I think it’s fantastic that so many of us in the club are passionate about promoting Edmonton’s folk festival, and that so many of us are able to be critical and objective about a festival that has been selling out the last few years. If you read my Folk Fest post last year, you’ll know I fall in the latter camp. To sum up my argument, I’ll borrow @amvanimere‘s words: ”A built-in audience and guaranteed sell-out should be reason to be more adventurous, not less.”
I find it a challenge to be moved by anecdotal evidence and an emotional rationale, much less than the resounding cry of “It’s a tradition!” So I’ve gathered the lineups from 2010 and 2011 for both Calgary and Edmonton’s folk fests, and I’m asking you give me the numbers. Understanding this is a relatively small sample, 2010 was when I moved back to Edmonton and started considering going to folk fests, it’s also the summer after I met the fine folks that make up our #yegmusicclub. This upcoming folk festival season will be our 3rd together. And make no doubt about it, if EFMF brings in a kick-ass lineup, I will be happy to eat crow and go to my city’s festival. But, that is what I require- not some crap that I don’t understand about “magic on the hill”. If you truly want me to drink the kool-aid, you’re going to have to step up and buy this girl a ticket.
Back to the survey- it’s a doozy as there were over 200 unique artists to play Calgary or Edmonton in 2010 and 2011. Interesting bits to note, Edmonton had 5 artists that overlapped 2010 and 2011; Calgary had no repeats. There were 17 artists that played both festivals, most that played the same year, but 3 played Calgary in 2010, Edmonton in 2011 (Delhi 2 Dublin, Karla Anderson and Etran Finatawa) and 1 played Edmonton first, then Calgary (Patrick Watson). Any artist that played both festivals, I removed from the survey.
I hope to add in 2012 lineups to my findings once EFMF announces it, and if you have any feedback on how the responses are phrased, other questions that would be useful, etc., I’m all ears. And for total disclosure, yes, I plan on taking my own survey. I’ll firmly be checking the “asshole” demographic.