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Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)

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IanC 13 Jan 03 - 12:45 PM
vindelis 13 Jan 03 - 01:23 PM
cockney 13 Jan 03 - 01:29 PM
The Shambles 13 Jan 03 - 03:30 PM
The Shambles 13 Jan 03 - 03:45 PM
The Shambles 13 Jan 03 - 03:53 PM
The Shambles 13 Jan 03 - 04:29 PM
The Shambles 14 Jan 03 - 05:28 AM
breezy 14 Jan 03 - 07:57 AM
The Shambles 14 Jan 03 - 08:30 AM
The Shambles 14 Jan 03 - 04:54 PM
vindelis 14 Jan 03 - 06:21 PM
The Shambles 15 Jan 03 - 03:51 PM
pavane 16 Jan 03 - 07:54 AM
vindelis 17 Jan 03 - 03:41 PM
clansfolk 17 Jan 03 - 04:53 PM
The Shambles 17 Jan 03 - 05:21 PM
The Shambles 18 Jan 03 - 04:44 PM
The Shambles 19 Jan 03 - 05:38 AM
GUEST 19 Jan 03 - 05:47 AM
The Shambles 19 Jan 03 - 08:54 AM
Mr Red 19 Jan 03 - 12:30 PM
nickp 20 Jan 03 - 10:03 AM
vindelis 20 Jan 03 - 12:53 PM
The Shambles 21 Jan 03 - 08:19 AM
The Shambles 24 Jan 03 - 05:04 PM
The Shambles 24 Jan 03 - 09:11 PM
The Shambles 25 Jan 03 - 08:37 AM
The Shambles 25 Jan 03 - 10:05 AM
The Shambles 26 Jan 03 - 05:21 AM
The Shambles 26 Jan 03 - 06:06 AM
The Shambles 29 Jan 03 - 02:47 PM
The Shambles 02 Feb 03 - 12:28 PM
The Shambles 02 Feb 03 - 12:32 PM
The Shambles 05 Feb 03 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Don Thompson(of semi pro duo "Sic Transit" 05 Feb 03 - 01:35 PM
BobRik 05 Feb 03 - 04:46 PM
The Shambles 05 Feb 03 - 05:23 PM
BobRik 06 Feb 03 - 05:01 PM
The Shambles 07 Feb 03 - 06:01 AM
Saucy Sal 10 Feb 03 - 09:00 AM
The Shambles 10 Feb 03 - 11:48 AM
The Shambles 10 Feb 03 - 07:19 PM
BobRik 11 Feb 03 - 01:43 AM
The Shambles 11 Feb 03 - 02:20 AM
nickp 11 Feb 03 - 04:13 AM
The Shambles 11 Feb 03 - 05:20 AM
The Shambles 11 Feb 03 - 05:22 AM
nickp 11 Feb 03 - 06:48 AM
The Shambles 11 Feb 03 - 07:31 AM
Saucy Sal 11 Feb 03 - 08:33 AM
The Shambles 11 Feb 03 - 09:11 AM
BobRik 11 Feb 03 - 12:57 PM
BobRik 11 Feb 03 - 01:02 PM
The Shambles 11 Feb 03 - 02:28 PM
vindelis 11 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM
The Shambles 12 Feb 03 - 01:55 AM
Saucy Sal 12 Feb 03 - 08:38 AM
BobRik 12 Feb 03 - 08:44 AM
The Shambles 12 Feb 03 - 12:27 PM
vindelis 12 Feb 03 - 12:59 PM
The Shambles 12 Feb 03 - 02:41 PM
The Shambles 12 Feb 03 - 06:10 PM
The Shambles 15 Feb 03 - 01:40 PM
The Shambles 15 Feb 03 - 04:50 PM
clansfolk 16 Feb 03 - 10:21 AM
GUEST 16 Feb 03 - 10:21 AM
clansfolk 16 Feb 03 - 10:42 AM
The Shambles 16 Feb 03 - 12:13 PM
The Shambles 19 Feb 03 - 07:53 PM
The Shambles 25 Feb 03 - 08:23 PM
Folkiedave 26 Feb 03 - 12:21 PM
The Shambles 28 Feb 03 - 09:13 PM
vindelis 01 Mar 03 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,The Wider Vision? 02 Mar 03 - 05:37 AM
The Shambles 02 Mar 03 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,p_m_a@hotmail.com 03 Mar 03 - 05:21 PM
The Shambles 04 Mar 03 - 06:59 AM
The Shambles 14 Mar 03 - 07:00 AM
The Shambles 24 Mar 03 - 07:57 PM
The Shambles 29 Mar 03 - 02:20 AM
The Shambles 02 Apr 03 - 05:12 AM
The Shambles 02 Apr 03 - 05:24 AM
The Shambles 09 Apr 03 - 08:19 AM
The Shambles 11 Apr 03 - 09:26 AM
The Shambles 23 Apr 03 - 11:29 AM
The Shambles 24 Apr 03 - 10:19 AM
The Shambles 02 May 03 - 06:28 AM
The Shambles 12 May 03 - 02:39 AM
The Shambles 12 May 03 - 02:45 AM
The Shambles 12 May 03 - 02:59 AM
The Shambles 12 May 03 - 03:10 AM
The Shambles 12 May 03 - 06:05 AM
The Shambles 12 May 03 - 05:14 PM
MairSea 13 May 03 - 10:33 AM
The Shambles 13 May 03 - 11:24 AM
The Shambles 14 May 03 - 03:01 AM
The Shambles 14 May 03 - 09:53 AM
The Shambles 15 May 03 - 02:56 PM
The Shambles 16 May 03 - 07:51 AM
The Shambles 16 May 03 - 08:30 AM
The Shambles 17 May 03 - 04:41 AM
The Shambles 18 May 03 - 07:48 AM
The Shambles 28 May 03 - 05:43 AM
The Shambles 30 Mar 04 - 04:15 AM
breezy 30 Mar 04 - 04:28 AM
breezy 30 Mar 04 - 06:03 AM
The Shambles 30 Mar 04 - 06:31 PM
The Shambles 14 Apr 04 - 12:41 PM
The Shambles 18 Apr 04 - 07:59 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Apr 04 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,Wee Little Drummer 22 Apr 04 - 12:00 PM
The Shambles 05 May 04 - 05:38 AM
The Shambles 10 May 04 - 11:26 AM
The Shambles 23 Feb 05 - 03:04 AM
The Shambles 04 May 05 - 11:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 May 05 - 02:53 AM
The Shambles 05 May 05 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,rebel folkie 05 May 05 - 02:53 PM
Folkiedave 05 May 05 - 04:33 PM
The Shambles 16 Oct 05 - 06:56 PM
The Shambles 07 Dec 05 - 01:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Dec 05 - 04:41 AM
The Shambles 07 Dec 05 - 04:50 AM
vindelis 08 Jan 06 - 02:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Jan 06 - 04:49 AM
The Shambles 13 Jan 06 - 09:23 AM
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Subject: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: IanC
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 12:45 PM

Who's thinking of going to this?

Weymouth's 2nd Folk Festival
Folk by the sea - 9th to 11th May 2003

Featuring

Oyster Band
Martin Simpson
The Yetties
Last Night FunPlus

Workshops, Concerts, Late Night Sessions, Morris and Appalachian Dancing, Cellidh, Folk Village, Busking, Pub SessionsAll this with the fantastic back drop of the seaside
For more information telephone 01305 838566

© MMII Weymouth and Portland Borough Council


In view of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council's hard line anti-folk attitude (example here, I wonder if we should consider a campaign to boycott it (or at least have a significant protest at it).

Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: vindelis
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 01:23 PM

I will be attending as both a singer and a morris dancer. I am Bagman of the morris side organising the dance programme, (Frome Valley) and, the sister of my partner is one of the leading lights, among the organisers on the song side. I also like to think of myself as a friend of Shambles and attend his Session at the Cove Inn, (when I am NOT out with Frome Valley) on Thursdays. Until this week I also had a session to attend at the New Star. I do hope that this session will rise, like a phoenix from the ashes, somewhere close to home. I doubt that it will be on Portland, as Roger (not Shambles) has been travelling from Weymouth every week for the last 5 - 7 years.

Last year's festival was a wonderful event, and a lot of people have put a lot of had work into this year's festival. Protest againt the PEL by all means, but don't boycott.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: cockney
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 01:29 PM

I have to agree with Vindelis. By boycotting the event you will deprive the local community of music still further. However we should lobby the big names such as Oysterband, to use their collective voice and influence to make the audiences and others aware of what this council's (and this government) attitude to music actually is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 03:30 PM

The following was sent to all councillors.

23 December 2002
Dear Councillor

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1982.

I am aware that a number of Councillors have again been approached by Mr
Roger Gall on the subject of entertainment licensing and the "two in a bar"
rule. I therefore felt it would be helpful to you to précis the facts of the
matter and subsequent action taken by this Council.

I attach a copy of the joint report of the Licensing Manager and Solicitor
which was presented to Social/Community Committee on 5th June 2001. This
fully explains the background to the case for you. It was resolved at this
meeting that:

(I) the Committee confirmed that the steps taken by the Licensing Manager to
encourage an application from the proprietor of the Cove House Inn,
Portland, for a licence permitting public entertainment on the premises were
appropriate and justified.

(II) Consultation take place with local musicians regarding the law as it
stands at present and on what amendments could usefully be made, and that
these views be collated and passed to the Government.

There has been a considerable exchange of letters, E-mails, etc with Mr Gall
since this time by various Officers of this Council but the Council's
position has remained the same throughout. That is:

Where it comes to the attention of the Council that public entertainment is
being provided without the benefit of a Public Entertainment Licence on
anything more than a one off, accidental basis the Council will intervene to
explain and if necessary enforce licensing legislation. Having made
extensive enquiries we have not identified any other Authority whose
position differs from our own and we consider that action taken by this
Authority is lawful, justified and proportionate. In the absence of a fresh
judicial decision or a change in primary legislation this sets out the
Council's legal position on this point.

Mr Gall was informed some while ago by both myself and the then Director of
Tourism and Corporate Services that this Council had reached a stage where
it was unable to enter into any further discussion on the subject and that
it would not be an appropriate use of Council taxpayers money to do so. This
stance was supported formally by the social and Community Committee.

Mr Gall lodged a complaint against the Council with the Ombudsman. The
Council was totally exonerated by the Ombudsman.

My final point on the matter is that we are now only 12-18 months away from
the newly published Licensing Bill being enacted. The Bill seeks to redress
many of the current anomalies with regard to liquor and entertainment
licensing of which the "two in a bar2 rule is one. I therefore believe that
reopening this well-worn debate at this stage would be counter-productive.

I trust that you find the above information useful, but if you do want more
information, please ask Sue Moore or myself.

Yours sincerely

Tom Grainger
Chief Executive

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council
Tel 01305 838229

tomgrainger@weymouth.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 03:45 PM

This from the Mummers play thread.

Now I find myself in very difficult position. I would really like for this to be a success and for you all to come and enjoy Weymouth and Portland.

However, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council are organising/funding this festival and most of the events take place in their theatre.

This council have used their broad interpretation of the 'two in a bar' exemption to prevent an unpaid folk sessions and are just about to use it against another long-running session. They have also insisted on a licensing condition that banned Morris dancing.

I have been trying for two years to get the councillors to change their current definition of the word 'performer'. A change to a narrower definition, open to them, that would enable these events, not to be classed as public entertainment and be in line with Human Rights legislation, but to no avail.

They do not see this as an important enough issue and are under the
impression that few people care.

Now whether you come and support this council's Folk Festival must be a matter for you. But whether you intend to come or not, can I ask that you make your views known to the Chief Executive Tom Grainger as to how best he can ensure future support from the folk community for their folk festival?

TomGrainger@weymouth.gov.uk

And copied to the local paper.

Dorset Evening Echo newsdesk@dorsetecho

Many thanks


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 03:53 PM

Protest at 'unfair' entertainment licensing laws after musicians quit pub.

LANDLORD MAKES A SONG AND DANCE AT LOST TRADE.

By MATT PITMAN
matt.pitman@dorsetecho.co.uk

A LANDLORD is making a song and dance after folk musicians using his pub quit over "unfair" entertainment laws.
Alan Radford, who runs the new Star Inn in Fortuneswell on Portland with his wife Chistine, claims he has lost trade after a group of musicians walked out in protest at rules which state a licence is needed for more than two people providing entertainment in pubs.

Mr Radford says the group of up to 20 musicians regularly met in his pub over the last five years to practise, but quit when Weymouth and Portland Borough council bosses demanded the pub obtain an entertainment licence.

The musicians, who are campaigning against proposals they fear could mean making music in public a crime, took their custom instead to pubs in Weymouth protected by licences.

But Mr Radford is dumbfounded as to why council bosses cracked down on the New Star when, he claims, he is doing nothing wrong.

He said. "The musicians have never been paid and have simply used the bar as somewhere to come and practise. I don't regard what they have been doing as live music."

Mr Radford said he had operated the sessions without any complaints over recent years. "When I received the letter I told the group they could use the skittle alley room to practise but they were not happy about that and went elsewhere. It is sad to see because they came here for a number of years and I've lost a lot of trade over what is an unfair situation", he said.

ACTIVITY

In a letter to South Dorset MP Jim Knight, local campaigner Roger Gall says; "Portland has lost a perfectly safe, beneficial community cultural activity to its larger neighbour and in an area that is in dire need of such benefits."


Mr Knight, who organised a recent meeting of Labour MPs with Culture Minister Kim Howells on the issue, said he was saddened to hear of the incident. He added that his talks with Mr Howells indicated that legislation currently going through Parliament could see publicans apply for 'all in one' licenses covering opening hours and entertainment, in the future.

He said. "This particular folk session did not seem to be causing any kind of problem. I'm currently investigating whether the Human Rights Act contradicts the current legislation the borough uses and if they can use a more liberal approach in the future."


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 04:29 PM

Having been trying for two years, with the help of many people on this forum, to change this council's policy and as a result to enable the New Star session in particular, I have to disagree with those above.

To feel that a folk festival organised and funded by this council is the only way a festival for Weymouth AND PORTLAND can take place, and that one just has to put up with whatever policy they hold to ensure it, is simply not true.

I was content to leave involvment/attendence at this festival up to each individuals conscience but these appeals have hardened my attitude. I now call on the local people who have been working with this council to examine their motives before they make any appeals for outside support for this festival in this current form.

Perhaps they are best placed to pressure the council?

Their eagerness to climb into bed with this council, on their terms, despite the council's heavy-handed enforcement, has led the council to believe that there would be no adverse effects of their interpretation of this legislation and to consider that mine was a lone voice locally, and one that could safely be ignored.

There must come a time when one has to be prepared to make some sacrifice for things we hold dear. Or do we really believe that we can we have our cake and eat it?

If we do, it shows that the comtempt shown by out Government to us, in ignoring our concerns in the new Bill, and of this council ignoring local concerns, is well founded.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 05:28 AM

One of the results of this council's strict enforcement policy is that most of the pubs in the borough hold PELs. So it would not be too difficult to organise a festival in alternative venues, at least for the fringe events.

The council owned and run Pavilion theatre can remain empty as I am sure with a little imagination, alternatives could be found for the main attractions in Weymouth and Portland.

I repeat that I wish to have a local festival that I could honestly invite folk to, the current model, I fear is not that.

I suspect that funds designed for the general cutural good of the whole borough are being, at least partly used for this festival, to shore up the council owned Pavilon's shortcomings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: breezy
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 07:57 AM

how about a 'one off, accidental session back at the star?


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 08:30 AM

In all truth it was mostly the eagerness of the largely Weymouth based participants (some of the very same who are part of the council's 2nd Weymouth based festival), to leave the New Star at the first sign of trouble for a Weymouth based venue, that ended this session.

