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FOLK 21 FIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Folk music's star has been on the rise for some years now, with the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and folk festivals
gaining more and more mainstream coverage for the genre. Festivals and concerts are generally thriving, but
unfortunately the guest-booking small venues – one of the key foundations of the folk movement in the UK –
have not enjoyed the same rate of progress over recent years; they have, to some extent, become the folk
world's best-kept secret. Four years ago, Folk 21 set out to try to improve that position.
The guest-booking folk club and small venue network in the UK provides great opportunities to watch
outstanding musicians in intimate venues, and it provides travelling musicians with a network of vital bread-
and-butter gigs. Without such venues, some superb artists would never have been able to tour, and we would
have been deprived of watching and listening to their music in intimate venues – and possibly altogether.
Folk clubs offer audiences a rare chance to watch, and even interact with, nationally famous artists from a seat
just a few feet away from the stage. You could ask what tunings they are using, chat about their choice of
songs and instruments, and even buy them a drink!
Folk 21 was formed in an effort to help maintain and strengthen this network of small venues and individual
clubs, for the benefit of current and future generations, and we have quietly been building impetus over the
past four years.
Following a number of very successful Regional Days we are delighted to announce that we will be hosting the
first ever National Conference for this network of small venues and those who organise them, play in them and
support them, as we seek to raise the profile of what is a key foundation of the UK folk movement. It is, in our
opinion, a valuable cultural asset that needs to be preserved and strengthened for future generations.
The conference fee is £28 for the day, including lunch.