Sunday, 26 February 2017

Newsletter 26/02/17

Last few days to buy super early bird tickets!

You can still save £10 per ticket by either going online via our automated ticket service or if you want to just send us a cheque we can do all that for you. Either way, have a look at our web site for more details on how to get tickets to your favourite festival.
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What's in this email? (Sorry quite a bit it seems)

The Best Line up?

We don't always realise how good the line-up is whilst we are putting it together but once we see all the names of artists put together we are always really pleased what we have assembled. All we can say is this year is WOW!
Some of the biggest and most respected names in the folk scene have been booked just for your pleasure over the weekend and performing in the most intimate of venues.
So who have we got? Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Home Service, Belshazzar's Feast, Calan, Chris Sherburn & Denny Bartley with Emily Sanders, Coope, Boyes & Simpson and Mick Ryan's Crow5. Not a bad start.
Add to that Blackbeard's Tea Party, Bursledon Village Band and Banter plus a whole host of Social dance callers and bands, an army of Display Dance sides, the very best in children's entertainment and much, much more besides. You don't need to go anywhere else to get your early year folk fix.
View the full line-up

The Big Top

We are making a change this year to the style of performance in the Big Top. Our desire to put context based shows on the stage has taken a slightly different turn. Many people have asked us to put on larger concert based event so we have asked Chris Sherburn & Denny Bartley and Nancy Kerr & James Fagan to put on a show on Saturday that'll blow your socks off.
If that's not enough we have also secured the services of Coope Boyes & Simpson and Home Service to blow away any cobwebs that may linger in Island Park on the Sunday evening and on the Monday we have a Welsh themed concert showing us what is coming out of Wales including the exhilarating Calan, and some amazing dancers and musicians. Tickets for all these concerts can be bought separately but if you have a season ticket then you stand a very good chance of getting in.
See who is booked for The Big Top Concerts

Enough to shake a stick at?

Can we have too much Morris? Certainly not! Morris, and other display dancing is the backbone of what the people of Chippenham expect and understand what the festival is about. We have two new people on the team driving forward the display side of the festival and they are on Fire! Becky Perry and Laura Southcoat, (bringing the average age of the committee down to at least 55 !) are presenting a new and welcome style into the festival which we oldies think is just fabulous. They have already booked 60 sides to perform at the festival and it's not looking at stopping yet. If you like display dancing and a host of workshops this has to be one year not to miss.
View all the displays side so far coming this year

Finance!

We are regularly asked how we manage to make this pay. The simple answer is "with difficulty". We have an element of support from local authority but it is miniscule in comparison to the overall cost of the festival. What we need is to encourage at least another 50 -100 people to buy a ticket for the weekend and that would start plugging the gap. We are still an entirely volunteer festival with no pay going to the people that run it. We are working hard to get local traders and the authorities to put something in to attempt a balance what the festival provides the community. However we are not seeing a huge swing in that area yet but time will tell.

Work for us

Fancy a weekend for free? There are lots of opportunities to get to the festival without paying for it. Sure you will have to do a few hours each day but if you do, you will be joining a great team that are all working hard to make the festival work. Stewarding, Campsite team, Task Force, Admin and sales are all needing good, organised and dedicated people to help us make this the best festival in the UK.
For more details check out the volunteering section

Food and drink

There is some limitation about what we can have on the main site on Island park because of size and not wanting to take away business for the Town traders. But what we do is quality. Some of the best coffee you will taste, Fish & Chips direct from Whitby, local wood fired Pizzas, Crepes, Ice Creams and some great vegetarian options all help the festival to survive and provide you with great refreshments too. Don't forget the Folk Festival bar in the Olympiad. We serve some great beer and it's great value too.

Where it all happens

Most of our venues are just 150 seats and that means that you get up close to the artists. (No huge 1000 seaters here). Even our Big Top venue seems small in comparison to some festivals out there.
Venues, in our view, are equally as important as our artists. The success of an event is really down to how you, as a member of the audience, is comfortable. One of the prime examples of someone that is making that happen is Fred & Norma at the Cause. Gone are the hard uncomfortable pews and in comes comfortable, stylish seating that can be set in any format. We look forward to some amazing comfortable things in there. Add to that the Masonic Hall, a real hit from last year, the return of the Yelde Hall and all the other regular venues. The Consti, The Olympiad, Town Hall & The Neeld and many smaller venues you will leave you spoilt for choice. Look out for something special happening in The Studio Hall ... but more about this in the next news.
View our interactive map of the venues around the town

Dancing in the Square

After an absence of at least 5 years, the Ceilidh in the Market Square is back. So many have said how important it is to engage with the people of Chippenham that we have fought to bring back this great event.
With a permanent stage at the top end of the square we are bringing 3 great bands and callers to encourage you to dance in the street.
We have always aware of wet weather so have come up with a solution - bring wellies and brollies just in case. The show must go on after all!!!
See the ceilidh info for more

That's it for now ... more next month.

More info and "What do you want to see at the festival?"
Visit our facebook page and blogs.
The Festival Team

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