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Where are the youngsters?

GUEST,FloraG 18 Aug 12 - 05:16 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 12 - 05:22 AM
terrier 18 Aug 12 - 05:36 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Aug 12 - 05:53 AM
Ole Juul 18 Aug 12 - 05:59 AM
Marje 18 Aug 12 - 06:29 AM
theleveller 18 Aug 12 - 07:00 AM
Musket 18 Aug 12 - 07:20 AM
Frug 18 Aug 12 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,FloraG 18 Aug 12 - 08:04 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 12 - 08:20 AM
Frug 18 Aug 12 - 08:36 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Aug 12 - 08:47 AM
theleveller 18 Aug 12 - 09:18 AM
Northerner 18 Aug 12 - 01:55 PM
Ebbie 18 Aug 12 - 02:56 PM
selby 18 Aug 12 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,999 18 Aug 12 - 03:03 PM
Elmore 18 Aug 12 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,Mike the Flute 18 Aug 12 - 05:07 PM
selby 18 Aug 12 - 05:24 PM
Frug 18 Aug 12 - 05:44 PM
selby 18 Aug 12 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken) 18 Aug 12 - 06:40 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 12 - 07:11 PM
Rob Naylor 18 Aug 12 - 07:26 PM
Rob Naylor 18 Aug 12 - 07:55 PM
Rob Naylor 18 Aug 12 - 09:17 PM
gnu 18 Aug 12 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,FloraG 19 Aug 12 - 05:16 AM
theleveller 19 Aug 12 - 05:29 AM
Frug 19 Aug 12 - 05:44 AM
selby 19 Aug 12 - 05:55 AM
Frug 19 Aug 12 - 06:20 AM
Northerner 19 Aug 12 - 04:45 PM
Paul Reade 19 Aug 12 - 07:21 PM
Allan Conn 20 Aug 12 - 03:08 AM
theleveller 20 Aug 12 - 03:10 AM
Allan Conn 20 Aug 12 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,FloraG 20 Aug 12 - 04:37 AM
Marje 20 Aug 12 - 05:38 AM
theleveller 20 Aug 12 - 07:23 AM
theleveller 20 Aug 12 - 07:27 AM
Acorn4 20 Aug 12 - 07:38 AM
Allan Conn 20 Aug 12 - 07:54 AM
TheSnail 20 Aug 12 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,petecockermouth 20 Aug 12 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 20 Aug 12 - 12:51 PM
Allan Conn 20 Aug 12 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,FloraG 21 Aug 12 - 04:48 AM
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Subject: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:16 AM

Popped down to Broadstairs festival yesterday - what joy a bus pass is - amd met a lot of old friends - but where are the youngsters? Its the same people who were there 10 years ago - and some 20 or 30.
Some morris sides have youngsters and some of the paid guests were youngish, but where are the rest?
Should this be of concern?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:22 AM

yes, it should be a concern. The only answer I can think of, is that the general collapse of musical literacy means that they simply aren't there


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: terrier
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:36 AM

Yes, it should be a concern, how us older generation have lost touch with how we you'st to be, how the youngsters now/still are. Maybe the difference is that as youngsters, we were ready to ride on the backs of the older, more experienced musos/singers, whereas now the up and comming players are looking for new avenues to explore and they are doing it in their own way at their own venues.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:53 AM

IMHO most "youngsters" who folk want to participate in music/song and/or undertake energetic dance. Broadstairs is still short of the variety of participation that Sidmouth offers, its pubs (unlike 20 years ago) are full of electric mid-atlantic or worse music.

When I was last there the experience of playing for the morris was unsatisfying (even compared to the norm), with sound overlapping sound, shortage of decent pitches, grockles walking through dances etc.

Of course an alternative explanation is that the "yoof" are avoiding the oldies and are there somewhere pissing themselves with laughter at the oldies trying to connect with the young.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Ole Juul
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:59 AM

I don't know if there's a collapse of musical literacy as Mrs Guest suggests. Things are certainly different. I think one way to describe the "new world" is that it is extremely passive. Playing an instrument is a lot of work. Singing is tiresome and makes people look at you. Basically anything that us old farts liked to do, now has an average age of participants over 60. Hell, where I live, the average age of farmers is close to 65. Basically, anything that involves work, does not appeal to youngsters.