The licensees were ready to carry on in some form until a solution could be found and most probably still are. Remember the council had yet to visit to even establish if the event was licensable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 04:54 PM

Stardard piece of PR in response to letters to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
One interesting and telling piece of info. The national take-up rate of PELs is 5%. This borough's take-up figure is 30%!!!

RE: Weymouth Folk Festival 2003

Thank you for your correspondence concerning the Weymouth Folk Festival.

I have overall responsibility for organising the Folk Festival and the
Chief Executive has asked me to respond to the several emails and
letters he has received on the subject. I apologise for the slight delay in my response, but I had a few additional days of leave after the New Year bank holiday.

The 2003 Festival is planned to take place between 9th and 11th May and is organised by the Borough Council in conjunction with the Weymouth Folk Club. Folk artists already appearing at the Festival include Oysterband, The Yetties and Martin Simpson and will include workshops, Ceilidh, Morris Dancing, late night sessions and pub sessions.

The Festival has expanded this year to include more 'pub sessions'
around the Borough with several public houses participating in the
Festival. The Festival is not just about the shows, trade stands and
workshops at the Theatre as we are actively encouraging other venues to participate with the intention of the Festival to be truly Borough wide in the future. All of the public houses participating hold public
entertainments licences and we anticipate the number of venues growing
in the future.

The Borough does sympathise with the effects of the current public
entertainment legislation (Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions)
Act 1982 - Schedule 1) but strict conditions apply regarding licensing
standards that must be adhered to if the venue is holding an event which involves music, singing, dancing and is open to the general public. It must be stressed that the local Weymouth Folk Club members are actively supporting this Festival and do a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes encouraging more local venues to participate and Folk artists to attend.

The Borough Council has a very strong partnership with the Folk Club.
Both parties are aware of and concerned about the negative effect of
some of the recent statements being made about the Festival relating to the public entertainments licence. We can assure you that the Festival will continue and we will strive to make it one of the best in the country in future years through this partnership whilst complying with legislation requirements.

Weymouth and Portland has for many years hosted over 150 festivals and
events including international level sports championships, fetes, fairs, and celebrations, often including significant live entertainment and music. The Borough Council has been actively organising and supporting numerous music based festivals and events including recent major spectacles such as the Millennium Festival (16 days of live entertainment with 180 acts watched by over 200,000 people) the Queens Jubilee Festival, Rock & Pop Festival, Great Days of Summer, Country & Western Festival and the Wednesday Night Live Talent Show.
The Borough Council also promotes and encourages the use of several sites along Weymouth Seafront Esplanade for Morris Dancing, Music and fund raising.

The 2003 events programme will actively support over 30 major music
events which will take place not only in the Pavilion Complex, but also in numerous licensed venues throughout the Borough in conjunction with the local radio station, Wessex FM, and the Dorset Echo Good Gig Guide.

I hope this letter clarifies the position of the Folk Festival and that the Borough Council is making an effort to support and organise music events within the confines of the current legislation. Our aim is not to 'ban' such activities but to encourage more of this type of
entertainment and social activity through positive partnerships but
within the boundaries of legal and safety requirements.

Of course, the Council also has to discharge its regulatory responsibilities, and tries to do so in an even handed way. You may be interested to know that around 100 - (30% of all) licensed venues in the Borough hold public entertainment licenses and help demonstrate the vibrant live music scene in the Borough.

Finally I hope that you will consider coming to our Folk Festival and
supporting the local clubs involved.

Should you wish to contact me you can do so via email
simonking AT weymouth.gov.uk or telephone 01305 838559.

Yours faithfully

Simon King
Tourism and Entertainment Manager
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: vindelis
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 06:21 PM

Where is this 'Local' Folk Club? I believe the one Simon King is referring to is in Langton Herring (West Dorset).


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 03:51 PM

He later refers to club(s)?

The following originally appeared in the Mummers thread.

Letter to the editor, published in the Dorset Evening Echo 01 January 2003. newsdesk@dorsetecho.co.uk
Perhaps they will listen to another festival organiser who is also a councillor?

Folk fans deserve warmer welcome.

I am afraid Tom Grainger, chief executive of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, is sadly mistaken if he thinks his council's over-zealous enforcement of outdated laws relating to live music venues will not affect the council's own folk festival in 2003.

One of the most important elements of any folk festival is the informal music session in a local pub.

Traditional singers and musicians, along with traditional morris dancers, provide the bedrock support for any such event.

Sadly, it seems that such singers and dance sides are not welcome in Weymouth and Portland, where the council has gained a reputation for ruthlessly enforcing the so-called 'two in a bar ' rule to prevent informal sessions taking place, even when the council has not received a single complaint about the (unamplified) music.

Weymouth and Portland is almost the only council in Britain to be adopting such an attitude.

As a result several hundred folk enthusiasts who would normally have flocked to the Weymouth and Portland Festival may instead boycott the event.

It seems ironic that one council department is spending thousands of pounds of council tax payers money on promoting a festival which another council department is effectively under-mining.

It seems that one side of the council doesn't know or doesn't care what the other side of the council is doing.

As a festival organiser and elected councillor myself in Hampshire, I would be screaming blue murder if my local authority was wasting council taxpayers money in this way.

The council is paying good money to book some first-class acts for the formal festival. Sadly, many of the people who would have enjoyed seeing them will not visit Weymouth and Portland so long as the informal music sessions are banned by the council

Councillor Peter Chegwyn
Gosport
Hampshire

letters@dorsetecho.co.uk


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 07:54 AM

I too got the standard reply posted above.

Has anyone pointed out to the council that they are enforcing, apparently for no good reason, an INTERPRETATION of the rules, which I understand has not been tested in the courts.

Having no precedents on the definition of performer, nor of the actual meaning of the two-in-a-bar rule, they are NOT forced to interpret the law in this way. So they must have some other motive in choosing the most draconian interpretation and bullying local publicans.

I wouldn't have been going anyway, but (speaking as an ex-Morris dancer) I certainly won't now or in the future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: vindelis
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 03:41 PM

The Dance organisers have had some Morris sides asking if the Festival was still happening.
The answer is that

IT IS DEFFINITELY ON - ANYONE WHO WISHES TO ATTEND IS WELCOME.

(In my oppinion that also includes anyone whishing to protest at the Council). All they are doing is putting up the money.
The 'Committee' comprises three singers, two musicians and - usually - one dancer. You could make it three musicians if you include one of the council employees who just happens to play for Weymouth's Morris side Festus Derriman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: clansfolk
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 04:53 PM

Reply from groups/bands playing at Weymouth (I email all end of Jan)


OYSTER BAND

We'd heard vaguely about this. Thanks for the details. Hmmm! I've written to Steve Heap at the Association of Festival Organisers for some guidance in the matter. Am curious to see what he advises.


best wishes


Colin @ RunningMan
--
Colin Clowtt
'el burro de carga'
colin@oysterband.co.uk
Running Man, PO Box 32100, London N4 1GR, UK



The Yetties

Hi Pete,
Thanks for your e mail about the problems down here. No one from Wessex has mentioned this to me but I'll do some research and some stiring with the council if I feel I can do any good. It may be best just to let it die down, the official involved may have had a rap over the knuckles by now. I just don't know. Certainly we have had no problems at all so far.
All the best,
Bonny Sartin


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 05:21 PM

The council tax-payers of Weymouth AND PORTLAND are putting up the money. As they pay for the Council owned and promoted Pavilion Theatre, where the festival takes place and all the concerts are staged.

I think it is pretty clear from the PR, to anyone but this so-called 'committee', whose show it really is and who is actually making the decisions. Also that this 'committee' are being shamefully used in this PR to try and add some validity to the idea that this 2nd festival is anything much more than a promotion to shore up the council's own theatre.

[Mrs Shambles comments]
Following last years festival, I offered my services to the elected Chair of the Economic, Tourism and Promotion Committee to help in anyway practical in the arrangements for forthcoming festivals. I was referred to the Manager of the Pavilion where I offered to join the organising committee. I was politely informed that these services were not required and that no 'committee' existed.

I also offered to attend the meeting to be held by the 'committee' to discuss how last years festival had 'worked out'. I made it known That I had 'feedback' that might have proven helpful regarding future festivals. I was informed by the manager of the Pavlion that it might be best not to attend this meeting, (perhaps too many people, or perhaps a fear of a free and open mind).

I also enquired as to what provision would be made regarding activities/events taking place on Portland. After all, under almost all circumstances the Weymouth AND PORTLAND Borough Council is referred to, but for this event it would appear that only Weymouth is recognised. I was informed by the manager of the Pavilion that at this time the focus would be upon a Weymouth based festival.

I am particularly interested in supporting/organising events on Portland. Should this Council truly wish to involve local musicians/dancers etc, Weymouth AND PORTLAND indeed have a wealth of very talented people, I wonder what consultation process had taken place and what advertising was undertaken inviting interested parties to make their interest known etc? Who made the decision if there was/was not to be such a 'committee', and if there is no such 'committee' why do this group of individuals refer to themselvers as a 'committee'?


Can I ask that this 'committee' examine the views above, of Peter Chegwyn, councillor and organiser of the Gosport and Fareham Easter festival, and discuss these with the Chief Executive before any more pleas for outside participation and attendence are made?

A folk festival organised by and for all the people for Weymouth AND PORTLAND has my full support. This current set-up, under this council's current policy towards folk activities, is not this and should not be presented as if it were.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 04:44 PM

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2003/01/18/bmbill18.xml&sSheet=/arts/2003/01/18/ixartleft.html

Full article linked to above.
Battle over 'last orders' for music
(Filed: 18/01/2003)
Musicians and publicans fear that the new Licensing Bill will impose a tax on music-making that many will be unable to pay. By Colin Randall
[snip]

In fairness, Howells also deplores local authorities that may have latched on to the debate and, exploiting existing legislation, demanded licence fees from pubs with the most informal of sessions. Musicians claim dozens of events have been closed as a result.

One council, Weymouth and Portland, ignored a harmless weekly singaround at the New Star, a small Portland pub run by Alan Radford and his wife, for five years before warning just before Christmas that they needed a PEL costing £220.

Unable to meet the expense from meagre takings, the Radfords offered the folkies use of their skittle alley as a private club exempt from current law. The singers declined and have departed to a Weymouth pub with a PEL.

"They were like part of the family," says Christine Radford, who says she has been driven by red tape and diminishing income to consider quitting the licensed trade. "I was in tears on their last night."

Tom Grainger, the council's chief executive, points out that 30 per cent of licensed premises in the area have PELs and would protest if a blind eye were turned to others. He denies that the council approach has changed and says it is "most unfortunate" that Eliza Carthy and other musicians are urging a boycott of the council-sponsored folk festival in May.[snip]


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 05:38 AM

It is interesting that this huge local 30% PEL take-up rate, compared to only 5% nationally, is now proudly being banded about. For I have been trying for two years to get the council to supply a percentage figure, and the officers claimed they could not supply this. It has only recently a request made by a local councillor in the last few weeks, that has finally produced this figure.

During early 2001 I eventually managed to meet Mr Grainger to discuss the difficulties presented by his policy to unpaid folk sessions taking place in pubs. I found Mr Grainger to be not well enough briefed on the subject generally.

But I was surprised, given the opporuinity the meeting presented to show his concern for these activities that he did not mention the council organised and funded Weymouth folk festival. I, and the councils' own web board had been informed by the council employed Pavilion Manager, that this was due to take place in May 2002.

When I mentioned this folk festival to him, along with some of the problems his policy may present to it, I was astonished to find out that he was totally unawre of any plans for this festival!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 05:47 AM

There are other way but don't boycott music festival, or in a way thet won!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 08:54 AM

The very first festival was only last year.

The programme states : Organised by the Tourism & Corporate Sevices Dept of Weymouth and Porland Borough Council in conjuction with the Weymouth Folk Club.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 12:30 PM

Er not me - time and distance. It doesn't list any ceilidh bands yet so the dancing is not going to be foremost. Given the line-up it is concert oriented.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: nickp
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 10:03 AM

Must say I went last year - although only to make use of the festival sticker to go busking for the morning. I got about £2.80 - a mere fraction of my fuel costs. Holiday makers - what holidaymakers....

Ho hum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: vindelis
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 12:53 PM

You won't find many holiday makers in May, (apart from the 'blue rinse' brigade). Also last year was a very steep learning curve for the council staff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 08:19 AM

This today from my MP. He is referring to the New Star (not the Blue Bell).

I have spoken several times on this with Tom in the last week or so. He has decided that he can not justify allocated more time to this issue, particularly given the Council s current difficulties. He also tells me that the letter to the Blue Bell did not close them down it advised them that they have been informed that they might have activities that may require a PEL.
Tom argues that this was a minimal light touch response. He
does not feel that his environmental health officers have the time to go around disrupting events in pubs that proceed without complaint.

I know this may not seem helpful but it is as far as I've got.


This 'minimal light touch' was enough to ensure that the traditional folk session that had been running for over 5 years has now ended. There is not even a note of regret from Tom (the Chief Executive), that his actions have prevented yet another valuable activity, for no reason at all.

The chief executive's hard line has frightened any of my ward councillors away from helping me even get my concerns for the folk events, raised at a committee meeting, to enable the elected members to decide this issue. All I have trying for over two years to do.
The council have a document from a QC employed by the MU, which gives legal opinion that the council's present policy is incompatable with the public's freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

When I ask a councillor what he would do if the local legal brains disagreed, he told me he would have to accept what the local council employed solicitor told him!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 05:04 PM

Sadly the DCMS in their Commentary Jan 2003, still insist on using the word 'musician' when the correct word is 'performer' and 'impromptu', a word which does not appear in this 1899 case law. For the music making in question in this case, was a regular weekly event. But the following shows that non-working musicians, (i.e. customers) are clearly exempt. There has never been any question or claim that any form of payment being made in either local cases affected by the incorrect policy of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

3. Entertainment in places where alcohol is sold
3.1 It has been claimed that "110,000 on-licensed premises in England and Wales would lose their automatic right to allow one or two musicians to work. A form of this limited exemption from licensing control dates back to at least 1899."

3.2 This point is disingenuous. In 1899, the courts held that impromptu performances by customers were not licensable, but performances given by a customer or any musician "for a consideration" were licensable. The Report of the Royal Commission on Licensing (England and Wales) 1929 " 1931 (paragraph 249) confirmed this interpretation of the law. Working musicians were therefore not exempted as claimed. The "two in a bar rule" was introduced by the Licensing Act 1964. The Bill does abolish the "two in a bar rule" but introduces new arrangements whereby any pub may obtain permission to stage live musical events at no extra cost when obtaining permission to sell alcohol.

3.3 Under existing legislation all public performances of music in licensed premises are licensable. The only exemption is provided by the "two in a bar" rule, which allows two musicians or less to perform without a public entertainment licence when a Justices' Licence is held.


The members of my council, have had the relevance of this 1899 case law, dismissed to them (but only out of court) by the officers. But only long after the members had been persuaded to endorse the officer's position, without this case law being produced.

Why were the members of the council not informed of the true relevance of this important case law, or of its existence, in the 05/06/01 meeting report? This was made available to the legal dept in May 2001, although they admit to being unaware of it when the initial advice, which has remained unchanged, was given in writing to a Councillor.

This report contains much misleading information. The most incorrect but most influential in convincing the members was the following, for which there is still no supporting case law evidence provided: I wonder if the officers would now advise the members to go to court with this?
[4.5 Historically the Courts have determined that a Licence is required not just where music is provided by paid performers to entertain the public but where members of the public themselves participate in music making].

Perhaps also the licensees of the New Star, who have lost their custom because of this wrong interpretation could also be informed by the DCMS, and possibly the issue can be settled in court? Where we
will then see how confident the officers are of the case law support for their interpretation. I am sure that the licensees of the New Star would not now be short of excellent legal advice, for their position that this activity over 5 years was not public entertainment.

