Mudcat Café message #3948992 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164639   Message #3948992
Posted By: Howard Jones
08-Sep-18 - 08:23 AM
Thread Name: Whitby Folk Week 2018
Subject: RE: Whitby Folk Week 2018
I see fringe events (by which I really mean sessions) as entirely complementary to a festival, so much so that I probably won't go to a festival that does not have a good range of them. To be honest, what attracts me to a festival is the overall vibe, to which the fringe events make a very important contribution, rather than the guest list, most of whom I probably won't get around to seeing.

At Sidmouth the sessions at the Bedford, Middle Bar, Radway, Volly and other venues are as much a part of the festival as the formal events. The festival organisers seem to understand this and they are mentioned in the programme. I find Whitby a less enjoyable festival because it takes the opposite view, it ignores the existence of fringe events and doesn't even indicate (as some festivals do) which pubs are likely to welcome music, and importantly which aren't. This turns it into an often fruitless trudge around town trying to find a session.

Most of these events are more or less spontaneous. Sometimes they are organised in advance - one example is the Eurosession at Whitby. There is clearly interest in this from festival-goers, but I understand the festival has declined to include it as an official event. In these circumstances it seems entirely reasonable to me for people to take things into their own hands. Someone organising a paid event for their own profit, simply to take advantage of the audience created by the festival, is a very different matter.

It is very easy at some festivals to spend all your time in fringe events without contributing financially to the festival. I can certainly put my hand up to this, but I try to contribute generously to the collecting tins. I think it is important to remember that none of it would happen without the main festival.