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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Soldier boy George Clarke: An Apology (84* d) RE: George Clarke: An Apology 11 May 11

With respect Tyke, there is such a thing as freedom of speech and I don't have to be on the committee to make a simple observation on this forum.

I am glad that you enjoyed it and that you did a very good job entertaining the locals because it is very important that the whole community thoroughly enjoys the festival as well and looks forward to the next one.

My main concern was that the Open Mike session was held in the pub itself and not in the large back room where it was originally intended to be. This meant that true folkies couldn't also get an opportunity to get an informal non-plugged singaround/playaround session going in the pub like they had in The Elephant and Castle in previous years.

There were far more 'true folkies' who had paid to camp and had travelled very long distances hoping to find a good session who put their heads in the door, saw what was going off and turned around and walked away, than stayed.

I thought that that was a great shame because it is important to try to include 'everyone' and not drive ardent folk followers away at a "Folk" festival.
This problem was further compounded this year by other Open Mike(Mic) sessions and bands put on elsewhere. More than I have ever seen at this festival before!

So that meant that many of the large number of folkies (and there were loads of them) wandering the streets looking for an informal inpropmtu singaround etc couldn't find anywhere to have one and left the festival feeling disappointed and also uncertain whether they would return to the festival next year. I have spoken to many of them and I am not exaggerating how they felt.

I'm not saying that you are personally to blame Tyke, definately not. I am saying that because of such sessions as yours an important 'fringe' element of the festival felt excluded and unconsidered this year.

I am certain that I can rely on you to convey these observations to the whole committee in the hope that the considerable number of informal 'fringe' folk followers can be considered and accomodated and won't feel left out next year.

This element of a folk festival makes an important contribution to any festival by paying for camping, attending various concerts and workshops and eating and drinking in the local eateries and pubs etc - as well as adding their own unique characters and music and song to the environment - if given the chance!

If they feel that they have been pushed out they will not return and that will have considerable impact on the festival's coffers and the overall spirit and atmosphere of this brilliant folk festival.

So please do pass this message on.

Many thanks


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