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Touring in UK

artimus 02 Jan 05 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 02 Jan 05 - 07:58 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 08:19 PM
artimus 02 Jan 05 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,honest but fair punkfolkrocker.. 02 Jan 05 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 02 Jan 05 - 09:00 PM
Leadfingers 02 Jan 05 - 09:46 PM
artimus 02 Jan 05 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,punkfolktouristinformationrocker 02 Jan 05 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 02 Jan 05 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Pete 03 Jan 05 - 03:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Jan 05 - 06:40 AM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 07:02 AM
Catherine Jayne 03 Jan 05 - 07:03 AM
artimus 03 Jan 05 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,maryrrf 03 Jan 05 - 09:42 AM
jacqui.c 03 Jan 05 - 10:05 AM
artimus 03 Jan 05 - 10:19 AM
Alaska Mike 03 Jan 05 - 10:24 AM
selby 03 Jan 05 - 01:31 PM
Zany Mouse 03 Jan 05 - 01:50 PM
artimus 03 Jan 05 - 01:52 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 02:13 PM
Zany Mouse 03 Jan 05 - 02:40 PM
John C. 03 Jan 05 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 03 Jan 05 - 03:55 PM
artimus 03 Jan 05 - 04:56 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 05:10 PM
kendall 03 Jan 05 - 05:19 PM
artimus 03 Jan 05 - 05:24 PM
Belly 03 Jan 05 - 05:40 PM
Belly 03 Jan 05 - 05:49 PM
CharleyR 03 Jan 05 - 06:03 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 06:34 PM
EagleWing 03 Jan 05 - 07:58 PM
Noreen 03 Jan 05 - 08:32 PM
artimus 03 Jan 05 - 08:42 PM
artimus 03 Jan 05 - 08:56 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Jan 05 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,folkiefrank 03 Jan 05 - 09:31 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,folkiefrank 03 Jan 05 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,nager 03 Jan 05 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,nager 03 Jan 05 - 11:16 PM
artimus 04 Jan 05 - 06:46 AM
artimus 04 Jan 05 - 07:51 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Jan 05 - 08:13 AM
Doktor Doktor 04 Jan 05 - 08:20 AM
manitas_at_work 04 Jan 05 - 08:28 AM
CharlieA 04 Jan 05 - 08:50 AM
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Subject: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 06:35 PM

I am an American planning a tour of the UK and Ireland for this summer. I'm interested in travel tips in the UK for musicians. How to get around and live cheaply. How to get in and out of a town while scouting venues and performing.

I want to arrive in London and begin working my way through small towns. If I don't get work, how much money should I have with me just to rough it?

This is my first time so I suppose you veterans of the scene will have something to say about this?

And here's a song Advent of Anonymous


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:58 PM

I think you should line up your gigs and fees BEFORE you go, and at this point you're starting pretty late for summer gigs. Many folk clubs and festivals book quite a bit in advance. Many places will throw in accomodation as part of your fee and sometimes that will mean being put up at someones house, where you'll be hospitably treated and fed and watered. Transportation could be a problem. There are buses and trains but they aren't cheap and the schedules might not coincide with your gig times - also it's very possible the venue won't be near a train station and it can be difficult getting into a strange place and figuring out local buses. You would probably need a car and if that is the case it would be very hard to cover your costs, much less make any money. Car rental is expensive and gas/petrol is REALLY EXPENSIVE, as is food. As a matter of fact you'll find the UK very high priced especially with the dollar being at one of it's lowest points in history. Camping or hostels are the cheapest lodging solution, with camping being the cheapest - but you've got to have gear - a tent, small campstove, etc.   I'm assuming you play folk music are are looking to get booked in folk clubs, festivals, etc. I did this in October/November 2003 in Scotland and certainly didn't clear any money but covered some of my costs for the trip and had loads of fun, met great people and would do it again in a heartbeat. But I did have to line everything up several months in advance. I wouldn't just go and assume you'll get gigs. Good luck !


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:19 PM

I don't expect a first tour to be profitable. I'm planning to pay my expenses and SCOUT for venues. What about playing for tips in restaurants and cafes? Someone has suggested I can get around in places like Liverpool much cheaper and there's a Folk scene there also. Anybody know anything about it?


