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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Ruth Archer Sidmouth Festival as it happens (95* d) RE: Sidmouth Festival as it happens 14 Aug 11

Can I just hopefully draw a line under this whole discussion about "professionalism" and artists being worse for wear on stage?

Regardless of your perception of what "folk" means, at the end of the day this is an issue of respect. Personally, I don't think "folk" is an excuse for someone to be worse for wear on stage. Have a nice time, enjoy yourself, be a part of the festival, but if you are performing and being paid for that performance, don't have so little respect for the audience (and your fellow performers) that your performance is below par because you've had too much to drink. Don't embarrass the MC and the audience because everyone can tell you're pissed and you give a rambling, shambolic performance. If you have an early performance or a workshop the next day (that you've agreed to, have been contracted to do and are being paid for) turn up on time, well prepared and ready to work - it's the least those people who have turned up to see you deserve.

If there are people who think this approach isn't "folk" enough, I'm sorry, but as a programmer I have a responsibility to the thousands of people who have paid for tickets and who have a right to expect certain minimum standards of performance. This isn't a session or a singaround, it's a paid gig at a big festival - an opportunity that many people would give their eye teeth for.

I realise that this discussion has centred around remarks made by a performer who may or may not have turned in a below-par performance, and who may or may not have been serious, and whose words may or may not have been misconstrued. I would never penalise an artist I've booked based strictly on hearsay, but if someone brings such a matter to my attention it is certainly my duty to at least try and find out what happened.

Investigating what happened does not mean that an artist will be penalised. It simply means I have a better awareness of what has happened at the festival - which is part of my job.

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