Tag Archives: music

The stage is set…

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It’s getting so close, isn’t it? Only 6 days to go until Folkstock Festival. We’ve put together a full set list now of acts, times and stages (click the image below to view) – so once you have your tickets, you can get planning your weekend already.

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Andy Shepherd of Shepherd Audio has kindly supplied us with this plan of how the area is going to look next Saturday, so you can get a good feel for the size and area its going to take place in. Excited doesn’t cover it!!

Folkstock merchandise, including the t’shirts (as modeled by festival director Helen Meissner and folkstock artist Amy Pettingill below), are now also available to buy via the website. Those of you who read the previous post about t’shirt designs may be pleased to see both designs are available to buy, with a list of various artists on the back.

If you can’t wait until  next weekend to have a listen to some of the artists that will be performing at Folkstock Festival – click here. Last Wednesday I headed to Nick Stephenson‘s Mid-Week  Music Open Mic night at The Boot, St Albans, to see Zoe Wren perform ahead of Folkstock – and if her set at The Boot was anything to go by, the Folkstock crowd are going to love her!

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Linda Wilks on Warming up for the Folkstock Festival

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Hertford Corn Exchange, Sept 6th

On Friday 6th September, just over 2 weeks away from Folkstock Acoustic Festival and Family Fete, the Folkstock Arts Foundation held a warm-up event – as a practice-run for the big gig! As well as giving out (for FREE) these amazing cupcakes, made by Jan’s Cakes, the event attracted a great crowd – including one of the ‘community gain’ researchers, using Folkstock as a case study.

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RESEARCH PARTNER LINDA WILKS WRITES:

What a lovely atmosphere at the Folkstock Festival warm-up event held at the Hertford Corn Exchange last Friday. It was great to be able to see some of the acts which will also be on at the festival on the 21st. All of the performances were excellent and I came away with a Said the Maiden CD which I’ve been enjoying listening to since then – the fiddle playing was a major draw for me and I love the quirky songs and harmonised vocals.

I also took the chance to persuade lots of people to fill in a questionnaire about their Folkstock experiences so far – many thanks to those of you who were kind enough to do this on the night (and also to the online people). Ever since Helen called in at the Uni of Herts, where I used to work, and told us about the festival she was setting up, I’ve been keeping in touch with developments. I’ve carried out research at festivals and gigs before, so I know how rich and interesting they can be as places to do research. I was also really keen to work with Helen to collect data which will help her to review how Folkstock is going. I’ll be writing up the findings for Helen with my consultancy hat on, as well as putting together an article for an academic journal with my researcher hat on, too.

The questionnaire survey is exploring the messages which people are receiving about Folkstock. It’s asking things like how people heard about it, and also trying to find out whether people are getting the impression that the Folkstock ethos is being achieved. There’s space for people to add extra comments too and a couple of those stood out to me: “I think this is going to be an amazing event and the start of something very special”, and “So far all the Folkstock events have been really enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the main event!”. The survey is also running online – there’s been a link from the Folkstock Facebook page for the last few days. If you have a connection to Folkstock and you’d like to fill in a questionnaire yourself, we’d be really pleased to hear from you. You can click this link to fill it in https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Folkstock_survey – it’s all anonymous. We’ll also be giving out the questionnaires at the festival too. The more feedback we can get the better!

Finally, a comment from one of the online questionnaires is a nice one to finish with, and after Friday’s gig I can see why someone put this: “Such a huge line up of talented musicians of all ages. I do not think the like will ever be repeated as I am sure some of these acts will be mainstream very soon.”

Enjoy the festival – not long now!

Dr. Linda Wilks

Research Partner, Verlamion Cultural Impact Analysis and Visiting Research Fellow, The Open University

You can find some of my other research here (including my 300-page PhD thesis in case you’re having a sleepless night!) http://independent.academia.edu/LindaWilks

 

A fabulous weekend for folk

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Folkstock artists have been busy, as usual, this weekend. The Folk, Garry Smith, Daisy Mae LewisZoe Phillips, Kaitlyn Sings, The Tritones and Nick and The Sun Machine were entertaining fans at Wilkestock Festival, whilst Daria Kulesh and her band KARA were kicking off Saturday night’s Live Music Project at Trestle Arts Base.

