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Festivals for newbies

ChocolateLover 25 Jan 04 - 07:41 AM
Tig 25 Jan 04 - 08:29 AM
Mr Happy 25 Jan 04 - 08:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jan 04 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Rich A 25 Jan 04 - 08:57 AM
black walnut 25 Jan 04 - 09:20 AM
John Robinson (aka Cittern) 25 Jan 04 - 11:25 AM
snake19 25 Jan 04 - 12:37 PM
Morticia 25 Jan 04 - 12:40 PM
ChocolateLover 25 Jan 04 - 01:29 PM
Michael 25 Jan 04 - 03:27 PM
Folkiedave 25 Jan 04 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 25 Jan 04 - 04:20 PM
jacqui c 25 Jan 04 - 05:05 PM
Catherine Jayne 25 Jan 04 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Charley 26 Jan 04 - 05:02 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 Jan 04 - 05:59 AM
Dave Bryant 26 Jan 04 - 06:34 AM
s&r 26 Jan 04 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Sooz(at work) 26 Jan 04 - 08:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Jan 04 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,guest Ned ludd 26 Jan 04 - 10:32 AM
Dave Bryant 26 Jan 04 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,banjoman 26 Jan 04 - 10:57 AM
The Barden of England 26 Jan 04 - 04:29 PM
Moses 27 Jan 04 - 07:16 AM
Grab 27 Jan 04 - 07:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 04 - 07:48 PM
Teribus 28 Jan 04 - 08:22 AM
Dave Bryant 28 Jan 04 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Ozzy 28 Jan 04 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,IanN 28 Jan 04 - 09:32 AM
The Borchester Echo 28 Jan 04 - 09:41 AM
Lowkey 28 Jan 04 - 04:43 PM
nikkih 28 Jan 04 - 05:28 PM
open mike 28 Jan 04 - 09:13 PM
GUEST 29 Jan 04 - 06:18 AM
Snuffy 29 Jan 04 - 09:08 AM
Emma B 29 Jan 04 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,obnig hrobdog 29 Jan 04 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,synbyn 21 Jun 04 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,vectis 21 Jun 04 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Cats at work 22 Jun 04 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,noddy 22 Jun 04 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,synbyn 02 Jul 04 - 04:39 PM
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Subject: Festivals for newbies
From: ChocolateLover
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 07:41 AM

Hi. I can't find a thread along these lines but apologies if I am rehashing something old.

I am interested in which UK festivals people here would recommend for a newbie? Specifically I'm looking for smaller friendly ones where you get a chance to meet people and chill out, impromptu sessions in the bar, that kind of thing. Any comments?

Thanks

Chocolate Lover


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Tig
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 08:29 AM

Where are you based and how far are you prepared to travel? As well as the session aspect what sort of music do you like as some festivals have a traditional bias and some contempory.

Most of the festivals I attend would be fine for you - especially if you get a Mudcat badge/teeshirt as there are Catters to be found at most festivals!

Once we know these things it will be easier to help. I personally like Alcester, Warwick, Festival at the Edge (storytelling bias) and Chester but we also go to Moor and Coast, Whitby and Saltburn.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Mr Happy
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 08:34 AM

http://www.chesterfolk.freeserve.co.uk/festhome.htm


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 08:45 AM

The only festival I know which doesn't have much of that kind of thing is Cambridge, which is much more geared to concerts and such.

Otherwise even the big ones, such as Sidmouth have plenty of informal and relaxed stuff happening alongside the bigger events. And there are all kinds of smaller ones, one-day and weekends which are mostly in that style, one day and weekend events.

It depends where you are, and even more, when you want to go.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,Rich A
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 08:57 AM

Warwick and Bromyard are good medium sized festivals. Sidmouth has just about everything you can imagine going on. Middlewich in June is nice too.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: black walnut
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 09:20 AM

Yes, how far are you willing to travel? Your subject line doesn't specify country. We have some great festivals for beginners here in Ontario Canada! Home County Folk Festival in London (Ontario) is a wonderful free festival in a park in the middle of the city. It has excellent music and crafts. There are many other wonderful festivals too, in cities and towns. The best resource for finding out about Festivals right across Canada is at the http://www.northernjourney.com
.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: John Robinson (aka Cittern)
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 11:25 AM

Gainsborough, Otley and Stainsby Festivals are great.

