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Author Topic: Festival Feedback  (Read 1394 times)

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Edward Jennings

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2017, 08:13:09 AM »

It's all very well to laugh at the feebleness, by comparison, of the subsidies which are granted to "our" type of music. Nevertheless, maybe we should consider those who have to actually work for a living, without any subsidy, in order to fund all this public spending?
After all, Arts Council (or whatever) funding is, primarily, just indulging a particular section of society at the expense of another section of society. Surely it's comparable to indulging one's spoilt brat of a child; they will never learn to stand on their own two feet as long as mammy and daddy are prepared to beggar themselves to satisfy the desires of their selfish offspring? Eventually, the money runs out, as the parents (or taxpayer) come to realise that there are some things which just cannot be afforded!
I've been accused of being a Philistine before now, but I still cannot, for the life of me, justify anyone picking my pocket to pay for their own, or someone else's, pleasure or excessive salaries.
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2017, 09:09:30 AM »

It's all very well to laugh at the feebleness, by comparison, of the subsidies which are granted to "our" type of music. Nevertheless, maybe we should consider those who have to actually work for a living, without any subsidy, in order to fund all this public spending?
After all, Arts Council (or whatever) funding is, primarily, just indulging a particular section of society at the expense of another section of society. Surely it's comparable to indulging one's spoilt brat of a child; they will never learn to stand on their own two feet as long as mammy and daddy are prepared to beggar themselves to satisfy the desires of their selfish offspring? Eventually, the money runs out, as the parents (or taxpayer) come to realise that there are some things which just cannot be afforded!
I've been accused of being a Philistine before now, but I still cannot, for the life of me, justify anyone picking my pocket to pay for their own, or someone else's, pleasure or excessive salaries.

Absolutely spot on!
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2017, 09:21:35 AM »

Well Ed, I'm a member of a Morris side and we have danced in Ireland, France, Italy US Czech Republic and even Cornwall. All paid for by saving hard and scrimping by ourselves.
If we were not an English traditional dance side but a minority cultural tradition I'm sure we would have obtained sponsorship.
I'm amazed that Shrewsbury has managed to twist arms and got money out of the Arts Councul - well done them in getting them to sponsor *something* connected to folk tradition.

As an aside, some years back we had a call out of the blue to go and dance at a historical enactment event, really big national thing. It was very late invite, only weeks away as their Bangra dancers had pulled out. We were thinking it was a fair distance away, other plans made etc. Then our Bagman told us the fee. Staggered. It was 5 times what we as a Morris side could command.
Point being, there are options, grants and things for many cultural events in this country. Most traditional based performers never get a look in or can command fees thought normal by other performers. We have little value.
The old international version of the Sidmouth festival had performers from all over the world. Many had help from organisations within their country as it was seen as promoting their country abroad.
As a country we have never ever supported our folk traditions in any way. At all. Ever.
Which is why had it not been for the revivals of the '70's  traditional music and dance in this country would have died out.

Whilst I too hate money being thrown willy nilly at anything, I fail to understand why our cultural heritage gets nothing from the establishment that should support its home grown traditions.
Q
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2017, 09:37:45 AM »

....
As a country we have never ever supported our folk traditions in any way. At all. Ever.
Which is why had it not been for the revivals of the '70's  traditional music and dance in this country would have died out.

Whilst I too hate money being thrown willy nilly at anything, I fail to understand why our cultural heritage gets nothing from the establishment that should support its home grown traditions.
Q

Very well said indeed. I totally agree.
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Julian S

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2017, 09:52:27 AM »

I was just going to apologise for somehow managing to insert a comment into Aegelstan's posting. Whoops, sorry.
I'd best not get involved in the debate about public funding of the arts (or anything else!) - at least not today...boxes call out to be played...

J

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george garside

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2017, 10:06:11 AM »

Its not a question of the poor taxpayer (us)  being robbed to provide ever increasing arts council or whatevers ability to fund so called 'arts' but of the arts council sharing their  existing pot across a much wider range of  cultural activities including ours.   

