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Where have the audiences gone?

Stewart 28 Jul 08 - 12:18 AM
Sandra in Sydney 28 Jul 08 - 02:26 AM
GUEST,LTS pretending to work 28 Jul 08 - 02:48 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 28 Jul 08 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Betsy at work 28 Jul 08 - 04:43 AM
The Sandman 28 Jul 08 - 05:36 AM
Linda Kelly 28 Jul 08 - 06:25 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Jul 08 - 06:54 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Jul 08 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Peace 28 Jul 08 - 08:17 AM
Banjiman 28 Jul 08 - 08:26 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Jul 08 - 08:29 AM
Banjiman 28 Jul 08 - 08:38 AM
SINSULL 28 Jul 08 - 08:39 AM
The Sandman 28 Jul 08 - 08:50 AM
Mr Happy 28 Jul 08 - 08:58 AM
Deckman 28 Jul 08 - 10:09 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 28 Jul 08 - 10:10 AM
Harmonium Hero 28 Jul 08 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Betsy at work 28 Jul 08 - 11:51 AM
Kiss Me Slow Slap Me Quick 28 Jul 08 - 12:03 PM
Banjiman 28 Jul 08 - 12:08 PM
Harmonium Hero 28 Jul 08 - 12:10 PM
stallion 28 Jul 08 - 12:25 PM
Stewart 28 Jul 08 - 12:29 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 28 Jul 08 - 12:38 PM
Bee 28 Jul 08 - 12:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Jul 08 - 01:11 PM
Harmonium Hero 28 Jul 08 - 01:20 PM
Banjiman 28 Jul 08 - 01:32 PM
Harmonium Hero 28 Jul 08 - 01:34 PM
Banjiman 28 Jul 08 - 01:38 PM
Deckman 28 Jul 08 - 01:47 PM
Harmonium Hero 28 Jul 08 - 01:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Jul 08 - 01:54 PM
Deckman 28 Jul 08 - 02:43 PM
Banjiman 28 Jul 08 - 02:53 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Jul 08 - 03:33 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 28 Jul 08 - 03:37 PM
Dave Sutherland 28 Jul 08 - 04:10 PM
The Sandman 28 Jul 08 - 04:30 PM
Harmonium Hero 28 Jul 08 - 04:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Jul 08 - 05:00 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Jul 08 - 05:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Jul 08 - 05:34 PM
Deckman 28 Jul 08 - 05:50 PM
Stewart 28 Jul 08 - 06:11 PM
Stewart 28 Jul 08 - 06:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Jul 08 - 06:17 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Jul 08 - 06:27 PM
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Subject: Where have all the audiences gone?
From: Stewart
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:18 AM

The is the flip side (well sort of) to the recent thread
Where have the musicians sessions gone?

This afternoon we drove to a nice coffeehouse in West Seattle
with a half ton (seemed like) of sound gear
to do a 2 hour gig (3 x 40-min sets with 3 groups of musicians).
It was a nice space - converted house, nice stage, comfortable seats.

When my wife and I began our 40-min set -
myself on fiddle and voice, my wife on hammered dulcimer,
and a backup guitarist - there were 3 other people in the audience
in addition to 3 other musicians. Those 3 other people were
working on their laptop computers, two actually listening,
the third plugged into his own music. We had a nice set,
played well, no mistakes, and good sound (we also recorded the music).

By the middle of the second 40-min set about a half dozen people
had wandered in, and the laptop people had left. And that was
the audience for the last 40 min set.

We then broke down the sound system, lugged it back to the car
and drove home, stopping for some pizza on the way. It was a
good experience, the music was good and we all played well,
but it would have been nice to have had a larger audience.
That is the norm for most of these "coffeehouse" gigs here.

Several weeks earlier I performed three days (a 45-min set each day)
at the Tall Ships Festival in Tacoma.
Beautiful stage, professional sound crew,
one of my best performances (I thought), and paid $100 per day.
But seated audiences of only 2 to 5 people in addition
to passersby and people off to one side waiting in line to board ships.
Admittedly, they came to see the tall ships, not to hear us.
But an audience would have been nice.

And the pub gigs ('musician showcases')
where musicians play only to a few other musicians
in noisy bars with crappy sound systems -
the other patrons couldn't care less about the music,
they are playing pool, watching TV or playing video games,
talking and drinking, with the occasional drunk wandering around.