The DCMS have wriggled out of one tricky position into another one. It is difficult to see from the above how local authority officers can now continue to dismiss this 1899 case as not relevant, when they include unpaid customers making music as 'performers' and maintain to their members that case law supports this.

Perhaps the DCMS can also contact Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and inform them why they consider case law and existing legislation covers and exempts these events now?
And why under the Bill, as Dr Howells has recently admitted, they will become licensable and present an automatic public safety concern?

It is well past time that this local issue was brought to a final conclusion. There can be no justification under the sprit of the law for the officer's policy, and there is no case law support for the letter of the law, even without the HRA considerations.

To this end, I would be most grateful for any more help, in the form of messages containing your views, sent to the council and copied to the local paper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 09:11 PM

The full 05/06/01 council report, referred to above can be read here.
http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/trg/SCoFF/weymouth.htm


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 08:37 AM

Tom Grainger in a letter 31 August 2001, after our meeting.

For example, you asserted that there are circumstances whereby landlords, when advised of the need for a PEL, have insisted that the entertainment cease. Are you able to provide real and tangible examples of landlords who have curtailed activities because of the need for a PEL? If so, this becomes real evidence that can be weighed against the positive aspects of the PEL requirements (i.e. safety/noise regulation, paid for by those hosting the entertainment).

After this letter he was presented with much evidence but ignored it. Sadly he now has the evidence of his own council's actions. But still does not care...............As this from my MP will demonstrate.

I have spoken several times on this with Tom in the last week or so. He has decided that he can not justify allocated more time to this issue, particularly given the Council s current difficulties. He also tells me that the letter to the Blue Bell [s/b New Star] did not close them down it advised them that they have been informed that they might have activities that may require a PEL.
Tom argues that this was a minimal light touch response. He
does not feel that his environmental health officers have the time to go around disrupting events in pubs that proceed without complaint.

I know this may not seem helpful but it is as far as I've got.


Please help?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 10:05 AM

Mr Locke and the 'council's legal position' and dismisal of the 1899 case law.
8th October 2001

THE COVE HOUSE INN, PORTLAND


The Chief Executive has asked me to respond to your e-mail dated 13th September 2001. At the same time I am taking this opportunity to restate the Authority's legal position as regards the requirement to hold a Licence to provide public entertainment as it applies to folk music sessions at the Cove House Inn, Portland.

Licensing of Public Entertainment

As you know the general rule that public entertainment cannot be provided without a Licence is contained in Schedule 1 Paragraph 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

For the purposes of the Act the term entertainment applies to 'public dancing or music or any other public entertainment of a like kind'

The Exemptions

The Act contains a number of exemptions which have no application to folk music sessions. More relevant however are the exemptions contained in Section 182 of the Licensing Act 1964 for public entertainment by way of music and singing only which is provided … 'by not more than two performers …'. The Licensing Act does not offer a definition of performer.

Folk musicians at the Cove House Inn have not claimed the Section 182 exemption since they acknowledge that more than two musicians have been involved in the music sessions in question. [See the report, linked to above, where you will see that the council had used S182 exemption, counted, and found it did not apply due to the number of particpants]

It appears to me that the logical conclusion of your argument that folk musicians involved in jam sessions are not 'performers' is that the Section 182 exemption available for "not more than two performers" has no application to their music making which leaves us with the general rule that a Public Entertainment Licence is required.

Case Law

The legal principles that (I) a licence is required for public entertainment provided not only by paid performers but by individuals for their own amusement and (ii) that whether or not a charge is made for admission is immaterial were established in Clarke –v- Searle and Gregory –v- Tuffs (Tuss), respectively. Although both decisions considered statute which predates current legislation and on the facts dealt with public dancing I consider that they are of general application to public entertainment law, not just public dancing, and that they offer useful guidance for the folk music sessions in question.

The legal section has considered the case of Brearley –v- Morley to which, as I recall, you also made reference in your presentation to the Council's Social/Community Committee. The facts of this particular case were that a man was playing the piano in a public room in licensed premises as accompaniment for another man singing a song. A number of other men were sat around talking and listening. All were customers and received no remuneration for the entertainment.

In this appeal case the Court found that the Licensee had not kept or used the room for public entertainment since piano playing or singing by customers was "for the purpose of solacing themselves with music".
Clarke –v- Searle does not appear to have been cited in the case which is unfortunate since the two decisions appear to conflict.

Under current legislation on the same facts the S182 exemption would be available. Although I have not referred to Hansard it might be that the exemption was introduced under the Licensing Act with just such a situation of very small-scale music making in mind.

The advice of the Licensing Section is that this 1899 case, although again useful guidance, is not of itself justification for changing our decision on the requirement to hold a Licence, a decision which has been reached weighing up a number of factors missing from this particular case. [Which are?]

The Council's Position

Where it comes to the attention of the Council that public entertainment is being provided without the benefit of a Public Entertainment Licence on anything more than a one off, accidental basis the Council will intervene to explain and if necessary to enforce licensing legislation.

Having made extensive enquiries we have not identified any other Authority whose position differs from our own. In the context of activities at the Cove House Inn I consider that the action taken by this authority has been lawful, justified and proportionate.

In the absence of a fresh judicial decision or a change in primary legislation this sets the Council's legal position on the point. I must make clear that I am unable to enter into any further discussion on the legal arguments and questions as to the Licence itself must now be a matter between the Council and the Licensee.

I would however be pleased to hear further from you with any evidence you have concerning the impact of the legislation on live music in the Borough so that any representations which may be appropriate can be made to the Local Government Association inviting modernisation of licensing laws.

Ian Locke
Director of Tourism and Corporate Services


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Jan 03 - 05:21 AM

New session The Ship Weymouth


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Jan 03 - 06:06 AM

The following exchange between The English Folk Dance and Song Society and Tom Grainger, the Chief executive of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is a year old, but nothing appears to change much in the workings of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

From: "Tim Walker" tim.walker@efdss.org
To: chiefexec@weymouth.gov.uk
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2002 6:12 PM

Dear Mr Grainger

The English Folk Dance and Song Society is the country's premier advocacy organisation in the field of folk related activities and represents a membership numbering 5000 individual members and affiliated clubs. In total we represent in excess of 25000 individuals around the country who are actively involved in folk music and folk dancing.

In addition to our national education activities (some of which take place in your borough), we also house the national archive of folk related materials (books, manuscripts, recordings, photographic and films resources, research papers, costume and artefacts) in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library here in north London. This multimedia archive is the largest and most diverse resource of English cultural materials and documents in the world and many of the materials cannot be found elsewhere. As such we can genuinely be considered the country's authority on English folk culture.

I have been following, with great interest and concern, Mr Roger Gall's search for an equitable solution to the PEL issues that have marred the activities of the folk sessions at The Cove Public House and would like to register the EFDSS's support of Mr Gall in his persistent questioning of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council in this matter.

It is the view of the English Folk Dance and Song Society that, in cases where there are no registered noise complaints and where no hazard to public health and safety can be identified, Local Government Authorities should responsibly put all practical effort and consideration into reading, interpreting and giving effect to the Entertainment Licensing Legislation in such a way as to actively encourage and promote locally organised, participative, cultural activities for the benefit, through richness of experience, of the community at large.

As we understand there to be a lack of clarity on the term 'performer' and a degree of discretion on your part with regard to fee structures, the EFDSS would welcome constructive discourse with WPBC on this matter and would invite either yourself or one of your colleagues to contact us either by email or on the telephone number below at your convenience in order that a non-confrontational way forward may be identified.

Yours sincerely Tim Walker

From: "Tom Grainger" TomGrainger@weymouth.gov.uk
To: "Tim Walker" tim.walker@efdss.org
Cc: "Sue Allen" SueAllen@weymouth.gov.uk; "Ian Locke"
IanLocke@weymouth.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2002 9:58 AM

Thank you for your enquiry. The reality is that the live music scene in Weymouth & Portland is thriving. Also the there is no bar to live music at the Cove House Inn. The licensee has applied for and been granted a PEL. There is of course a view being expressed by other parties, including Mr Gall, that a PEL is not necessary under current legislation, for the kind of activities operated at the Cove House Inn.

It is not a view that is shared by the Council, nor from our research any other licensing authority. The matter has been debated widely and at length in this Council and has been considered by Councillors. There are no new points being added in any discussion and consequently the Council is no longer prepared to continue detailed discussion on the matter. Our view is that ultimately it is a matter of law, which would have to be tested in the courts, not one of policy or local interpretation. We have no wish to pursue the matter to the courts and I am sure neither does the licensee.

At least one party to the very detailed discussions that we have had does not accept this view and has therefore taken the matter up with the local government ombudsman, to whom we shall of course respond.

You mention a non confrontational way forward and local discretion on fees etc. Our view is that the present law is in need of reform and that is the best way forward in the longer term. In the meantime, our licensing staff will continue to work with musicians and licensees to try to ensure that the present law is applied fairly, sensibly and consistently.

The fee structure in Weymouth & Portland is realistic and not prohibitive and as I said at the start of this note the live music scene is thriving. It would be inappropriate for me to pass on third party comments, without their consent, but there is plenty of evidence to support the comments I have made in the previous sentence.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 02:47 PM

Dorset Evening Echo 29 January 2003

Council letter pledges action over breaches in law.

Fresh warning over unlicensed shows
By James Tourgoutjames.tourgout@dorsetecho.co.uk

Landlords and entertainers face a new warning over unlicensed performances after a morris dancing fiasco in Cerne Abbas.

West Dorset District Council, in a new letter to be sent out in response to inquiries, says it will investigate any breaches.

The move comes after pubs in Cerne Abbas were warned not to let the Wessex Morris Men perform inside because they do not have public entertainment licenses.

Bob Hanton, council corporate services manager, said that the traditional events such as morris dancing should be exempt from a licence. "It is not open to local authorities to arbitrarily decide that the legal requirement for a public entertainment does not apply to a particular type of entertainment, such as folk or traditional type events. Authorities have a duty to apply the legislation fairly and impartially."

The Wessex Morris men were forced to perform their Christmas mumming play in the street in December after the licensing swoop in December. They hit out at the licensing laws and an informer who tipped off the council after staging the drama inside pubs for the past 18 years.

The new development follows fears in Weymouth that musicians were being treated unfairly in the run-up to the town's folk festival. Now members of the district council will hear about the new letter at an appeals and licensing committee meeting today.

The letter emphasises that premises must have public entertainment licences if events are being staged by three or more people. Mr Hanton said in the letter: "Where it comes to the attention of the council that public entertainment is being provided without the benefit of a licence, the council will investigate the matter and if appropriate will take further action."

He added: "The legislation is not intended to ban any type of entertainment but rather to ensure that such events meet the relevant health and safety standards for the protection of the public."

ENDS

Are council officers conspiring together, against the public's interest, to ensure that singing from the same hymn-book? Do the following statements look familiar?

This from the 05/06/01 report, to the councillors of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council. "It is not open to the authority to disapply the legal requirements to hold a PEL in respect of one particular type of entertainment. This Authority has a duty to apply legislation fairly and impartially."

And from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council' Chief Executive's 23/12/02 letter to all councillors. "Where it comes to the attention of the Council that a public entertainment is being provided without the benefit of a Public Entertainment Licence on anything more than a one off, accidental basis the Council will intervene to explain and if necessary enforce licensing legislation."

In fact these two councils are following the officers of Oxford City Council. This council's elected members had instructed their officers to enable unpaid folk sessions as they did not consider these to be entertainment. However, their officers came back and told them that that they could not - this from a report to their members on 20/03/01. 18.

"It is not possible for the Council to have a policy of non-enforcement of the legislation especially in respect of one particular type of entertainment. Whilst each application for a PEL is considered on its own merits a uniform and fair approach must be adopted in respect of enforcement. The Council MUST NOT fetter its discretion in this way and would be open to challenge if it did. The test is whether or not public entertainment is taking place."


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 12:28 PM

The full wording (and the full horror) of the above report from West Dorset District Council, and the standard letter can been seen on the following thread.

Mummer play stopped at Cerne Abbas


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 12:32 PM

The New Star session R.I.P.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 06:43 AM

The issue is soon to go to a meeting of the Licensing Committee.

It would be very helpful if the councillors could see (in the local press), letters of concern from potential festival attendees and tourists. To demonstrate the real threat of the policy they currently hold and to get them to ask themselves what exactly they have to lose by changing it.

This outside support, at this time, could make all the difference, please help.

letters@dorsetecho.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: GUEST,Don Thompson(of semi pro duo "Sic Transit"
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 01:35 PM

We are based in Maidstone Kent, where we also share the running of a folk club. It is obvious that Weymouth Council think that the removal of sessions will mean more money from their venue(s). The only way to deal with this is to write off this year's festival, and show them how profitable a festival is with no folkies. They should be more than willing to listen to us next year. I shall not be at Weymouth this year unless their attitude changes radically. The same response would be appropriate for other authorities with the same mindset. I hate the idea of ruining a folk festival, but if we don't apply what little power we have NOW, we may never have another chance.

Don Thompson


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: BobRik
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 04:46 PM

This years festival will NOT be written, but rather be many times better than last years with a stunning array of top liners, superb dance teams,, and a host of local talent who appear throughout the town at many venues. Not to be missed. But if you do miss it, then it's your loss.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 05:23 PM

The festival is not really the issue.

The issue is this council's policy.

It would be nice if those who are so concerned about the success of the festival in its current form and post here to encourage others to attend, would at least address the policy.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: BobRik
Date: 06 Feb 03 - 05:01 PM

The policy is being fully addressed professionally, with those that are in a position to make a difference.
And the latest amendments are reflecting public opinion.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 03 - 06:01 AM

BobRik

The LAW maybe being addressed, although, given the latest ammendments and the stated objectives of the Bill, I would not consider it to be professional. This is only being done because to date over 68,000 people made a difference by having the courage to express their opinion publicly, many of these writing to their MPs, media, national and local press.

The local POLICY has certainly not been adressed professionally and those locally who have and are in a position to make a difference have largely chosen not to attempt to make a difference by expressing their opinion locally.

If you read the DCMS latest list of excuses, you will sell that if refers to 1899 case law that clearly exempts unpaind music in pubs by customers from the licensing requirement. This council have ignored this.........

Do you think this is a correct, helpful or professional local policy, or even a legally supported one? If you do not, what are you going to do about it?.........Just continue to ignore it and urge others to ignore it too?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: Saucy Sal
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 09:00 AM

All I wanted was to find out more about Weymouth Folk Festival and I find myself in the midst of really heated debate! Not that there's anything wrong with that - it's made very interesting and enlightening reading.

Now I may be being a bit cynical, but there does seem to be a bit of personal stuff coming in here - a dig or three at "the Committee" -whoever they are.

That said, Weymouth & Portland bc do seem to be rather overzealous in their approach to PEL, but isn't the approach to entertainments licensing supposed to be changing with the new legislation? Perhaps I'm being naive though in thinking that the festival is perhaps the best way of persuading them that folkie stuff is not a minority interest and that people from all over the country care passionately about it. Maybe a peaceful protest at the festival would be more effective than the implicit boycott Peter Chegwyn's letter suggests.

I really enjoyed the festival last year (warm, friendly and welcoming to newcomers from upcountry like myself) with a lot of excellent local performers and my family and I are looking forward to this year's.....It would be a real shame if there was no festival.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 11:48 AM

There will be a Weymouth and Portland Borough Council organised festival.

This council also has a Local Cultural Strategy, to determine how such things should be decided..........

