Mudcat Café message #1999510 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99963   Message #1999510
Posted By: Ruth Archer
17-Mar-07 - 12:11 PM
Thread Name: It isn't 'Folk', but what is it we do?
Subject: RE: It isn't 'Folk', but what is it we do?
weelittledrummer above is talking nonsense. Guest above is absolutely spot on.

There is no exclusivity about the tradition apart from the kind of reverse snobbery sometimes applied to anything which requires a little bit of effort to engage with. Just because something is takes time and understanding doesn't make it elitist. What a load of dumbed-down nonsense. The only people excluded from an appreciation of the tradition have imposed that exclusion upon themselves.

"the tradition is like some awful hegemony that grabs all the creative opportunities , outlets , commissions, government subsidies, festival budgets for itself"

Excuse me while I fall about laughing. Festival budgets? Government subsidies?! The amount of money spent on traditional arts by the government in this country is laughable - and about to get worse, once all the sports lummoxes have finished plundering the lottery fund for their little party in 2012. Traditional music and dance is not prioritised in any way by government subsidy - it's the bastard, red-headed stepchild of "high art" - orchestral music, ballet, opera. Now THAT's elitism. The kind of entertainment you pay 100 a ticket for - not a canon of traditional work that's available, freely and openly, for anyone to access if they can just be arsed.

And where are these huge festival budgets being plundered by "traditional" music? Look at Cambridge, one of the biggest folk festivals in the country. Where are the "traditionalists" that are monopolising their lineup? You might get a sniff of trad on the Club Tent stage - everywhere else it's commercial folk, singer/songwriters, Americana and world music. Cropredy must be the biggest folk festival in the country in terms of attendance - where are the "traditionalists" monopolising their budget? It's folk rock heaven, and nary a 36 verse Child ballad in sight - unless Fairport happen to be singing Matty Groves.

The kinds of festivals that are dominated by tradition are the sorts of homespun, DIY affairs much valued by the people of this parish. And why? Because there's no bloody money in the tradition, that's why. All the money goes into the more commercial end of the folk market - the stuff that shifts units and gets played on the radio.

It's not bloody rocket science, is it?