A Punter’s Perspective
Random observations on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage
#43 Overheard at the 2013 National Folk Festival
First published in Trad and Now magazine, April 2013
I usually stop short of epithets like ‘the best’, ‘the greatest’ or such like. But in a relatively short experience of the National Folk Festival (my ninth of a possible 47), this year’s was definitely the most anticipated Nash I’ve personally known of.
A number of variables made the lead up to this one a little tantalising.
The organisers made no bones about the fact that it’s been testing times for the National. Some may shudder at words they’ve used like ‘consolidation’, ‘challenge’ and ‘sustainable’, but I’m actually a bit of a fan.
If there are threats to a festival’s viability, you can either fix a smile and adopt a ‘Move on, nothing to see here, all is well’ approach. Or squat on your heels, furrow brows, chew bits of bark and declare we’ll all be rooned.
Or you can call a spade a spade (not a manual earth-moving device) and accept there are indeed challenges and forge ahead.
Disclaimer: I’m observing all of this from some distance, and am NOT privy to any of the National’s internal machinations. Continue reading