As many of you will know, our dear friend Cliff Woolley (pictured below) sadly passed away over the Summer. Cliff was a long-serving member of our committee, membership co-ordinator, bar volunteer and much, much more.
Cliff was a passionate music lover and could most often be found, with his wife Gaynor, at many concerts around Bristol and beyond, at loads of festivals, singing with various groups and dancing with Bristol Morris Men. And if he wasn't singing, dancing or listening to music, he was usually talking about it (or about his other passion, Aston Villa FC!). His musical tastes were very diverse; from Jethro Tull and Neil Young through to Jackie Oates and Martin Carthy.
We really wanted to do something to honour Cliff's memory, and we felt it should be something to reflect Cliff's passionate support of emerging talent on the folk scene, so we are delighted to announce THE CLIFF WOOLLEY MEMORIAL AWARD.
All support artists from September 2021 to July 2022 will automatically be entered into the award, with the winner decided by a panel that will include our own organising team as well as Gaynor. There will be a public vote element, where Downend Folk Club regulars will be invited to vote for their favourite from the list (please note that the public vote is not the only deciding factor!).
The winner will then receive a small bursary from the club for them to spend on advancing their career, and they will also be invited to headline THE CLIFF WOOLEY MEMORIAL CONCERT, which will take place on Friday 20th January 2023.
They will be joined on the bill by THE MAGNIFICENT AKs (pictured above), the group that Cliff got so much enjoyment from singing with. They will nominally be our "support artists" that evening, although we're going to flip it on its head and they will sing us out at the end of the night. Opening the entertainment will be the dancing of BRISTOL MORRIS MEN.
We hope to make both the award and the concert an annual event. The winners will be announced as part of our Spring 2023 Programme announcement in October next year, when tickets will also go on sale.
For more information, please get in touch via the usual channels. And do mark the date in your diary... it should be a brilliant way to honour the memory of a brilliant man.