DFDF 2014

DFDF, Das Frühlingsfest der Filksmusik, is a very small but energetic filk convention in northern Germany. Usually I prefer to go to FilkContinental, the fall convention, because more of my German friends go there, but I also wanted to visit Vienna, which is much nicer in May than late September. DFDF has its own features; it’s in a hotel which is much more comfortable, if not as atmospheric, as the medieval castle in which FilkContinental used to be hosted, and the town it’s in is very nice. (FilkContinental will be in a new location this year.)

The guests of honor were Pavlov’s Duck (Peredar and Thesilée), who provided lots of fun with bells and duck calls as well as good music.

I arrived from Vienna on Thursday so I’d have time to settle in, and a few others arrived that day. I offered to help out but never quite managed to be there when there was stuff to be done.

Pavlov's Duck at DFDFA lot of my favorite people were at the con: Alexa, Sib, Franklin, Volker, Steve, Katy, Eva, Rafael, and others. I was sad that Ju and Crystal couldn’t make it. Programming was relatively light. One of the most unusual features was the “Aquapella” singing session at the pool, complete with laminated lyric sheets. We sang some rounds, including one with lyrics improvised on the spot, and attempted a bit of barbershop harmony.

Franklin Gunkelman and Steve Macdonald, DFDF auctionThe auction, which helps support the convention, raised an impressive 1,334 euros, an average of more than 30 euros per person. I didn’t bid on anything, since I didn’t want to have more stuff in my luggage coming home, but I donated some New Hampshire maple sugar candy. The committee arranged with the hotel to let people pre-order a buffet dinner on any or all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. This worked out very well, since it let us get back to the convention faster than ordering from the menu would have allowed.

My concert set on Sunday included “Con Chair’s Song,” “The Hare and the Hedgehog,” “Der Besenmacher,” “Paperless,” Kari Maaren’s “Kids These Days,” and “Jalapeño.” I discovered how enthusiastic this crowd was when I was asked, for the first time in my life, to do an encore.

Not everything scales down for a small convention. You still have to negotiate the hotel contract, make arrangements with the guest of honor, assemble a program, get people registered, and make sure everything happens smoothly at the convention. Highest thanks to the committee for all their work, as well as to Volker for running sound.

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