Sunday, September 30, 2007

More on Folk Festivals

Despite the corruption at the Edmonton Folk Festival that I wrote about, I actually like them. I usually attend the Canmore Folk Festival followed by the Edmonton Folk Festival the following weekend. I do have a few suggestions for performers and organizers.


We came to see you because of the type of music we have heard you play over the years. If you are a Celtic performer, we want to hear you play Celtic music. We really aren't interested in your excursions into hip-hop or modern jazz. I know playing the same music over and over again for years can be boring but Mick Jagger seems to have done okay playing "Satisfaction". I am kind of bored doing the same thing everyday but it pays the bills and enables me to afford to go to folk festivals.

Also most of us really don't want to sing along. Please don't try to get us to. At the Canmore Folk Festival one of the acts tried for about 5 minutes to get the crowd to sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". The same applies to standing up, waving our arms etc.

When at workshops don't be a prima donna with the sound. I always remember how Taj Mahal came to a workshop and just plugged in his guitar and went on. It seems the lesser known or talented an artist is, the more time they spend getting their sound just perfect.


I don't mind you making rules but if you do please enforce them. If for example you tell people not to line up before 0700 and they do; please do some thing about it.

At the same time some of your volunteers take the fact that they are volunteers as an excuse to act like Nazis. Folk festivals are not possible without volunteers, they also won't go far without paying customers.

Remember many of your customers do not have a very good view of the stage. Keep this in mind when you book someone where dancing is an important part of their act.

Things that piss me off: drive thru's

I probably drink too much coffee and lately seem to prefer to buy coffee rather than make it myself. I also have developed a taste for lattes even though I used to sneer at people who made me wait for my ordinary coffee while the barista prepared their latte. (I suppose being Bleeding Heart after all it was innevitable that I develop a taste for latte's)

Patience is not one of my strong suits.

It bugs the hell out of me when I park my car and walk into Starbucks, Second Cup or Tim's and have to stand and be ignorred while the staff services a long line of drive-thru cars. Tim Hortons even has posted time standards for the drive thru which are a hell of a lot shorter than the time it takes me to get served.

What are two of our biggest problems: global warming and obesity. So we let people sit in their SUV's idling for several minutes while they pick up their triple-triple and a donut. Meanwhile I am trying to do my small part for the environment and myself by parking my car or even walking to the coffee place and I have to wait.

Coffee places: be warned. I have had enough. Close your drive thru's or I will do something drastic. Like make my own coffee.