PS: I promise I'll write something positive next time I post.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Marje
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 06:29 AM

I wouldn't go as far as Ole Juul above, but I do agree that passive consumption of music is more common among younger people, while active participation, especially singing, is something many of them avoid. This means that the more traditional festivals are largely peopled by the over-50s, who are more comfortable in their (wrinkling) skins and more prepared to risk playing or singing or learning a new dance form in front of others.

Live, natural music is unfamiliar to many people now. The raw sound of unprocessed, unplugged, unamplified singing or playing sounds alien to the ear of many youngsters, who think that music must entail a microphone and a sophisticated sound system with backing tracks.

There's also the media-influenced emphasis on fame and commercial success, which encourages many young people to hope that their Youtube video will go viral and get them a recording contract and a concert tour. In a few cases it may do, but the rest will have a hard time in the competitive market of the music business. In time they will perhaps accept that it's still fun to get involved and make music with friends even when you don't get paid or become famous, but they may have to face some disappointment first.

I don't think any of this necessarily means there's a problem. Athough there is a solid core of older folkies who have been on the scene since the 1960s or 70s, many of the current over-50s didn't really get involved in folk music until they were 40 or more. There's no reason to think that younger people won't drift in the direction of more participative involvement as they get older. At least, I hope I'm right.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:00 AM

Well I know where one (12-year old) is - she's up in her bedroom and having ditched the cello and violin for guitar and keyboard is inventing her own tunes, chord sequences and shapes, creating amazing sounds and singing at the top of her voice. Despite being brought up in a folk environment, however, that's not her preferred style. She's just finished appearing in a wonderful local production of Les Miserables but isn't interested in performing solo yet.

Let's face it, folk does not, generally, attract - or even welcome - youngsters. Who, at that age, would want to get embroiled in the 'what is folk', accompanied v unaccompanied, trad. v singer/songwriter debacles that tear our potentially wonderful musical scene apart? I'm totally pissed off with it myself and with many of the old farts (I can say that because I'm 63) who thnk they have ownership of it, to the the extent that I rarely go to clubs these days and to only 1 or 2 local festivals. So how can I expect my daughter to want to take part? She's got her own agenda and is loving it.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Musket
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:20 AM

Here here leveller.

I found a couple of local places (not far from you either..) that are nice places to go, but let's face it, the "young" people love folk more than ever before. Only thing is. the eternal "what is folk?"

I sang a Seth Lakeman song recently and was asked afterwards if, as I seem to know the folk scene, whether I sang any folk songs........

Yeah, go to Cambridge, Cropedy, pop along to a Kate Rusby concert or Bellowhead. If Carthy & co are doing an Imagined Village concert, buy a ticket.

You will find how folk is a young person's game nowadays.

It's just that sitting in a crummy back room of a pub whilst old Fred gets a folder out and sings about Norfolk reed cutting in a pub near Doncaster isn't the same thing. Fred & co are enjoying themselves and good luck to them. But to expect anybody to buy into it? Perhaps a polite once in a lifetime visit for the novelty, but sadly, folk clubs are missing the point these days, the point of abstract entertainment.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Frug
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:47 AM

Ditto that Leveller. My 2 sons are excellent performers in their own right/style, as are several of my nephews and nieces, I am constantly exposed to the younger musical element. Based on my experience the musical future is in good hands.... its dynamic, imaginative and creative and has its own outlets and venues. I don't agree with the slightly disparaging views espoused above. Lets face it you ain't gonna see much basketball played at the old folks home and hence don't expect to see rashes of younger folk at trad fests. However I would encourage folks to go and seek out the local acoustic indie scene, I find lots of it a damn sight more stimulating than the same old same old that festivals churn out. Go see whats happening at local high school and college concerts. A lot of it is stunning..... I do have to laugh when I hear my sons talking about music being old school, hard core, post hard core, non scene, street etc. Not only is the future of music safe, so is the future of debate and controversy. Now then what is folk music?

