The Folk Heritage Committee gives area performers important recognition of their talents in preserving our Southern Appalachian heritage for over 50 years now at the Shindig and 89 years at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. The Shindig on the Green and Mountain Dance and Folk Festival demonstrates quality, authentic, traditional music and dance presented to thousands of individuals, stimulating awareness and appreciation for the musical and cultural heritage Western North Carolina holds.
[Regarding the letter, “Shindig on the Green Calls for Dancing” in this issue of Xpress], the committee has received two letters from this same individual. We have responded to both letters promptly, one in August of 2015 and the other in May of 2016. Now again, we are addressing her concerns. The inevitable — children have been disruptive in the past, without proper supervision of parents. We have requested time and again to please keep them off the stage, steps and columns.
Musicians on stage have been interrupted during performances to catch a child falling off the stairway. The children [were] climbing up and around the columns, running, jumping, tripping on electrical cords. Also, very disruptive to the audience and to the musicians during performances.
Safety is always our first deepest concern. We had repeated requests of the audience to “please calm the children.” Two committee member tried to stand on each side, and the parents were rude because we would ask, “Please don’t get up there” or “no climbing,” etc. The police assisted when requested, but attention is needed [for] other … downtown issues.
We implemented a pattern to alleviate audience use of the stairs. There is a dancing area at the right of the stage (looking upon it). This wonderful freestyle dancing area is huge. It doesn’t disrupt the bands, nor the audience.
And it keeps our audience safe, out of harm’s way.
— Loretta Freeman
Chair, Folk Heritage Committee