Garway Performing Arts



Dear New Grove Trust

Now that Garway Folk Weekend is over, we would like to thank you for your kind support and to report back to you on how things went.

As you know, our aim (both during the Folk Weekend and through small events at other times) is to encourage the enjoyment and understanding of traditional and contemporary folk music and dance, and particularly to let young people experience these forms of expression and show them how they can be involved in some of the many facets of the folk arts.

To these ends, the Folk Weekend did the following:

  • We encouraged and enabled the attendance of a large number of people, and ensured inclusivity, by using grants to help fund the weekend and thus keep ticket prices at a very low level.

  • We arranged that young people (and accompanying adults) wanting to attend the music and singing "workshop" sessions with professional performers could do so free of charge.

  • We positioned all the dance displays (morris, clog and step dancing) in the centre of the village outside the ticketed area so that everyone could enjoy and appreciate our these traditional forms of dance.

  • We laid on a free concert in the village hall featuring young musicians, including children from about twelve years upwards, and with featuring one of the finalist acts in the national New Roots competition for young folk performers. One exception to the "young musicians" rule was Jeff Warner who also performed several songs in the concert - he is from the USA, and a very well known performers of songs for both children and adults - his traditional wooden "dancing doll" was particularly appreciated! This concert was very well attended, and we already have feedback from one local parent that her daughter now wants to learn to play the English smallpipes!

  • We booked performers who we felt would be both good musicians and/or singers but also entertaining.

  • We encouraged "sessions" where people of all ages could "jam" with others, sing along in choruses, or just watch and listen to music and song performed for fun.

  • We arranged a special low price "local" ticket to encourage residents to come to the event.

Our calculations show that on the busiest day (Saturday) over 400 people - including many volunteer stewards, dancers and performers - were on site, attending the sessions or the concerts and workshops. Two particularly popular events were presented by David Ferrard ("Woody Guthrie" - the life and songs of the campaigning folk singer) and Jeff Warner ("From England's Shore" - songs and music which crossed to the new world with English emigrants). 

Richard Goddard
Garway Performing Arts