many bums there were on seats in the concerts, but how many learnt new tunes, learnt new ways of playing, learnt more to bolster their love of the "folk" (or as sme say now "community") arts.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 02:23 AM

Beer?

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 05:19 AM

Nah - CIDER

If all that is on offer is Strongbow it ain't nefer gonna be a folk festival.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 05:47 AM

as the guy in the Skimmity Hitchers said...Strongbow, Whiteways, Diamond White...

that's not a cider festival, its a 'shit you find in the back of the fridge festival'!


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 08:38 AM

Wheaton Aston - wear the fox hat?

Ripov totally demolished his own argument.

The level of debate on mudflap these days really is poor.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 10:27 AM

Wheaton Aston has significance for anyone who has been following the folk scene in the midlands for a lot of years. There are certain locations which just resound.

The Three Barrels - Tony Savage's club in Barwell.
Taff Thomas's in Coseley.
The Old Crown Digbeth.
The Boggery , Solihull.
The Beggar's Bush Sutton Cpldfield.
The Harvester, Sutton Coldfield.
and many more

Long after the clubs have gone and the great acts that played them have died and retired through old age, these places have a special place in our hearts. They are what we did when our parents and many our contemporaries watched Val Doonican and Rolf Harris in suspended animation.

Wheaton Aston was one of those places.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 07:48 PM

Thanks Al -

GuestGuest - I think I implied, if I didn't say, that I know these things don't happen entirely on their own. Like almost everything in life an instigator is usually needed, who will have to put in a tremendous amount of work. We're not all leaders. Probably just as well, or there would be carnage!

Nor did I say that there shouldn't be concerts, only that were not an essential part of a folk festival. And if performers are able to gain some recompense and publicity for their hard work who am I to begrudge them that.

What I did say is that a festival is a "folk" festival because "folk" involve themselves in it by doing "folky" things, not because professional musicians are playing what they, or the organisers, regard as folk music (cue for more carnage!). And that hopefully people find it adds to their understanding and enjoyment of the folk arts.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Acorn4
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 08:32 PM

Agreed about Wheaton Aston - we managed to get along to the last couple of years that they ran it there. Great little festival.

Go the impression there was some opposition in the village - in the last year our car was egged by the "muggles".


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 11:05 PM

So Ripov

Why did you not say what you implied?

My understanding was that you were against the cost of any enterprise being borne by those taking part and that in any case at least a substantial part of said enterprise should be free from all burdens of payment.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 05:36 AM

We English have a lot of bad points.

We're racist, snobbish, sexually unadventurous, we watch too much shit on television, drive too fast and vote for complete bastards. and so on.

one redeeming feature though is the way we do folk music. we are polite....even to odd buggers, we organise events and sessions at the drop of a hat and you can always find somewhere to play if you bother to look - or organise somewhere yourself.

the way we finance these enterprises isn't really a cause for argument. we do it, that's the important thing.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 07:30 AM

So Big Al

We are all philanthropists - poor ones mostly?

I think not - especially a fair percentage of contributors to this site.

It would be interesting to find out just what percentage of members and contributors to mudflap actually put their hands in their pockets in a meaningful way when attending events. I know I always do and always have.

It's not going to happen of course.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 02:38 PM

I would say in my experience there are more philanthropists than those trying to make a living from the music, certainly in my area of Yorkshire.

Al, I don't always agree with you but with you all the way on your last posting.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 05:54 PM

like I said, we're sexually unadventurous........I haven't put my hand in my pocket in a meaningful way since I was about twelve. I was wearing one of those gaberdine macs, if anyone on the bus noticed - they didn't say anything.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 07:37 PM

Is there any actual example of a festival gettong strangled in the lianas of a parasitic fringe? I can't think of one.

Whereas some festivals seem to have made sure no fringe ever developed - Lorient, Tonder, Cambridge, anywhere based on a supersized marquee in a field - they have all ended up as highly successful commercial enterprises I have no intention of ever patronizing.

Others (Whitby, Sidmouth, and from what I've heard, the National in Australia) have a multifarious fringe which interacts in a whole lot of positive ways with the "official" one. They seem to have set themselves on that course very early on and would be nuts to try to change it. Particularly not at the whim of an anonymous self-righteous trolling whiner who nobody here has ever seen at any folk event.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 08:50 PM

We English have a lot of bad points.
We're racist, snobbish, etc etc etc.

You forgot one: damned.