Then, I produce a concert series in a nice hall that seats 150 people.
If we get 25-30 people, that's the norm - sometime a few more or less.
And these concerts are by some of our best local musicians.

So, where have all the audiences gone?
What are your experiences in other places?

I play to more people when I busk,
not all passersby, but many sitting and eating lunch,
and I don't have to lug all that sound gear around.

Not really complaining, just some observations.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 02:26 AM

well, the Seattle audiences haven't gone to Sydney! & I'm not sure where the Sydney audiences are, either.

This weekend we had one of Australia's best traditional performers at our folk club, performing to an audience of 35 + 5 workers + 1 child. The Hall is the best acoustic space in Sydney & seats 100 ...

The club is famous & performers are always wanting gigs, a bit difficult as we only have 10 concerts per year, with 2 acts.

but where are the audiences?

Feb - 70 (Kieran Halpin), March - 48 (George Papavgeris), April 53, May 30, June 51,

None of the performers are unknown, a couple have OZ wide reputations, all are well-known & respected, but ...

sandra


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 02:48 AM

As a potential audient (although admittedly not in Seattle unless you want to spring for the air fare), I find the biggest problem with going to see performances is the overall cost. It may be a small amount or even free to get into the venue, but travel costs either by own car or public transport, the hassle and expense of finding legal parking, negotiating a decreased transport service over weekends, exhorbitant taxi cab fares and such like are a real factor when deciding where to go.

Add to that the extortionate prices charged for soft drinks for the designated driver and it mounts up. For those on a budget, they have to think carefully and budget parsimoniously if they want to have any semblance of a social music life.

Sorry, but that's how I see it, and it's why I go to so few single events. At least with a festival, you're there on site, you don't need to travel too far to see many and varied acts and you get better value for money with beer instead of staying sober.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 04:23 AM

One likely reason for an audience deficit is the well-known fact that attendance and abstention are both contagious.

Sometimes an event, a venue, or an entire genre of entertainment suddenly acquires a reputation for being on the up. The people who attend because they actually like what's on offer will then be augmented by many others who show up simply because they believe lots of people like themselves are going to be there too.

Conversely, when attendances start falling, people who never really cared much about the entertainment itself will quickly drift away,seeking the elusive buzz which comes from being a member of the right sort of crowd. Sadly, there's not a lot that the poor artist or event organiser can do to manage this rollercoaster.

If making money is your bottom line, then you have to move on with the crowd. But if your primary loyalty is to one particular kind of activity, then you should keep on doing it for its own sake. If you do it well enough for long enough,then the audiences may eventually return. And meanwhile, remember that a little more publicity may be helpful:

"He who whispers down a well about the goods he has to sell
Will not make as many dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers."

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,Betsy at work
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 04:43 AM

I suspect the audiences are still there, but, as with the other thread, I don't think the organisers work hard enough to promote, or to let people know, what is happening or about to happen.
Many appear to hold the opinion that - we will have this event and that everything else will fall into place, which of course it often doesn't.
For an example of how to work your socks off, and to make it work - consult Paul's (Banjiman's) efforts over the last few months on these threads and elsewhere.
He cannot be faulted for the amount of energy he expends in letting anyone and everyone know about an event.
I also suspect that people who risk losing their own money work a lot harder at the promotion, rather than those who receive guaranteed funding / financial backing in the form of various types of grants etc.
I we don't know , we don't show !!.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:36 AM

I recently did amini tour in England.Whitby folk club[30] was well attended,Scarborough folk festival[hundreds] was well attended,Stockton folk club[40] was well attended.
about 1996 I once had a shared gig with Jim Bainbridge,the venue was Sheffield,the organiser was a Mr Marshall,only one person turned up,and that was an ex girlfriend of mine,fair play to Vaughan Marshall,he paid us both.
so poor attendances are not a new phenomenon,it can depend upon the venue ,the organiser[possibly his/her popularity,possibly his her promotion],plus,what else is happening the same night.
on this particular occasion I doubt if it was either the fault of the two guests,the next night I had a usual folk club attendance of 30 plus.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 06:25 AM

When we did an Ethno England gig in a small market town in East Yorkshire NO-ONE TURNED UP!!!! so we entertained ourselves! No let me see who was on.......
Tim Van Eycken
Joe O'Connor (Last Orders)
The Askew Sisters
Bella Hardy
Sam Pirt

I remember Graham Pirt bought Pizzas and drinks and we had a great time - I sang a song with Bella accompanying me-I should be so lucky nowadays!!!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 06:54 AM

Re-insertion of deleted post no 2

"Long time passing..."


