Mudcat Café message #3945786 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164711   Message #3945786
Posted By: GUEST,Observer
23-Aug-18 - 04:27 AM
Thread Name: UK Folk Revival 2018
Subject: RE: UK Folk Revival 2018
Dave the Gnome's last post:

Good point made by Matt. Does anyone have any evidence that the folk scene is in decline? We have already disproved that festivals are dying. There are more open mic nights than ever and by their inherent inclusiveness there is plenty opportunity to perform folk music there. So, apart from the word of a handful of people on here, is there any evidence? The very title of this thread and the OP seems to indicate that there is plenty of folk about. Just not in the same format as it was 50 years ago.

The good point made by GUEST, MATT MILTON that - In London I have plenty of folk clubs to attend. - hardly surprising, MATT is after all talking about the nation's capital city and the most populous part of the country where nearly 22% of the the population of the UK live. MATT also goes on to say - the audience is 60+ but it's folk music, what do you expect... there is a smattering of younger people. - and this is taken as evidence of a 2018 Folk Revival?

At what point Dave did the "we", you and pfr keeping mentioning, disprove that festivals are dying. Just a cursory examination of the link supplied by GUEST, For DtG shows that 16% of the festivals listed either aren't in the UK at all, or are specifically not folk festivals.

You state - There are more open mic nights than ever and by their inherent inclusiveness there is plenty opportunity to perform folk music there. - A number of points on that statement which render the point you are trying to make irrelevant and meaningless:

1. Just because the sign says "open mic" it does not mean that anyone can just wander in go up to the mic and launch into their party piece. Open Mic sessions tend to be organised, i.e. somebody is running it, and whether, or not, you get to do your stuff is entirely up to them, and if this is held in a pub then the person running it will generally tend to favour locals who he knows over strangers that he doesn't. So much for your assumption of inherent inclusiveness.

2. Just because there is opportunity to perform folk music does not mean that folk music is performed. So you mentioning the increase in the number of "open mic" nights signifies nothing.

3. The normal venues for these "open mic" nights are pubs, correct? Tell me Dave in your experience is the number of pubs increasing, or decreasing throughout the UK today? Don't know about where you live, but where I live they are going out of business at an alarming rate. In 2016, according to the Guardian, there were 52,750 pubs in the UK and at that time they were closing at the rate of 27 per week. So all those budding folk musicians had best get their skates on before all those "open mic" opportunities disappear. By the way Dave where were you when there was a thread on this forum about the increasing number of pubs who were adopting a policy of banning "live music" as they were reluctant to shell out for PRS Licences? One whole chain of pubs banned live music on their premises - Samuel Smith's wasn't it?

4. The OP from GUEST,Despondent of Slough asked the following question:

How much do is it now propelled by Commercial pressures and what are the advantages and disadvantages of Commercialisation

The title assumes that there is a 2018 Folk Revival in the UK, myself and others dispute that as we can see no evidence of it and pointed to the fact there have been numerous threads on this forum bemoaning the fact that folk clubs are closing and festivals are dying in both cases mainly because people cannot be found who are willing to take them on and run them. That would never be the case in the world of folk music that Jim Carroll knows and has described, but it is the reality over here in the UK because what is being played has excluded many who used to participate, so that now there are more listeners in a attendance than there are performers. The law of diminishing returns.