A Punter’s Perspective 09 — After the Party (NFF 2008)

National 2011469A Punter’s Perspective
Random observations on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage

#9 After the Party (National Folk Festival 2008)
First published in Trad and Now magazine, April 2008

By Bill Quinn

After the band has played ‘Waltzing Matilda’
They’ve torn down the streamers
And left you alone
And the carpark’s deserted
And the weeds they’re growing
I’m still here
I still love you
Come on; I’ll take you home.

From ‘After the Party’, from the album “Etched in Blue” (1987).

Reprinted with kind permission of John Schumann

I’ve always thought that some of the truest words are said in jest, or at least with little thought. Some of these utterances unexpectedly reveal the deepest meaning, and illuminate the most clichéd and the most banal of banal sayings.

On topic, and ‘front-brain’ for this punter ever since the 2008 National Folk Festival, is the often repeated claim that musos, organisers, volunteers and punters ‘grieve’ when a festival closes.

‘Are you OK?’
‘Yeah, just in mourning for the [insert name of latest festival].’

Sometimes they really do die a little inside as the tents come down and the sound gear packs up.

It sounds a touch melodramatic, but this proposition has been validated by some light investigation, and by comments solicited from a selection of festival-goers, not just at the National. Continue reading