BACK IN BUXTON
It was a bumper year for some and OK for others, and due to the effects of Foot and Mouth 2001 was a sad season for a good number of our members. The AFO will be gathering in Buxton to mull it all over. The Association of Festival Organisers Annual Conference will take place from 15-17 February 2002 in the Palace Hotel, Buxton, Derbyshire.
BY POPULAR DEMAND
After the success of the 2001 Conference, members generally agreed that Buxton was a great place and the Palace Hotel was ideal. So plans are already well ahead for a re-run. This is the annual gathering that you should not miss with the comforts of the hotel, ideal Conference working areas, the company of over 150 other festival organisers exchanging views and news. It all makes for a worthwhile trip.
Speakers and seminars are already lined up and include Alan James, Head of Contemporary Music at the Arts Council of England (not speaking about funding) and Hamish Birchall, the Guru of Public Entertainment Licensing, especially the ‘Two in a Bar’ Rule. He will bring us the latest news and we can discuss thoughts for how we can help bring the Governments plans for reorganizing licensing to a workable conclusion. We have requests from members for sessions on stewarding, security, the latest news on PRS, the effects on the Governments shift of the late May Bank Holiday into June and many more breakout sessions and main speakers.
YOUR REQUESTS NOW
There is still plenty of time to send in your ideas, questions and thoughts on what you would like on the Agenda. We can discuss anything that we know about or we can invite speakers to cover the areas where we need some help. The Conference programme is always packed and very busy with lively debates, interesting speakers and this is your opportunity to join in. We can programme anything to do with festival organising and planning from choosing the venues, site management, artistic issues, contracts, FEU and PRS. The list goes on right through to whether Ringo Starr is a good drummer or not.
AGENCY FORUM & SHOWCASE
The Conference venue will house Trade Stands, an Agency Forum where lots of the country’s agents will all gather together in one room – book your whole festival here. After the success of last year’s Showcase Concert, Alan Bearman with the assistance of one or two other members has put together a stunning guest list including Croft No 5, North Cregg, Shine, Kieron Means and Sarah Hayes. The Concert will be FREE so will be publicised widely around the Midlands to attract other people. There will be a charitable collection. See Conference Booking Form for more details.
Make this the best Conference we have ever had. We are here to help one another. The AFO Conference is the best place to be 15-17 February 2002
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GET YOUR CONFERENCE FEE FUNDED
Many of the Regional Arts Boards have got special funds, some called ‘Go and See’, others are called ‘Artistic Development’, other called ‘Training and Professional Development’, ‘Training Bursary’ and many others. Talk now, try your Regional Arts Board and ask them to fund the small amount of money it will cost for you to attend this year’s annual Conference. If you can’t afford it, they should help you and we will see you there.
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AFO CONFERENCE SHOWCASE CONCERT
Saturday 16 February, Palace Hotel, High Peak Ballroom
Buxton, Derbyshire, 8.00 – 11.30pm
The 2001 AFO Conference Artists Showcase was a huge success with Cara Dillon, Tarras, Drop The Box, The Jabadaw Trio and Emily Druce playing to a large audience of festival organisers and local enthusiasts. Top class PA and lighting gave the artists an ideal setting for demonstrating their talents and they all rose to the occasion. Festival bookings proliferated and the event was immediately deemed to be an annual event. Suggestions of artists for this year’s Showcase rolled in, with more than 70 received by deadline day. After many hard choices the line-up can be announced.
Croft No. 5
Are a dynamic combo of six young Highlanders with an up to the minute approach to their Scottish Traditional music. Hailed as the new Shooglenifty, fiddle, whistle and accordion combine with bass, drums, effects and samples to create a high-energy dance mix to end the evening.
Voted “Best Traditional Newcomers” at the Irish Music Magazine Awards 2000, North Cregg’s star is in the ascendancy with their second album Mi:Da:za being released to great critical acclaim. Expect the traditional tunes of Cork and Kerry along with music of Shetland, Quebec and Nova Scotia and dashes of swing and bluegrass.
