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NEWSLETTER 4 - Date August 24th 2008

‘The Gathering that you’re in and not just at’

FolkWIZZ and 10th Birthday coming up!

Greetings all!

Here’s the latest on Frances Gathering… yes, it is our first newsletter since the last Gathering but fear not… we have been busy. Well, first, a look back… A year ago our new Coordinating Group said this in the newsletter:

“…the one strong message we hear from everyone is just what we’d expect - “Keep Frances the same”. We will do our very best! We have every intention to keep the Frances flame alight - to keep the friendliness and the mix and the quality. In the end it’s what we all make it that matters”.

So how did we do in '08? If all the invaluable feedback we got (thanks everyone – we reviewed every message and questionnaire we received) is anything to go by it was a BIG thumbs-up. Keep Frances the same we will – you betcha! All you have to do is keep on coming, keep spreading the word and chip in with your contribution.

Of course there were some gripes and plenty of suggestions that we’ve taken on board so hopefully things will be even better for the very special 10 birthday Gathering. Keep your suggestions coming and, as ever, think about how you can help. We need all sorts of people for all sorts of jobs. Some work is all-year-round, some short-term, and there are dozens of things to do over the weekend itself.

So here are some key dates:

And there’s some more FANTASTIC NEWS!!! Have you seen the new website???

Here’s where you go: http://francesfolkgathering.com.au

Thanks to all who’ve contributed suggestions for improving the site and special thanks to Tony Schick who’s taken on this huge task and generated a great result. Also, all you photographers, thanks for your patience. Check the website out and keep an eye on it for ongoing developments – especially competitions and workshop pages for those who want to compete/present.

Frances remains FREE!

This happens in two ways. First, there are what amounts to thousands of volunteer hours. What shape does your contribution take? Second, we have to raise money – in three general ways – our own fundraisers (like FolkWIZZ), getting grants (an increasingly difficult and competitive business), and seeking sponsorship. Please think about what you can do – on the weekend, or during the year - and get in touch through our volunteers page on the website.

Spreading the word.

Please do all you can to spread the word about Frances – we continue to work hard to engage ‘FutureFolk’ – beginners and emerging talent - as well as provide a great atmosphere for those who know the ropes. Forward this newsletter to friends and be assured of this promise - in using email (in correspondence or for the newsletter) we will always respect privacy and will not make your details available to anyone.

2009 Birthday programme and projects

Of course we’ll have the usual smorgasbord of staple fare at the Gathering – yes we’ll look after the blackboards, open concerts and (we hope to have) more space for sessions for all the participants, there’ll be workshops and competitions and great FutureFolk action, and poetry and dance (what a ripper the bush dance was this year – never seen one with a 36-piece orchestra before!) and a couple of invited guests to inspire us, and more too…We’ve a couple of projects afoot to capture the spirit of Frances in different ways, so:

All suggestions for any of the above please email: info@francesfolkgathering.com.au

Cheers one and all – keep well and we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Steve Keirl
on behalf of the Frances Folk Gathering Coordinating Group.