[FAR-West] The Younger Generation

catdoggle at aol.com catdoggle at aol.com
Thu Nov 12 01:01:18 EST 2009

Nicely said, Andrew!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Heringer <andrew at andrewheringer.com>
To: Folk Alliance Region West Coast <farwest at folk.org>
Sent: Wed, Nov 11, 2009 4:34 pm
Subject: [FAR-West] The Younger Generation

As part of the "younger generation" of Far-West attendees, I know that a lot
of younger artists don't attend the conferences purely due to financial
limitations. Both before and after the conference, I had reactions from
other young performers saying "you are spending how much to do what?"
Obviously if you play showcases, go to workshops and really work to be
social and network, the conference can be a fantastic way to meet new people
(presenters and artists). But a lot of younger performers either simply
can't put down the money or don't understand the benefit in what this kind
of conference can do.

This was my first year at the conference - I had heard mention of it a
couple of times - but it took some friends of mine who had been to Far-West
previously to push me and say "you should really go to this." Without that
push - I am not sure that I would have gone. I think those of us who have
been to the Far-West conference need to be ones spreading the word and
encouraging those who might not understand the experience. It's intimidating
at first - especially going your first year not knowing what to expect. I
sent many a "HELP ME" email to my far-west mentors in the weeks before the

Part of the reaction from peers has also been the "Folk" term. I have really
appreciated what has gone around today on the list about "What Folk music
is" but I think a lot younger artists don't see there music fitting in the
folk category. Like Joe Craven said on saturday - there is pre-conceived
prejudice with certain styles of music. And honestly, I really wasn't sure
how/if my music would fit into the conference either as I consider myself
more of a modern singer-songwriter. As Erik wrote on the list earlier - if
you view modern folk as Iron & Wine, Ben Harper, Kings of Convenience, etc.
- I feel like a belong.

Part of what I loved about the conference this weekend was that though there
was a wide variety of music styles - the performers always had a story to
tell. For me that STORY is what makes folk music.

-Andrew Heringer



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