A Punter’s Perspective 25 — “Thanks! You’ve been a wonderful audience. Goodnight!”

"You've been a great audience. Goodnight!"
“You’ve been a great audience. Goodnight!”

A Punter’s Perspective

Random observations on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage

#25 “Thanks! You’ve been a wonderful audience. Goodnight!”
First published in Trad and Now magazine, April 2011

Late last year, I witnessed a reasonably unsavoury moment in crowd behaviour at a folk gig. Countrified folk. Folkified country.

No, the genre labelling wasn’t the unsavoury bit. It was the mix of ‘crowd there for music’ vs ‘crowd there for tipping several vats of beer and/or pre-mixed drinks down their throats before collapsing somewhere outside the venue’.

Which got me to thinking about the whole performer/crowd interaction cocktail (no pun intended), and how that affects a performer’s mojo on stage.

Myriad questions sprang to mind, and I planned to pose them to those best-equipped to answer them.

Months later, and with deadline looming, I threw a vague question to the four winds (ok, Facebook) one Sunday night and got a whole heap of responses. So I’ll can the investigative essay for now and just give you some responses, because they’re many, varied and some quite entertaining. Continue reading