As this is my first blog of 2018, I think it would be appropriate to wish you all a happy new year and hope that it brings you all that you ask of it. It’s a time of year for looking forward. The Fatea Awards have paid tribute to what the team felt was the best of last year, time to see what’s coming.
2018 is going to be a hugely busy year Fatea turns 30 which means that there will be events during the year to mark the occasion and are currently in the planning phase so more on that next time. Fatea is already committed to supporting two festivals, Love Folk, through our association with Busk Love Folk, in February and Wimborne Folk Festival in June, where we will be supporting the inaugural gigs being held in the historic minister.
In addition we will also be support Royston Folk Club in its second Young Folk Artist competition as well as providing a platform for a joint single from Trials Of Cato and Katie Spencer, who were respectively the winner and runner up for 2017 and I was privileged enough to attend the event that saw them being awarded their prize on a really great night of music back in December.
I have a really good feeling about the year to come. I’ve been lucky enough to hear some of the great albums that are already on the slate for release in the early part of the year and which you’ll soon be hearing tracks from on my Along The Tracks show here on Blues & Roots Radio and reading the reviews of in Fatea Magazine, there are also great albums being talked about for later in the year. The thing that really excites me though is the albums not yet being talked about from names I’ve yet to hear and knowing that I’ll be playing a part in getting the knowledge of these out to you.
For a lot of new artists this may well be through a track on the Fatea Showcase Sessions and 2018 will be the 11th year we have brought you these downloads and I know many of you use these as a chance to hear new artists before exploring the websites and full releases from them as well as looking out live dates, which is what it’s all about.
2018 won’t be without it’s challenges, not least changes in an obscure area of governance called Net Neutrality. In sort net neutrality means that all data must be treated equally, the data coming to you from Blues & Roots Radio, via their streams and website, Fatea’s website, Amazon, Google and Apple all gets treated exactly the same, the Republican’s unilaterally turning over net neutrality it allows ISPs to give priority to some traffic and throttle back others. Large corporates like Apple and Spotify could further control the music market by ensuring downloads and streams from their site get a bigger slice of the pie, with people trying to listen to music from small independent music providers, like Blues & Roots and other innovators and introducers of new music, being forced to wait until the music has finished buffering again.
Ironically this is going to happen at a time where more musicians would have been in a place to take more control of their online sales and downloads, not entirely a coincidence. There are many sites that cover net neutrality in more detail, but here’s a good starting point.
I’m really looking forward to 2018 music wise, the portents appear to be good. I’m hoping that the revival of the instrumental album continues and that we also see the inclusion of more pure instrumental tracks in regular albums.
I make no secret of the fact that I’m narrative lead when it comes to songs, let’s make 2018 a year to pick up the courage of your convictions and write songs about things that matter to you, but not just what’s wrong, what needs to be right. In short, let’s have a 2018 that inspires and let music be at the forefront of that inspiration. Here’s to a great year