Frank


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:04 AM

Broadstairs has its own agenda - but the problem is not just for Broadstairs.

Broadstairs could go a long way to solve the problems by not having the PA from the bandstand so loud. We could hear the din at the ice cream parlour yesterday- about 300 yards away. The morris sides do not have to dance at the most restricted bit of the prom - forcing the people who just want to get to the beach to run the gauntlet of money collectors. Morris and appalachian sides also don't need 3 drums or amplified instuments - drowning out the next performer who is more considerate.

Musket - my concern is that 30 years ago there were people of 30 and under in the sessions. Now we are all 60 there are few people under 40. Are these sessions going to die out? Will it get more difficult to have sessions as the departing are not replaced? The Sidmouth concerts were also predominantly 60+ and the sessions not much better.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:20 AM

I did mean it, about the collapse of musical literacy. Not only are youngsters more passive, but the teaching of music on schools is much reduced, and far fewer youngsters have anyone at all in their families who plays an instrument of any kind.

Plus, youngsters will no longer buy into the whole Pete Seeger/New Seekers/Joan Baez thing. The generation who are 60 now, once believed they could change the world. Today's youngsters don't, and point to Seeger's limo by way of illustration.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Frug
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:36 AM

Evidence please guest as to the demise of musical literacy, familial musicianship and lack of change philosophy? Why should they buy in to the same influences we did. There are plenty of more contemporary musical role models with a political message. Oh and by the way I still think that there's a change the world movement. Maybe its just not happening within your orbit.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:47 AM

I don't think the observation, if intended to be general, that there are no youngsters in sessions is accurate. They are fairly uncommon in singarounds, but at Sweeps the outside session at the Good Intent has a significant representation of younger people.

Music in general has become more something that is consumed than something that is made, and (drifting now off the purely age factor) in my Lower Coke Winter Sings I do hear expressions from villagers about the boldness of those of us who stand up (or stay sitting down) and sing. It is seen as uncommon, yet we do have or have had a number of villagers who play or sing - Chris, the caretaker from the School, Roland and his ex-army songs (restricted mostly to the politer ones), Peter who does Roy Orbison on the karaoke nights but is happy to tear of a Goodnight Irene with the folkies. We even had a classic Romany Rai in who did promise to come back and do some of the old songs - but alas he did not.

The pub booked a 15 year old girl songwriter-guitarist and she went off very well.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 09:18 AM

I suppose it also depends what you mean by 'youngsters'. For me that's anyone under 30 - and there are plenty of brilliant folk performers, both amateur and professional, who fit into that category.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Northerner
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 01:55 PM

It's the same here at Whitby. I was at an excellent concert here in Whitby this afternoon, but I don't think many of the audience were under 60. There are some talented youngsters around. I know of two very talented boys in my area, 13 and 14, doing bookings with their parents, but they are doing American music, not British. Many of the youngsters are only interested in the pop culture. I was at a talent contest in the spring, lots of youngsters, all trying to copy either the latest pop star or street dance troupe. It's great that youngsters are getting down to making music but it seems be only one genre.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 02:56 PM

In Juneau, Alaska, USA, the annual Alaska Folk Festival seemed to draw few young performers as well as young audiences- for awhile it looked like the average age of a festival goer was over-forty. Now, suddenly it seems, there are scads of the young ones, everything from solo performers to duets to comedy musical acts to highland dancing supported by pipes to you name it. These youngsters range in age from about 7 to 20.

And whenever there is a 'young' act, tons of young folks flood the auditorium. High schoolers are obviously very supportive of their own; it is fun to see.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: selby
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 02:57 PM

We as parents are slightly to blame we bought all our kids instruments, they went to festival workshops, then we sent them to folkworks. They are all sat in sessions playing music very very competently they are also dancing a lot are doing rapper although I saw a tremendous young cotswold side at Warwick. My eldest son (24) and chums have done Warwick to Sidmouth to Whitby finishing up at Shrewsbury. My youngest son has lead a workshopThey are there but as was stated earlier they go for the likes of Bellowhead Whapweasel I am sure when we where younger people thought the same. But in my opinion folk music is well save
Keith


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 03:03 PM

Some of you may find this interesting/instructive to read.