English are the 3rd most cussed thing
on earth, (right after dogs and cats)


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 08:51 PM

well when big ticket prices become involved. it does get prohibitive to people who are pensioners or , just a bit skint.

twenty quid for a concert ticket isn't unusual, but for a couple that's forty quid before you've paid for a coffee in the interval.

its unrealistic, if you think its not going to stop some people attending.

I used to see Ralph McTell at the Cousins Allnighter for 7/6. It was so cheap - people used to buy a ticket just to doss in the coffee bar. Ronnie Scotts actoss the street was £1. 18shiilings and sixpence to see the Alan Haven Duo and Selina Jones. Tony Crombie on drums.

What I'm getting at is that - folk music used to be a night out most people could afford. Last year Ralph sold out that bloody horrible big tent at Sidmouth. 25 quid a pop, and the tickets were gone weeks in advance.

I think people are 'putting their hands in pockets'. But its mainly for the folk dinosaurs....I think theres some great young players and singers around - but somehow they all seem to crave the audience of pensioners paying twenty quid a ticket. The shabby bohemian outlaw chic that made folksingers exciting characters doesn't appeal to the younger set.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 10:59 PM

Mr Campin

It appears that anyone who disagrees with you has major deficiencies.

I attend plenty of folk events and ALWAYS pay my way.

I don't enter into the fringe events except maybe at Sidmouth at lunchtimes. Last year (2017) I did go on the train to the Sunday sing at Grosmont but that was largely to escape the Whitby Regatta which had decided to share its dates with the Folk Week. I must say I had a cracking afternoon mostly with ticket holders and festival guests and helpers.

Big Al

The Festivals tend to go for the tried and trusted crowd pullers purely because they cannot afford to lose their houses. Yes, there are some very talented young people about. They are mostly musicians although there are a growing number of excellent singers.

In general there is a feeling amongst mudflappers that not enough young people are interested in getting involved in organising things.

It all depends what you call young. I know that Malcolm Storey first got involved in running Whitby when he was 40. How young do you have to be?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 04:29 AM

40 is about right. By that age they have accrued some useful skills and have a settled family life maybe. With 20 years of possible service they have enough time to identify successors and cultivate their talent.

And some festivals need an army of very able sergeants and corporals. They should equally have appropriate talents. I well remember Andy Stafford at Toweresy did his customary round of the ceilidh tent and looked up as well as round. He spotted the wind had snapped a joint. He organised ladders tied it up immediately. They cancelled one workshop, held the second event on the grass outside and by mid-day the inspector had arrived from Bristol and declared it fit.
Same weekend, Shrewsbury suffered in the high winds too, but they lost more than a day's dancing. Some skills are not obvious, and rarely needed, but when they are - it can tell. Like looking up!


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 12:12 PM

No "Fringe" at Skagen either, but to be honest Skagen is not nor has it ever claimed to be a "Folk" Festival, it is more of a "Music" festival welcoming many genres.

It happens to coincide with the start on Norway's folkeferie and most of the town is full of people not too fussed about the music put on at the festival. Festival attendance over the years has suffered due to most of the bars and restaurants putting on their own "live music" with greater popular appeal so bums are kept on the seats at those establishments and not at festival venues.

One advantage of no "fringe" is that you do not get that cloud of people wandering around cluttering places up with instrument cases as they nurse a single beer for about two hours.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 01:41 PM

yes but that's what we like chatting to other muso's.

you go to places like France and Germany, that we're supposed to have so much in common with that we'll all drop dead if we leave the EU - and say, where can go out and do a floorspot?

blank incomprehension....


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 03:31 PM

Last year Ralph sold out that bloody horrible big tent at Sidmouth. 25 quid a pop, and the tickets were gone weeks in advance.

We booked Ralph twice at the folk club that we ran in Brighton. Each time the fee was ?25. We covered the fee both times but neither time did the 'House Full' notice go up.

It's comments like the one above that make me realise that I have been around too long.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 05:35 PM

well he was co-starring with Wizz.

i couldn't get a ticket for love nor money.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 06:23 PM

I was going to mention Gambridge as being simply a big concert and not a festival at all; but a quick look at their website shows that they now encourage sessions and "fringe" events, so there's hope yet!

GuestGuest
I didn't mention monetary consideration at
all, did I? Though if everyone is camping
the farmer will like a handshake!
If premises have to be rented for
workshops, of course there must be a
charge.
If the organiser decides there should be
concerts, again there has to be a charge.
My point is that neither workshops nor
concerts are essential to a festival. And
the day a festival is only judged on
whether it make a profit will be a really
sad day.

