Maldon 2002

Well Maldon went better this year as I booked ahead with my accommodation :)

I played Friday night in Moe and slept in Saturday morning, so I arrived at Maldon about 1:30 pm and set up in front of a shop that sold old wares next door to a cafe that had tables and chairs on the footpath. I asked the owners first if it was all right to play and they said "No worries!" I set up and played slide until I'd played the 2nd last song I knew. This guy comes up to me and says "You have to move!" There have been complaints from other performers that I'm too loud and am interfering with their performance. Now I'm a little confused. I look around and see no one else close by. I ask this man "Can I play one more song?" He says "OK!" I play the song and am asked to play another by a patron of the festival. This song is just me and my slide. I play a few bars and the same man appears and says strongly "You said one more, you've played that, this is more than we agreed to!" He motioned with his head the general direction of where I should go. I still couldn't see who I was upsetting. I packed up and had a look around. In a cafe next door there was a guy inside playing guitar and singing. Was that the source of the problem? I went inside the shop I was playing in front of and thanked them for letting me play. They replied "Anytime! We enjoyed your music." Go figure.

Set up Sunday morning North of where I was yesterday and played without any interference from the 'The Man!'. I'd set up under a veranda to protect me from the elements and it looked like a great choice until I noticed that every 15 minutes or so it smelt like I was at a sewerage farm. I was not the only one to notice this, patrons did too and promptly moved on. Ah the buskers task. I played until about 4:00 and called it quites. All of the action was closer to town.

One other thing had me confused. As I was playing I noticed a band set up exactly where I was yesterday. They weren't asked to 'Move One'. I wonder why?

All that said, it was good to catch up with the friends I've made over the years and have a chat with them. I sold quite a few CD's this year and am looking forward to their comments either via e-mail or next years festival. One of the people who bought all 3 CD's offered me a spot in front of his shop after I was 'Moved On'. I thanked him for his offer, but that site wasn't much better, being just a few doors the wrong way :(

On a Jovial note, a juggler asked me if I minded having him do his act to my music. I said I didn't mind so on and off through the day he'd come along a did his little routine. We all have to start somewhere.

More information: I contacted the Maldon Folk Festival and was informed that the cafe next door was the registered venue that I disrupted. Three registered performers and numerous patrons in the cafe had complained. If I'd been able to identify the cafe as a venue I would have set up somewhere else. I'll be more careful next year.

Even more information: I asked Hamish Davidson for a copy of the official festival brochure and tried to work out who the artists I'd upset were. The artists on a Cafe Maldon were in order of appearance:Nick Charles, Judy (of Daggy Songs fame), Tunes From The Border and Bruce Watson. I know that's four artists, so I assume one of them didn't complain :)

Postscript: This was the last time I attended the festival! I felt comfortable busking here, but, that's clearly changed. This was my favourite place to perform at. I'm sad!