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Author Topic: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017  (Read 1843 times)

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AnnC

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2017, 09:20:32 AM »

........  and it has steam trains  (:)

Enormous thread drift alert  >:E ........ the North York Moors Railway https://www.nymr.co.uk/ which runs regular services to Whitby  ;D
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David A

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2017, 03:43:13 PM »

Good points from everyone so far; generally speaking, Whitby is a great festival. My wife and I go most years and we love it. There is something for everyone just about all the time every day.

As to comparing Whitby with Sidmouth, as Bob has said there is little to choose between them. Both are great. It is a few years now since I was at Sidmouth and perhaps it has changed somewhat but it used to be more biased to being a dancers' festival whereas Whitby has always been more eclectic (and it has steam trains). (:)
I've been to Sidmouth for the last 2 years and have found plenty of non-dancing events. And I can see the steam trains at Whitby when there isn't the distraction of a folk festival  ;). Nonetheless I think we might try to fit in a few days at Whitby in 2018.  :||:
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2017, 04:03:57 PM »

I like Sidmouth, where I tended to spend all my time in either The Anchor, or The Bedford. I don't go to festivals for the concerts, or even the main acts, I go for the ambiance, and the sessions. Not forgetting the meeting up with old mates. There are people I haven't seen since my last Sidmouth, which was about 7 years ago, and I miss them. Sidmouth however, is a very expensive town, much more so than Whitby, where I also see old mates, whom I don't see at any other time.
Living in the highlands of Scotland as I do, I don't get to too many events, but Whitby is the best festival I have ever been to (So far), bar none.

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Howard Jones

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2017, 07:38:39 PM »

I think if you see that Phoenix ,  Vic Gammon , or Dan Quinn  are hosting a session then you've got a pretty good idea of what you'll get by looking at the programme - if not by prior knowledge.

But that's my point - with those particular names I will know what to expect, but other sessions are run by people I've never heard of.  If a session is going to be mainly English, or Irish, or whatever, would it hurt to say so in the programme?  The only exception appears to be the Eurosession.

Steve says there is a newsletter, but I've been for the last two years and neither saw one or even had its existence pointed out to me. I've had a look at last year's programme and can find just one very inconspicuous passing reference to it, very easily missed. It's another example of poor communication - I'll certainly look out for it this year.  I've tried asking, but I've not found the festival stewards to be very informative about fringe events - but why should they be?

I'm conscious this may all come across as a bit grumpy, and I don't want to give the impression I have a downer against Whitby - far from it, it's a great festival and I'm thoroughly looking forward to going again this year (Wednesday evening in the Pavilion, Zesty Playford with Martyn Harvey and Albireo). However there are things about it which I find frustrating, especially as they could so easily be remedied.
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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2017, 11:12:48 PM »

....Steve says there is a newsletter, but I've been for the last two years and neither saw one or even had its existence pointed out to me....
It's usually just a single A4 sheet issued each day. Many copies are made and are left lying around in the festival office and the craft fair, and possibly at other venues too. But often by early afternoon they have all run out.
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Mike Carney

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2017, 11:55:21 AM »

I think getting to know how it works is the crux of it. This probably applies to all big festivals, but I think regular visitors, and perhaps the organisers, underestimate how difficult it is for a newcomer to Whitby to get to grips with it. After several visits I still don't know where to find sessions, and even the 'official' ones in the programme give no information about the style of music to expect, you have to know who is running them to try to get a clue. 

Perhaps it doesn't help that I don't seem to know many people there to tap into a grapevine, and that I'm usually only there for a few days. The lack of information online makes it impossible to plan my limited time there in advance, so I seem to waste a lot of it. I usually spend more time dragging instruments around town in a usually fruitless search for a session than I do playing. It's probably me, but the lack of detailed information certainly doesn't help.
I have felt the same about the difficulty of finding a great place to play, but, echoing Steve's point, talking to people makes all the difference. Not all of us find this easy, but spotting another melodeon or concertina is a great icebreaker, and I have capitalized on this in the past. I first met Tufty when I bumped into him wandering down a back street and stopped to chat about what he'd been to or where he was going (and a mini rant about everybody wanting to play like XY). I have chatted to other complete strangers who have been very friendly and helpful too.
I would really recommend the organized session in the conservative club at lunchtimes which is a great place to be able to hear yourself and have a chance to chat to others because there is more space than you get in most pubs. If you don't want to be seen going in because of the political implications, the entrance is tucked well away.. and politics is not involved once inside! But get there early if you want a seat. There is also welcoming session-playing at the Fishermens rowing club sessions.
M
 
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Bob Ellis

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2017, 03:52:50 PM »

Picking up on a few points made in the last few posts...