Could it be that the folk/trad  'arts' get bugger all because we don't have any representation on the arts councils governing body  - can we do anything about that as theres a lot to be said for having a few seats on the board?  Does EFDSS have any representation??
George 
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #46 on: September 02, 2017, 10:50:08 AM »

George, you might well be right.
It is changing, it must be for Shrewsbury to get something out of them.
My big bone of contention is that others cultural events and artists within this nation have had support, I have no problem at all with that at all. But until recently it seems lacking on supporting it's own traditional elements.

After my previous post, I drank a cuppa and reflected.
I was lucky enough to be backstage at the last International version of Sidmouth, celebrating 50 years of the festival, waiting to be called on and rush onto the stage in front of thousands of people on the bank. We were crammed in, I was opposite some Catalans, some Spanish dancers to one side and Tibetan monks in flowing orange robes smiling happily as they made their way down.
All that went when the festival changed. The wonderful arena venue, being outside was a potential disaster when it rained as artists had to be paid for, lighting, staging etc but no punters to bring in money on a wet day.
I remember a past producer friend thinking at the time it was one of the biggest international festivals in Europe. Yes, that big. I've seen artists from Scandanavia, Russia, Italy, France, US, Chile, Trinidad to name but a few, plus unique traditional people from these islands puersuaded to come down and show us what they did. Many of these foreign dancers were sponsored by their home nations.
The event organiser, after many years of worry, finally pulled the plug as he personally was financially liable if things went wrong  and rain washed out the arena. Being England in the summer, this happened frequently.
When the festival tried to re-form and re-invent itself, despite it's 50 year heritage, international reputation etc etc it had to stand on it's own feet. The classic display case for all our national cultural heritage  had NO support to continue from the establishment.
It goes on *despite* this, in a much reduced form in comparison to the heyday but....it goes on thankfully.

Now I read that Shrewsbury had had some support. I do not care whether it is deemed sensible or not in the way they've spent the money. They have had some support towards a festival that showcases some of our traditional elements.
Thank goodness, about time, and why not more?
Q
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george garside

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2017, 01:37:20 PM »

there was indeed something very special about the 'international' Sidmouth  which as a really major festival should have received substantial arts council or whatever funding  to ensure the books balanced. The sheer scale and veriety of it was breathtaking  . Perhaps whats needed is some box or other 'folk/trad' people in high places batting for us!  - are there any box playing MP's  or members of the lords who could be lobby'd  into doing something really useful for a change!

george
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #48 on: September 02, 2017, 01:43:36 PM »

I believe the preferred instrument in the houses of parliament, is the fiddle, George.


SJ
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george garside

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2017, 01:46:51 PM »

 ;D
g
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #50 on: September 02, 2017, 01:54:23 PM »

Indeed George, it was truly something special.
It might be that Sidmouth too is starting to pick up small grants, I really don't know, but if Shrewsbury has a foot in the door I'd hope Sidmouth will sneak in too.

I think it is an establishment thing. We in the folk arts world don't exist.
My friend who I've danced with for 40 years is much more aware of the morris world nationally and globally.  About 3-4 years back he saw a conference being held at a venue in North Devon to promote and get funding for dancing within the county. He went out of sheer curiosity and listened to the representatives from dance groups and theatre groups from all across Devon.
At a lull in the discussions he said ' and how do you want to encourage traditional dance within the county?.....'
Stunned silence.
He went on to say there were possibly more traditional dance sides in the county than in any/most other counties across the country. Traditional dance being morris, rapper, border, appalacian etc. yet the group discussing this simply did not consider any form of dance apart from theatre, ballet etc. and didn't know of their existence. That is just appalling.

There are perceptions about arts and what should be funded. Until now that has excluded our tradional arts. Going back to the Shrewsbury example, I'm really pleased to think this might be a change in such funding attitudes.
Q

ps... Sir John- absolutely  ;D
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Edward Jennings

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2017, 03:19:45 PM »

Well, I'll be blowed! (I was going to write b******d, but I'm a gentleman.)

So the general consensus is that it's fine for someone/committee/whatever to relieve the collective wealth from the likes of Edward Jennings, Sir John MacKenzie, George Garside, Henry Piper, Theo Gibb......et al, either to give it to their friends, or to use to satisfy the need of those friends for entertainment? And then (to add insult to injury) charge us again to attend such functions, as if they were readily affordable to the likes of us, and within a reasonable travelling distance?

