TalkAwhile - The Folk Corporation Forum

Artists => Fairport's Cropredy Convention 2018 => Topic started by: Adam on August 11, 2018, 10:07:17 AM



Title: Attendance
Post by: Adam on August 11, 2018, 10:07:17 AM
It is noticeably quieter than usual. The Security guard reckons it is 8,000 down on last year...


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Dan O. on August 11, 2018, 11:42:19 AM
Last year's 50th Anniversary factor would have increased attendance...


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: davidmjs on August 11, 2018, 12:29:14 PM

Last year's 50th Anniversary factor would have increased attendance...


Lineup, Lineup, Lineup...I guess Brian wasn't the big draw they were expecting?

It has the same capacity every year.  It's not just sold out on anniversary years, is it?    

That is some serious financial hit...I hope they're not taking a big hit.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: GubGub (Al) on August 11, 2018, 01:13:18 PM


Last year's 50th Anniversary factor would have increased attendance...


Lineup, Lineup, Lineup...I guess Brian wasn't the big draw they were expecting?

It has the same capacity every year.  It's not just sold out on anniversary years, is it?    

That is some serious financial hit...I hope they're not taking a big hit.


I have only ever known it sell out 3 or 4 times and that does tend to be in the big anniversary years. Having the big name on Thursday is an insurance factor to sell enough weekend tickets. That may or may not have worked this year but Oysterband posted that there were about 14000 people there on Thursday which should be enough. I think weather will have been a factor. People undecided by the line up and planning perhaps to roll up last minute may have been put off by the long hot summer not being quite long enough and turning into a cold damp weekend.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Penguin (Dunc) on August 11, 2018, 06:47:35 PM


Last year's 50th Anniversary factor would have increased attendance...


Lineup, Lineup, Lineup...I guess Brian wasn't the big draw they were expecting?

It has the same capacity every year.  It's not just sold out on anniversary years, is it?    

That is some serious financial hit...I hope they're not taking a big hit.


Sold out the first year Marillion played in 2014, that was the last time I was there too....  ;D


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: peterh13 on August 11, 2018, 09:36:14 PM
They were very late announcing the full lineup. Perhaps some people had spent their limited funds by that time.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: David V B on August 11, 2018, 11:31:45 PM
It has certainly been quieter this year and very pleasant for it. Think last year’s sense of occasion will have been a major factor.

As for the lineup, it was actually why we decided to go having originally intended to take a break. Weren’t disappointed either - generally very good throughout and enjoyed everyone we wanted to see,



Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: richardkendell on August 12, 2018, 11:06:04 AM
I would be surprised in the numbers were 6 to 8000 down. It was certainly a bit less crowded but the field was surely not 1/3 empty.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: YaBB Master (Colin) on August 12, 2018, 12:58:07 PM
The best guess was between two and three thousand down. It just seemed to make it that little bit more comfortable and felt like a typical non-anniversary year.

They sold out of programmes, but not t-shirts.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: richardkendell on August 12, 2018, 01:13:15 PM
That sounds about right to me


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Sue & Chris on August 12, 2018, 01:15:25 PM
Yes, when the field was full it felt like an average year. Only it was rarely full because the rain kept sending folk scuttling elsewhere.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on August 12, 2018, 02:01:04 PM

The best guess was between two and three thousand down. It just seemed to make it that little bit more comfortable and felt like a typical non-anniversary year.

They sold out of programmes, but not t-shirts.


Agree the size of the crowd was about right for me for comforts sake...even meant I didn’t have to queue for the loo or maybe I just got my timing right this year  ;)


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: David W on August 12, 2018, 02:20:30 PM

The best guess was between two and three thousand down. It just seemed to make it that little bit more comfortable and felt like a typical non-anniversary year.

They sold out of programmes, but not t-shirts.


Which means £250,000 down at least - I guess they knew this hence the less than stellar lineup.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: davidmjs on August 12, 2018, 02:24:02 PM


The best guess was between two and three thousand down. It just seemed to make it that little bit more comfortable and felt like a typical non-anniversary year.

They sold out of programmes, but not t-shirts.


Which means £250,000 down at least - I guess they knew this hence the less than stellar lineup.


That's a real chicken and egg conundrum...


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: richardkendell on August 12, 2018, 02:31:01 PM
So what sort of acts would £100,000 buy?
A headliner like Alice Cooper/Brian Wilson would cost what?


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Nick Reg on August 12, 2018, 03:09:59 PM
I will go whoever's on but it was the poorest lineup for many years. Some good ones of course (Brian, oysterband, Sam Kelly, Al Stewart, Travelling Band) but not all are crowd-pullers. If anything would make me stay away it would be artists like Fish


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: richardkendell on August 12, 2018, 03:34:29 PM
I quite liked the mix of artists. I don't like prog rock so "only" having to put up with Fish was OK by me. Al Stewart I really like which more than compensated for the Levellers (who I don't)


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Wandering Steve on August 12, 2018, 04:34:17 PM

I will go whoever's on but it was the poorest lineup for many years. Some good ones of course (Brian, oysterband, Sam Kelly, Al Stewart, Travelling Band) but not all are crowd-pullers. If anything would make me stay away it would be artists like Fish