As I've said elsewhere, many musicians provide welcome entertainment outside of the main festival venues, at their own expense; for members of the public, who can join in singing their own favourites, can have the basics of different instruments demonstrated; frequently the public, and their children, are allowed to try different instruments. Not to mention that we pay exorbitant festival week campsite fees; And for this you call us freeloaders and parasites?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 06:32 PM

And what about local businesses? I've not been to Sidmouth for afew years, but there local shops were given a sticker to display if they contributed. And although it's some time ago now, the Letterkenny festival folded because those who profited wouldn't put back in!


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,IvanB
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 06:45 PM


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 03:44 AM

you go to places like France and Germany, that we're supposed to have so much in common with that we'll all drop dead if we leave the EU - and say, where can go out and do a floorspot?

blank incomprehension....


You would get the same response in Glasgow.

On the other hand I've been to singarounds in Croatia and Turkey that operated much like the ones in the UK, and where (given subtitling) your stuff would have fitted in fine.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 04:47 AM

It perhaps might be useful to ask ALL folk festival organisers exactly what their policies are ~ that is what are they hoping to achieve and what potential "audience" do they expect to attract

Do "they" simply wish to book the top artists of the moment?

Do they look to booking artist from other countries?

Do they give preference to up and coming talented youngster?

Do they cater for sing around and folk club style attendees?

Do they treat audience as "punters"?

Do they cater for workshops?

Do they value folk clubs as potential and valued helpers and do they expect such clubs to support them? (in return for? er um)

Cat among the canaries time? mebbe and no offence meant just asking so we know

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 06:26 AM

Not "happening to" but "happening at" our Folk Festivals at singing sessions are those bound by chains to their tablets assiduously reading the lyrics as they sing. Just recently I noticed the following. A lady singer with a very pleasant singing voice sang perfectly in tune while singing along to a song she knew, yet when it was "her turn" she fired up the tablet, launched into something she most definitely did not know and sang flat - why is that?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:11 AM

It would be nice to see some answers to r.padgett's questions - e.g. some sort of mission statement on festival websites. It would be no bad thing if folk clubs did the same.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:15 AM

Do "they" simply wish to book the top artists of the moment?

Do they look to booking artist from other countries?

Do they give preference to up and coming talented youngster?

Do they cater for sing around and folk club style attendees?

Do they treat audience as "punters"?

Do they cater for workshops?

Do they value folk clubs as potential and valued helpers and do they expect such clubs to support them? (in return for? er um)
1. no
2.yes
3. no ,but neither are they excluded, they are given opportunity.
4.no
5. yes but if workshops are not attended they are stopped
6.Yes
www.fastnetmaritime.com


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Occasional Lurker
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:55 AM

Seven questions, Sandman, but six answers! Which one did you miss?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 10:21 AM

no 4, it should be yes both, no 5 no no 6 yes but if workshops etc, 7 yes


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 10:57 AM

Ta.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 11:39 AM

@r.padgett
I am not sure what value answers to those particular questions would bring to your average festival goer?

You have missed many crucial questions:

How close is the camping;

Is there provision for caravans or mobile homes;

What are the toilet facilities;

How cheap is the beer;

what catering is available;

How much do they charge;

Is the festival financially sustainable.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 12:11 PM

how about, is the music good?are we going to have a pleasant sociable time, what the hell is the relevance of this
"Is the festival financially sustainable."
no one in my experience, decides to go to a festival wondering whether it is financially sustainable


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 01:23 PM

If you wish to raise the point of relevance Dick:

1. how about, is the music good?

2. are we going to have a pleasant sociable time?

1 above is totally subjective
2 above is solely dependent on the individual attending


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 01:30 PM

it does not alter the fact that no one that i have ever heard of goes to a festival wanting to know is it financially sustainabl.,


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:07 PM

As ever Dick the point goes completely over your pointy head....


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:27 PM

as ever Morriss -ey you are being rude and nonsensical


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Airy
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 08:10 PM

Participating Observer stirs pot


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 12:23 AM

Apart from Dick and the occasional comment from Malcolm Storey no festival organisers - extant or retired - seem to respond to anything on mudflap.

I wonder why?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 12:36 AM

No stirring intended or involved GUEST Airy.

1. Whether music is considered good or not is simply a subjective matter of opinion by those listening to it - a festival organiser cannot guarantee it.