Yes, I will be repeating the Melodeon for Relative Beginners workshops I ran at Sidmouth last year. I'll say no more about that here, because the thread is about Whitby FolkWeek, but if nobody else does so, I'll start a thread about Sidmouth in the next few days. Steve Dumpleton (freereader) will be running similar workshops at Whitby.

I'm not sure about Steve's point about the programme being too big to put on-line. Whitby's programme in 2016 was 82 pages long and spread over two bookets; Sidmouth's was 84 pages long but contained in a single booklet. The page size was the same in both cases. If it is feasible for Sidmouth to put their programme on-line, then it should be equally feasible for Whitby. Whether it is desirable to do so is another matter. I won't go into that!

The festivals also have differing attitudes to fringe events, including sessions. Sidmouth regards them as complementing the main festival and devotes a page in the official programme to fringe events, even though the festival is not involved in them and derives no income from them (except when somebody comes round with a collecting bucket). Whitby seems to prefer to ignore the fringe entirely: there is no mention of fringe events in the programme and rarely in the Wailer.

With regard to the French/Euro sessions in the Sailing Club, they are particularly discouraging. When the organisers were approached last year with a view to putting some French sessions and/or a bal on the programme, we were told politely but firmly that Whitby is a British festival and that they would not include non-British events on the programme. Therefore, it is not surprising that they are not prepared to highlight the existence of the Sailing Club's Euro-sessions. We' will publish details of them on melnet when Katy, Chris and I have determined how many sessions we can have, which will be governed by the Sailing Club's commitments during the Regatta.
 
In the past, there has been some truth in Steve's assertion that Sidmouth had a bias in favour of dancers, but that has not been the case for several years now. Sidmouth is as eclectic in its nature as Whitby...but it doesn't have steam trains!

I take Howard's point that programmed sessions at Whitby don't always indicate the nature of the session and one needs to know the repertoire of the session leader to get some idea of what sort of music will be played. But, of course, it also depends on the type of tunes started by the participants, which is impossible to predict - unless, of course, Pikey is there (no, not Delilah again!) Incidentally, there is a clue to the content in the titles of my sessions (formerly George Garside's) - Well Known Tunes at a Steady Pace. Furthermore my Tunes from the Yorkshire Dales workshop/session is more than likely to contain a preponderance of tunes of a Pennine persuasion.

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AnnC

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2017, 08:04:50 PM »

 :D Useful links,  will keep updating this post as I find new ones  ;D

Buses ...... Arriva North East Buses https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/north-east/places/whitby/
              Coastal and Country Buses  http://coastalandcountry.co.uk/localBusServices.html
Vets ...   Clevedale Vets on the Parade http://www.clevedalevets.co.uk/home.html
             Becks Vets at High Stakesby  https://www.vetsure.com/clinics/beck-vets-whitby/
Doctors. Spring Vale medical Centre http://www.whitbygrouppractice.nhs.uk/opening-times
Whitby Hospital, there is a very good minor injuries unit open during the day, http://www.nhs.uk/Services/hospitals/Services/Service/DefaultView.aspx?id=291988
Whitby Weather. Com .... http://whitbyweather.com/index.php?p=1_21_Webcams
 links to web cameras around Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay and Sandsend and the all important tide times, the sea comes all the way in to the cliffs at high tide so please check before going for a stroll along the beach.

 for anyone camping on the official Airy Hill Campsite ... there is a good Fish & Chip shop a short stroll away http://www.railway-chippy.co.uk  just opposite the excellent First Inn Last Out Pub  :|glug.  Close by is Hewison's Butchers, Eddie will happily sell you small quantities of bacon, sausage etc. for your breakfast fry up and a few yards further up from the pub is a Happy Shopper grocers/convenience store for fresh milk, bread and everything else  ;D
 
 Still no news about the programme but will keep asking  ;D
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 08:35:15 PM by AnnC »
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Jack Campin

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #48 on: April 30, 2017, 09:40:39 PM »

Does AirBnB ever work for accommodation?


Quote
Whitby's programme in 2016 was 82 pages long and spread over two bookets; Sidmouth's was 84 pages long but contained in a single booklet. The page size was the same in both cases. If it is feasible for Sidmouth to put their programme on-line, then it should be equally feasible for Whitby.