Folkstock Managing Director Helen Meissner spent the weekend at Wilkestock, taking amazing photos of the performances, as usual – which I’ve put a sample of here. It looks like it was a blast!

A little bird also told me that Simon Hadwin (the drummer of Nick and the Sun Machine, whom I meet at the Marketing Matters event) impressed the crowds with an impromptu spot on the acoustic stage to fill in for an artist who had to cancel – nice one!

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I, on the other hand, headed over to Trestle Arts Base, to see KARA’s folk performances with a Russian twist. Daria Kulesh was the first Folkstock act I ever encountered, having met her at the St Albans Film Festival, so I definitely wanted to see her joined by her band on stage.

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This was my first experience of hearing a hammered dulcimer instrument being played, and it certainly added another dimension to KARA’s musical sound.

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Four bands played in total last night: KARA, Starseedz, Broken Boat and The Neverists. It was great to see the space at the arts base being used so well, and lots of people enjoying the local talent that Herts seems so full of. The Neverists themselves summed it up with:

“The show we played last night was incredible, I have never felt a reaction from an audience like last night, people we’re dancing to our songs, we played the longest set we have ever played and really got to mix it up, with Jimmi leaving the drums to play harmonica.”

I love finding new music, and hearing Broken Boat for the first time last night was a real treat. I’m looking forward to seeing the performances of other Folkstock artists at Trestle in the coming months, and discovering other local bands. Hopefully some of these guys will be heading along to Folkstock Festival in 3 weeks time, to give us a few impromptu performances at the ‘on the day sign up’ slots?!

Coming up at Trestle Arts Base:

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Septemberfest – Folkstock and two three-day festivals

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September is the month of the Hertfordshire Festivals. Three consecutive weekends (including this one) will see the likes of music festivals:
Wilkestock, Balstock and Folkstock bringing focus to the awesome talent that this area has to offer.

The three ‘stocks, which take place only a month on from the awesome Standon Calling, help to highlight the impressive music scene in Hertfordshire, and the community that it brings together.

This weekend: Friday 30th August to 1st September 2013

…tickets still available on the door!

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Wilkestock offers FAMILY CAMPING, 100+ bands/dj’s across 4 stages and late night venues! all profits direct to Charity for the 8th year running.  4 STAGES & LATE NIGHT VENUES DISPLAYING THE BEST MUSIC AROUND – NEW AND OLD. *NEW ROCK UP AND RINSE STAGE*. 3 BARS. FREE SHOWERS! LOCKERS & PHONE CHARGING. LIVE GRAFFITI, PAINTBALL ARENA, SUMO SUITS and LOADS OF ENTERTAINMENT ACROSS THE WEEKEND.

NON COMMERCIAL & ALL PROCEEDS DIRECT TO CHARITY. AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE, INTIMATE MUSIC FESTIVAL, NO £4.50 DRINKS HERE!

Mission:

Create a solid intimate music medley of quality bands and dj’s for all ears, whilst raising money and having a party time for Keswick Mountain Rescue & Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research

Company Overview:
In its 8th successful year….. 100+bands/dj’s across 4 stages, an epic weekend to be had with all profits going directly to Keswick Mountain Rescue & Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Dance tents pumping into the small hours with –

Blame
2 Bad Mice
Dj Law and Wheeler
Variations [Dub Police]
Mojo [Terrorhythm]
Bygore [Dub Police]
Ethic [Dub Police]
Swiss B2B Foul Matta [Stink Like Sock]
Venum [N:Era]
Teknition

Hosts – The Corporal / Shox / Overdoze

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Next weekend: Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September 2013

 

