Wednesday, 25 July 2012

SBA and Guildtown Bluegrass Music Festival: the way ahead

John Sheldon, general secretary of the Scottish Bluegrass Association, announces that after more than forty-five years of involvement with bluegrass, including chairing the BBMA, and more than twenty-five years of organising the Guildtown Bluegrass Music Festival in Scotland, he will be concentrating in future on working more actively with his band Goldrush.

To take over the future organisation of the Guildtown festival, Mark McClymont and his colleagues of the Hellhounds bluegrass band have been chosen, and will become The Rev. Dr Robin Hill, author of a dissertation on bluegrass and also the new mandolinist for Goldrush, will help to organise tour dates for visiting US bands.

In the face of extreme challenges for this year's Guildtown festival (loss of the main sponsorship and the band accommodation and meals provided by it, together with provision against wet weather and other consequential emergencies), feedback from those attending describes it as the best Guildtown festival to date. John Sheldon intends to persuade the Guildtown Village Hall Committee that this year's arrangements should become the standard. He therefore invites comments from everyone concerned with the future of Guildtown, and would like to hear
  • views on this year's event compared to previous experiences;

  • views on whether the price should be increased;

  • views of Scottish bands who supported the festival receiving only complimentary admissions;

  • views on the status of US bands in the event, as well as the link with Czech Republic bands;

  • views on the 'value for money' of Guildtown in comparison with other bluegrass festivals in Britain.