Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Meet the Team: Andy Stafford

Time to meet Andy Stafford our Ceilidh Manager

Name: Andy Stafford

Where are you from?: Newbury

What is your festival role?: Ceilidh Manager

What is your folk festival experience?: Been around theatre and festivals most of my adult life having done various jobs through Opera to Rock, though folk is my abiding passion. I have played in song and Ceilidh bands in the past.

I joined the Chippenham Folk Festival team in 2011 (I think) having done a number of jobs with and for the festival before then.

I can usually be found backstage at Warwick, Towersey, Folk on the Pier, Bromyard, sometimes at the Blue Mountains Music Festival, Katoomba; The National Folk Festival, Canberra and St Albans, NSW (rather than Hertfordshire!).

What were your first experiences of folk music and ceilidhs?: I have been around folk music since I was 15 when I started attending Stockton Folk Club.

The first folk musician I liked big time - Martin Carthy - still do! The first Ceilidh Band I saw - Teeside Fettlers - I have both their LPs. Now a defunct band but in the 60's and 70's they were tops.

Do you have a favourite ceilidh band?: I'm not going to confess my favourite ceilidh bands, that would be bad Karma. But I will say I'm a big promoter of new & young talent and this years lunchtime programme reflects that. If we stay embedded in the secure old stalwarts for too long there will be nothing left at the end, though again as can be seem from my programmes of the years the stalwarts feature as anchors.

Is there any other folk trivia you'd like to share with the readers?: I also judge the New Roots competition for under 25yr old folk musicians on a regular basis. The only years I've missed are those when I'm in Australia.

Finally tell us a fun fact about yourself:  Fortunately for Morris Dancing I rarely dance bow but it has been known and I still have bells and kit in my wardrobe.

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