What prompted this thread, remains the council's policy, rather than the issue of the festival.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:19 PM

The Joint Committee on Human Rights conclusion on the Licensing Bill, in their Report 10 February 2003

21. In the light of the above, we consider that—

the provisions for allowing people to make representations about licensing applications in order to protect their rights under ECHR Article 8 would be likely to offer adequate protection as long as appropriate regulations are made under clause 17(5) of the Bill; but

there is a significant risk that the blanket licensing regime proposed in the Bill would give rise to an incompatibility with people's right to freedom of expression under ECHR Article 10, even in the light of the Government's announcement on 3 February mentioned in paragraph 18, above. We draw this to the attention of each House.

This council's policy under current legislation, must also be compatible now, with Acticle 10. In the light of the above, there must be more than a little doubt that it is....If it not, the council's policy, far from following the letter of the law in fact, unlawful and MUST be changed.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: BobRik
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 01:43 AM

Well it's so nice to hear positive feedback on the festival (saucysal)and yes last years, albeit the first was a tremendous success.
All bookings are now finalised for this years and it will be a big one- from concerts, workshops, sessions and ceilidhs.
Any info, you need please let me know.
And I look forward to seeing you there- do catch up with me.
btw- how far did you travel to be there??


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 02:20 AM

Err, yes Bob but what about changing the policy to ensure the success of this festival, for that was rather selective reading of the above post and completely ignoring many others?

Supporting folk festivals is of course a good thing, but is supporting this council's policy, a good thing and we simply ignore it, to have this festival in this form?

That said, Weymouth & Portland bc do seem to be rather overzealous in their approach to PEL,-

The future of the council organised festival in ths form must be in some, due to the huge financial crisis 'the professionals' of this council has landed us all in. We face a 69% increase in our already high council tax!

Today the council members, a third of whom face re-eletion in
May have to decide on urgent cost-cutting proposed measures like closing the council owned and run Pavilion theatre, where the festival events take place, closing the swimming pool, having refuse collection every other week and closing many public toilets.

It is suggested in yesterday's local paper that the post of arts development officer could go, saving £25,000, and £27,000 could be saved by not subscibing to The LGA and bodies like South West Arts.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: nickp
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 04:13 AM

Shambles - and apologies for the thread creep - do you really mean 69% increase, and if so what is the proposed change to a band D. Sorry for those that this means nothing to but being involved in an organisation that writes Council Tax software (not used at Weymouth) I'm staggered by the possible technical implications of such a large leap. Do you have a clicky I can read it up on? I understand the County is suggesting 15%-ish, so is this 69% on the District charge - still very steep but a much lesser proportion (about £90 a year for a band D). If true then losing a member of staff and a subscription is going to be a drop in the ocean. You might then wish to move to a cheaper and potentially more folk friendly area - it's cheaper here in Somerset! Nick


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 05:20 AM

From the Dorset Evening Echo 11 Fb 2003

mathmatics are that if nothing more is cut, the borough's precept will ne about £220 at band D, 69% increase. Every £21,600 that can be trimmed from the budget is about £1 reduction on Council Tax

http://www.thisisdorset.net/


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 05:22 AM


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: nickp
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 06:48 AM

Thanks Shambles, although the links has moved on, that makes depressing reading. Mind you a few chief executives would save more money than an Arts Officer!


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:31 AM

The article I quoted from was a weekly spot called By The Way. You can contact the chap who writes it, called Michel Hooper-Immins on echobytheway@hotmail.com.

I suspect there will be more coverage of this issue today, on that site. So keep looking and thanks.

And yes, losing this Chief Executive would get my vote.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: Saucy Sal
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:33 AM

Shame to see my comment taken out of context "seem to be a bit overzealous" - I've only read one side of the debate, there surely must be another and I'd like to hear it. Can anyone help? Is there a thread or site or something?

By the way RobRik we came from Lancashire - not just for the festival, that was a very nice incidental, but on our way to Cornwall.
This year we're planning to do the same. Who's in the final lineup?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:11 AM

This link to the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council website was in the first post of this thread and gives all the details.

http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=7&svaid=187&svapid=1581


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: BobRik
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:57 PM

SausySal- I have contacted you "offlist" with details. Look forward to meeting you at the Fetsival.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: BobRik
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 01:02 PM

Sausy Sal, if you want "the other side of the debate" I have all the necessary information. Makes interesting reading.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 02:28 PM

Bob perhaps you would care to share this interesting reading with us? I am sure we would all be interested to read it........


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: vindelis
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM

Perhaps people need to be reminded that the operative word is FUNDED, 90% of the ORGANIZATION has been carried out by 'lay-people' ie local singers, dancers and musicians who simply want to enjoy a successful festival - As I have said before, last year was one hell of a learning curve for those not used to organizing folk festivals, but they achieved a remarkable weekend and I can only hope that this year's event willl be as good if not better.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 01:55 AM

All the partipants of the two local sessions and all the others across the country wanted was to enjoy making folk music in a perfectly safe pub. This council and others did/do not see the risk to this activity to be important or to impact on them in any practical sense. They may now?

The threat or risk to the success of this 2nd festival is by the fact that the council have organised it. Is it not true that all of the main acts are to appear in the council owned Pavilion theatre?

It is this association with a dubious partner that theatens the efforts of local supporters. Until they address this policy with this partner, it remains a fact that attempts for outside support, will be affected by this.

If you were involved in organising a children's event, you may recognise that partents may not be too keen to allow their children to attend, if the main organiser, on whose premises the event was to take place, was a known child-abuser..............

That is the reality of the problem that faces those whose do not wish to address the council's damaging and uncaring policy towards folk music but continue to urge people to support this festival in this form.

If support and pressure can be added and applied locally to get the policy changed NOW, the problem/risk/threat to this festival is lifted. This proposal has been placed before the Council. If the local supporters all took this theat to the festival to their councillors, many of whom are due for election in May it would certainly help us all.

As so many outside people have written and already done this, it is surely not expecting too much for the local folk to do so as well?

Or is it?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: Saucy Sal
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 08:38 AM

Shambles - I don't know who you are, but I find your analogy ("If you were involved in organising a children's event, you may recognise that partents may not be too keen to allow their children to attend, if the main organiser, on whose premises the event was to take place, was a known child-abuser..............")to be beyond the pale! I just don't believe anyone could use such an anlogy so lightly just to score political points?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: BobRik
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 08:44 AM

I wonder if the man who was responsible for informing the Council of this "safe activity" would be brave enough to own up to it. I guess that would be too much to expect.
And SaucySal, yes it is a shame that political points are made in such a crude manner.
When did Folk Music get this heavy!!!


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:27 PM

Bob if you have something to say perhaps you would just come out and say it? Then perhaps someone could have the chance to answer it?

It would be wise to make sure first what you believe and find convienient to be true, is in fact true.

Before you rumble on with your 'heavy' implications and and still attempt to cling to the moral high ground.

Which is the 'safe activity, to which you refer?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: vindelis
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:59 PM

You may go to the festival hoping to have a wonderful time, you may go and protest peacefully, you may stand on the side-lines and bicker; yes the new law is an ass, a big one, but just remember the following song, because sommetimes the real message is lost in the din.


Without the song, there's no show.



I saw no storm clouds appear
Is that the sound of thunder I hear?
Or the sound of warm applause?
No, it's just the roars
Of clashing egos and crashing bores



You know you're the best
So why not listen to the rest?
Don't sharpen your claws
Don't join the roars
Of clashing egos and crashing bores



Small fishes, small ponds
They wait for you to go on
They even call out for more
Then join the roars
Of clashing egos and crashing bores



The singers come and go
But without the song, there's no show
How can you sell, what's not yours?
Don't join the roars
Of clashing egos and crashing bores



The bottle may be shattered
But it's the message that matters
So if it washes on your shore
Don't join the roars
Of clashing egos and crashing bores



Roger Gall 1997


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 02:41 PM

That was a jolly good song. *Smiles*

'Folk music got this heavy' for me in 2000, when the licensee of the pub who had agreed to us playing folk music there, received a letter from this very same Weymouth and Portland Borough Council. This threatened them with prosecution and a possible £20,000 fine or six months in prison if they allowed it to continue without them paying them for an additional licence, as their considered the activity automatically made it unsafe.

This after the Licensing Manager visited undercover and left unannounced, had declared this to be a public entertainment and that the participants were more than the permitted number of 'performers'.

Back for a moment to our, and the council's present problems.

Dorset Evening Echo Wednesday 12 February 2003

FAMILIES in Weymouth and Portland are facing a big rise in their council tax bills.

Councillors decided on a 50 per cent increase in the borough's share of council charges despite agreeing to a package of savings worth almost £450,000.

Borough council chiefs have been forced to make radical cuts and introducing a steeper council tax charge to plug a budget shortfall of £1.9 million.

Among the controversial measures announced yesterday were the closure of 11 public toilets around the borough, scrapping the meteorological service, reducing road sweeping, reinstating the increase in harbour pontoon charges and introducing disabled parking charges.

Although few jobs are affected, Weymouth and Portland Unison secretary Chris Moscrop warned of a possible impact on existing staff because some posts have been `frozen.'

After a marathon five-hour debate the management committee came up with savings of £448,700 and consequently recommended a council tax increase of just over 53 per cent to the full council which meets next Thursday (February 20). If agreed, it will mean the cost for a band B property will rise over £50 to £155.30 a year (or £2.98 a week), and the cost for a band D property will increase by just under £70 to £199.67 a year (or £3.84 per week).

These figures represent only the borough council's share of the whole council tax and does not include Dorset County Council and Dorset Police precepts, which make up the lion's share of the total bill. The county is due to fix its figure tomorrow. Finance chiefs expect the overall total bill to increase by about 20 per cent.

Council chief executive Tom Grainger said today: "I'm pleased the committee agreed that it was important to set a balanced budget with no use of reserves to support ongoing spending.

"In order to keep the tax rise to the least possible level even before yesterday's committee the council had made savings of over £1 million."

Management committee chairman, Coun Anne Thomas, said moves had to be made to put the authority on a sound financial footing.

She said after the meeting: "We have faced some very difficult decisions but it is cross-party proposals which will form the committee's budget.

"It's a hung authority so it's important to get everyone to work together to come up with an agreement."

Borough finance spokesman, Coun Kay Wilcox, said: "I'm pleased that the policy and scrutiny committees will be meeting before the full council so that recommendations from here can be looked at in detail and that officers and brief holders can answer questions.

"I hope this approach will be constructive and lead to a consensus."

West Dorset District Council's council tax precept is to increase by 17 per cent.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 06:10 PM

A bit more detail.

Other savings include introducing off-street parking charges for all disabled badge holders except for those in receipt of benefit/welfare and those who get a mobility allowance, reinstating an increase in harbour pontoon charges, making savings on festivals and events, cutting back on suburban street sweeping except in the town centre and on primary routes plus stopping the meteorological service and investigating how it could be done in-house.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 01:40 PM

14 February 2003
Paul Andrews

pandrews@westernmorningnews.co.uk [For their campaign against the Bill]
http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=116762&command=newPage

Music lovers are threatening to boycott a West country festival in a row over entertainment licenses.

Enthusiasts are set to stay away from this year's Weymouth Folk Festival in Dorset because they are angry at proposals set out in the Government's Licensing Bill. Local campaigners helped to organise a national petition protesting about the Bill and more than 10,000 people signed within a week.

And they have also bombarded Weymouth and Portland Borough Council with complaints that folk performers are being unfairly treated, and hit out at new proposals which they fear could mean making music in pubs a crime.

Many now say they intend to boycott the folk festival, due to be staged between May 9 and 11.

Roger Gall, from Portland, who started the petition, said: "The situation is crazy. People don't want these activities banned, they are an important part of their lives. I would have liked to have seen the folk festival go well, of course, but many people's attitude is that the council only seem interested in folk music for two days because their attitude towards licensing is unsupportive for the rest of the year."

In a series of letters to the borough council folk music enthusiasts have said they will stay away from this years' event.

Mary Humpheys, from Ely in Cambridgeshire, said: I would not consider coming to the festival. I am certain that many of my performing colleagues would also be of the same mind. By not supporting these traditions and showing your support to ridiculous Draconian measures you are abusing your position and only using folk music to make money.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 04:50 PM

The latest news is that my councillor reports that the Council's legal dept have examined the QC's opinion and have declared that it does not change anything!

This was the opinion commissioned by the MU that was good enough and largely responsible for the Joint Committee on Human Rights declaring the very same blanket licensing proposed by the Bill presented a significant risk of an incompatibility with people's right to freedom of expression under ECHR Article 10.

Not good enough for my council to change their current policy though. Another of my councillors said: "Well it is only one QC's opinion".

Rather missing the point that it was one more that the council had.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: clansfolk
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 10:21 AM

scan of newspaper article "extract" above are taken from:-

Weymouth folk festival


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 10:21 AM

I quote from above:

"Enthusiasts are set to stay away from this year's Weymouth Folk Festival in Dorset because they are angry at proposals set out in the Government's Licensing Bill"

This is simply not true, and wholly misleading.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: clansfolk
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 10:42 AM

Guest.............   follow my link above and read the article (sorry about small print) -

I will not be going this year neither will many of the people in the clubs that I have spoken with in this area of Lancashire in direct response to Weymouth CC over reaction and enforcement the current "Two in a Bar" rule -

Maybe the quote above should not imply that the withdrawal of support for the Weymouth Festival by enthusiast is because they are angry at the new proposals but more that they are angry at the current "over" enforcement of current act by Weymouth, and their concerns on how Weymouth will use the new/proposed license to "keep down" unlicensed song, dance and music unless making money for them - Folk Music the music of the Folk....... not for sale or rent.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Feb 03 - 12:13 PM

I had thought that the original aticle was on this thread? The Western Morning Press appear to have slightly 'tinkered' with the wording to fit the story into their campaign against the Bill. I must admit that am more pleased that they ran the story, rather than upset at the small change they made.

I think this is slightly more preferable than local authority officers, misleading the public, misleading their members, tinkering with the law and using it against beneficial folk music activities.

But I may well be biased?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 07:53 PM

I sent this to the Dorset Evening Echo today. I wonder if it will be published? If you wish to help....letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

Open letter to the voters of Weymouth and Portland.
Many of the current Weymouth and Portland Borough Councillors will be up for re-election in May

Many of the councillors will be unaware that their council has funded and organised the 2nd Weymouth Folk Festival, the main events of this take place in the council owned Pavilion Theatre, and this is also due to take place in May.

Many will be unaware of their local policy, which threatens the success of this Weymouth folk festival.

Many will be unaware that many potential outside visitors to this festival have written to the council, and The Dorset Evening Echo, stating that they will not be visiting the borough or attending the event, until the council changes its current policy.

Many will be unaware that the policy they support and which they maintain to be the best policy for this borough is the following: -
That any pub customer making any form of unpaid music for his or her own pleasure will be considered as a 'performer' in a public entertainment. And if there are more than two customers, making music, this will be considered to have made these premises automatically unsafe without the premises paying a fee to the council for an additional Public Entertainment Licence. Licensees can face a £20,000 fine or six months in prison and have been threatened with this, should this activity proceed without the additional licence.

Many will be unaware that there is no case law support for this policy, when it is used against unpaid customers making music for their own enjoyment.

Many will be unaware that the council have recently been presented with a QC's opinion via Jim Knight MP, that places very serious doubts that this council's policy is compatible with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Many councillors will be unaware that under Section 6 of the Human Rights Act, is it unlawful for a council to act in way that is incompatible with a European Convention right.

Perhaps the electors would like to ask their own councillor if they are aware of the above and intend to support this policy, when a proposal to change it, is shortly to be placed before them? And if they still intend to support it, why they consider it to be the best policy for this borough?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:23 PM

The above has not (yet) appeared in the paper, nor has the following.