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:20 PM

Oops! that was me.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,honest but fair punkfolkrocker..
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:40 PM

yeah.. you are brave enough to provide an audio sample..

you are obviously quite good
but we [me & mrs] suggest you choose something else to promote yourself..

UK already has enough home grown competition
in the 'intelligent and quirky' singer songwriter market..

but being from the US could still work positively
and open doors for you..

just dont have over-realistic expectations

come here on your first trip to make friends and contacts..
enjoy a 'working holiday'
get a real view of what goes on here..

then make more personaly informed plans for your 2nd trip back here..

take care and have fun

ps.. contact US indie folk/alt country artists like Handsome Family
and their lable & touring mates for friendly constructive advice
on what to expect from UK gigging..

and make sure you have a good night off in Bristol and Cardiff


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:00 PM

I don't know about playing for tips in pubs, etc. but you might try busking. I think in many places it is tolerated, at least it seems to be in Scotland. This wouldn't pay your way but might help with expenses.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:46 PM

Gooberoo - All the clubs I know are booked through the summer LAST year !! Very few clubs have a lead in time less than nine months to a year - and festivals are tighter !! You MIGHT get a 'free' ticket to some of the smaller festivals IF you can find them ! Your best bet is to budget for paying for EVERYTHING at this much notice and try to make contacts for another year . Busking IS a possibility , but very variable !!


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 10:33 PM

Right. That's what I'm thinking. I'll be prepared to pay for everything and maybe I'll pick up a few jobs and connections for a 2nd and 3rd tour later. So someone suggested that if I go to the North I can get by on $50 a day. I suppose that's roughing it. Then aren't the towns real close together? So even though travel is expensive, I doubt that I'll have to travel far from town to town. I mean, there must be 25 or 50 towns on the road between London and Liverpool? It's just a small island. It doesn't even look as big as say Arizona. How can traveling there be so expensive? Am I going to have to travel 50 miles everyday just to find someone who'll buy me a burger?


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,punkfolktouristinformationrocker
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 10:54 PM

if you are ok with hitching or stealing a car..

but cost of public transport tickets
and traveller hostel beds in UK
are well beyond the pockets of most poor musicians..

though great.. sounds like you are definitely up for it..

so .. yeah go ahead and do it..
no matter how uncomfortable
you're bound to have a good time here..

try to get to west country as far as cornwall if you can.

guaranteed a good summer..


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 11:38 PM

Trust me, it's expensive! You should be able to pull up some rail/bus fares on the internet to give you an idea. And keep in mind if you're going to be spontaneous - when traveling by train it's usually cheaper to buy an advance ticket and much more expensive to just hop over to the station and purchase it. But if you're up for it I know people who hitchike (in Scotland) and they do get rides. A real cheap B&B will run you around 25 pounds a night, a hostel probably around 12-15 pounds, and a campsite tent pitch about 8-10 pounds. It would be much more around the bigger cities, I think.   With the exchange rate as it is now - double those figures and you have the US dollar price. It's unfortunate that the currency exchange situation is so unfavorable now.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 03:26 AM

As a promoter and festival organiser from the south of England I'd say most of the advice on this thread is pretty accurate and the transport / accommodation costs quoted by maryrrf are about right.

It is expensive to get around the UK. by public transport. It can also be difficult finding venues who will pay you anything for playing. Folk clubs and arts centres normally book their artists months in advance. So too do festivals. Organisers get deluged with demo cds and requests to play. Few stand out from the crowd. Personally I have booked one or two unknown singer-songwriters from abroad but they were the exception to the rule.

There are some bars who will sometimes take short-notice bookings and pay you a small sum for entertaining their customers but you'd be best advised to get some names and bookings before travelling rather than just turn-up in a strange town hoping for the best.

Best advice is to speak to others who have gone before you and learn from them who / where is worth approaching and who / where should be avoided like the plague.

Lastly, having been in Liverpool last month, if there is a big folk scene there then I didn't see much evidence of it (sorry Liverpool!). Don't let that stop you visiting though. Liverpool is a really 'happening' city at present and there's a lot worth seeing.

There is a more vibrant traditional music scene in Scotland with many bars having sessions and sometimes paid guests. You still might not make any money but the Scots are very hospitable - get in with the right crowd and you'll have a great time.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 06:40 AM

You best bet is to get on the coat tails of an established American performer someone who will have you along and it makes sure, theres an even half way competent support act. Thats not always a dead cert in English folk clubs.

