Samstag, 16. Juli 2022

John Hurd from 3Songs Bonn was moseying around Bad Godesberg today

Photo courtesy of John Hurd 3SongsBonn

I had taken the resonator guitar out for a walk and gave the bottleneck an airing. It's so nice to hear some live music on the streets once more.

John Harrison

Montag, 4. Juli 2022

Playing music for free (never unsonst!) on the streets of Bad Godesberg in July 2022

 Dear Folkies,

this is an issue that Bonn Folk Club and Daniel Bongart and myself have personally taken issue with in the past on several occasions. Bonn is unfortunately probably the worst city in the whole of Germany, and possibly Europe, for its restrictions on musicians playing music freely on the very streets of our beautiful city, which were once walked upon by one of the world's most famous musicians. 

Musicians, in order to develop, need to practise, and need to try out new ideas. There is a multitude of competent musicians living in Bonn and the surrounding areas and it is not only a great shame, but a great tragedy, that these people, who have  developed and honed, their not inconsiderable skills, often at great cost to the city of Bonn, through its many renown music conservatories, acadamies and schools, that they cannot freely do so.

Many people argue that musicians, who are also human beings, should enjoy a right to play on the streets in their neighbourhoods, as a basic human freedom.  (Please discuss below if you wish?)

The Nay-sayers invariably evoke the ficticious case of the badly behaved one-armed concertina player from a ficticious state in eastern Europe, who is also in a bad mood and plays the only two notes that he knows very loudly in exactly the same spot for four hours or more, without ever pausing for a break.  There are several things false in this scenario. Street music is regulated by the most elementary economic forces of the human urban jungle. If one is no good, one collects no money, and if one insists in prolonging this situation for several weeks with absolutely no "income", then one eventaually dies of starvation. Q.E.D. Problem solved. Furthermore, the quite well organised guild for Russian and eastern European musicians seemingly have quite an effective way of dealing with, and even silencing, such musical miscreants in Bonn. Furthermore, literally anybody can demand that any musician moves on after thirty minutes playing in the same spot, whether they are official law enforcers or just members of the general public.

Mere "begging" on the other hand has a long and honourable tradition on the streets of Bonn and if you wish to discover more, please take a stroll with me one evening in the year 1698:

"Begging" even today does not require a permit, but as it always was, is restricted, as it should be, to only the very poorest of people, who have fallen on hard times, often through no fault of their own. A troubadour, who is not begging, but offering a musical service, which benefits and uplifts city life generally, should really be an honoured guest and a source of urban enrichment and should not be punished financially by the city in order to pay off the interest on loans taken out, often misguidedly, by the city in bygone times. Street musicians, have little to fear from being included in any future "wealth tax" introduced by governments in order to fund COVID-19, the Ukrainian war or excessive gas prices. Taxing street musicians is not quite as bad as attempting to tax beggars, but you have my gist?

So, I digress, the folk club on Friday 01.07.22 was a resounding success, being outside, and thus corona free, with adequate distancing, but no formal entrance restriction requirements. 

It was very well visited , but it was also notable that those people who had previously, sometimes vehemently, complained that our COVID entrance requirements were excessively strict (like FCB #124 in honour of Steve Perry who has a very reduced immune system) were extremely noticable by their absence, when those entrance restrictions suddenly no longer applied.

As usual I was fortunate in singing "Jock Stewart" just before 22:00 hrs on Friday evening, accompanied by all the wonderful musicians who had performed during the evening. This is a form of simple communal tradition that I know well from England and a tradition that I have gladly brought to Germany with me and enschrined in the tradition of Folk Club Bonn. A song which is sung as a parting glimpse of a wonderful evening, and which featured this time Eva Henneken with a stonking fiddle solo. Even though Detlef was unfortunately not on tap to hand out the lyric sheets, I found that everbody either knew the words or had called them up on their smartphones. 

"The times They Are Indeed A-Changing!"

At 10:00 hrs on Saturday morning I was on the piste again in Bad Godesberg being welcomed by Renate and Hubolt outside Bergfeld's Boiladen on the Alte Bahnhofs Straße in Bad Godesberg. As in 2020 Axel Bergfeld has organised a communal group of like minded people to promote music on the streets of Bad Godesberg once again. The heat was hot, as it so often is, but the idea is well worth facilitating and promoting.

So, for local musicians wishing to participate, here are the dates which are still available throughout July:

04. bis 07. 

