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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones The current state of folk music in UK (2105* d) RE: The current state of folk music in UK 14 Oct 19


The decline of the clubs echoes the decline of the pub itself. Once pub landlords considered themselves a community service - many would still like to, but the harsh economics of the pub trade mean that they increasingly rely on selling food and many no longer have a spare room they can make available for free or a modest amount.

It also has to be said that we don't help ourselves. Folkies seem to be a remarkably stingy lot, unwilling to spend much at the bar (although drink-driving laws don't help) and unwilling even to pay a realistic sum to pay to hear the music they claim to love. Yes I know some genuinely can't afford much, but many more can.

Where the clubs can't carry on, folk events are either becoming larger by moving into concert-style halls and theatres or else they are small-scale house concerts. However there are still a lot of less formal sessions and singarounds.

Folk music is a broad term and for most people includes more than its more technical sense of traditional music. People tend to incline towards events where they will hear the music they most enjoy, so some prefer traditional while others prefer contemporary folk. There's room for both, but with fewer venues it may be more difficult to find one which suits you, and you may have to travel further.

No one would pretend that the folk scene is as strong as it once once, but it is still possible to hear a very wide range of excellent music superbly performed, and there are still opportunities for people to sing and play themselves.




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