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51st Sidmouth festival

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Herga Kitty 15 Jun 04 - 03:09 PM
The Villan 15 Jun 04 - 03:18 PM
Herga Kitty 15 Jun 04 - 03:31 PM
The Shambles 15 Jun 04 - 03:38 PM
The Villan 15 Jun 04 - 03:40 PM
The Borchester Echo 15 Jun 04 - 04:13 PM
treewind 15 Jun 04 - 04:18 PM
The Villan 15 Jun 04 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Peter from ~ 15 Jun 04 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 15 Jun 04 - 05:03 PM
Herga Kitty 15 Jun 04 - 05:06 PM
The Villan 15 Jun 04 - 05:14 PM
The Borchester Echo 15 Jun 04 - 05:16 PM
Folkiedave 15 Jun 04 - 05:39 PM
fiddler 15 Jun 04 - 06:38 PM
Stepper 15 Jun 04 - 07:31 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 04 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Cllr at work 16 Jun 04 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Cllr at work 16 Jun 04 - 07:13 AM
fiddler 16 Jun 04 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,George Hawes 16 Jun 04 - 11:59 AM
GUEST 16 Jun 04 - 12:08 PM
Herga Kitty 16 Jun 04 - 03:02 PM
Folkiedave 16 Jun 04 - 03:27 PM
AggieD 16 Jun 04 - 06:13 PM
fiddler 16 Jun 04 - 06:25 PM
The Shambles 07 Aug 04 - 05:16 AM
The Shambles 07 Aug 04 - 11:03 AM
treewind 07 Aug 04 - 01:04 PM
MBSLynne 07 Aug 04 - 01:15 PM
The Shambles 07 Aug 04 - 01:49 PM
Herga Kitty 07 Aug 04 - 02:33 PM
The Shambles 07 Aug 04 - 07:41 PM
The Shambles 07 Aug 04 - 07:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 04 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 07 Aug 04 - 08:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 04 - 09:04 PM
Phot 07 Aug 04 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,Steve in Sidmouth 08 Aug 04 - 05:36 AM
Leadfingers 08 Aug 04 - 06:00 AM
The Shambles 08 Aug 04 - 06:01 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Aug 04 - 06:56 AM
MBSLynne 08 Aug 04 - 07:44 AM
treewind 08 Aug 04 - 08:28 AM
MBSLynne 08 Aug 04 - 11:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Aug 04 - 12:20 PM
treewind 08 Aug 04 - 12:32 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Aug 04 - 01:07 PM
The Barden of England 08 Aug 04 - 02:15 PM
The Shambles 08 Aug 04 - 02:54 PM
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Subject: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 03:09 PM

Latest news, received via Great Western Morris....

Basically, after last night's meeting, there is definitely going to be a Festival next year. There is a working party (made up of EDDC members) looking into funding. EDDC will only put in 60,000 quid. The financial report is to be published (probably an edited version). There will be a further meeting for people interested in, and with ideas for, next year's festival.
SO, let everyone know that there will be a festival next year.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 03:18 PM

Thats a lot of money what the problem? Isn't £60000 enough?

Good news though


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 03:31 PM

Steve Heap had said the festival needed a guaranteed contingency fund of £200,000 if it was to continue under Mrs Casey's management (see 50th and last thread).

So I guess this is about the direction the festival might go in, and its size, without Mrs Casey's management.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 03:38 PM

EDDC = East Devon District Council?


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 03:40 PM

Bloody hell, £200,000 is extracting the urine a bit isn't it.

Unbelievable. Somebody must have made a huge profit in the past.

Maybe my inexperience is showing, but where is it all spent then?

Or is it the £200,000 the income if the weather is good? If so, surely only the fixed costs should be covered. Profit shoudn't come into it. Or have I got soemthing wrong?


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 04:13 PM

"...there is definitely going to be a Festival next year"

Yes, but what sort? Spies tell me that Steve Heap was not at last night's meeting because he was not invited. I know that the purpose was to assess the opinion of the townspeople on whether they wanted a festival at all. However, I fail to see the point of inviting council representatives bleating £60,000 like a stuck record and not the festival director to explain why there is a £200,000 shortfall. This is not a profit margin but a contingency fund as has been said many times. There remains that gap £140,000 to be bridged to enable a vastly experienced director and his team to stage the festival on the scale we have come to expect. Already, many artists have come up with proposals to perform free of charge next year, possibly with a guaranteed booking in future years. This is extraordinarily generous considering that their earnings scarcely come close to those of most punters. I say take a lead from the artists and do something positive to raise the cash instead of whinging about how much it is.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: treewind
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 04:18 PM

I thought we'd gone through all this before in another thread.