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Balstock Music Festival started 8 years ago, in the Engine pub garden, Baldock. From the 11 acts that graced the small petanque shed that day, none of them could’ve known that the very same festival would become Hertfordshire’s largest free music event not even a decade later!
Balstock 2013 is staying true to form by attempting to ‘out-shine’ all the previous years. Not only is every pub in Baldock taking part (bar the George IV just outside town) but also there are 2 Street Stages (including food & merchandise stalls, zorbing and a tug-o-war competition), a café hosting DJs and even bands in one of the tattooists.
Over the 13th, 14th and 15th of September, 150+ acts will be performing in 15 venues, all over Baldock town, including rock, pop, acoustic, soul, ska, blues, hip-hop, punk, folk, motown, reggae, metal, alternative and covers as well as DJ sets of all kinds and stand-up comedy courtesy of Lastminutecomedy.
Every single venue is FREE ENTRY and every single act performs for FREE, all in aid of the chosen charity which changes each year. Funds raised in Balstock 2013 will be split 60 % to the MS Trust and 40% to aid future Balstock events. So please put plenty of money in the collector’s buckets and buy plenty of Balstock Merchandise.

13 September at 18:00 until 15 September at 22:00. This year’s funding goes towards the MS trust and Balstock (split 60/40)

Venues are:
The Orange Tree, Baldock
The Engine
The High Street stage
London Road & Academy Of Music & Sound Stage
The Rose & Crown
The White Lion
The Hen & Chickens
The Boot Baldock
The White Hart, Baldock
The Brocken Drum
The Victoria
The Cock
The Old White Horse
Slack Alice’s tattooists
Taste Cafe

Third Weekend in September: Saturday 21st September 2013

…tickets still available – click here!

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Folkstock has a mission to be a joyous fusion of many different strands of folk, with over 70 artists, half of which are from the local area, from award winning faves of this show such as Lucy Ward, Kris Drever, Reg Meuross, Luke Jackson and Josienne Clarke/ Ben Walker and Folk roots band The Willows, who have sessioned on Bob Harris, through to local artists who are being offered their first festival slots, and everything in between.

Four stages and an additional two performance areas are planned at this relaxed rustic event at beautiful Aldenham Country Park near Borehamwood, along side free, ‘sign up on the day songwriting’ workshops with Reg Meuross, open slots at Flaming June’s Troubadours, Morris Dancing with ‘join in’ scratch sides, festival feast food, local ales and ciders, arts and crafts stalls, childrens activities, milk shakes and soda bar, Ukulele workshops for all levels, and I am reliably informed that they have procured 24 ukuleles so if you ever fancied a go, now’s your chance ! The performers range from the local Under 10′s ceilidh group to 72 yr old Chuck Owston from Pennsylvania ! and they are delighted that this age range is reflected in the ticket sales so far!

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Supporting Folkstock artists around St Albans

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In the spirit of all things Folkstock, (and having just moved to St Albans earlier this month) – I’ve been throwing myself into the local music scene here in Hertfordshire and specifically the city of St Albans. Last Wednesday, Denise Parsons of the Trestle Arts Base invited to along to an open mic night run by one of the Folkstock Foundation artists – Nick Stephenson, of Nick and The Sun Machine – at The Boot pub, near the clock tower.

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Alex Lilly and Jessica Hart performing at The Boot

What a great evening it was too! The Mid-Week Music Open Mic night showcased so many talented artists from the local music scene, with each performance consisting of 3 songs. Paul Littler, Tom Dibb, Alex Lilly, Jessica Hart, Lily Rose Fowler and headliners Sophie and Tim were the line up last week, and if next week follows suit, its bound to be awesome. The open mic night is on every Wednesday at The Boot.

Paul Littler performing at the open mic night

Paul Littler performing at the open mic night

I loved how friendly and welcoming everyone at the event was, and a special thanks to Denise for talking the time to introduce me to everyone. I’d definitely recommend that acoustic music lovers check this out. I shall also be heading over to the (free) ‘Live Music Project’ at Trestle Arts Base next weekend (31st August) to see what Denise’s own community event is like – we’re lucky to have her supporting Folkstock Festival!

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Beautiful banners & shirt selections

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A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the fantastic art work that was created for Folkstock – so it makes sense to follow that up by showing you how that artwork has been used.

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First off, you may have seen some of the Folkstock banners around, brightening up the place – I think they look great! And better still, the local community have been hugely supportive by offering to put some up in front of their houses, etc.

