Starting a Folk Club


Starting a folk club? Or still running one after yonks? Or getting involved? Or just popping along as a floor spot or listener?

There's lots to think about: and as many opinions on each and every aspect of running a club as there are versions of John Barleycorn. This is an edit of a thread started by Dave Thackeray, who asked, in

"I'm intending to start up a folk club shortly and wondered if those running established clubs might offer me some (positive) advice about the best way to go about it.

"I guess the most important thing to watch out for is the level of interest. As a journo cum marketer myself I guess I know a fair bit about how to spread the word around, but if anyone has had particular success in promoting their club in unconventional ways I'd love some input here.

"Probably the second thing is achieving a balance of acts which will appeal to the biggest cross-section of the populace as possible. With this in mind, is it wise to restrict the club purely to folk, or open it up to general roots/blues/jazz as appropriate? I don't want to get into the "you could get this in the back room of any pub" type philosophy, so I guess restricting it to folk genre may be the way forward."

...which raised one of the more enthusiastic threads in recent years - with an unusually high proportion of on-thread responses. I have consolidated and edited the thread and commend it to the attention of anyone involved in setting up, continuing or appearing in any capacity at a folk club.

These pages are a consolidated and edited version of that thread. Read, learn, enjoy!


Thanks to all contributors who gave their permission to use this material either explicitely or tacitly. Especially:

...and Graham Dixon, Mike Ollier, Pete Willow, Paul Burgess, Anahata, David Kilpatrick, Jack Campin, Kevin Fitzgerald, Banksie, Dominic Cronin, Ian Anderson of fRoots magazine, Jonathan J Quick, Sally Whytehead , Marjorie Clarke, George Hawes, Tony Day, Jim Lawton and WendyG

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