In an overall budget of about 750k, about 200k comes from tickets sold for the Arena shows. If it's sunny all week, there's a surplus (not a profit) if it rains all week the arean income is nil and the festival makes a big enough loss to wipe out that accumulated surplus for the last few years. It's sad but true that one week of fine weather and Rolf Harris at the arena saved the festival from going under after several poor years.

Price the season tickets to cover a rainy week and you are accused of profiteering. Price for a good week and get bad weather, you go bust.

The £200k needs to be on tap as a gurantee against the worst case. With a bit of luck it doesn't need to be used, but it hase to be available.

I guess you could scrap the arena but I suspect that on average it's a money spinner that subsidises the cost of season tickets. Anyway there's no really big concert/dance venue without it and it's probably the main attraction for some festival-goers.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 04:48 PM

So the fixed costs are 750K Anahata. Thats an incredible amount.

The £200000, is that refundable? The ticket money is income, so in my opinion should not come into the equation.

Surely its the costs of artists, and other costs such as hire of the venue, insurance, security etc.

In a situation like this, surely profit has nowt to do with it. Its making sure nobody is out of pocket.

Not stirring Anahata, just trying to understand the accounting side.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST,Peter from ~
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 04:57 PM


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 05:03 PM

oops...

The numbers don't sound at all unreasonable. I imagine that the £200k doesn't need to be in Steve Heap's bank account, just guaranteed until a contingency fund can be rebuild. In the longer term it must be the management who are responsible for maintaining a contingency fund.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 05:06 PM

Villan

You're right, it's about viability and size rather than profit. There's quite a lot of background information on the "50th and last" thread, which I started because I'd had an e-mail from Alan Bearman, saying that this year's festival would be the last one run by Mrs Casey, unless a contingency fund of £200,000 could be guaranteed. Given that the festival contributes about £5 million to the regional economy and keeps many local traders in business, Steve was trying to get a bigger contribution from the local business community.

It's good news that there has been a decision by EDDC that the festival should continue, because some people (especially some of those who've moved there after retirement rather than growing up there or living there for a long time) didn't want it to.

I started a new thread, because it sounds very much as though the festival will continue next year but under new management, and the way forward is still under review.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 05:14 PM

I appreciate that Kitty and sorry for drifting away from your intended purpose.

Its just incredible money - wish I could get a bit of it for the Market Rasen Music Festival next year. Its in the pipeline. End of August 2005.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 05:16 PM

Please all take a look at my thread on the BBC Folk & Acoustic message board on the public meeting to see the offers from artists that are coming in.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 05:39 PM

If the festival goes ahead that is great news and we ought to be very thankful to Derek Schofield (who to my certain knowledge lives in Cheshire and has a very stressful job without all this). He has clearly been a great help.

It will be interesting to see what happens. I do worry about a downsized festival though. I find it hard to imagine.

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: fiddler
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 06:38 PM

I've scanned this thread and read the BBC board - they are all still playing politics.

The original 50th thread gives details of what it costs to put the festival on.

I like Simon Cares idea on how to buld the Mrs Casey charitable wet weather fund up.

Teh whole meeting smacks of political posturing by the Council (no doubt Steve has done a bit too) 60K won't touch the costs of Sidmouth and much as I have a lot of mates in the middle bar and in amongst the performers currently I would be dubious running a festival based around that.

The beauty of teh Middle bar and the Anchor the Radway and the everything else is that they are fringe events they add to the festival they are almost the anarchistic element - to build a festival around them rather than them around a festival will break what they are all about and they will loose a lot of their attraction.

What will the local traders get if the Council move to a singel site festival? Not what they get now that is for sure.

If the BBC thread is correct then why was Steve Heap not invited - if you are out to execute the king he needs to be there!!!

Andy


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Stepper
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 07:31 PM

The money being requested is only a guarantee.

I don't feel that the figures are that gastronominc in putting on a festival of this size....you just need to ask about costs of running festivals like Glastonbury, why do they have doubts periodically about that one....wet weather costs!

If we could guarantee the weather to be fine for the duration of the festival year in and year out it wouldn't be an issue would it?