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 07:01 AM

As a follow on to my previous(ly) deleted post...

I put forward a proposal to a small school to do a small folk festival.

The guy who used to organise the local one had moved away.

The killer was the Public Insurance - the school P&C refused to add it on to its existing policy, which they needed to d the 'sausage sizzles', and wanted somebody else to pay.

Anybody else who wanted to put the money up, wanted to keep the profits...

So no festival... the audience would have turned up (and the sort of publicity needed locally to get them in was well known), as previous years demonstrated.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:17 AM

Folks are hard up for cash and time.

Generation that loved live music is dying out.

Some people couldn't promote a BJ at a c-suckers convention.

Lots of reasons I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:26 AM

"For an example of how to work your socks off, and to make it work - consult Paul's (Banjiman's) efforts over the last few months on these threads and elsewhere.
He cannot be faulted for the amount of energy he expends in letting anyone and everyone know about an event."

Hi Betsy....is that a polite way of telling me I am over selling?!!

There are other venues that do well (I admit to stealing their ideas!) Les does an excellent job with Faldingworth Live!, Roland also does anexcellent job at The Black Swan in York.....and there are many other examples, I'm sure.....they are just the ones that spring to mind.

The key common characteristic that I can see is passion and active advertising .......that means via the interweb (forums such as this, MySpace invites and bulletins....not just a passive web site) as well as flyers.... handed out at other folk events and to others who will hand them out for you as well. This is in addition to more local papers and radio stations.....

In my expereince not all folk events do this effectively.......there is (not surprisingly) a direct relationship between good advertising and good attendance..... if you don't tell people something is happening, how do they know?

By the way....
KFFC is back on September 20th with Roger Davies and
Wendy Arrowsmith with
Blind Summat!

Expect to see a flyer in a club near you soon......

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:29 AM

"telling me I am over selling"

Only if you have nothing worthwhile to sell.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:38 AM

Foolestroupe ..... have a listen (links above) and decide for yourself!

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:39 AM

We are having the same problem here in the states. House Concerts draw only limited audiences - and we feed them!

On Saturday, the first Portland Harbor Museum Maritime Festival takes place and we are all holding our breath. Posters, fliers, newspapers, TV, websites, radio - we have tried to get coverage on all. I have given fliers to people on the street, put up posters at local markets. Now we wait and see.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:50 AM

people can listen to music on their computers, whilst drinking alcohol, they dont have to pay out extortionate prices for petrol to drive to a destination,they can sit at home,with their pockets fuller.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:58 AM

..........well in our weakly sinsong - the 'audients' are rapidly turning into 'performers' themselves!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 10:09 AM

Stewart,

I thought I'd attempt to respond to your well expressed complaint:

It appears from the responses to your thread that this problem seems universal. I know for a fact that YOU have worked harder, and make more efforts, than anyone I know to build audiences. For this you are to be greatly commended. And yet the problem remains.

I think there are several real reasons: the price of petrol; everyone's expendable incomes are dimminished now; costs of paid advertising has increased (inflation); etc. As always, audiences or very curious animals. What worked once may not work the next time.

Short of trying organize a world wide boycott of club singers (ever tried to push a rope?) I don't really have an answer for anyone other than myself ... I'm going fishing for while. While this effort may not improve the audience attendence, it certainly will improve my attitude!

In honor of this thread, I offer the follwing song idea:

"Where have all the customers gone,
Long time passing,
Where have all the customers gone,
Long time ago, ....
... Gone to gas lines everyone ...!"

CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 10:10 AM

Running a radio show and a local club, I see a line drawn in the sand.   I've been to several festivals this summer - NJ Folk Fest, Mystic Sea Music Fest, Old Songs, and Falcon Ridge - and I've seen some interesting changes.   With the exception of Falcon Ridge, the audience is getting older. I'm 51 and at most festivals I feel like a kid.   Falcon Ridge is an exception, an audience of twenty and thrity somethings that are enjoying singer-songwriters - a contemporary form of folk music.