From Jane Allison & Trevor Gilson
Organisers, Fo'c'sle Folk Club, Southampton

Dear Editor
The following letter was sent to you previously on 13 Feb, but, so far as we are aware, not printed (obviously we cannot see every edition over here, nor do we have time to scrutinise the web every day, and have to rely on friends to tell us). It occurs that you may have rejected it for lack of a proper postal address (now rectified). In any event, we can now comment on a reply we have received from WPBC (both the reply and the comment follow the original letter below in that order).

Dear Mr Grainger
(an open letter to the Chief Executive of WPBC)

How it is reasonably done elsewhere

It happened that a pub with a recently-acquired PEL but long-established live music presence (not in our Local Authority area) found that a second pub nearby, without PEL, had started hosting similar weekly 'open stage' musical events on the same evening (not the fault of the second pub's landlord).

The licensees knew each other, so they had a friendly chat and decided that they could live with it, if the Licensing Office did not object (the premises with PEL now has more than two paid performers on other evenings, making their licence obligatory). An Environmental Health Officer visited the unlicensed landlord and had a chat with him, so they could work out a way to allow the music to continue. It was agreed there would be no external publicity and the landlord was required to inform the music organiser of this decision in writing. Locally, this was regarded as a fairly harsh, but acceptable, measure tailored to the particular circumstances.

We are not defending the current silly, out-of-date legislation behind this decision, but we hardly need to point up the difference in attitude between this Local Authority, which genuinely supports independent music organisers and fosters a spirit of friendly co-operation between small venues and the Environmental Health Department (in accordance with the Government's avowed hopes), and the stance of your Council Officials which has resulted in the destruction of some long-established live music meetings within your remit.

Our Folk Club (together with many other Members of the Southern Counties Folk Federation) know there is a second Weymouth Folk Festival in May (partly funded by the Weymouth Borough Council) and will support the local (unpaid) Folk Organisers in any way possible.

People in the folk music world try very hard to support each other and we would suggest that some Council Officials actually physically go to a Concert, dance at a Ceilidh, watch the display Dance Teams, or sit in on a Singaround or Instrument Session and gain some idea of what folk music is all about. You might even enjoy yourselves and maybe your interpretation of the "letter of the law" (rather than the spirit of the law) might be a little less destructive to local music-making.

WPBC replied as follows via ..[The Licensing Manager]

Many thanks for your views on PELs which have been passed to me for comment. You appear, sadly like many others over the last year or so, to have been misinformed by the propaganda machine here (which it would seem is largely fuelled by one individual).

This Council and its Officers do not spend their time actively seeking out folk gatherings in order to 'punish' them in some way. In fact, we only have 2 staff dealing with the issue and enforcement of 15 types of licence so we have to prioritise enforcement accordingly.

The truth of the matter is that if an informal gathering of musicians happened as an irregular event without advertisement (and no complaints were received about it) then this Council would not pro-actively enforce. However, if complaints are received then we are duty bound to investigate and, if necessary, encourage the licensee to apply for a PEL.


Here is our response:

Dear …{Licensing Manager]
Although your response does not address any of the points we made (did you actually read our letter, or was your reply a stock response to complaints?) there are several things in it which cannot be allowed to pass without comment.

1) As Club and Festival Organisers ourselves, we are in touch with the local, national and international folk world in a way which you (not being part of it) probably find hard to appreciate.

We are also one of the unpaid twin hubs of the communications/information network the Southern Counties Folk Federation (we run the Website and E-mail News Service which will be advertising the Weymouth Festival - free - and our colleague runs the Federation Magazine, Folk On Tap, which will take an advert).

As such, we are hardly likely to have had our views 'fuelled by one individual' as you say, and our real knowledge of events is probably greater than your own on several fronts. We acknowledge that you are not the only Council to have taken this stand, but the point our letter made was that not all Councils adopt your extreme stance, which is also at variance with the Government's stated hopes.

We refer to your statement " ...if complaints are received then we are duty bound to investigate and, if necessary, encourage the licensee to apply for a PEL..."

1) Whilst it is true that you acquired information, to say that 'complaints' were received stretches the meaning of the word. Whilst you presumably have privileged access to Council records which
cannot be made public due to confidentiality, we choose to accept the words of the several affected parties and we don't believe you could substantiate your claim in law.

2) " ...we are duty bound to investigate and, if necessary, encourage the licensee to apply for a PEL." The reason you are so bound ('duty' stretches it a bit) is that sometime ago someone in the Council's employment decided that he/she was going to classify recreational musicians as performers. You cannot change your collective mind on this, because you might be subject to claims for compensation dating way back (to say nothing of loss of face).

There is no legal requirement for this interpretation; the law is thoroughly ambiguous and you do have leeway to interpret it less severely than you have done. Had the new Bill not been in the Queens Speech, the Musicians Union was ready to fight a test case somewhere suitable and its eye had fallen on Weymouth's destructive practices.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 12:21 PM

I have missed a real opportunity here and I am kicking myself metaphorically from Weymouth to Holmfirth - where the local authority (up to now has taken a sensible attitutde to these things).

So anyone wanting a weekend with some top name artists, excellent facilities and some very friendly boozers (buildings and people), get a season ticket and come along to Holmfirth!!

Dave Eyre
www.holmfirth.festival.com
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 09:13 PM

The following from the SCoFF website

Weymouth's 2nd Folk Festival by the sea 9-11 May 2003 featuring Oyster Band, Martin Simpson, The Yetties, Last Night's Fun plus Workshops, Concerts, Late Night Sessions, Morris and Appalachian Dancing, Ceilidh, Folk Village, Busking, Pub Sessions.

Contact Karen Brown on 01305 812876. Acommodation etc see WPBC website and the Pavilion Theatre Box Office is 01305 783225 (This is NOT a WPBC Festival, it is organised by local folkies who have accepted some Council funding and the use of a Council-run facility, the Pavilion Theatre).


I can only refer you to the council's standard PR on the festival (posted earlier in this thread), and ask you to make up your own mind on the accuracy or otherwise of the above statement.

Trevor and Jane were wondering in their post above, if the reply they received from the council was a standard response. Has anyone else received the same reply?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: vindelis
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 02:19 PM

Opening remarks of last year's folk festival 'brochure':

WEYMOUTH FOLK FESTIVAL
Welcome to Weymouth and Portland's first Folk Festival
"It is with great pleasure that I write these few words of welcome to this first Weymouth Folk Festival. It is a new event for our Borough and I would like to thank all who have worked to get the festival off the ground and in particular The Weymouth Folk Club, local folk enthusiasts and artists.
This an exciting step forward for folk music and live entertainment, I wish all concerned every success.
Live entertainment is an essential part of our way of life, 'FOLK' is the bedrock of that tradition and way of live.
In what ever capacity you are attending this folk festival have a great time.
I for one look forward to the Weymouth Folk Festival becoming part of the established scene here in Weymouth and Portland and hope this is just the first of many."
Coucillor Brian Ellis, Chair Economic, Tourism and Promotion Committee Weymouth and Portland Borough Council
Organised by the Tourism and Corporate Services Dept of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE WEYMOUTH FOLK CLUB.' NOTE: The ORIGINAL idea was that of the Council. The man in whose lap the 'idea' fell, knew that he would need outside assistance. Members of Weymouth Folk Club, who had had previous experience of running Folk Festivals were then asked if they would help. This is the present team/committee,cal it what you will.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: GUEST,The Wider Vision?
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 05:37 AM

I have read with interest, and a little sadness at the above for some weeks now, and without wishing to also get involved in the wranglings, I would like to add one and one only addition.

I am neither a musician or a singer, but a lover of folk music and one of those dying breed that you all need...a member of your audience,it seems to me that the issues here are now far removed from the original and maybe good intentioned ones of opposing the new licensing rules but sadly have become all too personal and a matter of winning ones own point against the other.

I am not a member of government, therefore I do not yet know how this new legislation is going to be finally resolved, if at all even they do at this stage. I believe the efforts of lobbying M.P's and the weight of feeling in the form of petitions and media debates will hopefully have an effect on the ruling.

The sadness I have on reading the above see sawing of comments both political and personal, is that the very thing I believe needs nurturing and supporting,is being threatened. Folk clubs are few and far between, people lead busy lives and those good people who believe in the music enough to give up their time and efforts so that people like me can take great pleasure in listening to it should be encouraged not boycotted.

Folk clubs alone cannot afford to give us the pleasure of excellent festivals like last years one in Weymouth, without the support of local councils, and I for one are pleased Weymouth Pavillion believes enough in their local folk clubs and performers to still support them and give a venue for it despite their present financial problems.

If you have got this far in reading through this weighty mail, then I would ask you to aim your efforts WISELY, where it may have a real bearing, and to lobby central government to resolve this legislation favourably to local folk musicians.

Please dont kill for the future,the good relationship being built up between local people and the council, which will hopefully will give us all folk festivals for many years after this legislation has long been forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 07:22 AM

I will repeat.

The festival is not really the issue.

The issue is this council's policy.

It would be nice if those who are so concerned about the success of the festival in its current form and post here to encourage others to attend, would at least address the policy.


It seems to have escaped attention of our above guest that this thread is not about the new legislation but about this particular council's past and current strict and damaging interpretation of existing legislation.

A 'buck-passing' lobby of central Government is also one advocated by this very council for two years but one that has not ans will not having bearing on this current legislation.

A forced change of this local policy however, even at this late stage, may well also highlight and affect the thinking behind the new legislation.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: GUEST,p_m_a@hotmail.com
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 05:21 PM

I for one support ANY live music, and take a dim view of others who do not.

I also do not like those who are dishonest in their political pursuits.

And I do not speak without knowledge and evidence.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 06:59 AM

The Licensing Manager's reply.

WPBC replied as follows via Sue Moore: [was Sue Allen]
Many thanks for your views on PELs which have been passed to me for comment. You appear, sadly like many others over the last year or so, to have been misinformed by the propaganda machine here (which it would seem is largely fuelled by one individual).

Perhaps an example of the 'misinformation' referred to, can be supplied, as most of this so – called misinformation, is in the form of the officer's own words. Also who this 'propaganda machine might be and why this was mentioned, as no reference to any individual was made in the original communication to the Licensing Manager?

The [then] Director of Tourism and Corporate Services, in a letter to Ian Bruce [then] MP, 19/03/01. "Where the provisions apply it is a requirement to have a licence and not something on which we have any discretion. And: "In terms of the reasoning behind the original legislation I am not sure I can see any difference between say two performers paid for or organised by the public house licensee and say three of four people playing and singing at the invitation or with the consent of the public house licensee."   

And again to Mr Bruce, 17/04/01. "Mr Gall simply does not accept the position that legally if there are more than two people taking part that a folk session at a pub does require an entertainment licence."

One of the Council's Solicitors, in a letter to Councillor Moss 21/01/02. "I had not read the case of Brearley –v- Moreley at the time of writing my letters to Councillor Booth (8th February 2001) or to Mr Birchall (22nd February 2201)."

It would be nice if the Council's officers be asked to now stop their continuing and increasingly ridiculous attempts to personalise this issue and respond correctly to outside suggestions? I feel this current tactic is largely made in order to ignore the important concerns at stake here, the weakness of the officer's position and their advice to members. For it has sadly been evidenced many times over the part two years, where the misinformation and propaganda, are in fact coming from, as sadly can again be seen from this reply.

This Council and its Officers do not spend their time actively seeking out folk gatherings in order to 'punish' them in some way. In fact, we only have 2 staff dealing with the issue and enforcement of 15 types of licence so we have to prioritise enforcement accordingly.

Sadly there are none (without PELs) left to seek out.

The Licensing Manager, in a letter to Roger Gall 02/03/01. "No complaint was received regarding your session [at the Cove House Inn]." The Public Enforcement Officer visited the premises as a result of the advertisement you placed in the Dorset Evening Echo."

And again 22/03/01. "It is our practice to regularly check publications such as the Dorset Evening Echo for any advertisement pertaining to licensing issues."

It would be more useful if a reply could be made to the concerns or to what actions the council officers may be responsible for, rather than an attempted defence of what they are not. However, a flower accidentally trampled, remains just as dead as one that is deliberately cut. The intentions of the officers are less important than the actions they are responsible for.

Despite the excuses given, these two staff, in only a two-month period, still managed four visits [only three as far as the members are aware], to the Cove House Inn. One of these was an under-cover visit by the writer of this reply, the Licensing Manager, who later wrote [above] to confirm that no complaint was received about the folk gathering there.

This did not prevent this staff of two from threatening the licensee with a £20,000 fine or a six month prison sentence, if this folk gathering continued without the licensee obtaining a Public Entertainment Licence.

The truth of the matter is that if an informal gathering of musicians happened as an irregular event without advertisement (and no complaints were received about it) then this Council would not pro- actively enforce.

Why address an irregular event when the issue is one of regular activities? The truth is that if a regular informal gathering of musicians (advertised or not), came to the officer's attention, a letter would be issued, and this action alone is enough to risk the event.
Perhaps the licensing manager could be asked to confirm the following?

1. Is it true for example, that in the case of the New Star Inn, that no advert was ever placed?
2. That no complaint was ever received?
3. And that no visit was ever made to establish if the activity was licensable or indeed if it was specifically exempt, in the whole five years of its duration?

However, if complaints are received then we are duty bound to investigate and, if necessary, encourage the licensee to apply for a PEL.

Perhaps the Council could be asked to confirm and inform the public that neither of the two Portland sessions, placed at risk by their actions did in fact, receive any complaints?

And that one was only enabled after the licensee, 'encouraged' by the above threats, was prepared to obtain a PEL, and the other, on receipt of the Council's letter, was prevented because the licensee was not? The Chief Executive in a note to my MP, not even being prepared to take any responsibility for the loss of the New Star session by claiming the officers actions to be a 'minimal light touch'.

It would be a pleasant and welcome surprise indeed, if the officers were ever to admit that they could have made more effort to care, and to better understand the nature of these sessions, and the risks presented to them.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 07:00 AM

The QC's opinion has been examined by the legal dept, who comment as follows:

"The Council's Solicitors have advised the Chair that they would not wish to change their previous advice as far as the existing law is concerned." This is that advice, contained in the report to the Social and Community Committee meeting 05/06/01.

Human Rights Considerations
5.1 Mr Gall has argued that by requiring the premises at which sessions take place to obtain a PEL Council officers are interfering unlawfully with his right to freedom of expression contained in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. As has been explained to Mr Gall, the right to freedom of expression is not an absolute right under the Convention.

By applying the relevant licensing the Council has imposed conditions and restrictions on Mr Gall's rights which are legal, necessary and proportionate in the in the interests of public safety, control of nuisance and the prevention of crime and disorder.

5.2 In any event the requirement for a PEL does not represent an absolute ban on informal music sessions. Where two or fewer performers provide musical entertainment the exemption referred to in paragraph 4.4 of this report would apply. Alternatively if musicians chose to make music together on premises operated as a private club a PEL would not be required although other legislation may apply.


No real surprise there as they would have to accept that their advice to the members had been wrong for over two years. But the question is, should the elected members take the advice of a 'first aider' or the advice of a Harley Street specialist.

It would appear, that they are prepared to accept the 'first aider's' diagnosis, that the patient is in perfect health, as they have persuaded the Chairman of this committee that my concerns should not be placed there to finally enable a democratic decision to be made.

Please feel free to circulate the following invitation which may appear in the official Weymouth Folk Festival programme. You will be made most welcome, if you do accept.

Brian Flynn and staff will be extending a warm welcome to all Weymouth Folk Festival attendees.

At The Cove House Inn, Chiswell, on the Isle of Portland.

An open invitation - starting with the regular tune session at 8.30 Thursday 8th May - is extended to all those who wish to make and enjoy folk music.

Come and join us from Saturday 10th May lunchtime – right through until the last festival survivors on Sunday night.

Friday 9th May - The Piano Dentists - will be performing.

