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At the heart of English folk

Artists' Development Conference

The English Folk Dance and Song Society’s (EFDSS) Artists’ Development Conference, at Halsway Manor in April 2013, was the first element delivered within the Aspire Programme.

“Back in Oxford after an insightful and highly enjoyable weekend at @HalswayManor with @TheEFDSS - thank you so much to everyone involved!” Tweet from Megan Henwood (@MeganHenwood), artist

EFDSS took 25 emerging artists, who have appeared on Folk Rising showcase stages, on a residential weekend to spend time with a range of industry professionals as well as their peers. 

The industry professionals involved in the weekend were Mark Anstey (agent, Unique Gravity), Jo Cunningham (freelance press and PR specialist), Bella Hardy (artist), Angharad Jenkins (artist and folk development project manager), Katy Spicer (Chief Executive, EFDSS), Sophia Linehan (Marketing and Communications Director, EFDSS) and Neil Pearson (Artist Development and Programming Manager, EFDSS), together with a presentation from Cristina Riveiros of Music Glue. 

Over the weekend we covered marketing, PR and social media, ticketing and merchandise selling, touring, working with agents and managers, fundraising and being your own business. Bella and Angharad gave presentations on their lives as artists and portfolio careers. Angharad has us all making self-portraits, while Bella left us with the best advice of the weekend: “don’t be a dick!”. 

Although a packed weekend, there was time each evening to chat and chill, and, of course, play music into the wee small hours of the morning.

“Had an amazing time at the #efdssconf thanks to all involved 'twas a privilege!!” Tweet from Sam Kelly (@SamKellyMusic), artist

Read our Storify story, which collates delegate’s responses to the conference  

Take a look at photos of the conference on EFDSS' Flickr 


The Full English

The Full English

Unlocking hidden treasure of England’s cultural heritage. The Full English is the world’s largest free digital archive English folk songs, tunes, dances and customs. Containing more than 58,400 items from 12 of the country’s most important early 20th century folk music collections, you can delve into wherever you are in the world.


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