Soundpost is a Sheffield based artist led organisation that coordinates a range of participatory events, exploring folk traditions through practical workshops, performances, debate and discussion. 

Folk Factory 2020 - Our Lockdown

Posted: 10 Dec 20

This year has been a year unlike any other, and like many other musical ensembles, our Folk Factory groups have had to adapt to life online! They can’t wait to get back together in person in 2021 but have managed to keep busy making music throughout the year. We are so proud of them and the work they have done this year and a huge ‘Thank You' goes to all of them for continuing to support our groups by attending virtually. This simply couldn’t have happened without the dedication and hard work of Nicola Beazley (Director) and Robyn Chicot (Assistant) and we can’t thank them enough for keeping all our groups going in what has been a tricky year for us all. Here’s Eleanor from Folk Factory Youth to tell you a bit about Folk Factory in lockdown.

Before lockdown we had lots of performances planned for 2020. We were looking forward to competing in Music for Youth. We have done Music for Youth in previous years and it has always been a fun thing to do as a group and something we can continue to work toward when Folk Factory starts back up again. We also were also going to be going to our first ever folk festival to perform (Shepley Spring Festival) and spend a weekend playing and working with NYFTE (National Youth Folklore Troupe of England) and so we’re excited for these to happen again in the future.

Lockdown has changed the folk factory in a few ways. Normally (before the pandemic) we would meet every Wednesday night and play as a group. Since lockdown we have been unable to actually play in the same room and be able to hear each other playing in person however we still have been able to learn songs and tunes and keep the general morale of the group going via weekly Zoom calls. By keeping Folk Factory going in lockdown we have been able to keep the friendships and general community we have created in the group going. None of us knew each other before Folk Factory however now we are all good friends and keep in contact outside of the group.

In lockdown we have been working on our Arts Awards. These can earn us UCAS points and are fun to do. The work for the award is flexible and it all goes at your pace so there is no stress of deadlines or too much work whilst doing them. We have also taken part in quite a few video projects, for the Sheffield Music Hub, and for Music For Youth, and our videos, which we made from scratch, including a guide track, are going to be featured on the National Music For Youth’s YouTube Channel. We have also created a tune book and have written a lot of tunes amongst the group. In the future I hope we get to go back to performing and playing with the group in person.

By Eleanor, Folk Factory Youth