I’m the same and would go come What May but I feel a tipping point was reached this year.
The paying public are the best barometer to whether the line up is correct.
Imo the likes of al Stewart,fish,travelling band and levellers should have been nowhere near this years line up.
All acceptable but too much same old same old and the punters aren’t buying it.
Pierce brothers consecutive years,marillion et el three years running,al Stewart only played a couple of years ago.
This was my eleventh cropredy and I think the levellers have played three or four.
The event I love but the line ups need a proper overhaul.
What was missing this year was the 30/40 yo age bracket,I’d suggest the reason being that the beach boys wouldn’t interest many and like me they’d seen the levellers before.
Same old same old
It is no surprise when a top notch act like madness,Alice cooper,seasick steve play then people attend.
Next year needs to be so much better,that is if the damage has not been done.
I’d never seen the field so empty on a Thursday night and it emptied quickly on Friday night when I heard quite a few people moaning about the levellers set with a couple leaving half way through describing it as absolute rubbish(I actually liked it but I guess if you’ve paid to see the levellers as the main draw and then they play acoustically I can understand it)

A lot more effort is required to book headline acts who are really that....
Headliners.
Like it or not that is what sells out the festival nowadays.
You don’t get 22,000 to see fairport,a sixties band and a band who’ve played countless times.
There are plenty of decent 80s/90s bands who will fill the field like madness and they are what are needed.
Even a really good 70s act may do the job.
That is what the floating attendee wants as has been proved and maybe now it’s time for fresh thinking and fresh faces as far as booking the acts goes.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: davidmjs on August 12, 2018, 04:45:02 PM
I think you're right, but it also proves absolutely that everything that made this festival what it was (a celebration of Fairport & their musical family) is now no more.  For better or for worse it is just another festival on the summer circuit....  :-\


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Wandering Steve on August 12, 2018, 05:02:43 PM

I think you're right, but it also proves absolutely that everything that made this festival what it was (a celebration of Fairport & their musical family) is now no more.  For better or for worse it is just another festival on the summer circuit....  :-\

I still think cropredy is unique
It is fantastic with fantastic attendees(the best at any festival)
It is an institution in the calendar and at its best is unmatchable.
I like listening to fairport and in whatever incarnation the band should always headline Saturday...
But
It does need better headline acts that you can either get up and dance to or sing along to.
That is the crux
Whoever is doing the booking has gone stale or needs replacing imo
FWIW they will need to up their game to new levels because I am privy to a few of next years brasenose fringe acts and they are amazing.....


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on August 12, 2018, 05:10:41 PM


I think you're right, but it also proves absolutely that everything that made this festival what it was (a celebration of Fairport & their musical family) is now no more.  For better or for worse it is just another festival on the summer circuit....  :-\

I still think cropredy is unique
It is fantastic with fantastic attendees(the best at any festival)
It is an institution in the calendar and at its best is unmatchable.
I like listening to fairport and in whatever incarnation the band should always headline Saturday...
But
It does need better headline acts that you can either get up and dance to or sing along to.
That is the crux
Whoever is doing the booking has gone stale or needs replacing imo
FWIW they will need to up their game to new levels because I am privy to a few of next years brasenose fringe acts and they are amazing.....


Ooh that’s interesting! I agree about upping the levels. I’m a sad individual who doesn’t ‘do’ camping but  already booked the hotel for next year’s Croppers but on a provisional basis with no monies involved. That means I can wait for the line-up announcement, assuming it isn’t as late as this year, before deciding whether to attend or not. However could just attend the fringe gigs so will watch with interest


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Sue & Chris on August 12, 2018, 05:26:10 PM

It does need better headline acts that you can either get up and dance to or sing along to.


Agreed, but in theory both Brian Wilson and The Levellers fit those criteria. The former delivered for singalongability (if you could overlook the obvious issues discussed elsewhere. ) Unfortunately the Levellers for some reason thought a low key acoustic set was what was needed. But that's not the organiser's fault.

So I'd argue they're already trying to do what you're asking for, it just didn't really work out this year.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Steve.Marlow on August 12, 2018, 05:39:15 PM
I was thinking that it felt a little quieter than usual! I just put it down to the line-up! 🤔


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Addie on August 12, 2018, 06:46:03 PM
Guy on the gate when I arrived said they'd sold 12,000 but it looked a bit more than that on the field for Saturday.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: GubGub (Al) on August 12, 2018, 09:55:13 PM
I kind of have the opposite view to some of those expressed here.

I think Cropredy has made a rod for its own back. The economics of putting on a festival of that size have forced it into a cycle of trying to book a big name for Thursday night (and sometimes Friday night) to subsidise the rest of the weekend. I agree that this booking policy needs to change but first of all they need to decide what they want Cropredy to be, a big generic festival or an event centred around a celebration of Fairport or perhaps more importantly at this point, their legacy.

My view is that they should back away from the policy of insuring the festival with a big name and instead change the economic model by reducing its scale and cost. They need to look at the many, successful smaller festivals for their business model. Cut max attendance to something between 5000-7500. Book acts that appeal to Fairport's demographic and the wider and younger folk and folk-rock audience and maybe ditch the Thursday.

