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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw Bellowhead Win at BBC2 Folk Awards (83* d) RE: Bellowhead Win at BBC2 Folk Awards 11 Feb 11

Whether you like them or not, I think it is self-evident that the Folk Awards serve a useful purpose in marketing 'folk' to a wider audience, but even more to folk's own audience. Many an upandcoming artist has received a leg-up from being nominated, and this in turn gets them onto the festival organisers radar. Those that win no doubt can hike their performance fees as well(cynic that I am)!

There has been an allegation on this thread that they are 'rigged' and in some way corrupt. That is not my understanding, and I believe there is a statement of how it works on the SmoothOps website (or maybe the BBC).

To save you the trouble of looking, here is a potted version.

There is a panel of folk's movers and shakers (something over 100 in number I believe). These are invited to take part, and it's probably not that difficult to guess who some of them are - journalists, radio presenters, festival organisers, record company people etc. The names are not published for reasons already stated, ie to prevent lobbying. There is some rotation of members I believe - although I know several who have been on it for years, I also know of at least one who was asked for the first time this year.

The panel members are sent a questionnaire showing the categories, and are asked to nominate 3 names per category. These are then all added up and the ones with most nominations get on the short list of 4 per category. If enough panel members nominate somebody obscure, they will get in the short list.

The same panel members are then given the short list and asked to vote on it.

The only thing you could argue that was wrong about this is that, statistically, the already well-known are likely to get a dispropotionate number of votes. It's all about getting on the short list.

So, why is it that various outsiders have featured in the nominations over the years, including some who have won? Well, I put this down to many of the panel members being just as contrary as the people who post on this forum - they are fed up with the same old same old and think, "Let's give old so-and-so a chance this year".

I can't say any of it keeps me awake at night with excitement, but it is no more cringeworthy than most other Awards shindigs - what about Ricky Gervais's recent efforts, and have you seen the Country Music ones?!

And before you ask, no, I'm not on the panel!

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