Pop in to the good food and folk-friendly pub, right on Chesil Beach.
{Free parking}
Tel 01305 821 407.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 07:57 PM

Despite being told by the Chairman that the issue of the council acting unlawfully, would go to the next meeting of the Licensing Committee, this was overruled by the officers and I still wait.

The latest I was told was that another Committee may be looking at it but the next meeting of this Committee is not due until JUNE!

That is after the festival and the council elections in May.

Any outside help, would be very welcome.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 02:20 AM

This from the latest quarterly edition of Folk-on-tap.
[Snip]
This year, WE that is local performers Tin Leeming, Pauline Crenshaw, Bob Kirkpatrick, Karen Brown, Jo Quigley and some expert members of Frome Valley dance team, have already spent 8 months in the organisation of the 2003 event with something for everyone.

[The line up details follow, less any reference to any Portland events]

We hope that this message will allay any fears that Weymouth Folk Festival is not well and thriving. It has been brought to our notice that a few people are trying to link us the PEL debate. the local Weymouth and Portland musicians who are organising the festival have nothing to do with Central Government Law, and we do support the rest of the music world in its bid to have the law changed. Therefore we intend getting on with running an excellent festival and don't wish to waste time entering into political debate.

Just because the festival has some council funding, as many events do, that is no reason to deny and destroy the one thing we are all trying to promote - FOLK MUSIC.
Ends

Any letters for publication to editor@folkontap.co.uk. Remeber that the events will be long-gone by the time the next edition is published.

Therefore we intend getting on with running an excellent festival and don't wish to waste time entering into political debate.

As this message is clearly entering into that political debate and supporting the council's position/lie that the local policy is a question for Central Government, what the above actually means is that these individuals, like most of the local councillors, are not prepared to challenge their council officer's interpretation of the current law.

The crazy thing is that the current law does support the distinction between paid performers and unpaid pub customers making their own music.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 05:12 AM

It is 200 years ago to the day when a press gang arrived in Weymouth and directed by the Mayor of Weymouth - to Portland where the folk there were obviously considered by him to be more expendable than the young men of Weymouth.

There then followed what was known as the Easton Massacre and a number of Portland folk were killed that day. Subsequently the troops were acquitted.

Weymouth's legal officer's are using case-law from 1793 as support for their position. This really puts their advice to members in perspective as there was no Human Rights legislation then or indeed in 1803, when if you were playing music in pub, you ran the serious risk of being 'pressed' into the Royal Navy.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 05:24 AM

On the following site there are some nice photos of Chiswell and of the Cove. Right at the bottom of the site is a bit more on the Easton Massacre and an inscription on the grave of one of those who died.

http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/680735/


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 08:19 AM

The following from the SCoFF newsletter.

Weymouth Folk Festival and Portland Sessions

A number of Chinese (and other) whispers have surfaced in local folk publications Solent Waves and Folk On Tap:

1) An obsolete telephone number for Weymouth Festival Enquiries was supplied to Solent Waves. Please disregard the printed number. Contacts are Nicky Jenkins (Publicity Officer) 01305 838566 (Office Hours only), Karen Brown (principal voluntary Organiser) 01305 812876 or Pavilion Box Office 01305 783225.

The Cove Inn on adjoining Portland, one of the venues where informal activities are being held, is on 01305 821407. As far as can be ascertained all contacts on websites (WPBC, Festival Team, Solent Waves and SCoFF Festivals) are correct. SCoFF has more detail on the Cove and also Artiste links.

2) Folk On Tap April-June 2003 has its usual article 'Dorset Scene and Heard' by Sophie Wright and Bob Axford (this is the 'Chinese Whispers' bit):

i) Referring to the paragraph headed '2-in-a-bar at Weymouth', p37, Roger Gall would like to point out that he is not a publican on Portland or anywhere else!
He is the Organiser for the Thursday Sessions at the Cove Inn on Portland, where the publican with whom he co-operates is Mr Brian Flynn, tel as above. The Cove is participating in Festival activities and Roger also wishes to point out that Portland would have been left out but for his intervention.

ii) The article fails to distinguish between Council Officers (who have been the actual agents of supression in the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council or 'WPBC' area) and the Councillors themselves, the elected representatives who have in fact been denied any voice in these decisions.

This is a complicated situation, since a Councillor wishing to go against the stated opinion of eg a Council Solicitor is effectively accusing that Officer of incompetence. Since the Solicitor in question refuses to reconsider that opinion in the face of considerable legal weight behind a contrary one, an impasse has developed. It hardly needs to be pointed out that it would take considerable moral courage to make the change.

iii) In their own estimation, Neither Roger Gall nor Brian Flynn wrote to booked performers for the Festival 'advising them not to come' as was stated in the article. The facts were laid before the public by Roger and others, not before performers particularly, via the internet, where they were invited to make up their own minds and encouraged in any case to write to the Council telling them what they thought of them.

iv) It is incorrect to write that 'The Council didn't make the law', since that is in fact exactly what they did. Here is recent (Lords, 11 December 2000) Government comment on the matter:

Whether members of the public who sing on licensed premises count as performers is a matter for the licensing authority to decide, depending on the circumstances. Ultimately, the compatibility of this provision with the European Convention on Human Rights would be a matter for the courts to determine.

It appears that this very ambiguity is to remain under the new provisions (although, of course, the 2-in-a-bar exemption is to go). It will certainly be up to Local Authorities to decide what live music is or is not 'incidental' to another activity (like drinking), as in the latest amendment, and all the signs are that any advertising, even by word of mouth, will disqualify it.

The Government should certainly continue to 'feel the weight of our angst', along with the Council.

I'm not about to transmit comments concerning the apropriateness or otherwise of political action, whether as SCoFF webmaster or as Fo'c'sle co-organiser. Jane & I, in our guise as Fo'c'sle Organisers, should report that we have written to the Council making clear our support for the Festival itself and its volunteer Organisers, and our appreciation of Council funding, but complaining bitterly about their performer policy.

We regard the replies received as highly misleading, not to say dishonest, and have told them as much. There has been no further response.

Southern Counties Folk Federation, SCoFF.
web.onetel.net.uk/~trevorgilson/SCoFF

Trevor Gilson, SCoFF Webmaster.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 09:26 AM

The following from the Dorset Evening Echo 10 April 2003

May dates announced for second Weymouth festival.

STAGE SET FOR FEAST OF FOLK


Organisers are preparing for one of the largest festivals of folk to take place on the South Coast. The second Weymouth Folk Festival will take place in and around the town for three days in early May and the signs are that it will be even more successful than last year's event.

Local musicians such as Ken Watkins and The Yetties will be rubbing shoulders with international names including headliners The Oyster Band, guitar maestro Martin Simpson from Kentucky and Alexander Korbalov from Russia.

The Pavilion will be completely turned over to the festival, which runs from Friday, may 9, until Saturday, May 11, and various venues in the town will also be used.

Performers will be entertaining in five pubs – The White Hart, The Dorothy, Cove Inn on Portland, The Black Dog – as well as outside the Pavilion complex and at Brewers Quay.

There will also be a procession involving more than 25 sides of Morris dancers, Appalachian clog dancers and musicians.

Organiser Bob Kirkpatrick said: "We put last year' festival together in pretty short order and have had a year to plan this one, so I think it will be a tremendous success. "We are expecting dance teams from all over the South West including the Channel Islands and Bristol and we are expecting it to be the biggest festival outside Sidmouth and Wimborne."

He continued: "There will also be a fair mix of music, which is good. "We are not confining ourselves to just one type, but are covering the whole spectrum including some bluegrass." Co-organiser Karen Brown said: "We think that Weymouth is the ideal location for a folk festival because there is so much for families to do here. " There is the beach and the town centre and places to camp in the area – everything you need, really. "There is the potential for this to grow into something really big."

One of the highlights will be a craft fair in the Pavilion's Ocean Room on Sunday, May 11, featuring items handcrafted by traditional methods.

For full details of festival events and ticket details, call 01305 783 225.

Note that there is no mention here at all of Weymouth and PORTLAND Borough Council's organisation, funding or involvement…….. I wonder why? As there was a photo with the Council owned and run Pavilion Theatre in the background.

But there is mention of our Portland event at the Cove. I will be there all week-end at the best festival venue, the one that supports folk music all year round - and I hope to see you there too.


matt.pitman@dorsetecho.co.uk
has contacted me and has asked for my comments. Perhaps you could supply him with some of yours?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 11:29 AM

Please feel free to circulate the following invitation which may (or may not)appear in the official Weymouth Folk Festival programme. You will be made most welcome, if you do accept.

Brian Flynn and staff will be extending a warm welcome to all Weymouth Folk Festival attendees.

At The Cove House Inn, Chiswell, on the Isle of Portland.

An open invitation - starting with the regular tune session at 8.30 Thursday 8th May - is extended to all those who wish to make and enjoy folk music.

Come and join us from Saturday 10th May lunchtime – right through until the last festival survivors on Sunday night.

Friday 9th May - The Piano Dentists - will be performing.

Pop in to the good food and folk-friendly pub, right on Chesil Beach.
{Free parking}
Tel 01305 821 407.


Will we be seeing anyone?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 10:19 AM

For folk not following this thread - perhaps a word of explanation is called for, as I received the following and the writer may not be alone in this thinking.

This is an enticing invite, but haven't you been urging us for weeks to boycott Weymouth Folk Festival because of lack of sessions and attitudes of councillors?

Now I find it difficult to see how folk can expect this event in this form, to be widely supported by the folk community, but actually no I have not been urging folk to boycott Weymouth Folk Festival, as a careful read of this thread will show.

In truth I have urged people to convey their views to the council, over their policy, and many have done so and some of these have also said that they will boycott this festival. That must be a matter for them, but I have challenged folk who do their best to ignore the policy and advise others to do the same, in their desparation to hold this festival on terms dictated by the council.

This is not an easy situation.

However, this is an invite to informal participatory events organised on Portland - to take place during the weekend of the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council oganised Weymouth Folk Festival. I am just providing what I hope is an attractive alternative for folk who may feel reluctant to totally support the Council organised event.

Partly to show that I am not a kill-joy luddite.
Partly to show that folk events can take place on Portland (or indeed in Weymouth), without council money or oganisation.
And partly as a protest - but mainly to make some fine music!

For there are no official Weymouth Festival events planned to take place on Portland, even though Weymouth AND Portland Borough Council's money is funding this, the 2nd event. There may have been some excuse for last year's event, not covering Portland, but there is no such excuse this time.

I have not urged anyone to boycott anything - I have just been presenting the true facts to enable folk to make up their own mind - I am trying always to be positive, in rather negative times.....

You will be made very welcome.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 May 03 - 06:28 AM

See also Portland (UK) Folk weekend 8 - 11 May


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 May 03 - 02:39 AM

Weymouth Evening Echo 8 May 2003.

Musicians in folk boycott.


Enthusiasts from around the country claim they will stay away from the Weymouth Folk Festival in a row over entertainment licences.

Licensing laws state that premises hosting more than two people deemed to be singing, dancing or performing should have an entertainment licence.

Local campaigners claim Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, which is sponsoring this weekend's festival with Weymouth Folk Group, have stifled folk musicians by clamping down on informal sessions held at various unlicensed pubs in the borough.

The groups have now organised an alternative event on Portland for people unhappy with the council.
The programme of events at the Cove House Inn on Portland, which has a long association with folk music, has been organised by enthusiast Roger Gall who claims dozens of musicians have pledged support.

The boycott has been backed by top folk musician Eliza Carthy and comes after a small group of singers quit the New Star Inn on Portland after five years because the council warned the owners they needed a licence.

Mr Gall, from Portland, said: "I would like the main festival to be a success because it encourages folk music but the bottom line is that the council's attitude is ridiculous because they enforce this policy. A lot of people have opted to stay away because they feel strongly about this."

He added that the take-up figure of public entertainment licences in Weymouth and Portland was 30 per cent, compared with five per cent nationally. "The council obviously wants to maximise its revenue, particularly at the moment, but people from all over the country say they cannot support this festival because the council only supports folk music when the festival is on." Mr Gall said that he organised the alternative folk sessions because no events were planned for Portland.

"The council is called Weymouth and Portland but yet there's no official events on the island. It feels like Portland has been ignored," he said.

More than 1000 performers are set to attend this weekend's Weymouth Folk Festival from Friday to Sunday.
Highlights include a parade of dance, which sets off from the Jubilee Clock at 12.30pm on Saturday and heads for Weymouth Pavilion, with bands performing including The Oysterband and The Yetties.

Coun Brian Ellis, borough tourism spokesman, said: "There will be no boycott because the line up we have planned is an excellent one. The information I'm getting is that it will be well supported and the event is putting Weymouth on the folk music map."

Coun Ellis added that the row over entertainment licenses should be distanced from the festival.
"I'm a strong supporter of live performance and I do have concerns how the licensing legislation is interpreted by the borough. The borough needs to ensure the licensing isn't too harsh," he added.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 May 03 - 02:45 AM

Echo Comment 8 May 2003-05-08

Sad note for folk fans


A Government proposal to tighten the law on live music performances is one factor angering Dorset campaigners who are urging a boycott of this weekend's Weymouth Folk Festival.

But they are also not happy with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, which they feel has been too zealous in its interpretation of the existing law in the context of informal traditional music performances in pubs.

The wrangle is brought into focus this weekend by the calls for a boycott of this weekend's folk festival sponsored by the council.

Musicians of all kinds, not just those whose first love is traditional music, are fighting for a change in the Government's stance, but, meanwhile, local authorities like the borough council have insisted music licenses are required for public performances, however informal they may be.

It is clear that a great many musicians and the owners of some venues, especially small pubs are concerned about the provisions of the new law. It now seems to have attracted widespread opposition, and many venues, we are told, been prompted to close their doors to live music.

Will a boycott by some people of Weymouth's festival produce anything other than divisions within the ranks of committed folk enthusiasts? Surely there must be a better way forward.

Replies to letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

This last question is a bit rich as it was this newspaper that first introduced the nice emotive word boycott, when they were fully aware that what was being urged was for people to express their views to the council on their policy - for these messages were also copied to them.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 May 03 - 02:59 AM

Letter to the Echo 10 May 2003.
Boycott will not stop legislation.


Does anyone seriously believe that boycotting the local folk festival will make any difference to the enforcing of music performance legislation? I don't think so.

I don't like the existing or the proposed new legislation but, to be fair to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, it has a duty to enforce the existing legislation when informed of an infringement.

You might like to ask Roger Gall just who it was who brought the 'Star' folk session on Portland to the attention of the council, thus ensuring that enforcement had to be carried out.

I believe that you are also confusing singer Eliza Carthy's opposition to the new PELS legislation with Roger Gall's opposition to the existing 'Two in a bar' rule.

Your lead article was misleading and unhelpful to a local event.

Nigel Canter



Replies to letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

You could ask Roger Gall who brought the attention of the New Star session to the council. As it is he appears to wish to know, you could also ask Mr Canter why he does not ask Roger Gall himself or why this would aspect would appear to matter to him, far more than what the officers then do with this information.

If it really matters how or more importantly when this information came to the officer's attention, it is difficult to understand why Mr Canter, such a firm supporter of duty and of upholding legislation would expect me to do anything other than my duty. Surely he would not expect me to withhold this information, to break the law and make the public unsafe? *Smiles*

The above is a good example of how foolish enforcement of this foolish legislation and a desperation for a council festival gig, will makes fools of many.

For enforcement is only necessary when it has been established that a licensable activity is taking place. As the licensing officers did not visit the New Star session, this was never established, unlike the many visits to the Cove.

Whatever this council's duty may be, it surely should be a fair and consistent duty. So perhaps Mr Canter would like to ask the council to explain the contrast in their officer's efforts to try and avoid visiting or seeing the New Star session with the many visits and determination to prevent identical activities at the Cove.

