Monday, 18 May 2015

Meet the team: Cat Murphy

Next up in our meet the team series is Cat Murphy


Name: Cat Murphy

Where are you from/live?: Chippenham. My house is probably closer to the ceilidh venue than the campsite.

What is your festival role?: I'm the Children's Festival Manager. I plan the antics for the Children's festival area, come to be known as the kids castle, and organise the kids programme of artists and the awesome team of stewards who make it happen!

What is your folk festival experience?: I was taken to festivals in a buggy and never stopped. Grew up with ceilidhs, sessions, concerts, Dr Sunshine's parachute games, Ticklish Alsorts, Craft suitcases and circus skills. My Mum always called my family 'professional listeners' - the folkies who watch and enjoy rather than being musical ourselves.

I first came to the Chippenham festival in 91. We were moving here and our first visit to our future home was to come to the festival.

The truth is my memories of my first festival aren't very folky! I was 6 I think. I remember making friends with other kids in the campsite. I remember the infuriating bike the clown had in the Kids Den that however hard we tried none of us could cycle. I remember learning to juggle, a skill that's stayed with me, although I'm sure I was juggling scarfs at that point rather than my fire obsession these days.

I remember coming into town for the first time after moving here and being very disappointed how quiet and empty it was! Realising that Chez nu wasn't a local cafe by the river, there wasn't a town full of colour and music all year round and all the friends I had made wouldn't be back for another year!

As a teenager my parents venue managed the Neeld Hall. I've worked in the Kids Den ever since. When I took over managing it a few years back I was amused to find old paperwork listing me as one of the underage volunteers that were only allowed to help with craft.

Truth us I think I was just looking for an excuse not to grow out of it!

What do you enjoy about Chippenham Folk Festival?: I don't often get out the castle for long but always escape to dance with my teams as much as I can. After the castle closes though its time to relax with the ceilidh and late night sessions.

Is there any other folk trivia you'd like to share with the readers?: I'm definitely not the professional listener as my Mum always called us. I think she'd be laughing if she knew I'd even convinced my brother to be a Morris dancer! I dance in two local teams. Appalachian with Footnotes and Border Morris with Tatters and Tails and play bodhran at sessions at the old road year round so we keep a tiny slice of the festival spirit going all year round :)

Finally can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?: When I'm not dancing or playing at sessions I do fire poi and juggle fire with a local group Bath Fire Spinners. I'm learning to hula hoop with Wiltshire Hoop Dance, local artists that join in the castle.

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