The University of Sheffield
6 files

Access Folk Summary analyses: Consulting Group

posted on 2024-06-04, 12:07 authored by Fay HieldFay Hield, Ruairidh Greig, Esbjorn WettermarkEsbjorn Wettermark, Oliver Cross, Roary Skaista, Paul Cross, Sarah LloydSarah Lloyd

Access Folk is a research project exploring ways to increase and diversify participation in folk singing in England. Like many in the arts, the folk scene is facing hardship because the impacts of covid-19 and the current economic climate are affecting venues, organisers, amateur and professional singers, and audience members alike. These issues, combined with the ageing of many of the scene’s key activists, raises questions about how the folk singing scene in England might develop over the coming decades. At University of Sheffield, a team of academic and community partners are looking into the current problems and testing potential solutions. The five-year project (2022-2027) hopes to prompt action to help increase accessibility to folk singing for more diverse populations in England.

This collection of analyses presents a views and experiences gathered through the first phase of Access Folk through a process we call the Consulting Group. The purpose of the Consulting Group was to gather current issues faced by different sectors of society when accessing folk singing in England in order to inform our future research. We began by identifying six areas where it seemed that access to folk singing might be problematic. Informed by the protected characteristics categories from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2010), and Arts Council England (2021), our six chosen themes are – Belief, Politics & Religion; Disability; Gender & Sexuality; Race & Ethnicity; Age; and Class & Socio-Economic Background. Each group looked at the access issues for their specific area in relation to folk singing participation. We tried to be as inclusive and open as possible so that we can include anything that those taking part in the research consider to be folk singing in England in our definition – otherwise we felt we would be risking policing the boundaries before we even started the research.

This submission includes 6 data packs includes summary reports which were commissioned by attendees from the listed Consulting Groups, associated Focus Groups and individual consultation. Reports have been edited as needed and names have been removed where anonymity was requested through consent forms or direct request.

These analyses fed into the Accessing Folk Singing in England research report (2022) and Access Folk Podcast series (2023), which involved co-researchers reflecting on the report.

The Consulting Group method was approved by the University of Sheffield ethical review process: number 19926.

All the available items arising from the project are available in the Access Folk Collection.


Defining ethnomusicological Action Research through the regeneration of English folk clubs

UK Research and Innovation

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