SlackFolk has been running in Colchester since 2010, on the second Saturday of every month between 2.00 and 4.15 pm. We run it as a “folk drop in centre” - the audience comes and goes across the afternoon, which makes for a very relaxed environment for playing and listening. It provides a platform for acoustic artists, bands and poets to showcase their material and offers a chance for everybody to escape the chores of Saturday afternoon and listen to great, local music and poetry. Admission is free.
SlackFolk was started by folk musicians, Tom and Emma Hardy and is now run by Richard Brazear, singer, guitarist and mandolin player with Colchester groups The Four Blokes Trio and Grasshopper. Performers are booked in advance for sets from 15 to 30 minutes. There are no headline acts, but performers from across Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire (even North Yorkshire) come to play. At many SlackFolk sessions, as well as music, there will be poetry, street theatre or spoken word.
East Creek Union play SlackFolk, Piatto Café, Colchester
SlackFolk developed from Slack Space - a not-for-profit, volunteer-run initiative that transformed empty shops and buildings into community art and entertainment spaces in the town centre. As well as SlackFolk, Slack Space had regular art exhibitions; French folk dance, tango and belly dancing sessions; poetry, art, computer and acting workshops; and was home to ‘Annie’s Fantasies’ Clog Morris Team. In 2015, Slack Space closed, because the landlord terminated the lease on the existing venue (the Old Police Station) and there were insuperable problems in finding a suitable new venue. It no longer exists as a formal organisation, although quite a few of the artists involved in it still maintain an informal Slack Space network.
SlackFolk continued at the Piatto Café, at the corner of Queen Street and the Priory Walk pedestrian precinct in Colchester town centre, initially on a temporary basis, but has been established there since. The performers and volunteers who manage the sound system and publicity provide their services for no fee, which enables free admission for the audience. Audiences usually run at around the 50 -70 level, often with over 100 people dropping in to the session over the course of the afternoon.
During the last two years, SlackFolk has additionally run mini acoustic festivals in the Spring and Autumn at the Firstsite Gallery in Colchester, which are progressively becoming more popular. The next one is scheduled for Saturday 6th October between 12.00 noon and 5.00 pm.
If you’d like to know more or would like to perform, contact:
Richard Brazear on 07850 773291
Coffee, tea and food (as well as alcoholic drinks) are available at the Piatto Café at commercial prices.