UK retailer Banjos Direct risks offending banjo traditionalists with its ' Welcome To The New Era of The Banjo' campaign

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UK-based specialist banjo retailer Banjos Direct has announced the launch of a new campaign on the theme 'Welcome To The New Era of The Banjo' which is designed to respond directly to the resurgence of interest in the traditional folk instrument but which may rattle banjo traditionalists.

New Era of The Banjo campaign

New Era of The Banjo campaign

What we have here is a movement: a movement of people of all ages and backgrounds who are falling in love with the banjo and tearing down all the old prejudices, stereotypes and silly myths.

UK-based specialist banjo retailer Banjos Direct has announced the launch of a new campaign on the theme 'Welcome To The New Era of The Banjo' which is designed to respond directly to the resurgence of interest in the traditional folk instrument but which may rattle banjo traditionalists.

The retailer's 'New Era of The Banjo' campaign breaks with conventional view that the banjo is an old-fashioned instrument restricted to specific music genres such as Bluegrass, and to highly technical playing styles.

The first official appearance of the campaign is in the May issue of US-based enthusiast's magazine Banjo Newsletter. The magazine advertisement declares that a new musical movement is taking place amongst "people of all ages and backgrounds who are falling in love with the banjo and tearing down all the old prejudices, stereotypes and silly myths."

Founder and CEO of Banjos Direct Simon Middleton knows that the 'New Era' campaign is courting controversy with banjo traditionalists.

"There are some in the banjo enthusiast community who I suspect would prefer that the instrument wasn't actually enjoying the dramatic rise in popularity that is going on all over the USA and in the UK," said Middleton.

"The fact is that teenage players are grabbing banjos and incorporating them into pop, rock and punk as well a new kind of liberated folk music. Then there are the baby boomers coming to the instrument for the first time. Neither of those groups have hang ups about what they should and shouldn't do with a banjo, which we think is a really exciting phenomenon, but which for some traditionalists is less welcome," Middleton added.

The Banjos Direct campaign celebrates the diversity of interest in the new instrument with its headline: "Welcome to the new era of the banjo: everybody's invited!"

Middleton concludes: "It's not really an ad campaign in the conventional sense: it's more of a manifesto. We believe the banjo is a folk instrument in the purest sense. An instrument for everybody. And it seems that everybody is catching on!"

As the New Era campaign develops the company will be announcing details of its role as sponsor and associate producer of a new documentary about the the resurgence of Bluegrass music, as well as a new partnership with a British premium banjo manufacturer.

Company information:

Banjos Direct is the UK's fastest-growing specialist banjo retailer, leading the renaissance of interest in the banjo amongst players of every age and background. The Norwich-based company is the UK's leading stockist of USA banjo brands GoldTone and Nechville, and also stocks instruments by Barnes & Mullins, Pilgrim and Tanglewood.

Founder and CEO of Banjos Direct, Simon Middleton, is frontman of English-Americana band The Proposition, whose debut album 'King Snake Devil Shake' was released in March this year. Middleton, who was a brand strategy consultant before turning to musical instrument retail, is also the author of several books on branding, including 'Build A Brand In 30 Days' and 'Brand New You'.

Find Banjos Direct at http://www.banjosdirect.co.uk
Email: info(at)banjosdirect(dot)co(dot)uk
Phone: +44 (0) 1603 305800

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Simon Middleton

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