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Author Topic: Whitby Folk Week UK 19th to 25th August 2017  (Read 996 times)

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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 which runs regular services to Whitby  ;D
On the bracing North Yorkshire Coast :D

 You hum it pet.......I'll play it......but not necessarily in the same key,

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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.  :||:

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.

Sir John
I used to play by ear, but got into dire trouble.
Diarrhoea !

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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.

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.

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.

Bob in beautiful Wensleydale, Les Panards Dansants, Crook Morris and the Loose Knit Band.
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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