All the best
John Robinson
http://www.JulieEllison.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: snake19
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 12:37 PM

Miskin is very small and very friendly.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Morticia
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 12:40 PM

Also depends on whether you are a player or a singer or both. Our Mudcat gathers are the dogs for friendly, small and fun as long as you keep away from the biters...I'll even tell you who they are for a small fee.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: ChocolateLover
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 01:29 PM

Sorry, should have made it clearer where I am. I'm UK based and unfortunately not able to fly at the moment, so will have to decline the invite to Ontario (but thank you, BlackWalnut - maybe next year!). I have both a car and a tent, so whereabouts in the UK is pretty open. In terms of music I like anything from Steeleye Span and June Tabor to Shooglenifty, Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy and (purists look away now) Jim Moray.

I do sing occasionally (and badly atm) at a couple of local folk clubs, but cannot as yet blow or thump anything in an even vaguely musical fashion.

Morticia - I may take you up on your offer - what's the price? :o)

ChocolateLover


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Michael
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 03:27 PM

Stainsby Festival - www.stainsbyfestival.org.uk

and Moor & Coast festival - www.moorandcoast.co.uk

are both not too big and friendly.
Mike


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 04:17 PM

All of them.

Best sessions (IMHO), National.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 04:20 PM

Try as many as you can get to. They are all different. Do you want to be in a town or village or on a big field with a couple of marquees?

Sidmouth and Whitby aren't as daunting as you would think as they are both scattered around the respective towns. The sheer number of folkies means that there will be a variety of sessions and singarounds going on, both official and unofficial. Also with plenty of workshops and dances/ceilidhs there are chances to meet a good cross section of people.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: jacqui c
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 05:05 PM

Where can we get Mudcat badges & T-shirts?

I'm not really into camping - never have done it and I think it's a little too late now! Is there much B&B accomodation around the various festival areas?


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 25 Jan 04 - 05:10 PM

Mudcat badges.....PM Tig and the T-shirts PM Bill\sables


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,Charley
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 05:02 AM

Towersey is one of my favourites (end of August, Bank Holiday weekend); good balance of ceilidhs, concerts and sessions and a great atmosphere and everything happens on two adjoining sites so you don't have to walk miles to get between events.

Charley


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 05:59 AM

Oxford Folk Festival is happening just after Easter, 16 - 18 April.

Steeleye Span and the first outing of the Spiers & Boden big band, BELLOWHEaD, are the headliners.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 06:34 AM

ChoclateLover - You still haven't given us any indication of what part of the country you live in. On the whole people don't usually want to drive to far to a small, local festival and anyway the longer it takes you to get to and from a festival, the less time you can spend there. I can suggest plenty of events in the Southeast (London, Kent, Essex, Surrey etc), but these might be too far if you live in the NW.

jacqui c - The B&B accommodation for the larger, well-established festivals tends to get booked up in advance (often the year before) by regulars. Some of the very small festivals don't have much in the way of accommodation available nearby. A lot of the fun, socialising, and often inpromptu sessions at festivals takes place on the campsites so you can often miss a lot if you stay elsewhere.

You're never too old to start camping, and nowdays tents are lighter, much easier to put up and cheaper - look at the Milletts Eurohike range. There's usually places to eat - some like Moreton, even serve breakfasts on the campsite - so all you need beside a tent is a sleeping bag and some sort of mattress if yoy like your comfort. Until we bought our caravan (only £100) some years ago, both Linda and I still camped - and I expect we were older than you. If you want to try sometime, we can lend you some gear.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: s&r
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 06:52 AM

Fylde Festival @ Fleetwood Lancashire is known as the friendly festival, and has a range of activities - concerts, workshops, sessions, singarounds, clogging, worst singer in the world competition, craft fair. It's always the week following August Bank Holiday, usually the beginning of September.