Scroll down and after the Carthy blurb there are comments from people taht are pertinent to this thread, imo.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Elmore
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 03:40 PM

At the festivals in the U.S. there are a fair amount of young people, at the concerts not so many. I recall a specific concert a few years ago. I said to myself, " look at all these old geezers." Then, to my chagrin I realized the geezers were my age.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Mike the Flute
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:07 PM

I think the issue raised here goes well beyond folk or any other kind of music. I have belonged all my life to various groups, societies and association, musical and otherwise, both in this country and in France - and the question is always the same: "Where are all the young people?" Years ago, in my 40s, I wondered why I was among the youngest members present. Now I am the wrong side of 60, nothing much has changed.

I think the issue is that - to generalise - younger (i.e under 30) people do not wish to be involved in formal groups or organised events. We are now in an age of Facebook, Twitter and the cult of instant gratification, with a lack of inclination to accept ongoing commitments and responsibilities. My own opinion, and that of many of my friends, is that many events and societies will die out with our generation - indeed, as is already seen to be happening. (Why else would the question have been posed?

Mike


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: selby
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:24 PM

Mike I have to disagree I know from my sons and their friends social networking on the net enhances rather then detracts. they post bands to see, gems they have found on the net and share it with everyone.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Frug
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:44 PM

Again in my experience young people are organising, performing and acting as promoters. indeed there are also several young person driven recording facilities locally. Also as Selby indicates the net makes networking a great deal easier these days.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: selby
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 06:06 PM

I agree totally Frug the young ones are doing as much as we ever did and arguably more.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken)
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 06:40 PM

Moor and Coast tent long after the likes of you and me have retired to bed. That's where you'll see the future.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:11 PM

Marge: I wouldn't go as far as Ole Juul above, but I do agree that passive consumption of music is more common among younger people, while active participation, especially singing, is something many of them avoid.

I keep seeing this being trotted out on Mudcat, but IMO it's simply not true. There was just as much "passive consumption", manufactured bands and "written to a formula" music back in the 60s and 70s as there is now.

And equally, there are just as many kids now playing, singing and writing songs as there were back then....they're just not doing it where *you* are!

I go to events and sessions locally where I'm often the oldest person there, and the sheer breadth and depth of talent amongst local youngsters is amazing. I can think of 8 or 10 local young vocalists who either sing solo, in duos or front bands who are better than anyone I've heard on any of the TV "talent" shows, and the number of talented young musicians living within a 10 mile radius is astounding. Almost all the youngsters I know play or sing.

There's little crossover, though...I've tried getting some of the "session and singaround attenders" to events at venues the younger people go to, without any interest from them at all. I've had more success getting youngsters along to some of the more "traddy" sessions and singarounds, but they don't stay. Former denizens of the (late lamented) High Brooms Tavern sessions will recall half a dozen or so under 25s who I brought along. They didn't stick....they liked a lot of the music but were put off by some of the interminable unaccompanied ballads and especially by the "music hall" type songs full of casual racism and sexism.

You can't expect them to want to attend the same kinds of events as their parents and grandparents enjoy...in much the same was as, in the early 70s I'd be found in the back rooms of pubs listening to kids my own age, rather than going along with parents to Spen Valley Amateur Operatics or understanding their love of Perry Como.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:26 PM

"Guest" above was me with a dead cookie.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:55 PM

Oh, and it's not just local to Kent and Sussex: I frequently work in Devon and the Axminster Open Mic nights get some *really* talented youngsters along.