I cannot believe that there are those among us who are naive enough to believe other than "It's not what you know, but whom!" when it comes to gaining the lion's share of public money. Whilst I would deeply mourn the loss of traditional music and dance, I'm not willing to have my own money (other than what I freely give and can afford) used to feather-bed certain particular people or organisations.

I suppose that I would rather just carry on entertaining myself at home, or at our local unsubsidised gatherings and hope that I can infect some of my progeny with a love of it!
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Edward
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Theo

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2017, 03:48:24 PM »

So Edward do you think there should be no taxation?  Should people with no children be exempt from taxes to pay for education?  Or people who don't use public parks be exempt from part of their council tax?   I want to live in a civilised and cultured country where we all contribute to things that just can't work on a pay per use basis.  I don't agree at all with much of the current and former governments spending policies and I agree there is most likely some serious corruption around. I'm, not interested in opera and only have a passing interest in classical music, but I don't object in principle to contributing to the common good.
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playandteach

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #53 on: September 02, 2017, 04:13:24 PM »

Theo beat me to it. I have a friend with great health and no kids. She happily pays for the heath care and the education of mine amongst others. I like to think of it as investment rather than grants. We invest in our roads we invest in the next generation why not invest a little into the arts Edward? Yes the Opera house is eye wateringly expensive. And if 90k has been well spent on folk projects that's a great thing. If it could have been spent better then to paraphrase Squeezy (Mr Squeezy to me - too much respect) then those who dislike it should spend the weeks and weeks applying for funding for something more valuable to them. Setting up a local kids folk group with instruments and expert coaching perhaps.
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Anahata

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2017, 04:35:40 PM »

Could it be that the folk/trad  'arts' get bugger all because we don't have any representation on the arts councils governing body  - can we do anything about that as theres a lot to be said for having a few seats on the board?  Does EFDSS have any representation??
George

I don't know about direct representation, but EFDSS has in recent years been remarkably successful in getting funding for various projects, some of which have been really worthwhile.

Incidentally, much of it is Lottery money. Whether we should really have a tax on innumeracy (my favourite definition of The Lottery) is a separate ethical question of course, but at least people get to choose whether to contribute or not.

In Germany there is a lot of industrial/commercial sponsorship of "The Arts" (concerts, opera etc.) Would that be a good scheme in the UK? I guess there's nothing to stop it from happening, but we don't have the same national mindset about culture to encourage it to happen.
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Edward Jennings

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2017, 04:38:48 PM »

Theo, I really don't want to hi-jack this thread and go off on one of my little rants, even though I already have, a bit.
I would have thought that taxation is an obvious necessity, which none of us can justly (or would want to) wholly avoid. However, when it comes to the "poor man" paying the wages of the "rich man" I'm compelled to draw the line! For all of my (self-employed) life, I struggled to pay income tax, and also the other devious duties which various governments devised. And all in order to reward a great many people with a much higher income than myself, via some form of public spending.
Perhaps if I'd succumbed to the many temptations of employment somewhere in the public sector, I could have now been playing a collection of Costalottis, but I believe that I would have forfeited my soul to achieve that status off the back of other hard-pressed workers the private sector.
I don't particularly want to fall out with anyone, but this viewpoint is (sadly) where my experience has brought me. If my, formerly paid, taxes went, or had gone, to support worthy causes; like a properly managed NHS, or a local council which believed it was there to serve the local community instead of beggaring it by pandering to their various "friends", or ANY arts facility which really served the majority; then I wouldn't have a proverbial leg to stand on, but far too many nests are being, and have been, feathered at public expense!
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Edward
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Theo

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Re: Festival Feedback
« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2017, 04:47:10 PM »

[[ADMIN]]

Theo, I really don't want to hi-jack this thread

Yes you already have.  Please don't.   It's almost worse to hijack and then say I don't want to, than it is just to do the hijack.   Shows you don't really believe what you are saying.

If you don't want to hijack a thread then don't.  Think twice before writing and then think twice before pressing the button to post

Topic now locked.

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Theo Gibb

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