As for profiteering....me thinks there is a lot of jealousy out there. We all have a right to earn ourselves a living. Steve Heap has choosen this route and we have all supported that over the years one way or another.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 06:53 AM

he figure of 60,000 is an annual figure running costs etc (actually I'm not sure what it is used for and apparently neither does ED DC which is why the want to have a committee to look into it) , the amount of £200,000 required is a contingency figure for underwriting (an occasional one off cost). The two Figures and the specific intention behind them are not related. As I have previously mentioned While Mrs C maybe trying to raise the current grant Oh Hell I've typed all this once I'm not doing it again. The current financial information available is so simplified that discussing odd figures that don't necessarily relate to each other means at this level the discussion is nigh on hypothetical. The bottom line at the moment is that the use of pejorative terms or phrases are unhelpful at best while discussions/negotiations are going forward.

fiddler I post again for the third time and nobody has even tried to come back on it is this Ive edited it down as well

It has been said
"In an overall budget of about 750k, about 200k comes from tickets sold for the Arena shows. If it's sunny all week, there's a surplus (not a profit) if it rains all week the arean income is nil and the festival makes a big enough loss to wipe out that accumulated surplus for the last few years. It's sad but true that one week of fine weather and Rolf Harris at the arena saved the festival from going under after several poor years.

Price the season tickets to cover a rainy week and you are accused of profiteering. Price for a good week and get bad weather, you go bust.

The £200k needs to be on tap as a gurantee against the worst case. With a bit of luck it doesn't need to be used, but it hase to be available."





If one excepts the rational that advance ticket sales only covers half a million which means that if we assume £150 per ticket and £50 camping that only 2500 are available (ok figures are approx and don't take into account the variations but you get the drift) This means if the other figures are to be believed that the other 37,500 that attend only buy enough tickets to raise around another quarter of a million. I realise this does not seem to make sense but at the level of public debate this is all the info we have available. Note that also, this year the attendance is reckoned to increase from 40,000 to over 60,000

Cllr


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST,Cllr at work
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 07:05 AM

Kitty the figure of five million is possibly not without bias, it does not specify in detail exactly who benefits from it and most importantly does not take into account what local tourism would bring in if the festival wasn't there. It would be foolish in the extreme not to realise that the festival has substantial benefits for the town but the figure of "five million" should not be carved in stone tablets. cllr


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST,Cllr at work
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 07:13 AM

And while Im at it... The confusion over 60K versus 200K is annoying me as the two figures do not relate specifically to each over. Or to put it another way; If the ED DC committed a contigency fund would they still be expected to provide an annual figure in addition? If the contigency figure is the sticking point then in the last few years the grant from ED DC must already have gone part way to covering a contigency. The only way the argumants make sense is if Mrs casey want the funding to continue AND they want a contigency fund in addition in which case it is not a simple case of rasing the annual amount of grant.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: fiddler
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 09:27 AM

Go for Cllr, at work or not, your hypothesis makes sense all round!

I really get a bit fed up with the short sighted understanding (if you can have such a thing) of a lot of folk in relation to this. It seems to be more interested in knocking Mrs Casey (often in the guise of Steve Heap) rather than address the problem.

If Sidmouth gets smaller and runs for a week some of the overheads will not reduce thereby the base cost per capita goes up - simple accountancy again.

Sidmouth as it is runs at 'break even' or 'break neck' levels but as it does not raise a true profit then protection against the elements of weather!

The detail as to does the council still give 60K per annum if it underwrites the bad weather cover is small print to be agreed in smoke filled (or not these days of Pc non smoking offices) back rooms and we as supporters and punters really need to know nothing of this.

I find it interesting that a meeting as important to local traders and hosteleries can only attract a half full hall (if this is correct) and the outcomes as reported seem to confirm my position that the council seem to actually want to take over the festival - from Steve Heap's point of view he could then arrange the festival with no financial risk at all but can you imagine all the wrangling over costs and budgets and health and safety.

A couple of years back a councillor form Sidmouth volunteered as a steward - after the festival he had a number of observations to make one being that the Stewards should be declaring their ticket value against tax - there were other equally spurious ideas.....Bring on the Council then - the King is dead - long live the Queen....

Sorry not flippant cynical...

Andy


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST,George Hawes
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 11:59 AM

Indeed, Councillor, but the £5M could as well be an underestimate as an overestimate . . . .

Also the stories about Sidmouth pubs taking as much money in Sidmouth week as they do in the rest of the year may well be apochrophal (ok, I can't spell) . . . .

However across the years I have had several conversations with a mix of Sidmouth traders who have said that the Festival week is a very major contribution to their overall profitability.

Slightly perversely, those traders are probably rather less affected by bad weather years than is the festival itself. The pre-booked punters (mainly and except in dire extremis) stick it out. Whereas the 'casual' visitors on whom the Festival is so dependent are also the ones who are more likely to drive to the Arena car park, spend some money in the various stalls in the showground, and go home without making much contribution to the local businesses.