2. Neither can any festival organiser guarantee that everyone attending a festival has a "pleasant sociable time", as they (festival organisers that is) have no way of ensuring that those attending their festival are a) "pleasant", or b) "sociable", or c) Both. It is my belief that those who are both pleasant and sociable normally do have a pleasant and sociable time - down to the individual not the festival organiser.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 09:29 AM

Yes yes many more questions could be added to any Questionnaire and inform festival organisers of what potential audience attendees are looking for and or why they choose to stay at home!! = Mission Statement

and indeed closeness of showers/toilets and decent camp site and alternative accommodation ~ and the weather (not really controllable)

What target audience is YOUR festival aimed at?? in terms of age/ability/instruments/ punters in terms of beer sales/workshops/dancers/singers/booked professional artist/younger performers

There are many facets to festivals and ppl will look basically for what they like to do before paying sometimes high prices ~ or find other festivals that fit their purse strings!

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 10:57 AM

Apart from Dick and the occasional comment from Malcolm Storey no festival organisers - extant or retired - seem to respond to anything on mudflap.

I wonder why?

At this point may I put up my hand as a festival organiser? As soon as anything is posted that has a particular relevance to my experience, or says something that the likes of Malcolm Storey has already said, I will make a contribution.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 11:10 AM

the EU - and say, where can go out and do a floorspot?

Gennetines. 2 weeks of it.

Not floorspots, this is a dancing festival. But numerous ad hoc sessions during the day, and all musos were top notch and mostly professional, and a lone red drummer. 7 Bals at 9pm through to about 1 or 2. After than ad hoc dance bands on 3 stages and dancers still standing tile abut 4:30.

I never got past 1am.

And the instrument store was free and permanently manned. Like everything else - planned, intelligently.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: peteaberdeen
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 12:11 PM

does anyone know who is performing at this year's returning village pump festival at farleigh hungerford?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 03:07 AM

Tickets now on sale. Latest news is little more than that.
info team@trowbridgefestival.co.uk


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 03:43 AM

I do think that festivals do have to cut their cloth and are often constricted by availability of VENUES to accommodate whatever event is required

I (no names) am somewhat concerned that festivals can become one big beer festival ~ and pubs are allocated a mic and loud singer (hopefully a folk artist needing the money or local act and not a pop artist) this goes to the root of what Folk is all about ~ seats and ability to listen without mouthing at others due to deafness

Worse still other pubs decide to their own thing ~ hopefully festival funding will reflect pubs higher turnover!! Shops and other establishments sometimes have short arms and long pockets!

Malcolm Storey was succesful in his period of tenure at Whitby ~ the festival was augmented by festival fringe and price of beer at the
trendy pubs was high! Still is and of course the high visibility of dance groups of all ilks is a great advertisement ~ WMC still have decent prices btw!

Current 2018 Whitby ff should attract more ppl as no clash with the Regatta for accommodation ~ venues can be a walkaway and I know festival goers who are getting on and have mobility issues will stay near the best venue

Lot of goodwill involved in running festivals and not everyone is a "paid" booked artist and there are many still there "on their annual holidays" or giving their time and expertise for nowt ~ so financial equations will often ignore this aspect of goodwill or deter potential attendees ~ of course a true ticket price would be enormous if everyone was paid!!

You all know that singaround festivals and dedicated workshops have all now been established and the high financial outlay of bigger all encompassing festivals have lost some footfall ~ square one!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 06:32 AM

Ray

What is WMC?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 06:38 AM

Vic

Sorry - how did I manage to leave you off the shortlist?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 07:06 AM

I was Festival Coordinator at Linlithgow Folk Festival for a good few years, not as long as some here, 'tis true, but worked my backside off while in harness, along with the rest of a good team. Gave my views and stated my role in other posts above. Doesn't that count?

In answer to Ripov re Sidmouth, pretty well every event is now sponsored by a local business or two: everything changed after the 50th anniversary festival, when the previous management pulled out. The festival could have died if local businessmen and folk supporters had not stepped in, put hands in pockets, and made sure it continued. It is now over 10 years into the "new regime" and thriving, if different from the more international format before the 50th. However some of the fringe events have gone on unabated throughout.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 08:58 AM

I am not sure how recent a phenomenon this is, or which way it's currently trending, but there are a number of festivals I'd like to go to - except that when you look at the fine print you find they're really campervan owners' meetups with a musical theme, and anybody who doesn't drive is treated like dirt.