This session *is* actually very mixed, with about the same percentage of under 30s as over 45s....but the younger ones are generally the better musicians

There are several studios around the area, set up and run by some of the youngsters on a shoestring. One duo have had one of their (self-recorded, engineered and mixed) songs featured on the British "Yoof Soap" "Hollyoaks" a couple of times and at least 3 of the other regular young attenders have had their songs "picked up" and recorded by big-name artistes.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 09:17 PM

Mike The Flute: We are now in an age of Facebook, Twitter and the cult of instant gratification, with a lack of inclination to accept ongoing commitments and responsibilities. My own opinion, and that of many of my friends, is that many events and societies will die out with our generation - indeed, as is already seen to be happening.

To an extent, yes, but I disagree that it's a lack of inclination to accept committments. It's preciely the rise of on-line and instant communication that's reducing the *need* for societies and clubs.

For example, the Climbing Club that I'm a member of still operates, but when I first joined, its *focus* was the regular "Home" meet in a pub, with a guest speaker to show some slides and talk about a trip. At those meets the hard-copy newsletters would be given out and plans for weekend and day trips to Scotland, Wales or the Peak District discussed. Pre-arranged meeting points for passenger consolidation into fewer cars were needed.

Now, the club is essentially run on Facebook and its website. There is no longer a newsletter, articles are uploaded to the site and linked to FB. Lift arrangements are made infomally by text. Venues don't have to be pre-planned and rigidly stuck to because you're meeting someone at "X" en-route....if the online weather shows rain in Wales you can switch at the last minute via SMS and FB feeds to the Peak District, for example. There is now a much-reduced need for a committee.

In fact, although nominally still a member, I hardly interact with the local club at all any more, as I have dozens of climbing contacts all over the country on Facebook, and the need to be a "member" of an organisation with "subs" just isn't there. Right now, in the last 20 minutes, I've arranged, from Sakhalin in the Russian Far East, to meet a friend from Glossop, another one from Ft William and 2 more from Aberdeen, on Skye on the 22nd Sept. All done in 10 minutes on FB with shared transport worked out between myself and Glossop Girl and no need for a committee, subs, or any kind of formal organisation at all.

Every year for the last 8 years I've organised over the web, originally on a Forum similar to this but lately over FB, a winter climbing trip for up to 40 people at Roy Bridge in Scotland. Again, all done without any kind of club, organisation or committee. Around 1/2 to 2/3 of the participants are the same every year, so there's long-term committment, and there's a good "churn" too with youngsters coming in and staying, whereas the structure of my formal club, although it's moved with the times and embraced the internet much more than many others, is of an ageing demographic and an apparent lack of interest from new members....the youngsters all being on FB and turning up to informally organised events.

So quite simply, formal clubs just aren't needed in a world of instant communication and 24/7 availability. Stuff can be arranged on the fly but doesn't necessarily imply less committment.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: gnu
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 09:47 PM

Fascinating discussion. So many insightful posts!

I got nuthin to add... no where near what others have posted. Sorry to waste your time jus sayin "thanks", but, thanks.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:16 AM

OK - so where do we go from here? Does it worry anybody that most festivals, folk clubs and sessions will end with our generation?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:29 AM

Another thing to bear in mind is that they now have to work much harder at school and uni in order to get the necessary qualifications they need, so they have much less free time. Then there's the problem of trying to find a job, trying to keep and succeed in your job when you do - to say nothibg of the usual life-cycle of finding a partner, raising a family etc. Life is certainly much harder for youngsters than it was in my day - watching my son, who has just got a good degree, to find a job is heartbreaking.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Frug
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:44 AM

True that Leveller. My youngest has just graduated and works for minimum wage in a milk bar. Paid so badly that he has to work an extraordinary number of hours to pay his bills/debts and this consequently affects the amount of time he has to make music. Ho Hum.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: selby
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:55 AM

in answer to Flora G's question Festivals will continue to thrive with the young ones sessions will continue to thrive with the young ones Folk clubs have been in my opinion in decline since the late 90,s ours folded due to lack of interest that was nothing to do with young people. Sheffield has a thriving folk scene as does leeds and York with young people all over it is just knowing where they are.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Frug
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 06:20 AM

