The Woodford Files 2014-15: Save The Last Dance Or Beer For Me, January 2015

The Volunteer Party is like a baffling market selling ice cream and fruit dessert in tall glasses: a trifle Bazaar
The Volunteer Party is like a wondrous market selling ice cream and fruit dessert in tall glasses: a trifle Bazaar

As the sun set slowly over Kilcoy, we bade farewell to the last performance at Woodford Folk Festival as Fantuzzi reggaed the crowd into a fervour.

Actually, the sun was long gone by the time Fantuzzi closed out proceedings. And as they finished their last number, the vollys were just getting going and took responsibility for their own entertainment.

I was professionally torn. My obligations were long since dispensed with. I wanted to capture some vision of the band, but……….

A Punter’s Perspective 15 — We couldn’t do it without you


A Punter’s Perspective

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

#15 We couldn’t do it without you
First published in Trad and Now magazine, April 2009

Ok, this could get messy.

‘Messy’ is a service I do often provide. And if the only ‘Messi’ you’re interested in plays for the Argentinean football team, it’s maybe best to fast forward a couple of pages.

I’ve been thinking a lot about volunteerism lately. And in choosing to write on topic, I realise this is not a new subject, and has been covered substantially, and in these pages within the last 12 months or so by others.

But I’m choosing to delve and dive a little deeper, as the hypnotist said to the snorkeller, and look at motivations and treatment of volunteers.

It didn’t come out of the blue. It comes off the back of a couple of rather trying experiences, and for that I apologise now for the use of personal pronouns. It’s something I (pardon me) usually shy away from, but the subjective nature of my ruminations requires it.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, and more saliently, in all levels of commitment, application and motivation. Warning: disclaimer follows. If you cut me in two, you’ll find a volunteer’s medallion and a couple of unused complimentary festival beer tickets. I collect them both (the former more than the latter).

There’s nothing particularly noble or virtuous about that; it’s just the way that I’ve been hard-wired from an early age. Volunteerism motivates me and drives me (in many worlds, including and external to music), and I know there are hundreds of others who put in far more than what I do. Continue reading