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Folk Festival In The Sun

CDF-Mallorca2016_009_MikeHardingFor many years (26 to be precise) Enjoy Travel has been organising music and dance events abroad, mainly in Spain and Portugal but also in many other equally exotic destinations around the world.  For example, we have run our events in Greece, in Egypt, Australia, and New Zealand, United States of America and of course here at home in the UK and also in Ireland.  As a matter of fact, we have even played music, sang songs and danced in Fiji!   The question has been asked several times over the last couple of years – “WHY HAS THIS TYPE OF FOLK FESTIVAL NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE?” The answer is, as Mike Harding has said: “NOBODY KNOWS BUT, WE ARE DOING IT NOW!”

When you have spent a lifetime trudging around festivals and fleadhs and ceilis as we all have, the one thing that we remember is  what they all have in common especially in the UK and Ireland and that  is the weather.  Or to be more precise, the unpredictable nature of it!  For years we have borne witness to cancelled festivals, sodden tents, muddy fields, events that were so wet everything you had with you was damp!  Well, it was just a simple case of joining up all the dots.  Years ago the UK Government produced a document extolling the virtues of good festivals and the enormous financial contribution that they made to the local economy.  Some years later there was a second report highlighting the downside of festivals and the list of negatives was, sad to say, fairly long.  Bad weather, bad value, lots of cancelled events, queues everywhere, wet tents, poor facilities and expensive tickets.  This was causing an overall drop in attendances and the trend seemed set to continue.

It was on reading the second report that we had what you might call a “lightbulb moment” It was simply a matter of realising that in one fell swoop we could eliminate every negative by  arranging a typical UK folk festival but in a warmer climate.  Creating such an event in the right location meant we could guarantee the weather or almost  guarantee the weather.  We could certainly improve on the value by working with the many hoteliers with whom we had built strong working relationships, in most cases over a period of twenty years.  Trust meant that we could block off large numbers of rooms in good quality hotels where the standard and range of services and facilities would guarantee a high level of customer satisfaction.  The most important aspect of all this was that we could do it at the right price!

And so it came to pass.  The first event attracted 350 clients, and since then each subsequent event has grown significantly and as I write I am excited to advise that in April 2016 we will cater for numbers in excess of 600 in Mallorca.  I have to add that the support and encouragement we have had from the many superb artistes we have worked with has been overwhelming and so too has the support from our customers, most of whom are travelling to their third event.  This fact alone bears strong unambiguous testimony to the high level of satisfaction attached to Costa del Folk.

Folk followers or folkies have always loved music and song.  To listen to a good entertainer or to a group of entertainers is to be immediately enchanted.  It is not always the over polished presentation from the consummate expert that presses the button, but more the song or recitation that speaks lyrically of everyday like, tiny events that mean little in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives but are earth shattering to those who have experienced them at first hand.  These are the real songs and stories of life in rural villages and towns up and down the country, of great events, football games lost and won, tragedies at sea, down the pits as well as down the pub, and overseas fighting for Queen and Country but on this occasion overseas enjoying COSTA DEL FOLK IN MALLORCA.  No one has written a song about this yet so beware, we are about to launch our own search for a star and more of this later.

Many of the songs I like are witty and there is nothing like a good dollop of humour to give an evening or an event a real lift. In this regard I have to mention the mayhem caused in October last year by the New Rope String Band!  It is sad that they are retiring and if anyone can exercise any influence over them please persuade them to keep performing.  They are just awesome!

And so it is that Enjoy Travel will always as far as possible try to provide the right mix of entertainment capable of providing in turn a good supply of all of the above so that everyone goes home totally fulfilled.   In May this year, just to be a little different we will be running a river cruise from Koblenz down the Rhine as far as Basel in Switzerland.  This cruise is featuring that most popular of duos, none other than SHOW OF HANDS.  Rather appropriately and mischievously referred to as ALL HANDS ON DECK it has been fully sold out since October last and it doesn’t sail until May 2016.  Other crew members on board are Flossie Malavialle together with Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe.  Because of its outright success, we have already launched (pun intended!!) the Danube in 2017.  If you are interested then please contact the office on 01254 44 50 50 when we will be delighted to help you.   Many people like stability and tradition.  While I like these too,  I also like the odd bit of adventure so over the next few years if there is a destination or two on your bucket list that you would like to visit then drop us an email and let’s chat about it soon.  Everywhere is on the agenda provided there are nice hotels, good flight connections and no trouble!

Looking forward to welcoming you on one or other of our events in the not too distant future.

Gerry Flynn

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