Is it time Beverley Folk Festival got back to its roots?
A LONE harpist plays a lament for the commercialisation of Beverley Folk Festival.
The showpiece event at the leisure centre seems to go from strength to strength, despite this weekend's threat of heavy rain.
But for some East Riding musicians, like harp player John Shuttleworth, the growth of the festival means it has lost its spirit.
Mr Shuttleworth, a music teacher well-known for leading impromptu jam sessions in Beverley pubs, is urging people to get involved with the Fringe Festival, also running this weekend but outside the leisure complex fences.
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He said: "It used to be in the pubs, shops and cafés of Beverley. The leisure centre used to be just for people to camp.
"Now, people camp up there and they never get out of the leisure centre. They never see what Beverley is about.
"They have paid a lot of money for the tickets and they are scared of missing something if they leave."
Another musician, John Wardill, was instrumental in the launch of last year's inaugural Beverley Blues Festival because he wanted to put the music back into Beverley.
Mr Wardill said: "When I first came to the town, the folk festival was all over Beverley. All the pubs used to benefit from it.
"With the blues festival, I thought we should have something that was more accessible."
Thousands of people are attending this weekend's event, which is now called Beverley Festival: Folk Acoustic Roots.
The headline acts are household names, such as Steeleye Span, Peatbog Faeries and Chumbawamba.
And they are joined by 1960s rock'n'roller Joe Brown, who is not regarded as a folk performer.
To widen its appeal, the festival also has a literature element and entertainment for children.
Festival chairman Chris Wade said: "We do engage with the local community and we have lots of free events going on.
"There are things going on at pubs such as the Tiger, the Sun Inn and Hodgsons. We do encourage people to go around the town."
One problem has been the demise of venues at the St Mary's end of Beverley.
The White Horse (Nellies) no longer has live music and the Picture Playhouse is now Browns department store.
Ms Wade said: "If there aren't the facilities, there's nothing we can do about it. We can't make things that don't exist.
"It costs us a lot of money to put the festival on and I agree it's different now. We have to spend money on things such as health and safety and security.
"But we do still aim to support local businesses."
Banjo player John Yeaman, of Beverley, helped set up the original Fringe Festival, which really found its feet when the main Folk Festival was cancelled through lack of sponsors in 2002.
But he still feel Beverley Folk Festival is a great event.
He said: "It gets better and better every year and more people are coming in. The festival village is open to the general public.
"The reality about having steel fencing around the field is that it is for security. I know we have had articles stolen in the past.
"It is still around the pubs. I will be at Hodgsons on Sunday afternoon and I'll be holding an open session that anyone is invited to."
But for Mr Shuttleworth, the festival has lost its spirit. He fears crowds will be down at events outside the perimeters of the leisure complex.
He said: "I know there will be music on in the pubs but it won't be any benefit to the town.
"They have big-name bands booked, so they have to make the money back. But I think impromptu sessions are always the best."