The European Folk Network has always been a strong idea – and although there has been an unavoidable delay in getting to the next stage of development, we’re delighted to tell you that it’s finally here!

After recent discussions, this Spring a small group of five** of the original pioneers registered the network in Belgium as a legal, not-for-profit association, opened a bank account and raised and contributed enough funds to get plans for the ‘EFN’ properly under way.

The plans for 2019 include:  launching a basic website – already here at www.europeanfolknetwork.com –  representing EFN at important trade conventions, emailing newsletter updates, holding the first EFN members’ meeting and conference – now confirmed for 28 & 29 November in Brussels – and recruiting membership from across Europe.

The EFN’s aims and objectives remain the same as they were first defined  in 2015/16 – read them on the website www.europeanfolknetwork.com/aims

Membership remains the same as we originally agreed –  more info at www.europeanfolknetwork.com/membership  – a democratic one-member-one-vote arrangement.  Annual membership fees are being set at affordable levels:  simply €25 for individuals and €100 for organisations.  For the first start-up period of EFN’s official life, membership paid at any time from the official registration date of the association (February 2019) will last until 31 December 2020.

Also for this first start-up period, members who want to help the EFN to accumulate working capital to use in future work are invited to join and pay a membership fee – and, if possible, contribute a larger, one-off amount as an initial membership fee (of whatever they can afford) and be quoted in all communications as EFN Founding Members.  All information is here at www.europeanfolknetwork.com/join

To set up the official association, four of the group** were required to register as members of the inaugural voluntary Board – they are: Chair – David Francis (Traditional Music Forum); Treasurer – Melanie Scheys (Poppunt/Kunstenpunt); Vice-Chair – Katy Spicer (EFDSS); and Secretary – Danny KilBride (trac Cymru).   The other Founding Member who signed the registration is Nod Knowles, who will undertake some of the initial administration of the network.

After this first start-up period EFN Board members will be elected each year by the voting membership at an annual general meeting.

We invite you to become a supporter of the network, to join up as a member or as a Founding Member – and encourage your contacts to join up too. A membership form is available to download from the website at www.europeanfolknetwork.com/join

As we move forward this year we will keep you informed as much as possible.  And please send messages and comment to info@europeanfolknetwork.com – or via the web page www.europeanfolknetwork.com/contact –  which will be passed on to the inaugural Board members so that your ideas are taken into account as planning continues.

(As an indication, the group** who set up the association have committed themselves as Founding Members and between them have contributed a total of over €4000 as well as working as inaugural Board members to raise other money from cultural funders).