The New Star session took place for over five years in total, and over two years since the Cove's enforcement, when its nature and location, as I was informed by the then councillor for this ward - was 'common knowledge'.

The question that needs to be asked is why would anyone wish to report this session, over two years later? It is a matter of clear record that I have spent the two years since the Cove action   (unsuccessfully but without revealing the name of the premises) in trying to change the council's policy to ensure that the New Star session could in fact continue without a PEL.

You could also ask what exactly Mr Canter or the other participants were doing to assist in this aim or in the aim of addressing the new legislation, both of which he claims to dislike?

I am not going to write to the Echo to correct Mr Canter as he will choose to believe and blame what is convenient, as i feel this action from me will continue to personalise an important issue. I would be grateful if others could write with their comments however.

But it has been explained how my new ward councillor took the common knowledge complete with the name of the continuing New Star session to the officers. He did not want to be compromised by holding this information about illegal activities, decided to do his duty and inform the Licensing Manager about the New Star session. They immediately issued the letter that sadly resulted in the end of the long-running event.

I continue in my attempt to change the policy that would allow the New Star session it to re-start, without a PEL. Perhaps Mr Canter would care to help?

I am first a musician who along with many others, has directly suffered from this policy, I have tried my best to ensure that no one else will. The idea that is conveniently whispered locally that I am a politically motivated zealot, who is prepared to sacrifice anything to achieve some selfish end, is just not borne out by the facts. But some folk are not interested in facts, they just interfere with a good, if improbable story.

As for the 'boycott' - people were informed the facts and urged to express their views to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council over their policy under current legislation. This policy is the root cause of these problems and divisions, it also is a solid fact to be faced, that it presents the risk to the success or otherwise of the council organised Weymouth Folk Festival. The point was to highlight the threat the policy presented, in order that this totally unnecessary threat could be removed. This would enable this festival to be supported by the whole folk community. Sadly the council decided just to keep on wading neck-deep into the Big Muddy.

As for The Echo being confused –

Daily Telegraph
Battle over 'last orders' for music
(Filed: 18/01/2003)
Musicians and publicans fear that the new Licensing Bill will impose a tax on music-making that many will be unable to pay. By Colin Randall

(snip)
"They were like part of the family," says Christine Radford, who says she has been driven by red tape and diminishing income to consider quitting the licensed trade. "I was in tears on their last night."
Tom Grainger, the council's chief executive, points out that 30 per cent of licensed premises in the area have PELs and would protest if a blind eye were turned to others. He denies that the council approach has changed and says it is "most unfortunate" that Eliza Carthy and other musicians are urging a boycott of the council-sponsored folk festival in May.


There is a difference between an individual choosing not to attend or support an event, being sympathetic to others taking this course, and organising and actively urging others to do the same. The media know this difference but a nice emotive word like 'boycott' is preferred.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 May 03 - 03:10 AM

It has to be said that Eliza did have reservations about the Daily Telegraph article and did convey these to the writer. Sadly I was not aware of this until after the Echo's article appeared.

She was not urging anyone to boycott the Weymouth Folk Festival.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 May 03 - 06:05 AM

I have sent the following letter to the Echo. I don't suppose this will be printed either.

The Echo's comment 8 May 2003, expresses concern over divisions among folk enthusiasts over a folk festival 'boycott'. However I would like to point out that this word was first introduced in the Echo on 27 December 2002. If 'groups' were urging people not to attend, there may some justification in the use of this word. This was not what was being urged by any 'group' and these are not the divisions that should be of most concern.

People were informed the facts and urged to express their views to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council over their policy and copy these to the Echo. This policy is the root cause of all these supposed divisions, it also presents the risk to the success or otherwise of the council organised Weymouth Folk Festival. The point was to highlight the threat the policy presented, in order that this totally unnecessary threat could be removed. As it can so very easily be removed, where there is a will locally to do so.

That the row over entertainment licenses should be distanced from the festival is the wish of many, whose business is not politics. However, councillors, whose business it is, have known for a long time that it was their local policy that presented the threat to its success - as Peter Chegwyn, both an elected councillor and festival organiser in Gosport, pointed out clearly in his letter to the Echo 1st January 2003. "I am afraid Tom Grainger chief executive of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, is sadly mistaken if he thinks his council's over-zealous enforcement of outdated laws relating to live music venues will not affect the council's own folk music festival in 2003."   

So why was this policy not reviewed by a policy making committee prior to this event, as energetically requested for over two years, and advice not sought from people like Peter Chegwyn, to see if the threat could be removed, especially in the 4 months since the Echo's first story? The answer is that the Council's non- elected officers had just as energetically resisted this request.

There will no doubt be loud claims from the Council of how successful this 2nd event was. This should not disguise the fact that with a little joined-up thinking from our officers and a bit more courage shown by our councillors in challenging them, the event could have been even more successful, as the honest efforts of all those working on the ground, both paid and unpaid, so richly deserve.

The threat is not a boycott, but the Council is in competition. There are many folk festivals and there are others on this same weekend. If outside folk are to be attracted to this one, the Council need good public relations and not to be seen as leading official kill-joys (as they are currently). A change of policy, even at this late stage will guarantee that good publicity…………… Does your councillor support this view? For I have not found one who does. So why then does this borough hold this damaging policy when it is clear that they do NOT have to?

Will our elected members finally review this unpopular policy and remove this threat?

Currently this local policy means for example that The National Anthem sung by three unpaid pub customers every Friday night, will be considered in this borough as 'performers' in a 'performance' of public entertainment. This will be illegal and deemed to have made the safe, inspected and already licensed premises - unsafe without additional payment and application to the Council for a Public Entertainment Licence. The licensee will be liable to a £20,000 fine or six months in prison if this singing takes place without a PEL.

The Echo's editorial comment ignores the second threat, which is the important point that for the second time no official festival events were planned for Portland.

Councillor Ellis also in the Echo 8 May 2003, may feel that "the event is putting Weymouth on the folk music map" (Portland apparently not even appearing as in a little box in the corner).

But this is the point is where the serious divisions are being engendered by this lack of joined-up thinking. Surely when the Borough of Weymouth and Portland funds events it should be the whole Borough that benefits and Weymouth AND Portland, being put on the map?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 May 03 - 05:14 PM

Dorset Echo May 12
Thousands of visitors enjoy a variety of entertainment despite fears over a licences boycott.
FUN-FILLED FESTIVAL OF FOLK

http://www.thisisdorset.net/dorset/weymouth/news/WEYMOUTH_NEWS_NEWS6.html

More than 1,000 performers showed off their talents when Weymouth's second Folk Festivalswung into action at the weekend. Solo artists, groups, bands, Appalachian dancers and Morris sides performed at a variety of venues – and folk lovers from across the county and country poured into town.

The festival went ahead despite a rival Portland event held to protest at entertainment licences.

Local campaigners claimed that joint festival sponsors Weymouth and Portland Borough Council had stifled folk musicians by clamping down on informal sessions held at various unlicensed pubs in the borough.

But fears that a massive boycott might hit the festival proved unfounded as folk lovers flocked to enjoy the entertainment.

Weymouth Folk Group, who also sponsored the festival, said it was delighted with the response to this year's event, while the council's leisure and entertainments manager Simon King said there had been a huge amount of support from local pubs. he added that the event was now one of Britain's fastest growing festivals.

Mr King said: "The Council and Weymouth Folk Club are working to make this a festival to rival Sidmouth and this year's line-up proved that we are on the way to this goal."

Among highlights were a grand parade of dance from the Jubilee Clock to the Pavilion Theatre. There were also great performances from Last Night's Fun, and folk fans also enjoyed The Oysterband, Martin Simpson, The Yetties, Munday Turner workshops, concerts, late night sessions, morris dancing, ceilidhs, a folk village, dancing, busking and pub sessions.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: MairSea
Date: 13 May 03 - 10:33 AM

As an 'out of towner' who came to the festival at the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it I think that the council's policy on parking will kill off the festival more than anything else!

We stayed in a B&B on the front where we could park overnight but had to move to the Pavilion car park before 1000 each morning. This meant that my husband could not 'have a drink' for the weekend as he is the only driver. We had hoped that there would have been parking for the B&B's so that we could have enjoyed a good night's rest and walked along to the Pavilion Fri/Sat and then left from the Pavilion car park on the Sunday. Had we not been to last year's festival and been aware of the reduction in charges for those visiting the Theatre we too, would have been paying £6 per day in parking charges! Parking charges plus accomodation charges together with the 75% increase in the Weekend Season ticket really made it an expensive weekend. Thankfully the line up, the workshops and the friendliness made up for the high costs. Because of the difficulty in parking etc. we were unable to go over to Portland to the Cove Inn to enjoy some of the music there - sorry!!


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 May 03 - 11:24 AM

Because of the difficulty in parking etc. we were unable to go over to Portland to the Cove Inn to enjoy some of the music there - sorry!!

I'm sorry too - for the parking on Portland was free. Maybe next time?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 May 03 - 03:01 AM

Echo letter 13 May 2003

Inn's folk sessions were integral part of festival


As part of the group that organised the second Weymouth festival, I was disturbed to read (Musicians in folk boycott, Thursday) that the sessions at the Cove House Inn on Portland were apparently not part of the festival.

This was news to me and to my fellow organisers. Mr Gall was asked by the member of the group organising the pub sessions on behalf of us all, to run sessions at the Cove House as part of the festival and he agreed to this back in March. Far from being an alternative event, the sessions were regarded as an integral part of the festival.

Incidentally, Eliza Carthy was never invited, nor, as far as I am aware declared her intention to be a part of the festival, so I find it difficult to see how she could be boycotting it. As a Portland resident I, like Mr Gall, am keen to see Portland included in future festival proceedings.

Pauline Clenshaw
(One of the Folk Festival organisers)
Greenways
Portland.


It is rather sad that none of the current batch of local writers of letters to the Echo, could not have been doing this for the last two years, over the council's policy. Which deprived Portland of one session and would have deprived us of another, if the licnsee had not been prepared to pay for the PEL to enable it.

If they had there would be no need now for any of this bad feeling, bitterness and personally motivated gossip being placed publicly in the newspaper, rather than presenting me with it personally first. In fairness, a lot of the Echo's festival coverage is incorrect, including the pro festival 'spin'. This is the nature of the press, however I do stand by what appears as my quotes. These are nearly what I actually said.


Dear ...

I attach the following letter that I intend to send to the Echo.

As you are well aware my facts are correct and can all easily be confirmed, as detailed. Before I take any further action, I would like to first give you the opportunity to ask Pauline if she will write to the Echo and confirm that the information she supplied (I suspect in all good faith), was incorrect.

Perhaps you could advise as soon as possible so this can be cleared up without any more unnecessary bad-feeling being created?

Roger

[Proposed letter.]
Re-writing festival history?

Pauline Clenshaw, Echo letter 13 May, claims that I was asked to organise sessions on Portland for the Weymouth Folk Festival. If she checks the permanent email record about my possible involvement over the festival weekend, she will find that her claim is incorrect.

The record will show that I was offered or expected to be leading a session in Weymouth and a list of Weymouth only venues were supplied. On receipt of this list, the record will show that I expressed that my loyalties should lie with the licensee of the Cove House Inn on Portland, who supported folk music all year round, and where our regular Thursday session was held.

The emails will show that I declined the offer to lead a session in Weymouth and after checking with the licensee, declared that I would be running a session on Portland instead. I then made the request for this additional event to be placed in the official programme.

Had I accepted the original offer, it is a fact that there would have been no festival events - either integral or alternative, taking place on Portland, for the second year of this Weymouth and Portland Borough Council organised event.

I do not welcome her attempts to re-write history but I do welcome Pauline Clenshaw being so keen now to see Portland included in any future festival proceedings. The mystery is why she did not ensure that the Council organised some for this 2nd event?

For the emails will also show that I did also request that perhaps a Morris side or two from the Weymouth festival could visit The Cove, as the licensee indicated that this also would be most welcome.

Perhaps all this can be confirmed and corrected in these pages when the facts are checked?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 May 03 - 09:53 AM

Echo letters 14 May 2003

I didn't urge boycott of festival

I seem to have been misrepresented in my opinions regarding whether or not the general public should have boycotted the Weymouth Folk Festival.


Whilst I condemn the local council for rigorously and heavy-handedly enforcing the current 'two-in-a-bar' licensing law and closing harmless culturally important and enjoyable folk sessions in local pubs, I would never urge the boycott of a valuable community event.

Folk music is a genre and culture under-represented in the media and in terms of funding and I applaud the council for continuing to support this event, if not others.

I have no wish to alienate the council or the festival's participants and organisers; nor do I have any wish to deprive fellow performers of work.

To set the record straight, what I said (in a Daily Telegraph article) was that there was "likely to be a boycott".

I continue to support campaigners in their efforts to guide the Government in its proposed new Bill (which is entirely another kettle of fish and would need a much longer letter!).

Eliza Carthy
North Dalton,
East Yorks


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 May 03 - 02:56 PM

Letter to the Echo 15 May, 2003
Alternative festival is an empty gesture


Congratulations are due to the organisers of the Weymouth Folk Festival. A couple of hiccups, yes; but overall it was a tremendously successful event that was enjoyed by all who participated – performers and audience alike.

I and many, many others look forward to next year's event.

If one must pick a particular fly in the folk ointment, then it must be the unfortunate intervention of Mr Roger Gall (as reported on the front page of the Echo on May 8 ('Musicians in Folk Boycott').

I am struck by the apparent contradiction in the position of Mr Gall's position, who proposed a boycott of the Folk Festival in Weymouth. He declared that there were no venues on Portland, yet on each day of the festival an event was scheduled for the Cove on Portland, and each of those events was to be hosted ny none other than Mr Roger Gall.

Mr Gall claims that he was protesting about the borough council's policy in respect of licensing live music in the town. To hold an 'alternative' festival in the very borough he hoped to embarrass seems to me something of an empty gesture.

After all, Portland is part of the borough council's purview and subject to the same rules concerning live music. It might have made more sense for Mr gall to have descended on Dorchester.

This is even before one considers the 'alternative' line-up. More than one Portlander has described it to me as embarrassing. I was pleased to see the number of people from Portland (musicians and audience) who were at the festival proper.

This is not the first outburst from Mr Gall – who some see as a man whose pronouncements have been actually been harming the cause of live music in Weymouth and Portland.

The borough council's policy in respect of live music is not the best, but it is pretty good. One would be hard pressed to find another town in the South West with such a lively, diverse and prospering music scene.

Indeed one of the things that holidaymakers frequently cite as one of the reasons they enjoy their visits to Weymouth – and Portland.

That would hardly be the case if the strictures really were as draconian as Mr Gall insists.   

Ian Sedwell
Greenhill
Weymouth


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 May 03 - 07:51 AM

The Echo has not published my letter.

The feely offfered and promised letter from my ward councillor stating that it was he who informed the officers about the new Star session, has also not appeared.

If you would care to write to them, they may well publish yours.

letters@dorsetecho.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 May 03 - 08:30 AM

Oh! There is a also photo on the May 15 letters page, with the caption.

SOUNDING GOOD: Performer Martin Simpson at the folk festival. Ian Sedwell pours scorn on the 'boycotters'


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 May 03 - 04:41 AM

It is interesting that many of the letters supporting the festival (or knocking me) feel that they have to try and excuse the council's policy.

This is probably the one thing that does really upset me. But I do well understand the anger of people who have their harmless interests threatened. Even if this anger is not directed in the direction where the responisility for the threat clearly belongs.

They overlook the fact that had the name of the pub I forwarded for inclusion in the official programme been the New Star(if the council had not already been responsible for this session), or indeed any pub on Portland or Weymouth, without a PEL - not only would it not appeared have in the programme, the officers would have had to insist on a PEL. If the pub had not complied, even for a temporary PEL, the festival event and the weekly folk event would have been prevented as a result.