Kate's on this year, among others

Stu


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,Sooz(at work)
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 08:30 AM

I'll second Fylde - extremely friendly. You could do worse than come to Gainsborough in October. Much smaller than the others but a good variety of music and a warm welcome guaranteed!


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 10:20 AM

I would third Fylde! Especialy if you have a tent - The late sessions in the food Marquee are a real bonus. Been good weather the last couple of times I have been but being at the turn of the season it can turn out to be the Fylde tent hang-gliding festivals at times;-) Make sure you know how to pitch a tend and it can stand up to a bit of a battering just in case.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,guest Ned ludd
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 10:32 AM

Saltburn, Towersey, Saddleworth, Cleckheaton, Warwick, Otley, toname but a few.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 10:42 AM

For smaller, more local (to us) festivals, Walton-on-the-Naze, Moreton, Tenterden, Hastings.

For larger festivals: Towersey, Whitby, Sidmouth, Bromyard, Warwick, Chippenham.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 10:57 AM

Nobody mentioned Broadstairs (8th - 15th AUgust) Its a festival that has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years, and caters for just about every tast. Loafs of workshops, informal play and singalongs all at one sit. CAmping is great with good facilities- We regular Broadstairians regard Sidmouth as simply a warm up for the best "do" in the south of England.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: The Barden of England
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 04:29 PM

If youi're from the midlands or south then one of the best smaller ones to my mind is Ely. It has all the things you're looking for and more.

I love Fylde too, it really has a great atmosphere. Walton-on-the-Naze is a great one, and I just love Sidmouth - but then I would. I'm ashamed to say I don't do Broadstairs, and I should as it's my local festival, but I do hear good things about it lately.

Try some of the above, I'm sure one will be of use


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Moses
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 07:16 AM

Warwick's my favourite (late July)- they even have a swimming pool on site. Good showers - plenty of clean toilets. Good variety of music (most of the big venues now on site) and a free festival bus to town (but it's only 10 minutes walk anyway). Food tents are good (yummy jerk chicken) and the milkman calls (but not till about 9am).

Bridgnorth (Usually August B/H weekend) is smaller, and newer, but with increasing variety and facilities. You get the chance, for a small additional fee, of taking the steam train (it has a bar) on Saturday night to Kidderminster to sing at the pub (several stops on the way). Various "hosts" sing us there and back. Lovely countryside - try the cliff "railway" from upper to lower town.

Bromyard - mid September - nice and friendly - well organised site and portaloos serviced regularly. Showers (small fee) run by football club open all night (yes I do mean all night - I have showered at 6am). Lots of variety - some venues in town - I think there is a bus - but it's only about 10-15 minutes walk.

Bedworth (late November)- one of the last in the season - For me, a last "fix" before it all shuts down for the year. Mostly Saturday but I have stayed over to Sunday (there's stuff going on on Friday night as well, I think) - The voices concert - not to be missed. Bring an umbrella - I've never known a dry one (weather or bar).

Camp if you can (not Bedworth) - I think you get more of the atmosphere. Get out there and enjoy. Wear the mudcat badge, there's lots of us about.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Grab
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 07:43 AM

I'll second Broadstairs. Camping facilities ain't too bad, so long as you don't expect too much from the showers! :-) A better way to keep clean is to scrounge off a friend in a B&B.

Wouldn't mind getting to Fylde sometime. Lived in Ansdell from age 3 until I left school, but never realised there was a folk festival anywhere near! Mind you, I wouldn't have been as interested back then, but I'm surprised my folks never went, being as they're very musical.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 07:48 PM

Trouble with Broadstairs is, it follows directly on Sidmouth, and I need a few days break. The timetable gets a bit crowded round that time of year.

Here's the Folk Roots list - or rather at this point it's the list for 2003, with the 2004 list promised for March. But most festivals tend to happen the same time each year more or less, and in any case as often as not they have websites and contact details in the list. (I'm not terribly fond of "fRoots", but it's a handy list.)


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 08:22 AM

For Scotland I would recommend Newcastleton and Irvine.

Newcastleton I believe is on 2nd to 4th July.

