Folk sessions cancelled

PUBLISHED: 11:21 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:20 04 May 2010

FOLK music lovers in Sutton will be devastated by the news that the much-loved Red Rose Folk Singing Sessions at Chequers pub have been cancelled. The RRFSS is an old fashioned open-mic, sing-around that encourages anyone to join in and play folk music. I

FOLK music lovers in Sutton will be devastated by the news that the much-loved Red Rose Folk Singing Sessions at Chequers pub have been cancelled.

The RRFSS is an old fashioned open-mic, sing-around that encourages anyone to join in and play folk music. It took place once a month, was always well attended, often with 19 musicians playing together at the same time.

The Chequers, Sutton's only pub, does not have an entertainments licence in accordance with new laws brought in last year. The district council say the pub are now required to apply for an entertainment licence if they wished to put on any live performances involving more than two artists.

Graham Steward, who started up the RRFSS 11 years ago, said: "It's a real shame but the people on the council are just doing their job. It's been a lot of fun and also a kind of training ground for musicians as we've had people come and join in as total beginners who have improved dramatically by playing alongside some real talent."

The RRFSS have also raised money for Sutton Youth Club, which Mr Steward describes as: "The most important institute in the village," but all of their future charity events have now been cancelled.

A council official rang up the Sutton pub, after noticing an advertisement, and informed the landlord that they were no longer allowed to host the folk sessions.

Mr Steward is hopeful that the RRFSS may start up again. He said: "I'm looking to somehow keep it going by looking for new premises or maybe sorting things out at Chequers. So watch this space.

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