Busking is a good idea. Try the more middle class resorts like York, Exeter, Stratford. Be prepared for many foghorn posh English voices (OH Wow! I was in Milwaukee in 1978! What a coincidence! You don't know....?)The tube stations in London are supposed to be good, but I imagine the good spots are all fought over.

Why not advertise in the London newspaper The London Evening Standard and The Stage

Paul Simon did it! , Bob Dylan did it! Now ......
Young handsome American folksinger/guitarist bristling with sophisticated talent would like to gig this for a few euro dollars in restaurant....somewhere bohemian and exotic where my talents will shine through.

failing that you could always e-mail me. I live in Nottingham. I could show you the local folk clubs round here. Summer time the folk clubs are bit quiet though, a lot of people are at the festivals. http://bigalwhittle.co.uk/


there is a magazine called folk on tap which has the e-mails of many folk clubs in the south - far from where I live but it might give you a start. You could e-mail them and ask for floor spot - three songs aor so and tryand sell a cd.


anyway best of luck

big al


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 07:02 AM

In York you can only busk after passing an audition held by the City Council


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 07:03 AM

You could try asking mudcatters if they can put you up for a couple of days. Micca and I put a fair few catters up from around the UK and even the world...we have had catters from America, Canada and Australia and there is a bed here for you in London for a couple of nights if you need it while you are finding your feet etc. Where there is a fair amount of British catters you will find some sort of folk scene....try Hull etc....

Public transport is expensive and not particularily realiable....and prices have just gone up with the new year.

You need a license/pass to go busking in many towns now. The London underground does have buskers but they have 'passes' to be allowed to do so....I don't know how they apply for them but I am sure someone on here will know how or a search on Google will probably bring something up.

Good luck with your plans.

Khatt


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:35 AM

Maybe $50 a day will put me under too much pressure. i thought I could tool around the UK for 30 days. But I guess I could budget $100 and just stay 15 days.
I have a website and could promote on the Internet for the next 5 months before I arrive there. And I'd be willing to play on the outskirts of the festivals. Like, aren't there places that are on the fringes of the festivals? I might squeeze into the scene using the thin edge of the wedge.
I have a few contacts in the UK and Ireland.
Where can I post links to my songs so people can hear and maybe get me into some places there?
You know, as long as I'm taking the trouble to come there, I would much rather do a complete summer tour. Is there still time to arrange some gigs? Because if I get work I can stay longer.
Thanks for all the ideas because I don't know anything about life there.

Here's another song My Boy Willie


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:42 AM

You might squeak by on $50 a day if you're very, very careful - and I mean camping, buying food from chip shops or supermarkets, etc. and possibly hitching rides once and a while. You should be able to manage on $100 a day with no problem. This isn't meant to discourage you, but you will find that there are tons and tons of excellent musicians in the UK, Scotland and especially Ireland. They will be hanging out on the fringes of the festivals and playing for FREE, I guarantee it. Lots of people go to festivals and don't even attend the formal concerts (much to the chagrin of the organizers)because you can sit in a pub and hear great music for free well into the wee hours of the morning. There are also lots of pubs (I don't know about England now with all the PEL laws) where musicians gather and play, also for FREE. They're playing because they love it, not to make money. And the quality of musicianship tends to be very high. So it will be difficult to get paying gigs. That said - I think you should budget enough money (even if it's a bare minimum) and go hang out at the festivals, etc.   You'll meet people and probably make friends. You may well meet up with friendly folks who will show you around and put you up for a few days. And there'll be sessions where you can strut your stuff.   You never know, you might make some good contacts and be able to set up a tour for next year. I gather you are young - that's even better. Go for it, and in the meantime you might try to make some contacts via the internet for your summer visit. YOu could direct them to your website and see if you get any offers, but don't count on it. Also you could book floor spots at some of the clubs. This also often has to be done in advance - it depends on the club. That will get you some exposure. And you might sell a couple of CD's , if you have some. Good luck


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: jacqui.c
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:05 AM

Kendall here, I have found that living in the UK is just about twice as expensive as in the USA except for fuel; that is at least three times as expensive.
Jacqui and I took a train from Newark to Edinburgh to Glasgow and return and the price was £150 for the two of us. The train was late which raised hell with our other connection, the heat was off and the cars were for the most part very uncomfortable and dirty. Snacks are outrageously expensive (one pound 10 for a small bottle of water,that's over two dollars and the coffee is not for human consumption.
However, those are just small inconveniences if you like the UK,as I do, and it is all an experience.Don't order Marmite unless you know what you are getting.