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Another, awesome way that Amy Pettingill’s colourful, swirly art work has been used is on the mock-ups for the Folkstock merchandise and t’shirts. Which one do you prefer? Let me know – tweet me @katefolkstock 

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Design 1

Design 2

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Facebook offer for discounted musicians’ tickets!

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As many of you know, Folkstock Festival will be offering ‘sign up on the day’ slots of 2 or 3 songs a time at the Flaming June’s Troubadours gazebo. Many of my Twitter followers have been asking if there is a possibility of playing at Folkstock, and at this stage in the planning, via the Flaming June’s Troubadours is certainly the best way to get involved.

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To add to this, Folkstock has decided to launch an opportunity for musicians to receive discounted tickets with the view to perform an on the day slot. To find out how to be in with a chance of taking advantage of this offer, head to our Facebook Page. Good luck!

A Message from Managing Director Helen Meissner

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You’ll be pleased to know that here at Folkstock we have got the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed in terms of the licensing and it’s full steam ahead.

For those who haven’t yet heard of Folkstock Festival,  I have decided to bite the bullet and do something really big for the many bands whom I and the Folkstock Arts Foundation are supporting on a voluntary basis. I’ve  been providing the mentoring and support I offered ‘The Folk’, to anyone who will have me ! and have now formalised it into a community interest company called Folkstock Arts Foundation. And I am putting on a festival next month – Folkstock on 21st September at Aldenham Country Park, north London near Borehamwood.

This is my first festival and I am fortunate to be working with Steve Smither as festival consultant and a quality team including Ross Sharples from Rossco, Martin Lumsden from Cream Room Sound Productions, Marina Florance respected award winning singer songwriter, Clare Hayes from The Junction and associated music projects, Daria Kulesh from Radio Dacorum’s Folk Show, Jess Distill from Said the Maiden, Aisling Austin / Chylde Owlett from Bedfordshire’s Folk scene and Lauren Deakin Davies from The Folk. I have also approached iconic folk fiddle player Dave Swarbrick from Fairport Convention and asked him if he would do us the honour of being Patron, which I am delighted to say he accepted.

I have a pet hate ( you might have the same one if you’ve ever put on an event) – that comment you hear once it’s too late to do anything about it ” oh if only I’d known, I would have come ! “. I am doing all I can to avoid hearing this about Folkstock.

Folkstock might be a one off, it might be the first of many, who knows ? but what I do know is that if it reaches capacity ( 5,000) in its first year or near offer, then the two charities / community interest companies to which all proceeds are going to be donated will be very happy. The proceeds are going to be divided equally between Cancer Research UK (no surprise there given my encounter with Breast Cancer exactly three years ago now) and Folkstock Arts Foundation, a not for profit, community interest company.

This is of course, in addition to providing these social benefits :

– a showcase for over 77 mostly independent unsigned acoustic folk and roots artists, – an opportunity for smaller local organisations/ special interest groups to promote themselves for free
– valuable media / journalistic experience for many students ( we are linking up with the new Elstree University Technical College and Da Vinci Studio in Letchworth as well as University of Hertfordshire Events Management);
– a focus for academic research into two key tenents underpinning the ethos of the foundation: Best practice for event management and safety planning ( Dr Allan Jepson)  plus Community reach, audience engagement and social gain from music festivals ( Dr Linda Wilks, Verlamium Consultancy ).

So we hope it will be something worthwhile from a fundraising point of view as well as a social perspective. Would you like to get involved or help me in some way ? I would REALLY appreciate it.

We have seven weeks to make a difference. All the ground work has been done over the last 5 months: artwork in place, license granted, websites built, social media in hand. Just need to sell tickets now. Click the image below for ticket prices and info…

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Perhaps you could help me spread the word ? perhaps put a poster up at work ? add one to your social media ?  if you have any ideas about this which would not inconvenience you or take too much of your time, or would like me to send an promotional email which you could forward to a mailing list perhaps I could do that ? Or maybe you would like to offer a business / organisation / group to which you are affiliated, a special discount if there are a group of you who would like to come ? Maybe you know some people who like volunteering at festivals or you might like to join in yourself?

