Unicorn Magazine has been supporting folk music and dance since its foundation by Alan Creamer and Theo Thomas in 1983. Some 30 years later, new editors took over when Alan retired and since Autumn 2019 Sandra Lawes has run the publication single-handed. Sandra is now handing over the responsibility for Unicorn Magazine to Carl Filby*.
Covid-19 and other factors have made it almost impossible to continue producing the printed magazine so, Carl is changing the format to an online website to carry on supporting the folk community.
The new online community will be known as Unicorn Folk and it will aim to continue the relationship of trust that has been built up over many years between the publication and its advertisers and contributors. The key focus will be on the traditional Unicorn catchment area of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and parts of north London. However, the online format will also make the website accessible to advertisers and folk enthusiasts all around the UK.
Future aims: The arts industry, music in general and the folk world in particular have all been affected by the Covid pandemic in ways which are perhaps not yet fully appreciated. Finances will be even tighter for folk organisations in the immediate future and if ‘social distancing’ continues beyond the vaccination programme, as seems likely, the viability of folk musicians and venues will be adversely affected. In order to counter one aspect of this unwelcome situation Carl is aiming to run Unicorn Folk effectively as a not-for-profit organisation. Existing ‘free’ listings in Unicorn Magazine will continue to be free on the Unicorn Folk website and the cost of other advertisements will be cut substantially.
Carl is grateful to Creative Royston for allowing the free use of their website hosting services which are provided by LCN.com. Whilst that situation continues any profit, net of expenses, from the Unicorn Folk website will be donated to Creative Royston on an annual basis.
Creative Royston is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by unpaid volunteers whose main aim is to stage Royston Arts Festival (including Royston MusicFest) each year and to promote the arts in general in Royston and the surrounding area. http://www.creativeroyston.org/
* Biographical note: Carl really did fall in love with folk music after listening to Fairport’s ‘Liege & Lief’ album, bought unheard on a whim from a friend. He Morris-danced his way through a Sociology course at Bath University organising numerous Ceilidhs, dance sessions and a summer tour of Jersey along the way. Carl started Royston MusicFest in 2016 as part of Royston Arts Festival and is currently the ‘Chair’ of Creative Royston. He built and administers the festival and MusicFest websites along with that of Royston Arts Society, all of which were part of the online Royston Arts Festival in 2020. In non-Covid times he can often be found hanging around Royston Folk Club and organised the judging of their Young Folk Artist Competitions in 2017 & 2018.