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Help: Folk Club CD - Is there a market?

GUEST,Bawn Folk Club 09 May 01 - 03:40 AM
Deni 09 May 01 - 04:33 AM
clansfolk 09 May 01 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Guest,Bawn Folk Club 09 May 01 - 11:48 AM
Bert 09 May 01 - 12:22 PM
Dunc 09 May 01 - 04:34 PM
Philby 09 May 01 - 05:30 PM
clansfolk 10 May 01 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Mr Red@Library 10 May 01 - 10:59 AM
NSC 10 May 01 - 03:47 PM
Frank McGrath 11 May 01 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Mac Tattie 11 May 01 - 03:55 PM
Hollowfox 12 May 01 - 10:18 AM
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Subject: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: GUEST,Bawn Folk Club
Date: 09 May 01 - 03:40 AM

I belong to a small local folk club which has now got the fancy for making a CD with a local recording studio. This is going to cost quite a bit of money and personally I'm not sure if it is the right thing to do. To get or money back we would need to sell at least 300. Do you think there is a market for a Folk club CD ? Popular folk songs/reels etc) Has any body here made or produced a CD… difficult to sell ?

What sort of criteria should a folk CD meet ?

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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: Deni
Date: 09 May 01 - 04:33 AM

How many members have you got at the club? If they had a few each to sell that would get you started. also why not see if you can increase the number of tourists/visitors that visit your club, then you can sell them as souvenirs of a holiday. This works better if you record songs from your particular area. as long as you make sure the quality and the performances are good, and you get plenty of local publicity, you should shift quite a few. But don't forget to include in your costs those CDs which you will need to send out free for publictity to newpapers, mags, and radio stations etc...

Good luck if you decide to go for it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: clansfolk
Date: 09 May 01 - 10:37 AM

Is there no one at the club that owns or knows someone that owns a a multitrack? If not a minidisc recorder conected to a mixer will give a good "Club" recording.

Then make (or have made) a master CDR - now there must be someone who has a CD recorder in their computer who will run off the CDs - all you need then is a bit of artwork (either printed or photostated) get your copyright permission (try to get everyone to do traditional songs!) and you've got your CD at a very low cost and you can make as many or as few as you want.

Not sure where you are but I'm a partner in a Studio/CD recording business - just a cottage industry based around 4 track minidisc and 12 track hard disc recorder plus 3 dedicated CD recorders. We started out as several local Folk singers wanted a CD but couldn't afford the prices most studio's asked.

We put together a "No Cost" package - The artists comes into the studio we record the master (with additional instruments if required) mix it down produce artwork etc... and the artists gets 20 copies of the CD for £200 - these he/she/they sell at £10 each in the clubs - hence "No cost" he/she/they can then buy as many or as few copies of the CD as they want ad infinitum.

This system has worked well for many local artist - who have then gone on to record further albums from us (subsidised from the sales of their earlier CDs!)

We are in the process of doing the same package for a local Folk Club (The Falcon - maybe you have someone local to you who will do the same sort of package?

Good luck - more of the local/floor/semi-pro singers need recording they're the backbone of traditional music - as we put it on a radio interview recently - we look on what we're doing as a bit like Cecil Sharpe except we're collecting traditional singers not the songs!

Take care


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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: GUEST,Guest,Bawn Folk Club
Date: 09 May 01 - 11:48 AM


Thanks for the info. We're from N.Ireland. I'm very interested in what you do as a just a cottage industry. How can I contact you ? I would be interested in purchasing some of these Folk CD's to gauge the standards.

What happened with us is that we run a concert to, celebrate being together for a year, "to show off", and to raise money for charity.(£1200) The concert went really well it was a brilliant night, 200 of an audience that where genuinely taken back by the standard

So after a high, what next.... "lets make a CD" I like to keep my feet on the ground and I'm afraid members are getting carried away.I don't wish to me negative and I will go with the flow and contribute as much as possible.

I am trying to get a feel for the market, is there a list of Folk CD sales (quantities) ?

Do Altan, Tony McManus, Shooglenifty, Michael McGoldrick etc sell 10's 100's of CDs ? What about the compilation albums, Celtic Collections ?

RobinA I realise our market will be local but it would be interesting to know what the "Professionals" can do

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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: Bert
Date: 09 May 01 - 12:22 PM

Our local singer/songwriter club PASA, The Philadelphia Area SOngwriter's Alliance made their own CD.

We each put up about $200 and the organisers arranged backup artists for everyone and we each went along to the studio and recorded our track.

It worked out fine and we each got CDs and cassettes for ourselves. Personally I find it difficult to ask money for these as it is essentially a demo CD.

It was a good exercise though and we all learned a lot from it.

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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: Dunc
Date: 09 May 01 - 04:34 PM

If it is just your local / resident performers you want to record to give a flavour of what your club is all about, do a live recording through the P.A. desk rather than the expence of paying for a studio. Production costs could be greatly reduced by approaching local firms for sponsorship - give them a mention on the CD cover.
Good Luck

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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: Philby
Date: 09 May 01 - 05:30 PM

Try e-mailing , He recently produced the Cork Folk Festival Archive CD celebrating 21 years, and as far as I remember they went up to your neck of the woods to put the cd together, obviously their was plenty of material to choose from, excellent CD.

Tell him you got his e-mail address from Noel Shine & Mary Greenes biggest fan.

Best of Luck.