The top considerations for me are whether it's accessible by public transport and whether there's anywhere to stay when I get there.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 10:26 AM

ah right sorry Malcolm ~ WMCs ~ I meant Working Men's Clubs as a generalisation for "clubs" such as the Whitby Fishermen's Football club, The Conservative club, The Rifle club ~ not strictly WMCs but I hope you got the drift ~ many clubs able to negotiate lower bar prices (hopefully)

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 10:37 AM

I last camped under "canvas" at a festival about 10 years ago. Apart from being very wet, it was very noisy and a long walk to the loos! I do get the impressions that at Scottish festivals at least, there are fewer people in tents than there used to be and far more in camper vans or caravans, and as Jack says, a whole other village at some festivals, some of the occupants never actually coming into the festival centre. Ah, but who could blame them for getting a "van" with the Scottish weather, where tents have been known to end up in the Firth of Clyde, next seen in America!
While I have been tempted by the camper van idea, the actual hard economics of buying one, maintaining it, taxing it, fuelling it, paying campsite fees etc probably cost more than spending a few festivals in B & Bs or hotels.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 06:58 PM

Ray

The clubs may be less expensive and usually comfortable.

They are however essentially members clubs and most have a two tier pricing system for drinks. One for members and one for earthlings.

Also when I was yer man I tried to make sure on Saturday and Friday that the Rifle Club had a bill that would not be intruded on by the noise from the other room.

John Kirkpatrick, Sam Pirt etc and of course PA.

Just a small point but important as there was a fair chance that anyone new to the festival and interested in song and music would probably make the Rifle Club their first port of call. At that time it was the nearest venue to the festival office.


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 03:30 AM

Yes Malcolm ~ the central point seems to be somewhere between the Spa/Leisure Centre and Rifle club ~ although a lot happening Quay side venues and Rugby and Football clubs ~ a fair walk for all ~ but needs must for venues and many well full (as they should be)

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 07:49 AM

One bit of bad planning some very small festivals are prone to (yes, Loanhead and Penicuik, this means you) - events in the middle of the day, something in the evening, nothing at all in between. Presumably designed so that locals can go home for their tea, but if you're a visitor from the First World what on earth are you supposed to do for three hours in the afternoon in Penicuik or Loanhead?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 08:35 AM

session?

And we wonder how the fringe gets started!


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 10:57 AM

Quite ~ Holmfirth ff always has the Nook music session wall to wall and two or three tunes in different rooms Fri/Sat all day/Sunday

Whitby tends to have organised slow sessions from am to pm and usual pub sessions English sessions and evening sessions (well there is a week to fill) and well attended for participation and chance to lead tunes

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 11:00 AM

Jack Campin wrote -
" ...if you're a visitor from the First World what on earth are you supposed to do for three hours in the afternoon in Penicuik or Loanhead?"


Oh dear! I have a cousin living in Penicuik? Should I be sending her food parcels and medical supplies?


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 12:42 PM

What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?

wouldn't it be great if something was happening - like if you got free faggot and peas when you went in......


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 05:32 PM

Popped into "Drouthy Neebors" in Edinburgh during the Scots Fiddle Festival - break between the afternoon workshops and evening concert. It was the day that the All Blacks were playing Scotland at Murrayfield with a very convenient(for me) late afternoon kick-off. (My 2 pals had no interest at all in rugby but were just happy to have a jar and a blether!) So we needed food, but this being Edinburgh (Ye'll have had yer tea!") - the advertised pizzas were "not on today". However, as I jumped out of my seat for the 3rd time, as we so nearly beat the ABs, round came the barman with FREE pies! FREE, EMBRA! Ochaye!


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: r.padgett
Date: 07 Jan 18 - 03:56 AM

I do think that it is worth mentioning the green field site upsurge ~ these are limited to only good weather (well hopefully) and the summer months ~ tents and marquees of course and deemed to be great for kids and families of course! Unless you have a camper van

Really great with warm sunny weather and long day times and plenty of beer for those who like a drink ~ I wont advertise! but you all know where to go I am sure

At my age I do prefer bricks and mortar

Ray


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Subject: RE: What's Happening to our Folk Festivals?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jan 18 - 12:02 PM

I have a cousin living in Penicuik? Should I be sending her food parcels and medical supplies?

Think about buying fair trade. Local handicrafts include beautiful earrings made from the bollocks of brass monkeys and colourful crocheted willy warmers without which the locals would never manage to breed.


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