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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Derek Schofield Whitby Folk Week 2018 (193* d) RE: Whitby Folk Week 2018 08 Sep 18

Nick… I think you are dealing with several different issues. I can speak about Sidmouth more than any other festival, but what I say is not an official view.

Generally, if there is an “anti” feeling against fringe events, it is perhaps because the participants may be taking up accommodation, B&Bs etc in the town or community which is hosting the festival, especially if this is in short supply. Also, most festivals have to budget very carefully and are dependent on good will and volunteers (including amongst the organisers) and if organisers see lots of people filling the pubs without purchasing tickets, they may be “disappointed”, irrespective of the enhanced atmosphere being created.

In Sidmouth, all the fringe venues are mentioned in the programme, and as far as I know are all happy to have a collecting tin during sessions for contributions that go towards the festival.

If anything, I notice more anti feeling by fringe participants against festivals (not just Sidmouth) than vice versa – “it’s too big, too expensive, I don’t like the guests, they don’t encourage participation etc etc”. Just read the comments on Mudcat over the years!

In some cases, fringe events have long-standing bookings of venues that deprive the festival from using those venues. That has happened at Sidmouth.

I don’t know how any of this relates to Whitby. Certainly, the fringe events are not linked to the official festival in any way that I can observe.

The other point Nick makes is regarding visitors (listeners and participants) to pubs not buying anything to drink. This seemed to be an issue in Whitby this year with some people bringing their own drinks and food to consume inside the pub! That is just bad manners, and I can’t see that anyone would begrudge the landlords asking them to leave. Not buying food or drink was also an issue at some official events that were scheduled in pubs. In this case, it could be argued that the festival is booking the venue and perhaps paying the landlords for the use of premises, so perhaps there should be no obligation of people to buy anything. And at morning events, participants may not want to drink alcohol, though most pubs these days also serve coffee and tea. The concern by many people to reduce use of plastic bottles means that more people are carrying their own water containers, and perhaps these are preferred to purchasing (plastic) bottles of water in pubs. Perhaps it’s then a small step to filling the “water” bottle with gin and tonic!

Establishing and maintaining good relations between venue owners/managers/landlords etc and the festival organisers is obviously crucial.

Apologies for the length of this post!


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