Christmas Presie

A look back on the year past from your President, Ian Bartlett

Well, what a busy and exciting 2007 we have had at the club so I thought I'd take a quick look at the stats for the year. By the time the end of the year comes your Committee will have organised 8 Concert nights, 10 Club Nights and 11 Friday Clubs. We will have been entertained by 24 artists over the year, 10 of whom were members of the Club.

Our Concert Nights were kicked off in January with the eclectic Streetworthy and continued through the year with performances by Compadres, Andy Irvine, Graham Wardrop, Eilean Mor, the Jews Brothers Band, the Gilly Darby Band, and last month the amazing Linn Lorkin with her Kiwiana Show.

In March Bev Young was the first of our Club Night guests. Alan Young, Pitt Ramsay, Maritime Crew, Westumbria, Bob Large and the City of Auckland Morris Dancers were our other guests through the year. Our December guests are the wonderful Fiddleshop Band who wowed the Auckland Folk Festival back in January.

We continued our Theme Nights programming this year with the ever popular Blind Date and a ‘Traddy’ Night. If you didn't attend the Blind Date night you will have missed the fantastic performance by a Blind Date Group who named themselves ‘Mrs Trebleclef is having a Party’. They were one of the many highlights of the year and quite a number of us are hoping to hear them again soon.

When Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies were our Concert Guests way back in February 2006 one of the conditions on their work visa was that they had to have a local artist on the bill as well. Jean Reid did the honours on that occasion and the Committee made a resolution that each time we had a Concert Guest we would always showcase a local artist as a 20 min support act. This year we have been treated to performances from Clive Pearce, Anna Dunwoodie & David Calder, Janet Thompson, Judith McNeill, Frances Dickinson, Chromium Brothers, Graham McGregor & Linda Hefford. Rounding off our Concert Nights this year was Roger White on the bill with Linn Lorkin.

None of this would have happened if it were not for the Committee members giving of their personal time to attend committee meetings, turn up at the Beach Hall to help setup and run the evenings and then clean up afterwards. I worked out the ‘known’ hours that the committee has given this year and it is somewhere in the region of 900 person hours. I know it will be more than that, as I haven't included the time it takes writing the monthly newsletter, time representing the Club at Auckland Folk Festival meetings, time involved in the treasury side of committee - banking, etc.

Nor would the programme be possible without the club members coming along and supporting the artists. Patronage of these events is all important if we are to continue to produce a varied and interesting programme. There are concerns that some of the events we have put on have not attracted the audience that we thought the artist deserved. A few of our Concert Nights and some of the Club Nights had very low turnouts to the extent that we didn't get close to covering the costs on the night. It is obvious that if this trend continues we will have to cut back on the performances we can offer at the Club.

The Committee had to turn away artists who wanted to play at the Club this year, partly because their tours did not coincide with dates that we had booked for the hall. Next year we have added a further 4 Saturdays into the Club Calendar so that we have more flexibility to book artists and again produce a varied programme.

So, while you are relaxing over the Festive Period spare a thought for your club and jot down some thoughts on what events you missed last year and why. Was it because the artist didn't interest you? Was it because the price was too high? Was it lack of time? What does the Club need to do to ensure a full house each night? Whatever you have jotted down, it is important that the Committee knows these things to help them construct a programme that is successful and at least covers the costs. That would be a wonderful Christmas present for us.

Wishing you all you wish for yourselves.

Your President

Ian Bartlett

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Last Update: 2008-03-22