Monday, 29 February 2016

Hark! 'Tis the First call of The Crested Gloater

      The Running Gag about me not getting an invite to Warwick Folk Festival is an annual tradition, an irritation as time-honoured as the Wroth Silver ceremony or Maundy Thursday. People look out for it, like they wait (alas in vain nowadays) for the first cuckoo. I like to time it with the first breathless Braggadocio of those honoured enough and in vogue enough to get on the guest list. They could of course, just go along and enjoy the experience themselves, but no, they have to rub it in. So, call me an Imp and a Court Jester, I like to puncture their bladder on a stick occasionally. Once it's out in the open, I'm told Dick Dixon can then sigh contentedly and sleep sounder at night. (I don't believe a word of it!)   
       Long ago, I used to apply, but I understand all the protocols now, and I no longer bother.I don't blame Dick and his chums at all for being selective-it's their bloody festival and they can do what they like with it. 
             "Buy a ticket" someone advises, as a surefire way of getting in. Erm,no. I happen to think that attaching a big price tag to an event is not always an automatic guarantee  of a high quality experience. No disrespect, but having  looked at the 2016 WFF running order so far, there  is nothing advertised which is of interest to  me as an audience  member, so why should I? I get a far bigger buzz out of watching (and playing with) artistes at grassroots  level than I do whacking out dosh to worship someone “In Concert."  Having said that, the "vibe" I have experienced in fringe events or just mooching round the town that weekend is undeniably infectious and attractive. 
  "It's not for local performers."
              After (139?) years, well, quite!  Most of us get that! You would have to be pretty stupid not to understand this, but even so, in our part of Warwickshire, I happen to think that there are as many talented performers as in any other region of Britain.
        There are those who would make the accusation that some festivals are just a MateFest: run by and dominated by the individual egos of their organisers or committees, rather than for the Common Good.   Having been  abused by a tiny minority for exercising (what they saw) as the same kind of monopoly at Nuneaton Folk Club, I have some empathy with that.       
        Since we started up In October 2014, we have showcased 62 different acts, 90% of whom have been local, We have also been fortunate enough to have offered our viewing, listening and participating public, all for free, artistes of National status as well as local heroes.  Kim Lowings, (twice) Sean Cannon (twice) Kevin Dempsey, Scarecrow, Phil Hare and Winter Wilson,for example.  Yet for some-this is still not enough.Those who have not quite yet made the luxury hospitality of The Crown's "Green Room, " can still get very bitter about  it. 
     You can have as good a night at Bedworth, Atherstone or Nuneaton Folk Clubs (and elsewhere) for free, as you can anywhere else. This is an ongoing folk festival in itself-a  feast-in the truest sense, rather than a one off . And, (although clearly I am biased) if you are going to pay, then you won't find anywhere, a more homely, V.F.M. fun, grass roots, "proper Folk " Folk festival than Bedworth's three day  bash in November Plus-if you  get wet, you've been very unlucky. 
     So it's over now. From hereon in I tend to block all the Gloaters on Facebook, (a) because their smugness riles me and (b)it can make more important or interesting messages very difficult to find. 

    Hope that's cleared that up for everyone?