Mudcat Café message #2583986 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119211   Message #2583986
Posted By: Ian Fyvie
08-Mar-09 - 02:55 PM
Thread Name: Tom Bliss Article -So long and thanks
Subject: RE: Tom Bliss - So long and thanks
On 'value for money - close to home'.

Complex singaround club history and policy differences with our club's Vice President and our usual Hostess meant that I decided to try a new Club based exactly on what I thought a club should be.

This was two years ago before recessions but I decided to try a Club based on a 'local community' where I'd known various people through non-folk activities over the years.

Luckily there was a distinctive and very suitable away-from-the-city-centre pub on the edge of these streets of largely 'gentrified' terraced houses.

So I arranged five dates (Tuesdays) spread over 10 weeks with the Publican and advertised all these dates - by leafleting - the whole local area. It worked! We found lots of new singers and listeners - and very soon converted to 'every tuessday'.

The format, by the way, was free singaround - the same as our existing club nights, but this time went for the function room instead of saloon bars my colleagues were insisting on*.   

The audience turned out to be about 50-50 local residents and existing Club supporters; and two new local people who came along not knowing each quickly formed a duo and have already had a Guest spots at Payclubs and produced their own CD album (see Myspace//Heartree - excellent songwriters).

If you're worried about the health of your local club or the local folk scene generally, why not try as I did - take folk to a brand new audience?

Two thing I would say though are 1) advertise your new club to be a permanent event. It's no good putting lots of ifs and buts into your publicty. 2) If it doesn't work, you will probably have made a contact or two for the next time you try a new folk night.

The club? Its Brighton Cellarfolk Song Club and meets at the Round Georges pub in the city's Kemptown area - in Sutherland Road.

*As to my colleagues who were against a function room, our bar Club's Vice President is now a stalwart and regualar singers at Cellarfolk, but our Hostess from two years ago comes along very rarely - and not been along at all for a long time.

Hope this helps   (Cellarfolk includes a number of Mudcat contributers among its singers! - come and see us!!)

Ian Fyvie