Mudcat Café message #3668528 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #155773   Message #3668528
Posted By: GUEST,Howard Jones
13-Oct-14 - 04:12 AM
Thread Name: Sidmouth, young and old: a concern
Subject: RE: Sidmouth, young and old: a concern
The thing about festivals like Sidmouth is that they are very large and very varied. There are a lot of sessions and they all vary both in the sort of music catered for and the way they operate. It can be quite difficult on a first visit to discover them all and figure out which ones suit you. Hence the advice not to dismiss it based on a single visit. However I'd also recommend trying Broadstairs and and Whitby - all week-long summer festivals at the seaside, but each with their own character.

A tip - standing next to the MC may not be the best way to get noticed, you may find you do better if you place yourself in their clear line of sight.

For all its good intentions about being open and welcoming, the folk world can appear cliquey to newcomers. This is unfortunately inevitable where it involves a fairly small pool of people who have known one another for decades. With a few unfortunate exceptions, most are not in fact exclusive and will welcome any newcomers. The problem can be getting yourself noticed, but if you are overlooked it is almost certainly not intentional, other things being equal.

Festival sessions are busy places and a lot of people want to perform. An MC has a difficult job and has to balance fairness to those who wish to sing with providing a good balance of songs for the audience. They don't always get this right, and it should not be surprising if they sometimes prefer a known performer over an unknown. Being asked to perform should be seen as a privilege, not a right. If you don't get asked on your first visit keep going back and tactfully make your presence felt. If after a couple of visits you still haven't been given a chance, try another session.