Instead of asking, who do we need to book to sell 15,000 weekend tickets, ask how many people would be prepared to buy tickets for Fairport/folk-rock centric event and scope the festival around that. Yes it may mean a smaller stage, less than half as many vendors and food concessions, perhaps less business for the wider village and community but it would hopefully find its audience and still at least break even.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Nick Reg on August 12, 2018, 10:03:02 PM

I kind of have the opposite view to some of those expressed here.

I think Cropredy has made a rod for its own back. The economics of putting on a festival of that size have forced it into a cycle of trying to book a big name for Thursday night (and sometimes Friday night) to subsidise the rest of the weekend. I agree that this booking policy needs to change but first of all they need to decide what they want Cropredy to be, a big generic festival or an event centred around a celebration of Fairport or perhaps more importantly at this point, their legacy.

My view is that they should back away from the policy of insuring the festival with a big name and instead change the economic model by reducing its scale and cost. They need to look at the many, successful smaller festivals for their business model. Cut max attendance to something between 5000-7500. Book acts that appeal to Fairport's demographic and the wider and younger folk and folk-rock audience and maybe ditch the Thursday.

Instead of asking, who do we need to book to sell 15,000 weekend tickets, ask how many people would be prepared to buy tickets for Fairport/folk-rock centric event and scope the festival around that. Yes it may mean a smaller stage, less than half as many vendors and food concessions, perhaps less business for the wider village and community but it would hopefully find its audience and still at least break even.
 Theres not many people who would risk money with only a hope of breaking even.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Field 7 is Heaven (Trev) on August 12, 2018, 10:07:44 PM
(GubGub)
Hi Al,

If that's what you want. It exists. Its lovely and is a beautiful event.

It's called the New Forest Folk Festival. If UEFA would change Europa League Qualifying dates  I would go every year.

Cropredy is big because it needs to be. Bands dream of the invite, I think I heard three at least say, "I've always wanted to play here" from the stage this year. The whole event is like escaping into a new world.

I would wish people who don't go, would stop trying to change something those of us who do go, love.

There is room for all of us to get to a festival that suits our soul.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on August 12, 2018, 10:15:27 PM
Al, if the festival shrinks as you suggest, wouldn’t it remove all our fun on anticipating who will be the ‘big acts’ playing each year? We all seem to have a lot of fun guessing whether Percy will play or if Mark Knopfler will turn up etc...these are the type of acts which may well be out of the scope of a much smaller, less well-financed event


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: GubGub (Al) on August 12, 2018, 10:34:13 PM

(GubGub)
Cropredy is big because it needs to be.


But it didn't used to be. It has only become this big in the last 13 or 14 years and that is down to economics, not necessarily demand. Did you experience it when it was smaller?



I would wish people who don't go, would stop trying to change something those of us who do go, love.



I have been to 23 of the last 28.



Theres not many people who would risk money with only a hope of breaking even.


Its an interesting point. Fairport used to claim that Cropredy had to not lose money (as opposed to make a profit) in order to ensure that the next one would take place. But I wonder if the festival now does not just have to be self supporting but is also subsidising the rest of Fairport's activities, touring, recording and releasing CDs etc, in which case the amping up of Cropredy in the last decade or so makes sense. Nevertheless, my point was really that a smaller festival may be likely to make proportionally the same profit in relation to cost as a large one if carefully planned and would feel more consistent. That would not work of course if profit of a certain size is meeded to sustain the rest of the band's career.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: YaBB Master (Colin) on August 12, 2018, 11:08:18 PM

But it didn't used to be. It has only become this big in the last 13 or 14 years and that is down to economics, not necessarily demand. Did you experience it when it was smaller?

Actually it used to be much bigger. Going back more than 15 years the attendance figures are not precise because only adults were counted and some speak of very high numbers.

These days the infrastructure required has vastly increased. I suspect that just producing the reams of paperwork is a nightmare (risk assessments,  policies for everything, licenses). Then there's all that fencing, proper roads, security and loads of stuff we can't even guess at. Setting the place up and pulling it down seems to take much longer, because it has to be done in a safe and less exciting way.

There is an economy of scale.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: barton cobbler on August 12, 2018, 11:22:18 PM
I don't get the people thinking that last years line was better than this years. Come on, Brian Wilson compared to Devine Comedy !!!!!!!!!!! I've read all the comments about Brian, BUT, he is a legend and would sell out lots of big venues worldwide, Divine Comedy wouldn't sell out my local theartre.
I know it was Fairports 50th last year and the Fairport related line up was very good with RT ect but the rest of the line up was poor, in my opinion, compared to this year.



Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Tony Smith on August 12, 2018, 11:32:05 PM
I was under the impression that the "Thursday Headline Act" was announced late in the day because the preferred act had backed out. Any idea if this was true and if so who was the preferred act?
Tony


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Gouty (Gary) on August 12, 2018, 11:43:00 PM

I kind of have the opposite view to some of those expressed here.

I think Cropredy has made a rod for its own back. The economics of putting on a festival of that size have forced it into a cycle of trying to book a big name for Thursday night (and sometimes Friday night) to subsidise the rest of the weekend. I agree that this booking policy needs to change but first of all they need to decide what they want Cropredy to be, a big generic festival or an event centred around a celebration of Fairport or perhaps more importantly at this point, their legacy.