I came here for a couple of good reasons, one that I married a native, and the other, because I love history, and the UK is steeped in it. Beautiful landscapes, buildings and the people I have met are top quality.
You can go home with a fortune, but you would have to bring two fortunes in with you.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:19 AM

Thanks for all of these comments.
I would be willing to perform on the edges of the fringes of the outskirts. I am primarily coming to the UK for adventure and to get together with songwriters and folklorists. I would be glad to play open mics and song circles just to swap chops and stuff.
I'm going to budget my resources so that I can stay as long as possible. How about I arrive in London, buy a bicycle and hit the road going North and just stop wherever and play for whoever? all I need to carry is my gitfiddle and a small bag. I can live on raw oats. I've done it before.

Here's another song Blitzkreig Bop


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:24 AM

There certainly seems to be a wealth of information here. I too will be visiting UK next summer and even this early have found it difficult to get hired at festivals and folk clubs. But my goals for my trip are mainly to meet many of my Mudcat friends, see as much of the country as we can, and share a beer and a song (or 2) along the way.

Best wishes on your trip, Gooberoo. I hope you have at least as much fun as I'm planning on having. See you next August, Yookers.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: selby
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 01:31 PM

How old are you? take a look at Ethno England 2005 web site this may help you.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 01:50 PM

Maybe you should contact the Poms from Oz. They came over with nothing booked and are now really popular in the UK. Cloudstreet are also a runaway success. I think you can contact them through Mudcat.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 01:52 PM

So how about this idea of buying a bicycle in London and visiting every little town on the way to Liverpool or Leeds? I won't spend anything for transportation and don't have to hassle with buying and scheduling in advance. Is it safe? Or what? If this method is feasible, I will only have to spend for hostal and food. And I will see more of the real England. And I'll get the "gigs" that no one else knows existed and wouldn't want to play anyway if they did know that they existed.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 02:13 PM

Dear Gooberoo, I love your optimism, youth, energy, commitment etc, but the culture shock of England will be too great for your dreams.There are no gigs lying around, the roads are death traps..just cycling out of London doesn't bear thinking about.The cost of everything is sky high.
I suggest you come for a holiday and plan to visit one or two festivals in your 15 days to see what you're up against.
We don't have coffee houses or restaurants that allow you to play for tips. You might find a session in these town you want to visit, but most of them abhor songwriters and only want to play and occassionally sing.
It's not the 1960's it's the tough old 2005's.
However....if you have some spare money, by all means come and spend it in the UK, but don't expect to earn a single penny on spec except by busking.
Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 02:40 PM

One way of getting free festival tickets is to become a steward.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: John C.
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 03:26 PM

Please, please, please don't even think of cycling on our roads - there are a zillion cars out there, these days, and a fair percentage of those are driven by mad people. Most our major cities are connected by motorways (freeways) and it's illegal to cycle on those (you would probably die before the cops picked you up, anyway!).
You might like to look at long distance buses (we call them 'coaches')- these used to be quite good value, although I haven't been on one for a while. For most coaches and trains it is usually cheaper to book sometime in advance (weeks in advance, that is).
Although Londoners moan all the time their public transport is much better than most of the rest of the country - they ought to live in Manchester, where I live, then they really would have something to moan about!
If all of this doesn't put you off, this is still a beautiful country and very varied for its size. Scotland and Wales are magnificent (as are their fine capitals, Edinburgh and Cardiff). My favourite parts of England are East Anglia, the West Country and the North. There is still a fair amount of folk music in the North, particularly in Lancashire and Yorkshire. These are both great counties with great people.
Generally, you should be prepared for a culture shock - lots of moaning, a very peculiar sense of humour and crap service in many places. If you have any romantic ideas about Britain divest yourself of them before you get here.
Oh yes, bring an umbrella - the weather is diabolical!