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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: clansfolk
Date: 10 May 01 - 07:50 AM


We are based in Poulton-le-Fylde near Blackpool Lancashire, and go by the name of PI-Recordings (Pete Skinner and Ian Gartside.)contact can be made via P.O. Box 44, Blackpool. FY3 8GP and some of the CDs are on the Fyldefolk Web Site
The first CD was a 30th year of Fleetwood Folk Club and was taken from open reel recordings back in the late 60's early 70's and although the sound quality is not up to todays standards what it lacks in audio it makes up for in nostalgia!!

We also produced a CD for Brian Osborne (ex Taverners) plus a short run CD of a live concert - the master for this was recorded from the mixer/amp desk onto mini disc which was edited down to make the evening run smoother and also fit on a CD - the quality is more than good enough!!

Please feel free to email me -

If I can help in anyway advice etc...

just do it!!!!

re. sales - you never know, if you've only one outlet eg The Club sales will soon dwindle if you have a web site maybe sales will be a higher.

As a working musicians - we tend to sell between 0 and 20 CDs per booking more if playing a new area/venue. The nice thing is with us is if sales fall off altogether we just record a new CD!!!!

CDR is the way ahead for traditional music and singers

Take care

Pete (Clansfolk)

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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: GUEST,Mr Red@Library
Date: 10 May 01 - 10:59 AM

The Somers TFC (Worcester Fri Albion) did a tape of songs/music with original content (words &/or music) from members.
we made 50 and sold at a loss
It advertised the club and even brought a Yorkshire lass to the club who eventually married one of the members
Powerful stuff this folk music.
The participants alone should be encourafed to have the CD's for xmas presents.
My six songs are now cleaned-up and along with other of my fare feature on a CD that I produce on the computer myself. Good enough as a demo or for family & friends.
can you have one CD made and copy/produce yourself?
pay as you go sort of thing?
If you go out as a group eg to festivals like Upton or Pontadawe (who like the idea) you could sell a few at each performance.
Where are you located?

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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: NSC
Date: 10 May 01 - 03:47 PM

Nenagh Singers Circle here.

We made a CD some years ago which was fairly expensive. We easily sold the original 300 to cover costs and proceeded to sell a further 200. We got a lot of requests for tapes as well so we got 100 made. We sold about 10 and the rest are still in stock.

We held a recital last year entitled "A Millennium of singing" featuring a song, poem or story from each century of the Millennim. Tom Munnelly, Folklore collector working for UCD recorded the night and kindly gave us a copy of the recording. I transferred this to mini disc, then tracked it, and then copied it onto a recordable CD using a CD burner. On privete sale we have sold about 30 at £5 which has put about £120 into our club. The cost of the mini disc was about £1 and the Mr. Data recordable CD's also cost £1. We only used 1 mini disc so each CD netted a profit of £4. we will probably sell another 10 or perhaps 15. A nice contribution to the club.

You must ensure though that you ask all of the performers permission to record and watch out for copright. Our CD's were all trad so we had no problem there.

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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 11 May 01 - 03:23 PM

And Frank from the NSC as above.
Try and do as much of the work yourselves. You don't need very expensive gear to make a good recording these days and for the price you would pay for studio time and engineering charges you will buy good equipment.

Once you have a master CD made, shop around for companies to mass produce your CD's. You will typicially get 1,000 CD's made including full colour inlay cards and jewel cases for about £1 each. Check out industry magazines like "Sound on Sound" for suppliers.

£1,000 for good recording equipment (2-3 mikes, mixer, mini disk, CD burner etc.) and £1,000 for productiom costs; totaling £2k. So you could make back your costs by selling 200 at £10 each. Do the tour of all the trad clubs and have a launch night and you should shift the first 200. After that you are in profit for every one of the following 800 you sell.

But it's tough work and as always the work will be left to the few enthusiasts who are willing to do it for the love of the music. So -get a good small team together first and make an achievable plan before you embark on any expense.

Good Luck.
Frank McGrath

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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: GUEST,Mac Tattie
Date: 11 May 01 - 03:55 PM

Shure, just do it. But hey what was the last CD you bought? and why? Never has there been such a vast amount of recorded material available and never has there been such a vast ammount of material left unsold. If the intention is to bring out yet another selection from the "Forty F'ing Fabulous Folk Favouvrites" then why bother. However !!!!!! I am sure that some where along the line your club will have had dealings with a frendly, helpfull "sound man" and in these days of home computers with CD burners short runs of ten or twenty CDs are a realistic and achievable possibility. Good quality recordable media CDs complete with boxes are about 50p, 10 for a fiver. It would almost be a crime not to start you're project to-day.


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Subject: RE: Help: Folk Club CD...... Market ?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 12 May 01 - 10:18 AM

Like a weekend at a casino, make sure the expense is money you can spare, and don't do it to make money.
I just got a similar CD as a gift from one of the folks who put it together, and his observations might be valuable to you. The CD (Harper's Retreat, part 2) was made from a weekend of singing; there had been a CD made from the session the year before. He noticed performers "playing to the microphone" instead of sharing with the audience, and it showed. He also said it was a good idea to have someone listen to the prospective choices who was not at the actual performance. Sometimes our ears hear what we remember experiencing, rather than what actually went on the tape. I hope this helps. I enjoy this type of recording, and I'll often buy them, but I'm a few thousand miles away.
Good luck with the project, Mary

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