Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Is Folk Week too big?

So the twiddly diddly music is in full swing (or should that be jig?). But is Broadstairs Folk Week getting too big?

Now before everyone gets on their high horse, what I'm trying to say is, has it outgrown itself? Is it in danger of turning into a monster? Every year we hear about how it's "Bigger & Better" and that it "brings business into the town of Broadstairs"

There's no denying that it does seem to get bigger every year but is it really bringing in that business for Broadstairs? Well the answer I believe is yes and no.

If you're a pub or eaterie then yes, it's obvious that your going to have more trade (and a perfect opportunity to get rid of that Garlic Beer that's been sitting in the cellar all year)

But is folk week really bringing in money for a lot of the other businesses? I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm just being cynical but what would visitors to folk week want to get? OK pharmacies might make a little extra with sun creams and insect repellant but I wouldn't have thought that much.

The people I feel sorry for are the ordinary residents of Broadstairs. Now obviously there will be locals who love it and others that don't. Having had to drive through Broadstairs the other day, I couldn't help but notice the rather large amount of cars parked not just in car parks but everywhere. For example, Dumpton Park Drive was a bit like driving on Top Gears Track. So many swerves around cars not parked very well. And what about residential parking? Not everyone has a driveway so they rely on "on street parking" and I'm sure there are plenty that can't park remotely close to their house.

I'm not saying lets get rid of Folk Week. It's part of Thanet and a lot of people look forward to it. But would it be worth their while in taking a breather for a year? After all, Michael Eavis has done this on the odd occasion at Glastonbury and it's done that no harm.

Incidentally, the Garlic Beer was horrid.


Anonymous said...

Too big and self-important!! I hate the week when silly men in pink frocks take over and assume everyone just loves it all. I stopped going and paying good money for gigs when I couldn't hear a thing due to the drunks, the chatterers, the screaming kids who should have been put to bed hours ago. Yes, the pubs do ok, Tesco sees a blip in sales as campers stock up on food but other than that I don't know anyone who sees an increase in trade and, in fact, for some, the trade is down as locals go elsewhere. There is an arrogance among those involved who seem to assume we must all love Morris men and amateur musicians. At least, the Ukrainian dance troupes from Derby don't come any more.

Michael Child said...

My colleagues, competitors or what ever you like to call them who have secondhand bookshops in Broadstairs tell me that it is very good for business indeed. I think the reason is that it is an event that a lot of families, especially those with young children, from the surrounding area go to for the day, we certainly did.

I certainly had a considerable order from the Albion Bookshop to replenish their stock of local history books after last years folk week, sadly as they are closing down soon I don’t expect one this year,

Now to battle with the docs irritating word verification letters, I managed to get one lot into my last comment here, five times it rejected my notion of what the squiggles could mean, quid agis medice?

The Great Daktari said...

Done sir!

Michael Child said...

Well done that man, you can expect a lot more comment, I have tried to get across to the local papers and other bloggers that most people who post coherently have little time to fill in forms, and are already signed on to blogger, for convenience and so that when things get heated other people can’t pretend to be them.