We called ourselves a ‘forum’ because we recognised from the outset that one of the most important reasons for the existence of TSF was to enable those interested in collecting, researching, singing and other aspects of the study of traditional song to meet and to discuss their work with others who would be interested in what they were doing, could offer help and advice – and who could offer some consolation on what is, sometimes, a lonely journey. While electronic communication is great for sharing ideas, documents, and other information, there is no substitute for sitting down with like-minded colleagues every so often and having good conversations, discussions – and even arguments!

A ‘typical’ TSF meeting will fall into three parts. Firstly we will spend time going round those present to hear what they have been doing and to discuss it and to offer help and advice. Secondly (and always very briefly!) we will deal with the business matters of the forum. The afternoon is usually organised as a ‘Forum Focus’ session where TSF members or guest speakers can talk at more length about particular topics – often themed. Having said this, we are very flexible and if it makes sense to depart from this format we will do so.

Occasionally we have run special, whole day sessions such as the ‘Life and Times’ events, featuring a number of collectors talking about their work, or the ‘Broadside Days’ (organised in partnership with EFDSS), which have proved very popular.

We produce brief notes of each of our meetings which are published on this site – though not always for the ‘special’ events. The notes of the most recent meetings can be found using the links below. There is also an archive of past meetings which you can visit. There is, though, no substitute for being there. To help this we move the meetings around the country. The best attended sessions are those held in London and the North though we try to other parts occasionally – usually at the invitation of a local group. You can find details of forthcoming meetings below


Meeting Notes

The most recent meeting of the Traditional Song Forum was that held in Belfast on 19 October 2019. The notes of that meeting can be downloaded HERE

The previous meeting was that held in Ely on 11 May 2019. The notes of that meeting can be downloaded HERE

You can see the archive of previous TSF meeting notes here – HERE

Please note that we do not publish Meeting Notes for Broadside Days or Conferences. It is hoped that, in future, we will be able to arrange for publication of these as hard copies through The Ballad Partners initiative.


Future Meetings

Dates for future meetings are given in the box near the top right of your screen. More details can generally be found on the ‘News’ page. A few weeks before the meeting this will include a link to book tickets for the meeting (usually free of charge!).

The next Traditional Song Forum meeting will be held in Carlisle on Saturday 21 November. Details of the meeting will be published nearer the time.

Next years Broadside Day will take place on Saturday 20 Feb 2021, at the School of History and Culture, University of Birmingham. It will be co-hosted by the Centre for Print History and Cultures.

Please make sure that you have these dates in your diary!



Updated 18 Mar 2020