11. // 13.

15. // 16.
18. bis 23. 

25. bis 29.

There is no payment, the payment for the street music permits have already been paid, but you are at liberty to at least earn what you are worth!

If you wish to play and/or sing, Bad Godesberg eagerly awaits your musical contribution to enhance the otherwise musical urban desert of Bad Godesberg.

Contact Renate & Hubert at

Furter details here:

and here:

Looking forward to a multitude of musical resplendence in Bad Godesberg, during the mammoth month of July, don't be shy!

You can play between 10:00 hours and 19:00 hours normally, and even up until 22:00 hrs in the evenings, if you so wish.

Please show what local musicians can, and are willing to do, if given the chance!


John Harrison

Freitag, 1. Juli 2022

FCB # 125 Friday 01.07.22


Dear Folk Club friends,

almost as expected, we rejoiced too soon about the Corona situation last month. The numbers are going up again. But it's summer and there is longer light in the evenings. Your Folk Club team has therefore decided to hold the upcoming Folk Club outside. The latest COVID-19 variant Omicron 5.0 has its marching boots on and so we are not offering it a running buffet in a musical Petri dish indoors. Many of you will have unfortunately already contracted coronavirus over the last two years. If you have, two things are a racing certainty, you probably did not contract it outdoors, but you invariably contracted it indoors, in confined poorly ventilated spaces with other people who were infected.

Wandering Souls alias Gerrit Witterhold and Lorena Manz from Cologne are unfortunately hindered from attending this evening, but they will be resheduled for the future. The duo Zwei von Zwei with Stephan Weidt and Ulrike Hund from Bonn have announced themselves for the evening. There will also be another opportunity to hear Yawen Liu, who has already enchanted the Folk Club audience several times. But as always, that will not be all. Let us surprise you! In addition there will be Shay McVieh, Eva Henneken, Mario Dompke, Christoph Thiebes and John Harrison

Below are the most important dates:

Date: Friday 01 July 2022

Start: 19.00 hrs until probably 22.00 hrs.

Place: The meadow on the right hand side behind Dotty's Sports Bar and Restaurant (public club house of the Bonn Tennis and Hockey Association - BTHV), Christian-Miesen-Straße, 53129 Bonn (Dottendorf).

Corona: As the event will take place outdoors and the risk of contagion is thus significantly reduced, we will not be taking any special Corona precautions. However, we appeal to all participants to take a voluntary test beforehand. Please note that the booth outside the entrance to BTHV has now been dismantled and since May no COVID-19 tests have been available on site there. Test centres are still open in Bonn centre and in Bad Godesberg and in Dottendorf and also at many chemists. The COVID-19 "Bürger Tests", the antigen tests are still completely free until the end of June. From July onwards they are still subsidised by the government but will cost only €3 each, the price of a small beer, so certainly worth it for your own peace of mind, and the peace of mind of your fellow folky compatriots,

There is no mandatory rquirement to wear a face mask, either in the building or of course outdoors, but as usual, anyone who feels safer, or even happier, wearing one, is absolutely free to do so. This is your free choice.

No prior registration is required this time.

Seating: There will be beer benches for sitting. If you would like to sit more comfortably, please bring your own seat, or a cushion.

FOOD: In addition to the normal menu in Dotty's Bar there will be an FCB (Folk Club Bonn) FFS (Fast Food Special):

Bockwurst with mustard             € 3,50 and

Bockwurst with potatoe salad     € 6,00 

And one of the most important things: as always, admission is free.  

The weather forecast is very favourable for Friday afternoon and evening, so fingers crossed, and I shall, as usual, be putting in a good word with the Green Man!

An information for all those who want to perform at the Folk Club and secure a date:

Please only use the address playrequestfolkclubbonn AT gmail dot com (of course spelled correctly with @ and .) for your registrations. Please do not just press "reply" to this mail you are reading now. Such a mail unfortunately ends up in a rat tail attached to the original mail and runs the greatest risk of being overlooked. This is unfortunately an unpleasant feature of Googlemail. If you use the special mail address for performance requests, this will not happen.

If you need further information, please contact

Your Folk Club Team

John Harrison (0228 3670150)

Detlef Stachetzki (0228 671621)

Mario Dompke (02633 470327)


 Folk Club Bonn am 01. Juli 2022 - Folk Club wieder unter freiem Himmel 

Liebe Folk Club Freunde,

It's not often that we get this much fun indoors!