Controlling a monster session
About 2 years ago, we started an open Irish session at a pub here in our small town. We have become a victim of our own success! There are far too many players, ranging from 15 to 30 people. However, the real problem is not the number of musicians but the volume of some of the worst. We have 8 strong lead players, 2 very good back-up players, (all professional level musicians). We have 9 intermediate players who do little or no harm, and then the rest are jerks. They are off the rhythm and play very loudly (we call them the pot-bangers). We wanted an egalitarian session but are now at the mercy of a few insensitive, over-enthusiastic players. Have any of you dealt with a problem like this and do you have any ideas of how to solve it? We have already tried to put our accordion player next to the worst (the eliminator) but they only play louder. We have tried talking to the worst offenders who agree but blithely play on. We have tried a smaller circle but the bad players just come earlier and take the best places. We are really stumped on how to get control of our monster session. Help!