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Author Topic: Attendance  (Read 7299 times)
Bingers (Chris)
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« Reply #20 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.... †Undecided

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 thatís interesting! I agree about upping the levels. Iím a sad individual who doesnít Ďdoí camping but  already booked the hotel for next yearís Croppers but on a provisional basis with no monies involved. That means I can wait for the line-up announcement, assuming it isnít as late as this year, before deciding whether to attend or not. However could just attend the fringe gigs so will watch with interest
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« Reply #21 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.
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« Reply #22 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! 🤔
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« Reply #23 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.
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GubGub (Al)
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« Reply #24 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.
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« Reply #25 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.
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« Reply #26 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.
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« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2018, 10:15:27 PM »

Al, if the festival shrinks as you suggest, wouldnít it remove all our fun on anticipating who will be the Ďbig actsí 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
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« Reply #28 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.
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« Reply #29 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.
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« Reply #30 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.

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« Reply #31 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
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« Reply #32 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 Iíve highlighted articulate perfectly the thoughts Iíve had over the last few years at Cropredy (my most recent attendances were in 2012, 2014 and 2017, by the way).

Iím not about  to argue Colinís point that it used to be much bigger because I donít 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 Iíd love it if Simonís 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.


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« Reply #33 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.
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« Reply #34 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. !!!

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« Reply #35 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.
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« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2018, 07:35:09 AM »

Hereís my thoughts:
1. I donít think that the Ďvibeí of the festival has changed in the 30 yrs that Iíve 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 Ďfringeí 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 Alís idea of a smaller more focused festival, but I think the route theyíll take is the more generic scaled one. As long as the vibe as I see it continues, so will my attendance.
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« Reply #37 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
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« Reply #38 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!
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« Reply #39 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 itís 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
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