“Three voices, two electro harps, one sensational, vibrant, contemporary sound.” Shine are Alyth McCormack; the voice at the leading edge of Gaelic song, Corinna Hewatt (Bachue, Chantan) and Mary MacMaster (The Poozies, Sileas)
Anglo American Kieron Means is a singer of traditional and contemporary songs and a distinctive guitarist. He has toured in the States and performed with his mother Sara Grey. His festival performances and appearance on the Evolving Tradition 3 album brought high praise from Colin Irwin in MOJO.
: Sarah is 15 and lives in Northumberland. Heralded by Kathryn Tickell as ” …a lovely singer of mainly English songs and an excellent flute and whistle player”, she is a finalist in The Radio 2 Young Folk Award for the second year running.
The concert will be introduced by Ian Smith of Prego and stage managed by Ken and Sue Bradburn of Emerging Music and Brampton Live.
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FESTIVALS HIT BY FOOT AND MOUTH
Foot and Mouth had its effect on many festivals. Dave Francis sent us this report from Scotland:
“In Scotland the outbreak was confined to Dumfries and Galloway and the Border country. Precautions meant the two festivals in Dumfries and Galloway, Ceilidh Gall Gallowa’ (CGG) and the Port William Festival, had to be cancelled. CCG was to have taken place on open farmland in May, so was clearly going to be in trouble. This would have been its fourth year, and for organiser Liz Holmes the loss of momentum has been as important as the loss of income. Bands Burach, The Sons of Arqa, Drop the Box and other local musicians have lost income too. The same team also runs a festival in September, and plans are well advanced for that, and the hoped that this festival would make up for the disappointment in May.
Further along the coast Port William also had to cancel. The majority of their audience would have been drawn from local people who work in the countryside, and as the village was surrounded by outbreaks, the reasons for cancellation were as much psychological as practical. Given the circumstances no one was feeling particularly festive. Musicians affected here included Ceolbeg, but the latest information from organiser George Butterworth was that because the Festival was given a certain amount of grant aid, it should be possible to re-schedule with the same line-up in the autumn, availability permitting.
In the same area, the annual Gatehouse of Fleet Festival, which also takes place in May, went ahead. After checking with the Council, they were told that their status as an indoor event in a village on a trunk road meant that there were few impediments to the festival taking place. Numbers were slightly down, but not significantly.”
Throughout the UK there were festivals curtailed, postponed and even cancelled. We don’t have any accurate lists at the moment but others are collecting data. Some Regional Arts Boards have pulled together information about how Foot & Mouth affected the economies of tourism and the arts and will be publishing their information, not only to the public but to the appropriate Minister. It was certainly the case that more than farmers suffered.
Having said that, there were several great successes on the festival scene. Hundreds of festivals did very good business with many selling out. The V Festivals at Chelmsford and Stafford both reached 60,000, Tea in the Park reached 50,000 and from the AFO Membership Chippenham, Warwick, Towersey and Trowbridge all recorded excellent years.
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PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE
There has been quite a lot of activity throughout the summer as the Government continues work on the complete revision of our licensing system. Not only is the ‘Two in a Bar’ rule officially considered outdated, the whole issue of Public Entertainment Licensing is receiving a great deal of attention.
As from 8th June the PEL issue in Government circles is now with the Department of Culture. The Arts Council is still showing a great deal of interest and the AFO will be writing to the Arts Council Group to see if anything is moving. Andrew Cunningham is still the Civil Servant handling the changes in the law.
The Government have officially recognised that the “Two in a Bar” Rule definitely out of date and the review will come. One of the lead players in the campaign to reform PEL’s is Hamish Birchall from the Jazz world but with an interest in Folk. He will be a speaker at our Conference in February.
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FYLDE FESTIVAL by Alan Bell
“I am pleased to report to fellow AFO members that Fylde 2001 was very successful. The quality of the music was outstanding and the festival supporters seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. The management structure of the events worked well apart from one or two overcrowded concerts. Difficult to predict, but the problem was resolved.