My opinion is that traditional folk music has been promoted and marketed in the same fashion since the 1960's. It has operated as "church basement" production with little reason to change with the times. The hard core traditionalists scare off a younger audience with the feeling that they will need to turn in a term paper at the end of the evening and justify their knowledge of the music. I honestly see a snobbery effect that is a huge turnoff.

Even singer-songwriters are used to operating out of the trunk of their car, living hand to mouth, and their scene does not attract media attention - except when someone with talent manages to create something a bit different - such as an Ani DiFranco or Shawn Colvin. These are artists who are stepping out of the old mold and creating something new.

I think the audiences are there - but they do not know it!! They have yet to be recognized and counted.   As soon as someone can figure out how to fight the negative stereotypes that have built up over the decades, they will return - looking much younger.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 11:15 AM

They are out there, somewhere, and will come around when they are hungry.
Mike of Northumbria's comment about attendance and abstention is a good one. People have a dreadful tendency to go where the crowd is, in the - often - mistaken belief that there must be something there worth looking at. In fact the presence of many bodies will, to some extent, make them believe they are enjoying what's happening, whereas it's really the feeling of belonging, or being 'in' on something which creates the illusion. Or something... I think this is particularly true of the English; too fashion-conscious, which comes of all those centuries of kow-towing to marauding foreigners in order to stay alive.
Also, habit has something to do with it; once you get out of a habit, it can be hard to get back in - unless, of course it's something destructive! One thing that strikes me as possibly not helping, is that where folk clubs were once almost all weekly, many are now twice a month, or even once a month. I'm in the middle of trying to arrange a week or ten days of promotional floor spots around the East Midlands. Every time I arrange one of these trips, it takes me about a week, and I'm still left with nights when I'm doing nothing, because whatever week it is, half the clubs are not operating. It's very discouraging - and I need to do this, to get work; what's it like for the punters? There are other things they can do without all this palaver, so why would they bother? And if a club isn't run on a weekly basis, there is less likelihood of them developing the habit of regular attendance; each week becomes a seperate event, which then needs publicising as such. Once upon a time (when dragons prowled the earth, and you could make a living at being a folksinger), once a club was established, it became known that the club was on every Tuesday or Friday or whatever, and people could just turn up.
Getting me coat and umbrella before the deluge...
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,Betsy at work
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 11:51 AM

Paul (Banjiman), have a look at my comment again - it is pure, 100% compliment.
There's no hidden meaning - I think you are so enthusiastic about what you do.
With you , no one can ever say they didn't know about an event, and you rightfully use every and any opportunity to remind people , and so you should !.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Kiss Me Slow Slap Me Quick
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:03 PM

There are more and more "young" performers BUT these young performers are not bringing in young/new audences in great numbers and they don't allways appeal to the (older?) or should that be more established audence. Bring out the old hands, with the experience and know how, and worthwhile material not just gleaned and coppied from the last CD they have heard, and stage craft not just based on short skirts and giggling and the audence will be there.

Oh, and it would also help if folk music promoters stoped trying to compete with the Masonic Order in trying to become the most secretive of secret societies.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:08 PM

Betsy....thanks, my comment was pure tongue in cheek......I didn't really think you were getting at me!

HH......some thoughts. The club (any club) is run for the punters, not the performers. I don't think I could get the KFFC audience out every week (£££££) and I also don't have the time to run a weekly night.

I know only too well the difficulty this means in getting gigs but no one forced you (or my wife!) into becoming an act that wants gigs (and paying!).

So what is the palaver for the "audience" then.......I didn't understand what were saying there.

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:10 PM

Eh?... Short skirts? NOW you're talking! Where's this on at? I'll be there, and it'll be me doing the giggling.
JK.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: stallion
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:25 PM

Paulo (Banji...)works hard on promotion and the product is excellent, I think it easier to put everything into a good product, and he does. KFFC Winter Warmer was quite a unique event, certainly the singaround was, stuff of legends, but I dare say that was a tough one to pull round.
As to where the audiences are, well they are there, but are a bit like sheep, I think a lot miss out on good performances cos the performers are not houshold names, I think a lot kudos lies with the phrase, "I have been to see blah blah "(insert any name, KR, VG,MC,Cops. etc) But no kudos attached to seeing "Who?". Oh are people that shallow! It was nice to sing in front of 150 at the NCEM but they were really there to see "The Young Coppers" not us (actually we did manage to pack thirty or so in with rellies and friends!).