My view is that they should back away from the policy of insuring the festival with a big name and instead change the economic model by reducing its scale and cost. They need to look at the many, successful smaller festivals for their business model. Cut max attendance to something between 5000-7500. Book acts that appeal to Fairport's demographic and the wider and younger folk and folk-rock audience and maybe ditch the Thursday.

Instead of asking, who do we need to book to sell 15,000 weekend tickets, ask how many people would be prepared to buy tickets for Fairport/folk-rock centric event and scope the festival around that. Yes it may mean a smaller stage, less than half as many vendors and food concessions, perhaps less business for the wider village and community but it would hopefully find its audience and still at least break even.


Al, I agree 100% with every word you have written here but, in particular, the sections I’ve highlighted articulate perfectly the thoughts I’ve had over the last few years at Cropredy (my most recent attendances were in 2012, 2014 and 2017, by the way).

I’m not about  to argue Colin’s point that it used to be much bigger because I don’t have statistics to hand but, having been to Cropredy 27 times in all, I remember it feeling smaller years ago in the sense that it was so much more about Fairport, their history and their associates. It just felt more intimate, somehow.

It grew organically out of loyalty to a much loved band. No-one can predict the future and I’d love it if Simon’s notion that there might still be a Fairport in another 50 years were realised. But for that to happen and for an annual reunion to remain viable, I think a scaling back might be better than a sudden implosion.




Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Andy on August 13, 2018, 12:21:01 AM

 I heard three at least say, "I've always wanted to play here" from the stage this year.


I'm convinced that statement is contractual, having heard it from several artists who have never heard of Cropredy, up to and including Al Jardine on Thursday night, who described FCC as "festival" because he couldnn't remember the name.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Bernie on August 13, 2018, 12:34:49 AM
Gub Gubs  attitude towards our festival is imho appalling. Who is going to travel 165 miles to a festival for just two days? Putting tents up, taking down etc especially with older people and mobility allowances. To make it smaller just seems ridiculous. I also agree with many people on here.. that people who do not attend the festival anyway...why are they criticising or just coming in with an opinion...they were not there. !!!



Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: davidmjs on August 13, 2018, 06:48:12 AM
I can see so much about how modern day politics has become in this little conversation.  Who has the right to an opinion?  Absolutely everybloodyone (as long as they're not abusive)...especially someone who has been going to Cropredy for many many years and who is disappointed with how it has since changed beyond all recognition.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Adam on August 13, 2018, 07:35:09 AM
Here’s my thoughts:
1. I don’t think that the ‘vibe’ of the festival has changed in the 30 yrs that I’ve attended. I love the fact you can take your own food and drink in, and that the crowd are a lovely bunch. The growth of the ‘fringe’ is a great addition to the overall experience.

2. What has changed is the focus. The whole festival used to be based around Fairport, but I doubt that was going to be sustainable in the long term. Everyone is getting older, the number of ex-members to make surprise appearances on the stage lessens, and you can see Fairport at least twice a year on other tours. Without ex-members or special guests associated with the band, it is difficult to differentiate the Cropredy set from Wintour, although the Sandy spot was (partially) enjoyable this year..

3. The festival is owned by Fairport Convention Ltd (directors Simon, Peggy and Gareth). You can get a copy of the latest accounts from Companies House for a couple of quid if you want to see how much they make (although it feels a bit sneaky to me). My bet is that they will sell the Festival in the next few years as a going concern.

4. I love Al’s idea of a smaller more focused festival, but I think the route they’ll take is the more generic scaled one. As long as the vibe as I see it continues, so will my attendance.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: David W on August 13, 2018, 07:46:13 AM
Personally I thought the whole line up this year looked poor which is why I chose to to shell out for a ticket. I had no interest in any of the headliners it felt that they had thrown the cash to get Wilson and had nowt left for the undercard, how many men with acoustic guitars are needed on any given day ? Indeed the reviews so far indicate that, did anyone see Eric Sedge for instance?

I would like to see more diverse musc at Cropredy, Le Vent and the Afro Celts seem to have gone down very well because they offered something out of the ordinary.

DW


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Nick Reg on August 13, 2018, 07:59:50 AM

I was under the impression that the "Thursday Headline Act" was announced late in the day because the preferred act had backed out. Any idea if this was true and if so who was the preferred act?
Tony
I overheard someone saying it was Mott. How true who knows. I would have loved both!


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on August 13, 2018, 08:31:11 AM

Gub Gubs  attitude towards our festival is imho appalling. Who is going to travel 165 miles to a festival for just two days? Putting tents up, taking down etc especially with older people and mobility allowances. To make it smaller just seems ridiculous. I also agree with many people on here.. that people who do not attend the festival anyway...why are they criticising or just coming in with an opinion...they were not there. !!!