In reality Flora its the structures that are changing. My eldest son has recently completed a 6 week tour during which he played at 7 or 8 house parties which from his description appeared to resemble our view of sessions. The whole music scene is changing and may even become more virtual (perish the thought) however clubs/sessions/festivals will still exist. They may just be different........ I discussed this with my two sons ... to paraphrase their response "They are old hat" nuff sed.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Northerner
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 04:45 PM

I am also involved in live literature events in my region; I am a poet as well as singer and storyteller. We have quite a thriving poetry scene and we have people of all ages. We have some who are young. A local librarian recently started an event called Folklines, which is folk or acoustic plus spoken word. Our last event was very successful, and we did have some young people in. It is not a folk club but some folk songs are sung there. Perhaps poetry is more popular at the moment than folk music?


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Paul Reade
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 07:21 PM

Most of these comments seem to be written from a grey-haired, bus-passed perspective – when you go to a folk club / festival now it means singing, playing, listening to the music, relaxing and having a drink and chat with friends.

Just think back to the younger you in your late teens / early twenties. Your priority then was meet members of the opposite sex, have a lot to drink, meet more members of the opposite sex and generally have a good time, all to the accompaniment of some good music.

"Youngsters" now are really no different to what we were – would you have wanted to go to the same places as your parents (or grandparents)? If "youngsters" go to a folk club / festival now, the chances of meeting someone of the opposite sex of a similar age are … approximately nil! Perhaps the best way to get young people to get into folk is if we old f***s stop going!


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 03:08 AM

Our local club is brimming over with very young people. At the pub session there are various fiddlers, guitarists, singers in their teens or early twenties. At the non-licensed open mic session that precedes it there are also various of school age who get up and play/sing - and write their own stuff. I'm actually really impressed by the standards. We even drafted one school age lad on to the committee to make sure they are well represented. We put on about half a dozen concerts a year and it is harder to get them along to those but it's either not their thing or they haven't yet discovered it could be their thing! However I would strongly refute the idea that they are musically illiterate. They like to perform and see people they know perform.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 03:10 AM

"If "youngsters" go to a folk club / festival now, the chances of meeting someone of the opposite sex of a similar age are … approximately nil!"

You obviously haven't seen what goes on around the duck pond at Cambridge FF ;)


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 03:18 AM

Another point to make, about society in general rather than folk clubs/festivals, is how we discriminate against youngsters financially. Just one example was the recent Border Union Agricultural Show in Kelso. £3 entry for kids under 16; £8 entry for people aged 65 or over no matter what their income is; but the full £15 for school kids aged 16, 17 or 18. Bloody crazy! We complain that they are not a full part of society yet price them out of local events. School kids should all be treaty as the same concession no matter what their age. More often than not they aren't.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 04:37 AM

Allan - how did you get them along in the first place - I should be interested to know.   
You are so right about the cost, but folk is catching up with pop. A friend who helps run a small folk club was quoted £2000 for a scottish duo for a show. Ouch.   Without EMA all students could do with low cost entry.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Marje
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 05:38 AM

That's a very good point, Allan, about entry prices. I am entitled to an "age concession" now but I don't need it. I would rather they gave such concessions to those still in full-time education - although to be fair, folk events sometimes do include the "unwaged" in the concessionary rate, which ought to cover this.

On the other hand, attending a cinema, club, football match or pop concert/festival costs a whole lot more than most folk events. Folk music is a cheap hobby (apart from the beer!).

Another thing that works against any continutity in local sessions etc is the high number of students who leave home and go elsewhere at 18. I've seen young people attend music sessions with great enthusiasm at the age of 16/17 and then vanish from the scene when they go off to study. Presumably the communities with universities may benefit form the extra numbers of young people, but smaller towns and villages often lose a good proportion of their 18-22-year-olds. They may surface again at festivals and big events, but any roots they have in the local fold community are lost.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:23 AM

At Loughborough Uni, where my lad has been for 3 years, there's a student population of over 15,000. There's a folk club on campus so I expect it would ge quite vibrant (my boy's not into folk so he never went). I know of several folk groups/duos who got together at uni or college and a couple at least are very popular.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:27 AM