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Stewart
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:29 PM

Good Morning (here in Seattle),
the sun is shining, another rare day!
And thank you for your interesting comments.
I guess it's not just a Seattle phenomenon.
Admittedly, the coffeehouse gig wasn't well publicized,
and many of our musicians just don't promote their own gigs.

But for my own concert series, I go all out -
press releases, posters & flyers, web and published calendars,
emailings, radio spots if possible, everything I can think of,
and still only a meager audience. I don't think it's the cost -
mostly $10 - $12, or free (with a tip jar).

I would like to promote community and neighborhood events where
people don't have to drive any great distance (might even walk).
But people don't want to leave their houses after a busy day's work,
and local, live music is something they can't even imagine.
And they already have too many other scheduled activities.
But then they might spend $100 to see some an out-of-town big name star
in a stadium or arena with lousy sound - doesn't make much sense.

But then these musicians come to me and say "I'd like to play at your venue,"
and assume they will have a large audience with no promotion of their own.

So my favorite musical activities remain -
our monthly house jams with other musician friends,
busking for passersby and those eating lunch
in front of the PCC (food co-op) in Fremont (Seattle)
where I'm off to this noon with the nice weather,
and open mics attended only by other performing musicians.

Still, it would be nice to play to a large appreciative audience
of listeners who aren't just a few other musicians.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:38 PM

"Bring out the old hands, with the experience and know how, and worthwhile material not just gleaned and coppied from the last CD they have heard, and stage craft not just based on short skirts and giggling and the audence will be there. "

I wish that were true.   The "old hands" are not drawing the audience they once held, at least in my region. I won't name names, but I've attended concerts and festivals, and also presented concerts, with some of the finest traditional musicians are country has produced and in recent years the audiences have been reduced to handfuls. These artists cannot afford to tour when a promoter cannot pay them a fair share, and the promoter cannot pay them a fair share if the audience sits at home staring at the walls.

It is also unfair to judge based on "short skirts and giggles". Failure to recognize current fashions and style results in a giant wall being created.

As to saying that younger performers will not "ways appeal to the (older?) or should that be more established audence", then why would you expect younger audiences to find older performers appealing based on that logic?   That kind of thinking continues to create barriers and that giant wall becomes even more imposing.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Bee
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:40 PM

In the wide open spaces of rural Canada, music festivals of any sort are usually well-attended. People love to camp out for a weekend in one nice grassy space, where they can save a bit of money by bringing their own food and beverage. Going to a bar for music is out of the question - no way to get home if you have so much as one beer, and not too many people enjoy being the 'drunk taxi'.

Locally, for one night events, it seems to be hit or miss, venue to venue. We have a parish hall here that does a variety music show once a month. The place is small but is packed for every occasion, as is the local firehall when they do a gig. Also, there are a couple rural Legion halls which host music events, and they are well attended. These are all local musicians who are very rarely paid, of course, so it's no good for the poor musician trying to make a living at it. On the other hand, I know of at least a couple younger people who started out in this very circle of unpaid rural venues who have gone on to become well known and able to sell their music and get pretty regular work in larger population centres.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:11 PM

Well it could be that the 'traditional' musicians were only really tolerated on festivals where people came really to see the vibrant exciting contemporary songwriters of the period.

This kind of music that belongs in the woodshed, down on the farm, and whilst crossing Cape Horn, and on the cabin porch was sat through with not much real enjoyment.

Then came the edicts of the 1970's that proclaimed all singer songwriters were horribly introspective - (just egocentric 'head music' I've heard it referred to).

And it was found that playing slip jigs and the like was a skill many middle class types could get to grips with (a bit like needle point) but surprise surpise! It ain't much of spectator sport.

And now we're finding out who really were the self indulgent ones.

That's a vast over simplification - there are some people who can really make traditional music get up and dance - but alas - not all that many!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:20 PM

Paul: Now you think I'm getting at you! KIDDING!
The 'palaver' is the same one I keep having to go through; trying to find out which clubs are on this week. My point was that I have to do this; the audience doesn't, and the danger is that it might put them off going to a club when it's easier to find out what's on at the cinema. I know I keep banging on about how things used to be, and I know there are all sorts of factors coming to bear, but I also remember that when people could assume that clubs were there on a weekly basis, those clubs ran successfully with minimal publicity.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:32 PM

HH..... no, I didn't think that you were getting at me either. I just had some questions about your post is all.