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 03:55 PM

I would certainly not plan on cycling. Ireland might be a different story - I know they have cycling tours of Ireland. But in Britain the roads are often very narrow with no real shoulder. And around London and the big cities there is a lot of traffic. Don't do it. I've traveled in Britain on the coaches/buses and they are probably your cheapest bet. They do go to some out of the way places, but schedules might be a problem. I used National Express a couple of years ago and it was fine and not to expensive relative to other modes of transport. There's also something called Citilink, I think. Oh the other problem with cycling is that it often rains a lot.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 04:56 PM

Can I walk? How many towns are there on the road from London to Leeds? I can walk 2 or 3 miles every day. And I can cycle in Ireland. I'm also looking into rail passes. But I biked 1000 miles around the Great Lakes once and it was the greatest travel of my life. There must be someplace around there that won't kill me to death! Come on now. Let's hear about How To Do. You all make it sound like I'm going to the moon.
Can I walk? How many towns are there from London to Leeds?


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 05:10 PM

Yes you can walk. Try it from John of Groats to Landsend. It is a well worn route for the die hard raising money for charity.

Phone all the local radio stations and Tv stations. Announce your route, your chosen charity and folkie aspirations. Sell yourself to anyone who will listen. Get a tag, 'The Wanderin' Minstrel'.

Seek sponsorship from companies who may like to have your back or front advertising their wares. Phone breweries, would they like you stopping off at their hostelries en route, to play and sup?

The roads aren't paved with gold, but there are the odd nuggets out there to be found for those with an aspiring heart and shoe leather to make it beat faster.

Good Luck. Have a ball.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 05:19 PM

Pick up a copy of NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND by Bill Bryson. He walked,all over, took a hire car and sometimes trains. His experiences here are well worth reading about.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 05:24 PM

I'm already having an adventure! I've never heard of John of Groats. How many miles is John of Groats to Landsend? I can put it in my itinerary. I will walk and play a tune for any codger who gets in my way. When they hear me singing they'll clear the road fast.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Belly
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 05:40 PM

If your comming come to Beverley, East Yorkshire preferably june for the Folk Festival you wont get paid but most of the pubs will be happy to let you play Great hostel for £6.00 per night but theirs a fair chance you would be housed by the local folk anyway. If the boot was on the other foot what would your advise be to me comming to your neck of the woods?


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Belly
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 05:49 PM

Intresting songs by the way. Who are your influence's? Hearing Trad Old English Style with an american voice sounds wierd and wonderful keep it up. If you do come you will pick up some great style's and deliveries. That vary from county to county (State to State)


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: CharleyR
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 06:03 PM

For cheap transport check out www.megabus.com. If you book far enough in advance you can get between a lot of cities for just £1. Even if you don't book in advance it's not hugely expensive.

Charley


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 06:34 PM

Come on guys, this fellows having us on. We can't seem to deter him.What does it take to say STAY AT HOME DREAMER.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: EagleWing
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 07:58 PM

"I've never heard of John of Groats. How many miles is John of Groats to Landsend?"

They're having you on! Lands End - is the far South West tip of England. John o Groates is the far North East of Scotland. Depending on the route this can be between 950 and 1050 miles! That's why it's so good for raising charity from sponsors.

Frank L


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Noreen
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:32 PM

And if you're only able to walk 2 or 3 miles a day, I wouldn't think a walking tour is viable!

I would suggest you find yourself a map of the UK (try multimap.com) to give you some idea of where you're heading, then visit some festivals- there you'll be able to join in the fringe and make contact with fellow musicians who'll give you more idea. Then the following year you'll have more contacts... etc.

Planning to attend festivals would ensure you at least enjoy your trip over while making contacts. What you are sugggesting sounds like a sure way to miss out on any fun that might be going on...