Maybe if more small local festivals booked more youg local acts it would help. Moonbeams Wold Top Festival is a good example - a great blend of established artistes and local ones. I've discovered some really fantastic youn musicians there who I otherwise might not have come across. Same goes for support artistes in clubs.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Acorn4
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:38 AM

Warwick Festival has been very good at booking younger artists over the past few years.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:54 AM

"how did you get them along in the first place" There was always a few. Mostly either kids learning the fiddle or children of existing members. My own son started going at about age 14. However it really took off when the centre where he have the open mic at laid on a young person's open mic (on a Wednesday) specifically for teenagers or very young adults. We then encouraged the regulars going to that to come along and try the main open mic on the Friday too. Once there are some going then others follow. The young person's open mic then stopped as the kids were happy playing on the Friday night.

Tying in with Marje's points about price. It is only a £2 entry fee (£1 to the centre for corking charge and £1 for the cost of room etc) but as far as school kids go we let them in free. As far as music goes we welcome every type specifically calling ourselves a Folk & Live Music Club. We let them know they will be welcome even if they don't play what would be regarded as folk or traditional music.

This is an example of one of our young performers. Megan is in my daughter's class so will only be 15 at most. She sang this Trash Can Sinatra's song beautifully at our club then one of the members vidoed her doing it again in the back room afterwards.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9eWvvOrbgM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 08:36 AM

Lewes Folk Festival has a Festival Daance with The New Slide with caller Alex Cumming. A group from the Lewes Old Grammar School are playing support for Les Barker. I'm not sure if The Young Coppers still count as young.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,petecockermouth
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 08:44 AM

the youngsters are in scotland (and ireland apparently) i was at the late night club at celtic connections festival (glasgow) 4/5 years back and saw about 200 young people really going for the wild dancing at a flook gig. i spoke to (the mighty) michael mcgoldrick the following night to say what a great gig etc ...he said 'it were great, i just wanted to put my flute down and sing we are t'champions!' there are many young bands all over the country and a seemingly endless supply of players from a secondary school on the west coast (plockton?) where all pupils are required to learn to play traditional music. as with many things, and particularly the arts, scotland seems a more vibrant, progressive place these days.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 12:51 PM

We're putting together a new festival in Bedale, North Yorkshire (BAMfest - Bedale Acoustic Music Festival 1st May - 2nd June 2013, watch this space!)and will have a whole "thread" running throughout the festival aimed at under 21s and getting them to play "acoustic" music.

This will include concerts by younger artists (who will also feature on the main bill), an acoustic "Battle of the Bands", workshops and open mics. This will all be hosted at "Culture Shack" which is an excellent facility in the grounds of Bedale High School. Their management are fully behind it.

Though the festival is not completely "folk" (or Folk) there will be plenty of traditional and other folk music going on (Acoustic Blues, Bluegrass, Trad Jazz, American Old Time as well as Celtic and English Folk)..... we won't get too precious about what the youngsters play though, as long as it is "real" music on "real acoustic" instruments. Acoustic singer/ songwriter stuff will also be encouraged)

Hopefully some of them will pick up on the folkier music on offer and develop an interest.

It'll be interesting to see if it works.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 01:00 PM

"Hopefully some of them will pick up on the folkier music on offer and develop an interest."

I think that hits the nail on the head. Hopefully once they hear what some of the others are playing they will explore. The vast majority of what is played here is acoustic though there are a couple of electric guitarists too. We did have one lass who played one backing song through her i-pod as she sang. We didn't want to encourage that as it is about live music not karaoke. Nobody said anything at the time and it turned out to be a one off anyway so there was no emerging issue.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 04:48 AM

We have one youngster under 40 who plays in the band. Have not yet come accross a good young caller in the North kent area, but looking.

The local morris side has a youth group and some of them remain with the side.

Sat with a youngster a few weeks ago teaching him Speed the plough on the melodeon.


I am thinking that we could all do a little bit more than we do to pass the tradition on then the concerns would disappear.

My resolution for the next year perhaps?
FloraG


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