Fylde 2001 was our 29th festival. There is no doubt in my mind that 2001 has been the most difficult year for ticket sales I have experienced. The uncertainties created by the plague of the Foot and Mouth outbreak affected ticket demand in the spring. However, a mail shot to our regular supporters assuring them that Fleetwood was not affected produced results and all was well. We will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary Festival in 2002 and we hope it will be a joyous occasion.”
TELL US HOW IT WAS (IN STYLE… BROADSTAIRS)
Broadstairs Festival are to be congratulated for securing a major grant from Government Funds for their European Regional Development Area around Broadstairs. It has led, according to Director, Jane de Rose to the most successful festival Broadstairs has ever had and furthermore, they have produced an A4 full colour brochure to trumpet the fact that the festival was a great success. To quote “What a week it was. The town buzzed throughout the whole week and thousands of people attended the many events. From concerts in Pierremont Park through ceilidhs, children’s events, processions, displays and season ticket sales up by 50% with most events bursting at the seams.”
A great success and congratulations to Jane for putting Broadstairs well and truly on a firm footing. For more details of how she did it and to see their very classy report contact Jane de Rose, Broadstairs Folk Week.
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AFO MOVES INTO THE ETHER
All AFO members who have given us their email addresses should by now have received their invitation to join the AFO eGroup. As soon as you have joined, you can post your news, views and queries about Festival related matters to the rest of the Association who subscribe. Please try to keep your contributions ‘on topic’. If you want to unsubscribe you are able to do this an your introductory email tells you how!
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Directory of Social Change
The DSC has published many guides and handbooks on the funding systems and fundraising. Contact them for their catalogue. See contact sheet for details.
EU FUNDING COURSES
The Directory of Social Change is organising some courses for ‘EU Funding for Beginners’ (17-18 Jan 2002, 21-22 March 2002) and ‘Managing EU Funded Projects’ (27-28 Nov 2001, 14-15 Nov 2002).
The Beginners course looks at EU Funds in Context, An Overview of the EU Funding System, Finding the Funds, Developing EU Funded Projects, Costing and Budgeting for EU Funded projects, Overheads, Record Keeping, Transnational Projects and making successful applications.
The Managing EU Funded Projects concentrates on the Nature of EU Funded Projects, Setting Project Objectives, Setting Smart Objectives, Setting Jointly Accepted Project Objectives in a Partnership, Planning for Delivery, Developing a Plan for Delivery, Using Planning tools, Record Keeping, Setting up a Monitoring System, Disaster Management and Audits.
Contact the DSC for further information
THE 10th CHARITY LAW CONFERENCE
An annual conference that covers all aspects of law for charities, run by The Directory of Social Change, and Bates, Wells & Braithwaite Solicitors. This will take place on Thursday 28 February 2002 in London. Contact DSC for further details.
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MINISTER FOR CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
The former Minister of State at the Department of Education and Employment has taken over at DCMS. Our good friend and supporter Chris Smith MP is now on the backbenches. Taking on her new role, Tessa Jowell told the media that she wanted her department to be thought of as a “Ministry of free time” and vowed to help people achieve a balance between their work and their leisure time. Many new things have already started to happen and she takes over heading work on restructuring the Regional Arts Boards and the Arts Council that had already left the starting block before her appointment. It is quite simple – to keep our music and your festivals on the agenda, you write direct to the top and tell her about your event. Flag up the dates for the new season; talk briefly about the ups and downs of running community arts events. It’s not all about funding; it is about support, confidence, tourism, heritage and profile. If 152 AFO member festivals wrote to Tessa Jowell, I’m pretty certain somebody would notice. DCMS has subdivided departments and clearly the new minister has support.
The new Minister for the Arts, is in charge of arts, crafts, music, the Government Art Collection, museums, galleries, libraries, cultural property, Royal Estate, architecture and design, women’s and green issues, training and education and international cultural affairs.
Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting, will handle creative industries, Information Technology, social policy access and equal opportunities issues along with jurisdiction over censorship and licensing.
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NEW STYLE ACCESS ALL AREAS
The Event Industry’s newspaper ‘Access All Areas’ is undergoing a transformation into a new look publication. The new layout will have clearer sections, regularly sections on Concerts and festivals; Conferences and corporate entertaining Community and pubic events; Exhibitions; Sport and People. There will be a large comment section, as well as the regular health and safety and IT updates.
Access All Areas is a great source of up-to-date information about what is happening in the Events Industry.
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Direct Roots was published in June 2001 as the first in-depth guide of its kind and was quickly welcomed as a much-needed resource for this sector of the music business.
Published by Mrs Casey Music in association with The Musicians’ Union, Ledgard Jepson and The AFO Direct Roots contains verified contact details including email addresses and websites; of thousands of artists, venues, festivals, record labels, media, organisations and services with useful annotations to help find the right entry.
As well as directory information, Direct Roots provides Resource Sections for ten English Regions as well as focus sections on Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There’s specialist articles, from leading authorities such as Colin Irwin, Ian Anderson and Andrew Cronshaw and “How to” sections on a host of topics from “working with agents ” to “attracting audiences”.
The second edition of Direct Roots will be published in January 2003 with new sections, updated resource lists and plenty of fresh ideas. Listing entries and amendments are now welcome as are suggestions for articles.
Direct Roots is available at only £17.50 inc p&p. (Overseas p&p added at cost) from PO Box 296, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3XU Tel. 01629 827014 email@example.com
Forms for inclusion in the next edition are available from the same address or can be downloaded from www.direct-roots.com
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fROOTS MAGAZINE AT YOUR FESTIVAL
I recently wrote to Ian Anderson, Editor of fROOTS and asked him if he could consider a discounted advertising rate for AFO members. He was happy to make all possible discounts available to AFO members with camera ready artwork discount, early payment discount etc. The price of advertising in fROOTS is not as expensive as you think and considering its coverage is pro rata by far the most economic. What Ian does offer is an opportunity to make more money for your festival by having fROOTS on sale. Talk direct to Ian’s office to make sure that you get your share of the cake.
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ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE GREAT BEAR
A tour inspired by the ancient musical traditions of Finland will be on tour next year funded by the Arts Council as part of the prestigious Contemporary Music Network. Developed from the CD of the same name by Andrew Cronshaw, the tour involves some of Finland’s best-known traditional musicians including Jenny Wilhelms of the group Glallarhorn. Contact FolkWorks for the tour dates.
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DO YOU PAY FOR POLICE?
This one will run and run and once again pops up its head at the end of the summer season. Organisers of large public events are being asked to contribute towards the escalating costs of Policing. One of the big ones, Notting Hill Carnival was reportedly a cost of £4 million pounds on tax payers money, a total of 10,000 police officers. I can report that Sidmouth International Festival has been asked in the past and is still negotiating. Towersey Village Festival pays a small contribution and several other AFO members have reported police bills in the past. How was it for you? Do you think we should? Should we take any action? In support of charges or against charges? Write to AFO NEWS and let us know. This issue will be raised at Conference, hopefully with a prominent speaker from the Police Offices.
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AFO TICKET SWAP SCHEME
For many years now The Association of Festival Organisers has run a ticket swap scheme. How and Why? Quite simply members can call each other and achieve free entry into one another’s festivals. It is good that we as members can get around to see how others are doing it. We can pick up ideas, share experiences and it all helps with the debate at Conference and furthers the work that we do together. There is no pressure on anyone who cannot be involved in the swap scheme for whatever reason, maybe local authority restrictions etc. However, I would encourage members to be fair and reasonable. It is quite often the case that up to half a dozen weekend festival tickets are made available to AFO members, perhaps on a first come first serve basis. You may wish to give away more. For those running a full week festival, it is normal to offer one or two days or perhaps the weekend free! Please join in where you can.