This is something I am financing myself at the moment, so any help from sponsorship/ services or goods in kind, in return for tickets perhaps, would help me break even quicker so the proceeds can be distributed.

The festival promises to be an ‘old fashioned’ and relaxed family day out, with the additional bonus of being a joyous fusion of many different strands of acoustic, folk and roots music, with over 70 artists, over four stages, half of which are from the local area. Ranging from BBC award winning artists and those who have performed live sessions on Bob Harris’s BBC Radio 2 shows, through to local artists who are being offered their first festival slots and everything in between. You may not have heard of many of them, although you will be left wondering why as they are so good! This festival will be a stepping stone for the many unsigned independent musicians and I am sure that most will go on to gain the recognition and boost they need to break into the national consciousness.

Respected champion of live music, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Sue Marchant has volunteered to MC the Main stage and FATEA Magazine’s Neil King is coming with a team to review the acts and provide a vital Media Liaison role on the day. We are really grateful for their support and that of many others without whom the event would not be possible.

There will be songwriting and ukulele workshops, real ale, busking slots, entertainments on the ‘ village green’, tea and cakes, sessions in the beer tent, local artisans, crafts, activities for children with a fete in the afternoon, festival feast food and fab music.

Ultimately, if we let enough people know, the tickets should sell as it’s a great, reasonably priced day out for the family, regardless of the superb music, in a lovely country park, and a heart warming way to end the festival season on the autumn equinox.

A BIT MORE INFORMATION AND LINKS WHICH MIGHT HELP YOU DECIDE IF YOU CAN / WANT TO GET INVOLVED/ SPREAD THE WORD

The Folkstock Arts Foundation is a new community interest company which provides a framework of marketing, mentoring and masterclass support that
acoustic bands can access.
Here are the links if you’d like to know more about the Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Folkstock-Arts-Foundation
and there’s a website for the Foundation:http://www.folkstockartsfoundation.com/
To find out more about Folkstock
Festival, please visit the website :
and here is the facebook link:
and you could also contact us on twitter https://twitter.com/Folkstock
I hope to hear from you, and thank you so much for reading this.

Yours,

Helen Meissner

Managing Director Folkstock Arts Foundation

Music and Lights – Musings and Images

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Last weekend saw the third ‘Under The Stars’ workshop in the Folkstock series, followed by the usual performances round the campfire.

I have a confession to make. I was not able to attend this event, as my older brother Alton Wahlberg got married on the afternoon of the 20th July, and whilst Folkstock Foundation Acts were listening to good music and probably having a bit of a dance, so was I – to the sounds of the awesome Cupids Wish.

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I had a good reason for missing the latest Folkstock workshop…

So, Folkstock’s ‘Music and Lights’ event kicked off from 6pm, beginning with three seminars for artists, given by Michelle Holding, Bonz Barnes and Martin Lumsden; those were: ‘Social Media Made Easy’ – for artists looking to promote themselves online, ‘Shooting on a Shoe String’ – about making music videos and ‘Studio Sessions – Right First Time’ – which is pretty self-explanatory.

 

Naturally for these such events, those in attendance moved from Church Farm, Ardeley to the camping grounds to finish the evening in the relaxing atmosphere created by the camp fire and all the additional guests that join for this section of the night.

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Folkstock Festival Director Helen Meissner said; “Very enjoyable day and thank you to everyone who gave their time for this – KARA folk ( duo), Karl & The Prodigal Son, Kaitlyn, Josiah Handpan, Noel Cowley, The Tritones, Rob Finlay, Martin Lumsden (from Cream Room Sound Productions) and of course Michelle Holding and Bonz”.

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“[It was] Lovely to see Zoë Wren joining us in the evening, and Peter Mayles, Rose Goodship and Steve Dagleish as well as everyone who performed in Hatfield’s Town Square and the Kaleidscope Hatifeld Short Film Festival [which Folkstock Foundation artists had played at earlier in the day,” Helen said.