Irvine Marymass Festival is on 19th to 22nd August.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 08:34 AM

The main trouble that Linda and I find at Broadstairs is a shortage of good singing sessions. The lunchtime one in The Neptune is great but you'll probably only manage to get one song. In the evening, all the participating pubs seem to have only amplified, booked bands. There is a musicians session, but if we want to sing in the evening we usually find that the only place is the Neptune garden.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,Ozzy
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 08:41 AM

Ozzyfest of course.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,IanN
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 09:32 AM

Don't forget Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival. Can't believe no-ones mentioned it yet.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 09:41 AM

Some geezer from Hekety did! And I second it.

But no-one else has mentioned Oxford (link above). It's the first one - 16 - 18 April - and it's going to be fab.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Lowkey
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 04:43 PM

If you are up in the N.E. of scotland this is the only place to go.

Scotlands' finest

Blickie not working but URL is right.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: nikkih
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 05:28 PM

Start at the beginning of the season. Whet your appetite at-

Holmfirth Festival May 7th-9th.

There is an extra event on the Thursday night -Levellers (acoustic). Holmfirth is a friendly little town with lots of sessions and singarounds. Friday night starts at 6pm with a folk club in 'Stamps' with some festival guests and floor singers and you would be welcome to join in or just listen.
The campsite bar is definitely a friendly place to be later. Also lots of portaloos and free hot showers that work!!
Artists so far include Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, Dansaul, Brass Monkey, Mise, Old Rope String Band, Bedlam, Jim Causley ,Grace Notes, T and Latouche-- from the old Edward II, late night festival cinema showing 'Mighty Wind' and lots more...
Hope to see you there.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: open mike
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 09:13 PM

As for T-Shirts to suppport the mudcat
see the drop-down menu at the upper right
of your screen...and scroll down to "T-Shirt"


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 06:18 AM

Don't forget Lancaster at Easter for more sea songs and shanties than you can shake a stick at!


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 09:08 AM

If you haven't got a stick to shake, try Miskin at Easter instead


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: Emma B
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 05:06 PM

Upton on Severn, even earlier than Holmfirth, and nice pub for singers
early Spring Bank holiday so you get an extra day! Will get shot if I don't mention Chester again (another Bank Holiday weekend - but at the end of May) Both friendly smaller festivals with camping.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,obnig hrobdog
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 07:16 PM

Second all Bryant has said. Scrap Broadstairs if you want to participate. Tried it once. Never again.

Second Ely.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,synbyn
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 05:48 PM

Re Broadstairs- There has been a singing session every evening for years in various venues & plenty of opportunity to participate. Looks this year as if the venue will be much better if all goes according to website! As Dave B says, problem in the past has always been two-in-a-bar rule for pubs- for me one of the joys of festivals is striking up with new musicians, which takes place informally on campsites & in rooms, if the landlady is agreeable. It's a very friendly festival.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,vectis
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 07:26 PM

There is a singers and players only festival in Sussex July 2nd to 4th. There are no booked guests, participation is the name of the game. There is a level campsite, showers, toilets and a non-smoking hall, the whole weekend is small and friendly and a good laugh.
PM me if with an e-mail address if you are interested and I'll send you an application form and further details.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,Cats at work
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 06:27 AM

The Fox and Hounds in May is good for a newbie. It has no guests and is all singing. You arrive on Friday and go home on Sunday and there is singing in between. It's on Dartmoor at a lovely pub with an Irish landlord who loves the craic. It has its own campsite, bunk house and hotel rooms. If you want to go walking the moors are right there, if you wan to chill out and listen, you can and if you want to sing you are very welcome. You'ld be suprised at how many singers have started at the 'Fox'. It's very small, 50 - 60 at most, and we are all very friendly.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 10:57 AM

There is a new festival on the horizon at Glasson Dock somewhere bewtween Lancaster and Preston on July 3/4/5. It has a good line up and plenty of opprtunity to sing and play.( and bird watch?)
Could be well worth a visit.


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Subject: RE: Festivals for newbies
From: GUEST,synbyn
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 04:39 PM

Hear that there are busking sessions in Broadtairs in support of the festival- if the weather's nice very relaxed. Travelling Folk are always welcoming.


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