I must be sounding paranoid today, can't say I'm feeling paranoid though...... I just KNOW the b*st*rds are out to get me!

I think if we ran a weekly night attendances would drop....it would be more thinly spread.....doing a monthly night makes it a special event and people do seem to make the effort (though it is easier to get a good audience for acts that people have heard of).

Chin up...... you probably need a night off now and again at your age!!!!

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:34 PM

My Age? Now YOU'RE getting at ME!. JK


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:38 PM

By the way WLD, we have no prejudice, we put on boring old middle class farts doing traddy stuff and up themselves working class heroes (young or old) working out their self penned angst!

See.... we're equally dismissive of everyone's efforts!

It's good to see you polishing that chip on that there shoulder of yours.

Keep smiling.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:47 PM

Wee Little Drummers last comments reminded me of the way that "singer song-writers" sing the musical scale: DO RE MI MI MI MI MI MI! Bob, who's looking for the back door!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:50 PM

Bob - I thought I'd left it open! JK.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:54 PM

No you were just asking where the audience pissed off to, and I was suggesting a possible solution.

I think traditional music is a lot more complicated than most people allow. To be a John Kirkpatrick, Martin Carthy, Brian Peters or John Kelly takes hours of obsessive practice. Then it becomes worth watching.

The chances of being a sonwriter with something to say are slightly higher. You know what they say - everybody has got a book inside them. Maybe everybody has got a song.

But the sort of application it takes to become someone who can make people devour the detail - its something a bit different to strumming along to a jig or reel, or limping through a basic melody.

If I've got a chip on my shoulder - its being asked to find something interessting that really isn't all that spellbinding. In fact its being told that finding crap music unlistenable is some sort of lapse of taste on my part.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 02:43 PM

Wee Little Drummer ... Damned well said, I say!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 02:53 PM

WLD.....I think what you are saying is that what matters is the quality.... in terms of "performers" I agree entirely.

Participative events are different, everyones efforts should be encouraged and applauded.

KFFC club nights are performance based.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 03:33 PM

well okay - but you can't expect the same audiences for the village green team as you do for the test match.

And some of the kids I've heard - well at that stage I stayed at home and learned a bit more. the thing is that the agencies and record companies are looking for the nest Tickell, Rusby, Liza etc.

To be honest their bloody search in public(with admission charged) isn't all that fascinating to behold. these people are getting booked at festivals alongside shit hot players and of course - they're not doing the business - so don't expect a full house when you book them for your club.

Okay I realise its the tradition right or wrong, but in this case I think you'd be better off booking a juggler - or even a singer songwriter.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 03:37 PM

"Okay I realise its the tradition right or wrong, but in this case I think you'd be better off booking a juggler - or even a singer songwriter. "

There is the wall that I was mentioning earlier. No wonder the audiences are staying home.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 04:10 PM

As an organiser of one of these East Midland's folk clubs which does not meet weekly I have to ask is the first Sunday in every month not memorable enough? That has been our regular club night for the last seventeen years. Over this time we have at times attempted to run twice per month, and for a short time every week, with less than encouraging results from the nights other than our regular meeting. We still put on about four extra Sundays per year in order to fit in with tours or to present someone totally unmissable but unless they are some real megga name we will budget for our regular die hard audience - no matter how much publicity.
BTW I have done plenty of the weekly club organising too over the years; Royal Turf, Felling on Tyne, South Tyne Folk and Blues, Kegworth Folk Club and audiences were equally unpredictable then.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 04:30 PM

WLD,crap music?Well there are also crap singer songwriters.
oh and by the way strumming along to a jig or a reel,if you want to do it properly is demanding,many irish tunes can have quite complicated chord progressions and even modulations,just take a listen to my old mate, GED fOLEY, exBattlefield Band,and now with PatrickStreet and Kevin Burke.
why are the chances of being a songwriter with something to say higher?the truth of the matter is that one encounters crap performers every where,
but when a crap performer wrecks a good traditional song,it may be annoying,but generally if the song has survived all these years,it has done so because it is a good song,however I frequently hear modern songwriters songs wrecked by floor singers;and what I then notice is, how weak the song is, when its not performed by a good polished performer.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 04:57 PM

Dave: I was surmising (check my comment) that, as I was having trouble checking out clubs that I can get to on a given week, then punters might have the same propblem. I asked the question "What is it like for the punters?" There seems to be a silence from the direction of said punters on this thread, which is a pity, as they are the people we need to speak to - or rather, we need them to speak. I just seem to be alienating the very people I need to be nice to.
Actually, while I'm on, any chance of a floor spot on 3rd August?
Hold that door Bob, I'm coming with yer. John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:00 PM

aye aye Captain. there is indeed crap everywhere we look, and only man is vile.

