Filk Festival

15th British Filk Convention
7 - 9 February 2003
Holiday Inn, Ipswich, Suffolk

Welcome to The Quinze Filk Festival

(For those of you who may be confused due to not having studied French, quinze is the French for fifteen.)

We make no apologies for having perpetrated the above appalling pun -- it's what you get for putting together a committee with Paul and Keris on it. And while we're on the subject of the committee, Chris and Hilary are not married, they are siblings. Just so that you know <grin> The other gruesome details about the committee members appear elsewhere in this PR.

What is a Filk Convention? Here's what we told the hotel the aim of the weekend is: “To provide a place and a time where people who love music can renew old friendships, make new ones, share music together and foster new talent. We do this through a programme of concerts, workshops, guest performers and, most importantly, nightly Circles. Circles take place after the official programming has ended and frequently last all through the night. There may be one big one; there may be three small ones -- no-one knows until they happen. They are a place for sharing new songs, old and loved songs and an ideal, stress-free peformance opportunity for newcomers. They epitomise the filk community.”


In order to attend the convention you must be a member. The current membership rates are:

UK members: £25 for full membership, £12.50 for unwaged, supporting, children aged between 5 and 16, £1 for children under 5 and large soft toys.

US members: $40 for full membership, $20 for unwaged, supporting, children aged between 5 and 16, $2.50 for children under 5 and large soft toys.

Any other currency: please contact a member of the committee.

Contact details

Write to us at: Quinze Filkcon 15, 155 Long Meadow, Aylesbury, Bucks. HP21 7EB England

Email us at

Phone us on 01296 331055 or 44 1296 331055 from outside the UK

Web site

US Contact Dave Weingart, 17 Chapin Road, Farmingdale, NY 11735

The Crazy Gang

The one with experience -- Paul Bristow

Paul Bristow arrived late, flustered and complaining loudly on 26th May 1965. Not much has changed since, except the filking, which he rather enjoys. In order to compensate for this guilty pleasure, he has once again forced himself to endure being on a convention committee.

Paul's introduction to filk came after he had dragged a reluctant Miki Dennis to what proved to be a particular badly run Doctor Who convention. Miki retaliated by dragging him to Vibraphone, which they both enjoyed much more, and at which Paul wrote his third/fourth/ninety-seventh ever filksong (depending how you count them). A flurry of enthusiasm over the next few months gave us such gems as "the Beauty and the Beast". Since then he's averaged about 2-and-a-half songs a year, some of which aren't too bad.

A man with absolutely no innate sense of time, notorious for his remarkable ability to drastically underestimate how long anything will take, he is, we feel, ideally suited to organising the Quinze Filk Festival's programme.

The one with the idea -- Keris/Chris Croughton

(in other places known as Chris Croughton, or Davith Michell, or other less-printable names) was born too many years ago. At university he was in the university radio station where he gained a taste for doing sound tech type things, many years later this resurfaced in doing tech at filk and other conventions. He can mainly be found behind a tech desk with lots of 'stuph' around.

Keris was responsible for the ridiculously high-tech nature of the Quinze bid presentation, but promises that he won't be doing as much tech stuff during the actual con.

Favourite tipples: cider and good single malt Scotch (Islay by preference). Favourite colour: black.

The one who v.......... - Hilary Croughton

who prefers to be called Hilary Ann, grew up with music all around her and developed early a talent for organisation. As a teenager she learnt piano and flute, increased her collection of recorders and spent much of her free time organising fictional school cruises, clubs and other information intensive projects. It was no surprise when she became a Librarian.

Tales of filk conventions as told by Keris, Vera Emlyn and Teddy enticed her to attend Decadence. She enjoys the fellowship of others, meeting new instruments, and playing with babies. She has yet to fulfill her ambition of being taken on as an apprentice techie.

The Guests of Honour

UK Guest -- Simon Fairbourn

Simon Fairbourn started making music at a young age singing harmonies with his mother, usually in Db on account of that being the pitch of the Hoover. After a few false starts he finally took up the Bassoon. At the Waltham Forest Music Centre he perfected his famous one-legged solo performing style.

Simon also attended an all-girls' school for special tuition and extra-curricular activities with the senior staff (all five lines!) with whom he was on first-name terms. He remembers fondly greeting the headmistress and watching her pounce on other boys entering in his wake.