Good point. It takes me 2 1/2 hours driving to get to Cropredy and if it’s only for 2 days, the acts would have to be really appealing to me to make it worthwhile. Like it or not, for most people this means there would have to be a high proportion of big/legendary acts. This would push costs up so the economic advantage would be diminished especially with a lower level of fee paying attendees


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: David W on August 13, 2018, 08:38:10 AM

Gub Gubs  attitude towards our festival is imho appalling. Who is going to travel 165 miles to a festival for just two days? Putting tents up, taking down etc especially with older people and mobility allowances. To make it smaller just seems ridiculous. I also agree with many people on here.. that people who do not attend the festival anyway...why are they criticising or just coming in with an opinion...they were not there. !!!




And therein lies the problem - whatever folks think it is not "our festival" it is a commercial concern which operates on that basis. For many years it was a two day festival and nobody minded travelling to attend and I am sorry but apart from basic access issues - which are dealt with pretty well as far as I know - there is no relevance to older people having to put up tents etc, simply not part of the same argument.

DW


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: hendo (Dave) on August 13, 2018, 08:54:34 AM
I am hesitating to write as I wasn't there this year but.....
Those of us who attended regularly know it was a two day fest, it was much smaller, it was Fairport centric.
Fairport's core audience would not fill a fest now. Tempis Fugit.
I completely understand why the fest has changed,why it had to ,  it started to happen when Peggy and Christine divorced and it stopped being a big........very big Village Green Festival.
You cannot go back 25 years Al.
I still have a 93 T shirt that proclaims the line up as
Fairport Convention
Richard and Danny Thompson
Leningrad Cowboys
Clarion
Vikki Clayton
Martin Barre Band
Stock tons Wing
Robin Williamson
The Buttermountain Boys
Fallen Angels
With Bobby Bragg and Geoff Hughes as compères.
I don't see a line up like that pulling a huge audience these days.
The other factor is the expedential growth of small folky ( and not so folky fests) some advertised nationally, over 300 on the Folk pages this year and a lot of small local fests pulling very good line ups, Folk in a Field, Farmer Phils, Folk on the Farm, New Forest Folk Fest and I even include Folk East as examples!
So you can't go back. I voted with my feet and stopped going cos it wasn't how I remember my halcyon days of Cropredy but I am a Luddite and an old f**t.
At a small fest we were playing yesterday, WOODFEST, I picked up an album by a singer Andy Griffiths which is just beautiful.
It is these finds that make fests special for me ,,,,,,,I can think back to several ' discoveries' I made at Cropredy.
Hope you found one this year .


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Jim on August 13, 2018, 08:56:11 AM

I don't get the people thinking that last years line was better than this years. Come on, Brian Wilson compared to Devine Comedy !!!!!!!!!!! I've read all the comments about Brian, BUT, he is a legend and would sell out lots of big venues worldwide, Divine Comedy wouldn't sell out my local theartre.
I know it was Fairports 50th last year and the Fairport related line up was very good with RT ect but the rest of the line up was poor, in my opinion, compared to this year.





You didnt love the DIVINE Comedy?
Pearls before swine.😢


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Jim on August 13, 2018, 08:57:48 AM

I was under the impression that the "Thursday Headline Act" was announced late in the day because the preferred act had backed out. Any idea if this was true and if so who was the preferred act?
Tony


The Beach Boys


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: David W on August 13, 2018, 08:59:38 AM


I don't get the people thinking that last years line was better than this years. Come on, Brian Wilson compared to Devine Comedy !!!!!!!!!!! I've read all the comments about Brian, BUT, he is a legend and would sell out lots of big venues worldwide, Divine Comedy wouldn't sell out my local theartre.
I know it was Fairports 50th last year and the Fairport related line up was very good with RT ect but the rest of the line up was poor, in my opinion, compared to this year.



You didnt love the DIVINE Comedy?
Pearls before swine.😢


Who did a pretty good job of selling out the O2 Institute in Birmingham when I saw then in November.

DW


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: barryanorak (Julian) on August 13, 2018, 10:16:11 AM
Attendance was noticeably down, there was a lot more room on the field - how much of an impact has the 'Fringe' had on the numbers - it does seem to have taken on a life of its own in the last few years...


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: barton cobbler on August 13, 2018, 10:42:59 AM



I don't get the people thinking that last years line was better than this years. Come on, Brian Wilson compared to Devine Comedy !!!!!!!!!!! I've read all the comments about Brian, BUT, he is a legend and would sell out lots of big venues worldwide, Divine Comedy wouldn't sell out my local theartre.
I know it was Fairports 50th last year and the Fairport related line up was very good with RT ect but the rest of the line up was poor, in my opinion, compared to this year.



You didnt love the DIVINE Comedy?
Pearls before swine.😢


Who did a pretty good job of selling out the O2 Institute in Birmingham when I saw then in November.

DW

But, with respect, that's a 2000 capacity venue and you think they did well to sell it out.
Some people I know always ask "who is on " when I mention I'm going to Cropredy and last year, when I said Divine Comedy more than one person came back with "never heard of them"
  Everyone has different tastes and if you like DC fair play, the point I made is that they are not an "Headline" band.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: David W on August 13, 2018, 10:54:50 AM


But, with respect, that's a 2000 capacity venue and you think they did well to sell it out.
Some people I know always ask "who is on " when I mention I'm going to Cropredy and last year, when I said Divine Comedy more than one person came back with "never heard of them"
  Everyone has different tastes and if you like DC fair play, the point I made is that they are not an "Headline" band.