Its not really a question of crap.. Some of this stuff is competent and so on - but its just not a spectator sport. Unless you're very pissed indeed.


The reason those guys in the log cabin or living under the haystack were so good is that there wasn't a telly to watch , or dvds or the late night porn channel and they just had to play with their banjos. And they got good, they discovered a harmonic and rhythmic complexities.

We would be better employed doing simpler structures well.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:12 PM

Mabe they've figured out that Oasis do antisocial solpsism every bit as incomprehensibly as lesser songwhiners.

"I wandered slowly down the hall
Faster than a cannonball" (wasn't it?)

Real deep man, like my head's so screwed man, I'm mad for it, me... (etc)


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:34 PM

Of course its up to you - if you are determined to see nothing in the craft of the songwriter. fair enough. keep up the abuse. songwhiners, snigger snoggers ...they were good ones. mi mi mi mi.

Its not me whose wonderng why there are no audiences. And as a punter, I'll tell you - its cos Ive sat through too many indifferent/totally shit evenings. And now I've reached my dotage - my wife says why did you put me through all those evenings listening to total shite, sitting on uncomfortable seats in dirty little pubs.

Basically you've shit on your own doorstep - you abused the trust and intelligence of your audience. And now you're blaming all those people who have the temerity to think Oasis songs say something about their lives.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:50 PM

Hey Stew ... are you still glad you posed this question? Bob


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Stewart
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 06:11 PM

This discussion seems to be going on at several different levels or situations.

My own situation here in Seattle is that we have a certain Folklore Society that presents mostly out-of-town singer songwriters. But they usually get a good audience because the organization has a large following, and the performers are promoted with a lot of hype - "promises to wow Seattle listeners with her honest and intimate voice, her delicate guitar work and her disarming lyricism. [A certain well-known] Guitar magazine describes her as 'a songwriter of startling clarity and depth, equally skilled at turning a melody or lyrical phrase into what you didn't know you needed until you heard it'." Usually they turn out to be quite boring and inferior to our own local talent.

The concert committee picks performers "because we (the members of the committee) have heard them perform and liked them. We do accept applications from artists who wish to perform in Seattle. Be warned, however, that the process is uncertain and can take a long time. Almost all of the concerts that we do are for people with whom we are already familiar." In other words, someone on the committee has to already have heard the performer.

Well, last year a world-class folklorist/singer/instrumentalist/story teller from New Hampshire, well known on East Coast and who often tours in the British Isles, wrote to the committee about a gig. They ignored him (not even the courtesy of a reply), probably because they never heard of him in their infatuation with pop-folk singer songwriters.

I offered him a house concert. He was great and we had a good, but not overwhelming audience turnout. That's when I decided to revive the 55-year-old Pacific Northwest Folklore Society to try and promote some real talent from our own local musicians (often much better than the out-of-towners who come here), and occasionally a good out-of-town musician who gets overlooked because no one has heard him or her.

But when no one has heard of a particular musician and the big organization doesn't back him or her, it's hard to get an audience to come out.

But we'll work on it.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Stewart
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 06:15 PM

Hi Bob, this is fun and interesting - a lot of angles to the discussion.

Yes, I'm glad I started it.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 06:17 PM

well you can see how courteous the replies tend to be, that chap on the east coast was probably better off without one.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 06:27 PM

WLD - our perspectives differ slightly. I'd kill - or at least give quite a serious Chinese burn - to sit through a folk club night consisting entirely of traditional music, however indifferently played. Last time I went to my local club I heard hardly any traditional anything, and absolutely nothing from the traditions of these islands. (I confess, I was part of the problem myself, but what can I say - I'd written that song weeks ago...)

On the other hand, our club runs weekly and it's always busy, so I guess that's an answer of sorts. Where are the audiences? One of them's right here, happily listening to 15-20 acts doing one or two numbers each. It's a good night out - you just don't hear much folk music.


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