See the following threads for more info on UK festivals to visit:

UK Folk festivals
Festivals to visit in UK?
and
Festivals for newbies


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:42 PM

This is not a joke! I am coming to the UK. I am going to perform there. It is not an impossibilty to survive especially if you are prepared. This thread has convinced me of the possibilities.
Also, I am not looking for the "big gig" so what do I have to lose?
You know, there is alot of skepticism out there and I see it when reading that thread "Play music and lose money". Music and the arts are like any other profession. If you are going to become a doctor or lawyer you have to invest 12 years and $100,000. So what, do you complain when you come out of school and you have to scratch to squeeze $500 from a client? I don't see my profession as any different. I have never lost money playing music. I've invested it. I think the UK is worth a few 1000 dollars invested in getting started there. I believe in what I do.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:56 PM

But now I'm getting off topic. Thanks again for all the good ideas. I've got 5 months to plan and I feel I'm off to a good start.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:59 PM

well like I say - if I can help give me a ring - its on the website.. walking and cycling isn't the greatest idea. Most of us spend all our lives just keeping out of the rain.. your best bet is possibly buying a cheap car at auction and then selling it, when you've finished - you can get something pretty reliable for less than a thousand quid - then you get maybe two thirds of that back. what problems this would cause you I don't know. I don't know if you need special permits or anything. If you got a cheap van you could sleep in it (at a push).

Best of luck

from Big Al


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,folkiefrank
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:31 PM

If you ever make it to John O' Groats give me a call, I might be able to fix you up with a support slot, or at least a bed for a couple of nights. wildcatmusic@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:41 PM

See! I wasn't taking the mickey. It was a genuine idea. Get an edge and travel on it. You have one gig offer already. Good Luck.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,folkiefrank
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:50 PM

A support slot is not a gig! Don't get over excited!


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,nager
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 11:14 PM

Cycling is fine in the UK and I speak from recent experience. In April-May last year my wife Helena and I cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats with no problem using the Sustrans routes, B roads etc and had no problems. Go north to south as the winds are more favourable. We are from Oz and are regular touring cyclists.It cost us very little to get around. We stayed at Youth Hostels, cooked our own food, did our own washing etc and spent nothing on petrol, car hite or trains. We had a great and safe time. We played lots of music along the way too for fun, borrowing a guitar at many of the hostels for the evening and having singalongs etc with others staying there. We averaged around 40 miles each riding day with a rest day every four or five days. We are not kids either, we are both in our mid 50s.
There is a misconception that cycling is dangerous. I have been doing it for all my life and have never come a cropper yet .. and the same applies to just about all my cycling mates here and overseas.If you have cycled around the Great Lakes then the End to End would be a dawdle.There's some good positive ideas above. Do your research and run with some of them!


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: GUEST,nager
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 11:16 PM

Oops... that should read south to north!!!!


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 06:46 AM

That's the spirit! I don't know of too many places where it is life threatening to walk or bike. And I'm not very interested in playing festivals. I play real live unamplified music. So hows about some of you organizing some house concerts in your living rooms? Or if your mum won't let us, we can sit on the porch.
People, there are very few places in the world that can't be played with music. And I doubt that I'll spend much money there.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: artimus
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 07:51 AM

What about campus student housing? Can I rent a dorm room on a campus and play for the summer students? This might be less expensive. And I can use a bike or walk.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 08:13 AM

Hm...house concerts...... I don't think that will get you very far. You must engage with what the folkscene is at present.

Most of us on the English folkscene are really bloody old - we are the teenagers Paul Simon and his generation knew and crashed with. Somewhere along the line we all took ourselves a bit too seriously and lost popular support since those 1960's days.   
However we're all still basically good eggs.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 08:20 AM

Links page for you .... http://www.beerfordbury.co.uk/FolkClub/links.htm
good luck!


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 08:28 AM

It's certainly fairly easy to cycle around the country. If you make sure you're not cycling at night or in the rain you should be ok. If you are walking try to do at least 10 miles a day or you won't get anywhere but even then I would suggest getting public transport out of the larger cities and towns. Hitching is always an option. As well as the Youth Hostel Association and the YMCA there is also a network of backpackers hostels which are often even cheaper.


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Subject: RE: Touring in UK
From: CharlieA
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 08:50 AM

I Know Warwick Uni rents it's student acoomodation out - and it's fantastic there - Cov is a great place if you talk to people and there are often lots of people around at the uni.

Biking I have often found dangerous - but as long as you take the opinion that anyone in a car won't see you and keep your eye on them - and don't go on motorways - you should be ok - good luck!

get yourself a cheap one man tent - thats prob the easiest way - then if you get really stuck you can see if you can stick it somewhere for the night (careful tho in case you're trespassing!)


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