If a band is selling out mid size venues - 2000 ish - I would argue that makes them a perfect for for a Cropredy headline, Alice and Madness aside the Thursday headliners have been right in that ballpark:

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Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Penguin (Dunc) on August 13, 2018, 11:45:53 AM

Gub Gubs  attitude towards our festival is imho appalling. Who is going to travel 165 miles to a festival for just two days? Putting tents up, taking down etc especially with older people and mobility allowances. To make it smaller just seems ridiculous. I also agree with many people on here.. that people who do not attend the festival anyway...why are they criticising or just coming in with an opinion...they were not there. !!!


Did this for the first 7 years I went to Cropredy until it became a three day even in 2000.

Still actually do this for the wonderful 2-day Moonbeams Festival in July, but it's only a hundred mile round trip though!  :)


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: GubGub (Al) on August 13, 2018, 01:04:31 PM

Gub Gubs  attitude towards our festival is imho appalling. Who is going to travel 165 miles to a festival for just two days? Putting tents up, taking down etc especially with older people and mobility allowances. To make it smaller just seems ridiculous. I also agree with many people on here.. that people who do not attend the festival anyway...why are they criticising or just coming in with an opinion...they were not there. !!!




Apalling? Really?  ::)

Anyway, the answer to your question is, historically, plenty of people. Cropredy was a two day festival for many, many years and was well attended during that period.



You cannot go back 25 years Al.



I am not suggesting that at all Dave. I possibly wasn't clear but what I am proposing is that it should be a modern festival with a focussed music policy (growing out of Fairport's legacy but clearly the band themselves can be longer be the primary commercial draw), catering to a more specific demographic without having to appeal to a mass popular audience. Something like Shrewsbury may be the model or the late lamented Big Session.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Wandering Steve on August 13, 2018, 02:25:04 PM
The facts are the years that sell out are because they have top notch headline acts.
The other mix of acts and fairport of course is fine but if the headliners are poor the attendance is down.
Get the headliners right you have a sellout
Get it wrong and you don’t.
The facts are 12-15,000 will turn up come what may,even if the line up is top heavy with acoustic folk acts.
Do the job right with proper headline acts and a decent mix of music with the emphasis on folk (around 50/50) and you sell out.

At the end of the day the paying customer votes with their feet and dictates whether the festival will be a success and the customer is always right.

If the job is done properly cropredy would sell out EVERY year.
I have absolutely no doubt about that.
The customers ARE out there as has been proven it just needs getting the job done correctly.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: johnmitch93 on August 13, 2018, 03:59:48 PM



But, with respect, that's a 2000 capacity venue and you think they did well to sell it out.
Some people I know always ask "who is on " when I mention I'm going to Cropredy and last year, when I said Divine Comedy more than one person came back with "never heard of them"
  Everyone has different tastes and if you like DC fair play, the point I made is that they are not an "Headline" band.


If a band is selling out mid size venues - 2000 ish - I would argue that makes them a perfect for for a Cropredy headline, Alice and Madness aside the Thursday headliners have been right in that ballpark:

Alice was fantastic - a superb Thursday choice...!

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Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: stevegayton on August 13, 2018, 07:48:41 PM
TBH I like it when it doesn't sell out. The field is easier to navigate and the campsite seems friendlier. When Alice Cooper played and it sold out the Thursday was pretty chaotic and the campsite was rammed. It was fun to see all the aging hippies and I count myself in that group, staring in wonder and bewilderment at the people dressed up as Alice complete with face paint. After Thursday they all seemed to melt away and there were a lot of empty plots on the campsite When it sells out because of a Fairport reason then you're really talking, it's a chance to see all the familiar old faces up on stage and around the field and the set list is often fantastic. Listen to What we did on our Saturday which for me is one of the best Fairport CD's for ages.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Sue & Chris on August 13, 2018, 11:54:37 PM

The facts are the years that sell out are because they have top notch headline acts.
The other mix of acts and fairport of course is fine but if the headliners are poor the attendance is down.
Get the headliners right you have a sellout
Get it wrong and you don’t.
The facts are 12-15,000 will turn up come what may,even if the line up is top heavy with acoustic folk acts.
Do the job right with proper headline acts and a decent mix of music with the emphasis on folk (around 50/50) and you sell out.

At the end of the day the paying customer votes with their feet and dictates whether the festival will be a success and the customer is always right.

If the job is done properly cropredy would sell out EVERY year.
I have absolutely no doubt about that.
The customers ARE out there as has been proven it just needs getting the job done correctly.


Sorry, but it's just not true that 'top notch headline acts' lead to sell outs. Fairport anniversary/reunion years lead to sell outs. Pretty much nothing else does. I can recall maybe one non-anniversary/reunion year that sold out, and I'm not even sure about that.

I agree that line up is important, but I don't think it's just a matter of getting a 'top' headliner (a completely subjective thing anyway) and the rest will automatically follow.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: davidmjs on August 14, 2018, 06:42:11 AM


Gub Gubs  attitude towards our festival is imho appalling. Who is going to travel 165 miles to a festival for just two days? Putting tents up, taking down etc especially with older people and mobility allowances. To make it smaller just seems ridiculous. I also agree with many people on here.. that people who do not attend the festival anyway...why are they criticising or just coming in with an opinion...they were not there. !!!