And there are lots of sites that would be happy to host it for free (archive.org is the obvious place for past issues).


Quote
With regard to the French/Euro sessions in the Sailing Club, they are particularly discouraging. When the organisers were approached last year with a view to putting some French sessions and/or a bal on the programme, we were told politely but firmly that Whitby is a British festival and that they would not include non-British events on the programme.

I doubt if all the organizers share that attitude - it'll just be the biggest bully.  Time to name and shame.
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Edward Jennings

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #49 on: April 30, 2017, 11:32:05 PM »

"Does AirBnB ever work for accommodation?"

Yes. We had three bookings through them for our rental in Luxor Egypt, earlier this year.
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Edward
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Jack Campin

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2017, 12:14:43 AM »

Um, maybe, but that's not very handy for Whitby...

It seems that a heck of a lot of the rental property in Whitby is actually owned by one person/company.  Prices and availability reflect it being a cartel; monopolies have ways of making competition difficult.

Maybe Whitby Folk Week should just move to Luxor?
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Edward Jennings

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2017, 12:25:36 AM »

That's no good Jack, we're in England till the end of August. But if they would care to change the dates as well as the venue; we might be in business!  Haha!
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Edward
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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #52 on: May 01, 2017, 07:06:37 AM »


...With regard to the French/Euro sessions in the Sailing Club, they are particularly discouraging. When the organisers were approached last year with a view to putting some French sessions and/or a bal on the programme, we were told politely but firmly that Whitby is a British festival and that they would not include non-British events on the programme. Therefore, it is not surprising that they are not prepared to highlight the existence of the Sailing Club's Euro-sessions. We' will publish details of them on melnet when Katy, Chris and I have determined how many sessions we can have, which will be governed by the Sailing Club's commitments during the Regatta.


I doubt if all the organizers share that attitude - it'll just be the biggest bully.  Time to name and shame.

My feeling is the French/Euro session in the Sailing Club is just right left as it is. Plenty of people get to know about it one way or another and the session is nicely full and diverse, with room for dancing on the dance floor in the middle. If it were to be advertised officially, I think there would be a serious danger of it being swamped and too large and noisy to be enjoyable, as often happens to other sessions, e.g. in the Middle Earth.
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Bob Ellis

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #53 on: May 01, 2017, 08:05:14 PM »

I agree, Steve. The reason we approached the organisers to put something on the programme was because it clashed with the regatta last year and the Sailing Club, understandably, gave priority to regatta events. This almost halved the number of Euro-sessions we were able to have. We tried to find an alternative venue ourselves, but without success. Since FolkWeek clashes with the regatta again this year, we are likely to face the same restrictions again - but we'll do our best!
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2017, 08:32:25 PM »

I don't know what time you are looking to put things on, but remember that the Rugby Club is only used by WFW in the evenings.


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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #55 on: May 02, 2017, 12:32:04 AM »

Not trying a hijack, but is there any chance one or more of the Euro dancers could give simple French dance instruction while the playing is going on?

Chris B.
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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #56 on: May 02, 2017, 08:34:07 AM »

It should be possible now and then, Chris, on an impromptu basis, if there are enough novices to warrant it. However, the session is primarily a tune session where people just get up and dance spontaneously when an appropriate tune for that type of dance is played and we wouldn't want to disrupt that too much. Many of the dances are simple and can be picked up by just watching other dancers for a couple of turns and then joining in.
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Clément Guais 3-row D/G/acc.; Karntnerland Steirische 3-row G/C/F; Ellis Pariselle 2.6-row D/G/acc.; Gabbanelli Compact 2-row D/G with lots of bling, Acadian one-row in D; Junior Martin one-row in C.

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #57 on: May 02, 2017, 08:37:21 AM »

Not trying a hijack, but is there any chance one or more of the Euro dancers could give simple French dance instruction while the playing is going on?

Chris B.

I would be very pleased to do that.  I always feel that a lot of players are missing out.  Always more smiles on the faces of the dancers!  Perhaps we could focus on teaching one dance each day? Playing for a bit of dance tuition should also give the musicians (those who don't want to dance) a better idea of how to adjust the music to best help the dancers. 
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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2017, 08:52:33 AM »

Good point, Theo. I'll be in touch with Chris and Katy later this week and will mention your offer to them.
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Theo

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Re: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017
« Reply #59 on: May 02, 2017, 09:48:30 AM »

Thanks Bob.  And I agree with your previous point.   I wouldn't want it to become a dance workshop. Just enough help to give those who want to the confidence to have a go.
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