Or if a session in say The Ship had spilled into nearby pubs without PELs, on more than a one-off basis over the 3 days, these would have had to be prevented by the council. This is a real danger as many folk prefer to choose their own pubs for informal pub sessions at festivals.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 May 03 - 07:48 AM

I received the following email yesterday.

Thanks for your letter & email. I have forwarded them to the Folk Festival Committee Secretary. I am sure it will be discussed at the wash up meeting.

I understand that your events at the Cove went well. This maybe bodes well for next year.

yours in music


............


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 May 03 - 05:43 AM

Letter to Dorset Evening Echo 23 May 2003.

We should ease up on pub music.


It could be inferred from Nigel Canter's letter about Weymouth folk festival (May 10) that it was Roger Gall who brought the Star folk session on Portland to the attention of the borough council.

It wasn't – it was me!

Please be assured it was not done through malice. I merely asked the question why the sessions at the Cove now had to be licensed whereas other similar events did not.

The subsequent letter to the Star requiring them to get a licence has had a completely negative effect: i.e. the musical sessions enjoyed by so many for so long have ceased.

Is this what we really want?

Surely it is an absolute right for people to make music, provided, of course, that it does not contravene nuisance regulations.

Why should it require a public entertainment licence in a pub?

If the event attracts extra customers and the landlord increases his profit – so what? Heaven knows it is difficult enough to make a living in a pub as it is. You might as well say a public entertainment licence is required for a darts final or a crucial pool match. To use 'safety' as an excuse for requiring licenses is, in my opinion, bogus.

A pub with 100 people in it is no safer with a licence than it is without.

I believe that the council's interpretation of the current legislation is unfair, as it discourages musical events by unpaid performers when we should be promoting them.

I will endeavour to have the interpretation changed.

Jim Holt
Portland Borough councillor
Tophill East


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 04:15 AM

Dorset Echo March 29 2004.

Show of Hands to head the bill for weekend folk event.

Top line-up for festival

An appearance by one of Europe's top acoustic bands will be the icing on the cake for this year's Weymouth Folk Festival. This is the third year that the weekend-long round of concerts, dances and parades has taken place and organisers are expecting it to be the best yet.

Topping the bill will be the West Dorset-based duo Show of Hands, who Q magazine described as 'like listening to U2 play folk', as well as Jez Lowe and the bad pennies. Other big names from the world of folk include Bob Fox, Mike Silver, No Strings Attached and Footnote and the town will also be full of buskers while the pubs will be hosting music sessions throughout the festival.

But it's not just music, Traditional dance also plays a major part in the weekend's events, with Morris and Appalachian sides performing at the Pavilion and in the town centre. For many visitors the visual highlight of the festival will be the dance parade through Weymouth's streets, staring at 1pm on Saturday, May 6.

Festival organiser and spokesman Bob Kirkpatrick explained: " the line-up is extremely good this year and while that's great news for us and the people who come here, it makes it a hard act to follow next year!"

"The good thing about having big names like Show of Hands at the festival, is that they have the date on their website so when people log on, they get to know about the festival and Weymouth too".

"Tickets are already on sale and are selling well and the financial side of things is looking good, so hopefully we won't make a loss like last year. People come to the festival for different reasons. Some come for the whole weekend to enjoy the food and beer and soak up the atmosphere, while other people just come along for one of the concerts. It's such a mix so we have to provide a lot of entertainment and a varied programme."

Bob is not the only person expecting the festival to be huge success. Weymouth's entertainments manager,
Simon King, also has great hopes for the weekend. "The attendance of Show of Hands at the festival is tremendous news and is a strong indication of the growing reputation of the event", he said. "with such a strong headliner, one of the country's finest festival locations and with such a great programme we are sure to be on to a winner." He added.

Weymouth Folk Festival runs from Friday to Sunday, May 7 to 9. For full details and ticket prices call Weymouth Pavilion box office on 01305 783 225.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: breezy
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 04:28 AM

and Vin Garbut is appearing at the Boscomb folk club at the Portland on 2nd May with trific support acts too.

Its all happening down there in Dorset ,its beautiful wherever you go and the rain in the summertime makes the wurzel bush grow.

Bob Fox claimed to invent the joke when he was travelling with Vin that they should take to the road as a duo wearing crutchless leotards and call themselves 'Show of


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: breezy
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 06:03 AM

?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Mar 04 - 06:31 PM

Bob Fox claimed to invent the joke when he was travelling with Vin that they should take to the road as a duo wearing crutchless leotards and call themselves 'Show of

Show of...Pubic Entertainment Licenses?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 12:41 PM

7th - 9th May
3rd Weymouth Folk Festival, centred on the Weymouth Pavilion

A weekend of top national and local performers with sessions and workshops in a beautiful seaside location based in Weymouth Pavilion.

Friday night concert headlining Jon Harvison, Bob Kirkpatrick, Hoovering the Heavens, John Bullock.

Saturday afternoon concert with Paul Downes, Mike Silver, 3 Tuns o' Grass and a New to the Festival concert.

Saturday night features Show of Hands plus a ceilidh with No Strings
Attached.

Sunday afternoon sees Bob Fox and Jez Lowe perform. Many of these are hosting Meet the Artist events.

There will be 20 Morris teams including the phenomenal Outside Capering Crew and a Sunday Jig Event, 4 Appalachian teams, song/tune sessions, a Folk Club and Come All Ye's hosted by Pete Sibley, No Fixed Abode and Arish Mell, workshops and craft/music stalls.

Camping is available.

£30 weekend ticket, family/concessions available

Contact Penny James 01305 783225
Pennyjames@weymouth.gov.uk
www.weymouth.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Apr 04 - 07:59 AM

For the latest position re Weymouth and Portland Council's continuing action against regular folk sessions - click this link to a post on 'The New Star session RIP' thread.

http://www.mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=1163227

The the loss of this latest session - is despite ongoing efforts by (some of) the elected members of the Council to change the interpretation used by the Council's officers.

The chairman of the Licensing Committee, in particular is trying to change the policy to stop the officers preventing sessions - as he is also in charge of promoting the Council organised folk festival and the sessions organised as part of this, by the Council as part of this festival.

He at least accepts that this current treatment of local folk sessions is unlikely to result in general support for the Council's annual folk festival - from the outside folk community.
Who may have reasonably expected that over the past 3 years, the Council would have addressed and solved this threat to the success of their 3rd folk festival.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Apr 04 - 08:49 PM

will be in Weymouth, and attending some of the concerts, any chance of a floorspot anywhere?

all the best

big al whittle - singer/songwriter/ guitarist


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: GUEST,Wee Little Drummer
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 12:00 PM

No idea who you are but the Festival is open to EVERYONE!!!!!! Let me know what you are looking for and I will try to help.
This years Festival will be Fantastic!!!!

Bob


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 May 04 - 05:38 AM

No idea who you are either Bob.

Could you possibly be the festival organiser Bob, who has also organised himself a Weymouth folk Festival gig for the third year running?


Dorset Echo May 4 2004-05-05

Weymouth's third Folk Festival is eagerly anticipated.

ALL KINDS OF FOLK HERE.


The final pieces of the jigsaw are slotting into place for Weymouth's third Folk Festival, and the organisers are hoping that the three-day event will be a massive success.

With a powerful line-up of talent, dance teams from across the country coming to the town and much more besides, there are plenty of events on offer to keep the whole family entertained.

Heading the bill is a performance by globally- renowned folk duo Show of Hands, who will be taking to the stage in the Pavilion theatre at 7pm on Saturday accompanied by singers Jenna Wicks and Debs Sandland. And the festival will be closed at 2pm on Sunday by a concert by equally popular performer Jez Lowe, who will be sharing the stage with Bob Fox and the Bad Pennies.

Festival organiser Bob Fitzpatrick says,: "We are lucky to have such great musicians coming to town to take part in the festival. Jez Lowe always puts on a superb concert and Show of Hands are so popular that they are selling as a stand-alone events and not part of the festival."

He adds:" Ticket sales are going well and I think we have done everything we can do, so all we can do now is hope that the weather is kind to us." One of the reasons that the organisers are banking on the weather is the dance parade that will wind its way through the streets on Saturday afternoon. Starting at the Jubilee Clock at 1pm, hundreds of dancers including Appalachian sides will make their way along the seafront to the Pavilion, dancing all the way.

"It is one of the most popular events of the festival, a real carnival procession of dancers," Bob explains. " Not only is it a fantastic site, but hopefully the dancers will also come and take part in the ceilidh in the Pavilion Ocean Room on Saturday night (7.30pm start) and really get it going."

He adds "We have been overwhelmed by the support we have been given and I think people will enjoy this highly entertaining and colourful spectacle."

Weymouth Folk festival runs from Friday to Sunday, May 7 to 9 in and around the Pavilion complex and tickets can be bought for the individual shows and for the whole weekend. For full details and tickets, call the box office on 01305 783 225.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 May 04 - 11:26 AM

Dorset Echo 10 May 2004

Annual festival weaves it way into national folk calander
By Peter Hawkins.

Weymouth's 'tremendous' folk festival is becoming cemented into the folk calender. Organiser Bob Kirkpatrick said: "We are still only in our third year but this year has really established us well"

A procession of dancers wound their way along the beach from the Jubilee Clock to the Pavilion, weaving in and out of the town centre. Folk music act Show of Hands, dubbed the U2 of folk music, headlined at the Pavilion on Saturday night while a celidh was held in the Ocean Rooms.

Musicians Jez Lowe, Bob Fox and the Bad Pennies performed at the close of the weekend on Sunday afternoon.

Bob Kirkpatrick added: "It went tremendously well. We got lots of positive comments from members of the public, the dance teams were well received and the Ocean Rooms were full - it was fantastic. "The weather helped in way - we moved the Appalachian dancers inside because of the wind and we were overwhelmed with the number of onlookers."

The festival also included dance displays, music and dance workshops and craft stalls, as well as various free musical performances in pubs around Weymouth including Paul Downes, mike Silver and Three Tons o' grass.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 03:04 AM

6th - 8th May 2005

WEYMOUTH FOLK FESTIVAL

£30 weekend ticket

A weekend of folk events including concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, meet the artists, indoor and outdoor dance displays, song and tune sessions, a folk club and a craft fair.

This 4th Festival promises to be the best yet confirmed artists include Ashley Hutchings with a Morris On programme, Mundy-Turner, Colvin-Quarmy, Derek Brimstone, Dr Stomp, Paul Downes, No Fixed Abode, Roy Mette, a New to the Festival Concert, The Harvesters, Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, Nick Wyke and Beky Driscoll, Red Shed Ceilidh Band, a Late Night Extra, Morris (all kinds), Clog, Appalachian, Stepdance teams.

A weekend ticket for all events costs £30 with family, child and senior and day tickets available. All events are also individually priced. Discount camping is available, as is discount parking. We keep the website updated at www.weymouthfolkfestival.co.uk so check for details or contact the Box Office on 01305 783225.

Please support a local festival organised by enthusiasts with Local Authority support which is trying to get more folk based acts in the area and raise the profile of our own arts. Let us know any suggestions you have or if you would like to help by stewarding.

Box Office (01305 783225)

folk@weymouthfolkfestival.co.uk

www.weymouthfolkfestival.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 May 05 - 11:56 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 May 05 - 02:53 AM

Great festival - one I would recommend to anybody - very friendly sessions.

two things never add up to me about it.

1) Why can't Weymouth Pavilion install lifts for disabled people. This is a major public facility. Not just for the folk festival but why do Weymouth people put up with that. Three Stannahs and the whole place would be open to a whole new section of the community. Mind blowing.

2) Where are the Yetties? I've seen their show at The pavilion at least half a dozen times. they are surely the jewel in the crown of the Dorset folk scene.    Pete the accordionist/keyboard is a terrific musician, Bonny Sartin is one of the greatest interpreters of folk music going - somebody who can sing a traditional song without sounding like the village idiot, from a folk music family that sourced the Hammond collection - and where the bloody hell are they? Oh yeh and the other bloke on guitar's not bad. Don't tell they've got a gig and can't make it.....

best wishes, I will try to make it this year. i had actually booked a caravan for the weekend , but a close relation has been rushed into hospital - anyway No Fixed Abode will be able to use the caravan - they are neighbours and they are doing the festival AND have a gig at Piddletrentide or something or other that sounds similar.

all the best

Big al whittle


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 May 05 - 05:25 AM

Where is Grahame Moore?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: GUEST,rebel folkie
Date: 05 May 05 - 02:53 PM

Suggest all talk and no action leads to the same end. Negative feelings. Music of the folk is just that, an expression of who we are if farmer, publican singer or traveller. So action. Sing in a pub as an individualand as a group of individuals. play in a pub as an individual and as a group of individuals. Who will eject? who will sue? The police can not respond. The french would do such why dont you?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 May 05 - 04:33 PM

Slight problem with that rebel folkie, it isn't you that gets arrested, sued and loses his/her licence for breaking the law.

It's the landlord.

And the law has changed anyway - thogh whether for the better is a moot point.

Best regards,

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 06:56 PM

http://www.weymouthfolkfestival.co.uk/

The following from the above site.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council have decided to significantly reduce funding for future Festivals.

It is not clear what the outcome of this decision will mean.

In the meantime go here and see what is FolkActive in Dorset.

Please take the time to let me know what you think .......MAIL US


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 01:39 AM

2nd, 3rd & 4th June
* ==============
*
* Wessex Folk Festival, Weymouth
*
* Confirmed so far: Richard Digance
*
* A new name and new focus for the former Weymouth Folk Festival. The festival
* will run from Fiday 2nd June to Sunday 4th June. Our aim is to celebrate and
* promote live performance of music, song and dance rooted in the traditions of
* our area. We want to make the best use of the existing wealth of talent
* Wessex has to offer and to encourage new talent. Our website is regularly
* updated so please visit us to find out the latest on who's booked, where and
* when.
*
* Information from Pauline Clenshaw 01305 860277
*info@wessexfolkfestival.co.uk
*


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 04:41 AM

beautiful festival - have visited two years now.

they should sort out the Pavilion and put a lift in for disabled people.

otherwise best of luck!


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 04:50 AM

Part of the problem is that the council have sorted The Pavlion out. They are making it available for the festival in 2006 but the site is to be re-developed and the future is a little uncertain.

It would have been easier just to put some lifts in - levelling the entire building does seem a little drastic...........


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: vindelis
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 02:50 PM

The festival is, for the most part,self financing this year. The first fund raising event will be a Ceilidh in the Ocean room at the back of Weymouth Pavilion. £5 in advance £6 on the door. The band is the Tree Fellas. From what I hear it should be a right good craic. Again the informaation is on the festival website.


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 04:49 AM

and the website for this year is.......?


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Subject: RE: Weymouth Folk Festival (UK)
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 09:23 AM

Ceilidh, Barn Dance, Knees Up!

Call it what you will, a good time will be had by all!

In the Ocean Room at Weymouth Pavilion on
Friday 27th January 2006
7.30 pm to 11 pm
Music by super-group The Tree Fellahs
With a special get-your-breath-back-and-eat-your-supper spot from Triskele and a traditional Hoodening Play.
Also, musical bric-a-brac stalls open from 7.15 pm

All this and a Ploughman's Supper for just £5 each in advance (£6 on the door) Children aged 7 to 14 £2.50 each in advance (£3 on the door) Children up to 7 free.

To reserve advance tickets call
Pauline: 01305 860277 Karen: 01305 812876 Dave: 01305 852773
Jo and Roger: 01305 780457

A fundraising event for Wessex Folk Festival Fri 2nd- Sun 4th June 2006
www.wessexfolkfestival.co.uk
ENDS

[The above link does not seem to work - but that is the that is given. Perhaps it is just temporarily off-line?]


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