Apalling? Really?  ::)

Anyway, the answer to your question is, historically, plenty of people. Cropredy was a two day festival for many, many years and was well attended during that period.



You cannot go back 25 years Al.



I am not suggesting that at all Dave. I possibly wasn't clear but what I am proposing is that it should be a modern festival with a focussed music policy (growing out of Fairport's legacy but clearly the band themselves can be longer be the primary commercial draw), catering to a more specific demographic without having to appeal to a mass popular audience. Something like Shrewsbury may be the model or the late lamented Big Session.


It can't do that because it is both physically and 'spiritually' tied to the one stage, static audience model....which really doesn't fit into the modern concept of what a festival 'is'.  I still think it should return to its original modus operandi.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: hendo (Dave) on August 14, 2018, 07:21:13 AM
It is arguable that Cropredy is no longer one stage.
The rise of the fringe and particularly the very strong line up the Brasenose put on this year, effectively produces 3 stages. It is a no longer walk from the field to the fringe than it is between stages at larger fests.
Interesting to read reviews where people have said I missed so and so as I went to watch , Merry Hell, Clarion etc.
The fringe also attracts a separate audience that is not there to see Fairport's  , does not necessarily  have the same vibe as the main field, so the fringe becomes a more raucous scene affecting the village and villagers in a different way to how they have accepted the main festival over the last 40 years


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: GubGub (Al) on August 14, 2018, 10:19:11 AM



Gub Gubs  attitude towards our festival is imho appalling. Who is going to travel 165 miles to a festival for just two days? Putting tents up, taking down etc especially with older people and mobility allowances. To make it smaller just seems ridiculous. I also agree with many people on here.. that people who do not attend the festival anyway...why are they criticising or just coming in with an opinion...they were not there. !!!




Apalling? Really?  ::)

Anyway, the answer to your question is, historically, plenty of people. Cropredy was a two day festival for many, many years and was well attended during that period.



You cannot go back 25 years Al.



I am not suggesting that at all Dave. I possibly wasn't clear but what I am proposing is that it should be a modern festival with a focussed music policy (growing out of Fairport's legacy but clearly the band themselves can be longer be the primary commercial draw), catering to a more specific demographic without having to appeal to a mass popular audience. Something like Shrewsbury may be the model or the late lamented Big Session.


It can't do that because it is both physically and 'spiritually' tied to the one stage, static audience model....which really doesn't fit into the modern concept of what a festival 'is'.  I still think it should return to its original modus operandi.


I think the principle could still be applied to a single stage set up. Just a smaller stage/arena.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Wandering Steve on August 14, 2018, 12:44:52 PM


The facts are the years that sell out are because they have top notch headline acts.
The other mix of acts and fairport of course is fine but if the headliners are poor the attendance is down.
Get the headliners right you have a sellout
Get it wrong and you don’t.
The facts are 12-15,000 will turn up come what may,even if the line up is top heavy with acoustic folk acts.
Do the job right with proper headline acts and a decent mix of music with the emphasis on folk (around 50/50) and you sell out.

At the end of the day the paying customer votes with their feet and dictates whether the festival will be a success and the customer is always right.

If the job is done properly cropredy would sell out EVERY year.
I have absolutely no doubt about that.
The customers ARE out there as has been proven it just needs getting the job done correctly.


Sorry, but it's just not true that 'top notch headline acts' lead to sell outs. Fairport anniversary/reunion years lead to sell outs. Pretty much nothing else does. I can recall maybe one non-anniversary/reunion year that sold out, and I'm not even sure about that.

I agree that line up is important, but I don't think it's just a matter of getting a 'top' headliner (a completely subjective thing anyway) and the rest will automatically follow.

I was under the impression the Alice cooper year and madness year were sell outs,or close too.
One things for sure they certainly attracted more attendees than this years poor turn out.
From memory neither were fairport anniversary’s either.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Tony Mc on August 14, 2018, 01:52:22 PM
The year Jools Holland played it was packed on the Thursday but noticeably quieter Friday and Saturday, which suggest people paid in full just to see him. I hate it when the field is so packed you can't move, so quieter the better for me.
We made the disastrous decision to just do the fringes this year. What a failure. It was like licking the sweet shop window and not being allowed in (especially when we were turned away from field 8!). Having said that, I do think the festival is now becoming just another festival and moving away from the Fairport celebration it was meant to be. They compete with far more events throughout the summer than 25 years ago, certainly I don't remember so many festivals going on. If you want to win customers you need the big names, or crowd pleasers...I suggest Kaiser Chiefs, or Simple Minds would do it (for those who want Percy, he is old hat as well these days, the youngsters don't know him...Brian Wislon drew a blank with some of my younger friends)!


