News and Views

Steve Heap’s Rant

Did you ever feel ignored? Perhaps some festivals were, through the banking crisis of 2009 up to 2013 when the festival industry was going through difficult times. Even when London 2012 was on, the regular festival scene was taking a knock. Grants were impossible. Sponsors focussed on all things Olympic. But most of us managed to survive because we did what we always do. We budgeted accordingly, we cut our cloth and we set achievable targets. The festival scene continues to grow and is good at it.Through those difficult times we still supplied audiences with the arts, we paid into musicians funds through PRS, we still contributed to local and national economies through our customers, and we survived. But we did most of it without receiving any help.Now, with what appears to be an upturn in our fortunes – festivals are reporting good sales and profits in 2014 and some even better in 2015 – there’s a sniff of success in the air. So who are all these people who want a slice of our cake, which we fought so hard to bake and save during the recession years? They didn’t support us when we were in trouble – now we are becoming successful again they all want a piece of the action.

Witness PRS for Music – it has an opportunity to do the right thing. The Valuation Office Agency VOA – somebody has decided that festivals on greenfield sites should be paying business rates. That could cripple, even close down, several events and festivals especially if they pursue the proposed backdating.

We at Furness Tradition have a lot of sympathy for his views. You can read the full article here.



Dan Walsh coming to Ulverston

The 2011 Furness Tradition Festival was, for me, one of the most memorable festivals for many reasons;  not least because all of the music performers were brilliant. Dan Walsh and Will Pound were among those amazing artists.

We are delighted to announce that Dan Walsh will be returning to Ulverston on Wednesday 18 May in the Supper Room at the Coronation Hall.

You can buy tickets here.

Dan has a brand new album ‘Incidents and Accidents’ to be released on 16th March on Rooksmere Records. Here is a preview.

Dan’s web site

Maz O’Connor performing at Forum 28

Maz O’Connor – The Longing Kind Tour

BBC Folk Award nominee Maz O’Connor returns to Forum 28 on Thursday 11 Feb. Accompanied by Laura Cannivick on fiddle and banjo, and John Parker on double bass she will be performing songs form her new album ‘The Longing Kind’, exploring themes of longing, belonging, home, family and identity. The album is released on Feb 26.

Performing a mixture of traditional, re-worked folk songs and her own thoughtful, poetic compositions, Maz accompanies herself on guitar, tenor guitar, piano and shruti box, but it is her uniquely pure voice that really makes her stand out.

‘The Longing Kind Tour’ is a mixture of songs, poems, stories, family memories and some light audience participation. The songs have been crafted into a show that invites the audience to join the musicians on an exploration of nostalgia, youth and what it means to be at home.

Tickets are £10. Phone: 01229 820000.  She plays Staveley Roundhouse near Kendal on the following night 12 February. Tickets are £15.

Latest Local Sessions etc.

Greg Stephens has a session at the Miners in Silecroft Wednesday 6 January starting at 7.30 pm.
Derek Newton has started a folk club at the Railway, Askam which is on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.
Many of you will already know about Taffy Thomas’ Storytelling Club at the Watermill, Ings on the first Tuesday of the month; Nick Hennessey is starting Stealing Thunder Storynights on the 2nd Thursday of every month at Brigsteer Village Hall, LA8 8AL. The first one is on 14 January starting at 7.30 pm. Admission is £8/£7. Take your own beer, cake is provided. For more information tel 01539 568465 or go to

Don’t forget about Furness Tradition music session every Tuesday in the Hope and Anchor, Ulverston, and Alan Garforth’s singers session every 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Black Dog near Dalton.