Mudcat Café message #3945748 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164711   Message #3945748
Posted By: GUEST,Observer
22-Aug-18 - 07:14 PM
Thread Name: UK Folk Revival 2018
Subject: RE: UK Folk Revival 2018
Good question GUEST,jag:

How has the number of people, age profile and tradiotionalness of material at festival pub sessions and singarounds changed over the years?

What people do, rather than what they pay to listen to.


There are five festivals that I have been attending regularly over the past fifteen years based in the UK and in Europe.

Taking the one in Europe first, it never really had a fringe but at least two out of the four concert venues were free. Over the years during the period of the festival various bars and eateries hired in bands playing rock and pop covers in an attempt to keep their premises full and busy. This has drawn the public away from the festival venues and the festival started losing funding and they were forced to drop one of their two big paying venues. What used to be a large international folk festival is now very much scaled down with mostly "local" artists playing with a slight scattering of foreign artists.

One of the UK festivals supports a great pub session scene which is mainly traditional tunes played to an amazingly high standard. Bands booked by the festival are assigned pubs to be in to get sessions going and should they start to flag keep them going.

The others, all UK based festivals, have changed markedly over the years. One used to run for seven days, now it has shortened in to three days. Bands and artists used to play at the sessions with locals and visitors joining in. It used to be a mix of trad tunes and songs, Spanish songs, and contemporary UK and American folk. The change has been that the artists booked for the concerts arrive do their concert and move on, rarely will they appear for any of the sessions, there now seems to be more of an audience at what are stated as being sessions with fewer locals participating and now very few tunes are played and the songs are mainly poor covers of 60s and 70s pop songs.