Whilst taking a music Degree, he formed the Athletic School of Bassoon Playing, where he would extol the virtues of expelling a complete lungful of air per note in the loud bits. He also played with lots of techie toys culminating in recording discarded extracts from Mahler's 8th, the symphony of a thousand (and there really were that many).

After failing to find work in the music business, he took on the challenging world of accountancy and gave up music altogether. It didn't last. After some personal changes, we now find our hero progressing through the amateur orchestras of London, reaching a pinnacle as principal bassoon with the Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra.

Within the Filk community is often seen as a member and conductor of the NMC, where he has been known to beat time so hard he broke one baton and embedded another in Valerie Housden's ceiling.

After marrying Talis Kimberley, Simon became one of her 'Mythical Beasts', playing leads and reeds. In time he got used to playing without the reassuring comfort of sheet music. The recording bug returned too, engineering and co-producing Talis's Archetype Cafe and working on the NMC's Voices Going West.

US Guest -- Teri Wachowiak

Teri was a born a military brat and got to 4 continents before her Da' quit travelling. She is delighted to be our guest as she wants to come “home to England!” Her first real memories were British and her accent was so pronounced when the family moved to South Carolina that her mother was asked if she was adopted. Not content with that, she kept travelling the realms of the written word to much more than Terra Firma and hasn't stopped since.

A self taught guitarist, she found filk and a reason to pick up said guitar with the first hearing of Leslie Fish's Cold Iron. She has been hooked ever since. Teri tends to like the fantasy aspects more so than the hard science but does plead to being an old Trekker." She writes most of her material with a musical partner called Barbara Bowen, who she refers to as “my song editor, roadie, wordsmith [and] friend. She now lives in Augusta, Georgia and attends housefilks in Atlanta, while preferring to get her news coverage from the good ole BBC.

Our Hotel -- Holiday Inn, Ipswich

Formerly known as “The Posthouse, Ipswich”, the hotel is conveniently situated just off the junction of the A12 and the A14. This makes it easy to find for those coming from the south and west of the country (A12) and those coming from the north and midlands (A14). It lays back from the main road and has parking spaces for 200 vehicles. The 110 bedrooms are in a block to the left of the main entrance and the bar/lounge, restaurant and function rooms are to the right. This means that no-one should be disturbed by our music no matter how late into the morning it continues. The hotel also has a health spa containing gymnasium, swimming pool and sauna.

Room rate is £30 ($50) per person per night. Children under 19 sharing their parent's room are accommodated free.

We have three function rooms booked, two for programme items and one as a combined dealer's room/secure store. We hope to be running duel-streaming for some of the programme items, but more of that later. The main programme room has a white screen at the performers end, so if anyone feels like adding a video or slide presentation to their slot it would be another first for Quinze. The bar will be open all day and until the early hours of the morning. We are looking at getting local ale and cider stocked for the convention. A playroom for children aged 4 and under will be available, but responsibility for the supervision of children will rest with the parents.


The hotel has requested both a booking deposit and a cut-off date for bookings.

Booking deposit is £15 ($25) per person over 19.

There is also a Room Services deposit of £25 ($40) per room per night to cover the use of the mini bar, video viewing, telephone calls and main bar charges to the room. If you do not want to use this facility you will need to say so on the hotel booking form. (Included in the next PR)

The closing date for hotel bookings via the convention will be 15 December 2002. Room rates cannot be guaranteed after this date.

(Prices quoted in US Dollars have been rounded up to allow for exchange rate fluctuations, and ease of administration <grin>)

Programme Stuff

As mentioned previously, we will have two rooms to schedule programme items in. All the usual items such as GoH slots, Filk Fund business meeting, the Auction, an Awards ceremony will be included in the programme, and there will be plenty of space and time for late-night filking.

We are offering 40 minute slots for personal use, with the possibility of longer slots for larger groups. If you feel that you don't have enough material for a slot of that length then why not slot-share? “There are possibilities enough,” as Dutch friend used to say.

One thing to remember -- in order to be granted a slot you must already be a member of the convention!

Any suggestions for, or offers of, programme items will be given due consideration by the Committee.


Con t-shirts are already available featuring the same logo as on the front page. They are black with white logo and lettering and cost £10. Sizes are M, L, XL. For any other colours or sizes please contact Keris at the Con address.