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on August 14, 2018, 02:37:09 PM
All these various suggestions as to what Cropredy should or shouldn’t be and what it could or couldn’t do to change things....Can it just continue please as I believe most people still enjoy it. I know economics dictate but I don’t think it should be turned into a competition with other festivals


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: jude on August 14, 2018, 02:40:00 PM

All these various suggestions as to what Cropredy should or shouldn’t be and what it could or couldn’t do to change things....Can it just continue please as I believe most people still enjoy it. I know economics dictate but I don’t think it should be turned into a competition with other festivals

hear hear


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: GubGub (Al) on August 14, 2018, 02:49:13 PM

All these various suggestions as to what Cropredy should or shouldn’t be and what it could or couldn’t do to change things....Can it just continue please as I believe most people still enjoy it. I know economics dictate but I don’t think it should be turned into a competition with other festivals


*Cough* Discussion forum. *Cough*

Whatever any of us say here will not make one iota of difference to future plans for the festival but surely we are allowed to have the conversation. That is, after all, the point of this place.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: David W on August 14, 2018, 03:06:01 PM
The comments on what Cropredy's core numbers here are I guess about right. There will always be 10 - 12,000 sold whatever the line up based on Cropredy / Fairport diehards and the Oxfordshire / Northants / Warwickshire population who will attend because they want to go to a festival and it is the nearest. The art is turning that 12,000 into 18,000 with the right line up especially headliners.

It sounds as if this year they didn't quite get it right. Brian Wilson is touring pretty extensively so why go to a fest when you can see him in your backyard? Levellers fans will be going to Beautiful Days which has a pretty stellar line up this year. Other than that there is of course the unknown of the weather, if the warm dry spell had continued I may well have decided on the Thursday morning to throw a tent in the car and make a weekend of it, or even bought a ticket for just the Saturday but not to spend a day getting cold and damp I'm afraid.

I also think the mid bill acts didn't have much draw this year - like them or not Marillion will bring a fan base, equally the likes of Big Country, Saw Doctors, Horslips will add maybe 1,000 or more for Saturday ticket sales in a way the Afro Celts won't.

I certainly wouldn't want to be the one do do all the maths on this though, I hope that despite seemingly low numbers Cropredy bounces back next year better than ever with a line up to bring joy to the heart and the ears.

DW


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on August 14, 2018, 03:06:51 PM


All these various suggestions as to what Cropredy should or shouldn’t be and what it could or couldn’t do to change things....Can it just continue please as I believe most people still enjoy it. I know economics dictate but I don’t think it should be turned into a competition with other festivals


*Cough* Discussion forum. *Cough*

Whatever any of us say here will not make one iota of difference to future plans for the festival but surely we are allowed to have the conversation. That is, after all, the point of this place.


Yes and all I am doing is making my own point. As you say it is a conversation. Am I not allowed to participate? I’m not telling anyone to stop making suggestions, I’m just saying that I want the festival to continue as I enjoy it


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Albie on August 14, 2018, 03:14:40 PM

The year Jools Holland played it was packed on the Thursday but noticeably quieter Friday and Saturday, which suggest people paid in full just to see him. I hate it when the field is so packed you can't move, so quieter the better for me.
We made the disastrous decision to just do the fringes this year. What a failure. It was like licking the sweet shop window and not being allowed in (especially when we were turned away from field 8!). Having said that, I do think the festival is now becoming just another festival and moving away from the Fairport celebration it was meant to be. They compete with far more events throughout the summer than 25 years ago, certainly I don't remember so many festivals going on. If you want to win customers you need the big names, or crowd pleasers...I suggest Kaiser Chiefs, or Simple Minds would do it (for those who want Percy, he is old hat as well these days, the youngsters don't know him...Brian Wislon drew a blank with some of my younger friends)!


He went down well at Bearded the other week, with peeps of all ages as far as I could tell. As did Jimmy Cliff btw, the young 'uns by me were singing along with the crowd-pleasing hits as were the old farts. Ditto the Monkees and Beatles tributes I have seen in recent years.

I think some of these young blighters know a lot more music than we often give them credit for. Video games and films feature all sorts for instance.

I'd be happy with Simple Minds though, haven't seen them since 1984.  :)




Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: GubGub (Al) on August 14, 2018, 03:32:37 PM



All these various suggestions as to what Cropredy should or shouldn’t be and what it could or couldn’t do to change things....Can it just continue please as I believe most people still enjoy it. I know economics dictate but I don’t think it should be turned into a competition with other festivals


*Cough* Discussion forum. *Cough*

Whatever any of us say here will not make one iota of difference to future plans for the festival but surely we are allowed to have the conversation. That is, after all, the point of this place.



Yes and all I am doing is making my own point. As you say it is a conversation. Am I not allowed to participate? I’m not telling anyone to stop making suggestions, I’m just saying that I want the festival to continue as I enjoy it


Apologies for misunderstanding your post Chris and fair point but there are clearly a few people here who don't want the conversation to tale place.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Collstoke (Ian) on August 15, 2018, 12:45:16 PM
We had planned to attend our 4th Cropredy this year, and bring along a couple of friends for their first.
But the line up put us off. It's not a cheap weekend, so the bands need to be a big enough draw to make it financially worthwhile.
This year, they weren't even close. Hopefully, next year will be better.


Title: Re: Attendance
Post by: Suzanne on August 15, 2018, 05:30:25 PM
Yet, weirdly, I can recall comments on social media about last year's Festival stating that it was "too folky" and "revolved around Fairport Convention members". ??? ???  

I have a feeling that any organiser of any Festival is never going to please every single person.