Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The N(S)FF Adminstrative stuff

I'll begin this with a few images of events around the Festival that don't really fit under the topics of music or Humour.













Given that many folk songs are based upon the down-trodden of society it is not surprising that there is a fair element of socialism in the genre. Indeed, those who know me would say this is part of why I like it.

It is also the case that the event now held in Canberra each Easter is the National Folk Festival of Australia.

However, the administrators of the event seem to have worked over many years to combine these two attributes.
  • Thus in the past one used to be able to park across the road and just walk in. Now you have to drive past the event and walk back quite a bit. And that has been changed this year to make it less convenient and in fact more dangerous.
  • This was made even worse on the first day of the Festival when there were three Stewards - We are here to help you - on the entrance gate. They did nothing, as far as I could see, but if someone asked them a question the following 50+ cars all had to wait, so the line backed up to the main road. As I said, more dangerous.
  • Apparently people - probably members of an outlaw motorcycle club -were forging the wrist bands. So now there are bar codes on the wrist bands that have to be scanned in each time you go in or out of the venue.
  • On the Saturday we left earlyish and found that a security guard would not let us out the entrance gate. We had to go through another gate 50m away. To make this even more inconvenient (and dangerous) it was blocked by a truck delivering firewood to the Stewards Brazier.
  • The BS keeps getting deeper! For some reason the Spooky Men have become crowd favourites this year (they are good, see next two posts) and their gigs are really crowded. On Sunday the crowd control folk were blocking the entrances to Budawang as the place was full - probably fair enough - but then they introduced a rule that when the gig was over people wanting to go to the next could only use one entrance. As it was the poetry debate the queue was vast. More fear and loathing!
To misquote Artie Johnson at the end of each episode of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In: "Ve have vays of making you valk ze vey we vant you to valk." To quote him again "Verrry interesting. But STUPID."

So we now have the National Socialist Folk Festival. Without, of course, the racism and homophobia. In fact the basic problem is that the event has just got too damn big. When the Budawang with a cacity of 2000+ is overflowing for a concert they need to be looking at something like shifting the really big events to the arena. Of course, it is not possible to pick who the biggies will be but just shifting the Budawang to arena and the Fitzroy stuff to the Budawang would help.

I did meet a few interesting performers on my first day of Transport!

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