(I'm not making a point on any 'side' here - just throwing a few thoughts into the mix.)


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 12:08 PM

George, indeed, my point is that it is very difficult to quantify the invisable earnings that the festival provides and a more independent survey would carry more weight than one that is commissioned by the Orginisers of the festival.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:02 PM

George - interesting point.

From EDDC's point of view, if making a day trip to the festival is part of the general tourist experience, and one of the local attractions, it probably still benefits the local economy even if not Sidmouth traders.

OK I quoted £5 million because that was the figure quoted in the Mrs Casey e-mail last month, and it's debatable. I don't think anybody could credibly claim that pubs etc take more in Festival week than the whole of the rest of the year, but it's probably equivalent to a month's taking rather than a week's, if not more. I interpret the EDDC support for continuing the festival next year as an acknowledgment of its importance for the local community as a whole. If Monday's meeting was mainly about establishing local priorities, and whether the festival should continue at all, it's not entirely daft that Steve wasn't invited to attend.

OK, lots of people have been critical of Steve's more commercial approach and the dropping of the word "folk" from the publicity, but he's kept the festival going for a very long time. It's going to be particularly interesting to see whether the festival continues as a folk festival.......

Kitty


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:27 PM

I suspect the figure quoted is reasonably easily arrived at and is based on those produced in the AFO report to be found at:
www.afouk.org

This is an independent report produced for the AFO by independent consultants and incidentally quoting the manager of Fields of Sidmouth. It was funded by the Arts Council of England and details the way in which spending at Folk Festivals is calculated. The money goes around more than once of course so any figures need to use a "multiplier effect" too.

I too have heard rumours of what shops and bars take during the week. I asked the landlord of one well-used pub if it was true he took 25% of his annual take during the Festival. He told me it was more like 33%! A festival I know rather well had one main supermarket whose takings during the festival week were second to the week of Christmas. (They made no contribution to the Festival BTW!!).

It may be that the people and shopkeepers of Sidmouth prefer to have less high profile events believing that other tourists will make up the shortfall in income. I doubt it very much. They and their local businesses may not even want the income. Their call and a shame for us festival goers.

As I understand the position that there is no need to put up extra cash - just to ensure that the shortfall is guaranteed in case of bad weather.

Not an unreasonable position I would have thought by Mrs. Casey's Music.

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: AggieD
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 06:13 PM

I was recently talking to a client of ours who used to live in Sidmouth. He told me that it was quite true that many traders boast that they take almost half of their annual income in folk week. He also reckoned that not only do the traders mostly make a packet out of it, but so do the locals who either take in b&b guests or rent out their houses. Most of the moaners are the incomers - mostly retired folk, who don't want their peace disturbed

I don't see what everyones problem is with anyone making money from folk events. Get real. The world does not revolve around the 60's we need more than love & peace to make the world as we know it exist. We are (mostly)intelligent, financially viable people who should appreciate that these events, no matter how large or small take a lot of money to organise. If you want to go to a festival that doesn't have any organised acts, or big names, then go find one. Otherwise lets be positive, find ways that the folk world can underpin these events & move forward.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: fiddler
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 06:25 PM

Hurrah Aggie, Dave at last with cllr some logical thought!


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 05:16 AM

The latest!

In a joint declaration, a number of interested parties have announced a positive proposal designed to secure the future of Sidmouth International Festival in perpetuity – and to bring it home!

This follows a decision by the Festival's current promoters to end their involvement unless a sum of £200,000 can be found to guarantee against wet weather losses.

In a nutshell the new proposals are:

To accept the withdrawal of current promoters Mrs Casey Music and Director Steve Heap

To set up a Voluntary Trust (or similar) involving all interested parties to secure a sustainable Festival for the benefit of generations to come

To maintain the Festival at a similar level of size and scope to its current status

To set up a one-day conference and workshop in early Autumn 2004 to harness all the support that has been offered

To take a year out in order to set up the necessary infrastructure

To suspend the Sidmouth International Festival for the year 2005 only

To bring the Festival back with a bang in 2006

With the strains of concertina music wafting through the window of a meeting room at Knowle, Sidmouth, a number of organisations keen to see the festival continue met for two hours this morning (Friday 6 August).

Hosted by East Devon District Council, the meeting was chaired by Councillor Andrew Moulding, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, and involved Eddie Upton of Folk South West and Marilyn Tucker of the Wren Trust.

The current promoters of the Festival were not present at the talks, but will be invited to take part in the consultation process later this year.

The proposal is to set up a broad-based voluntary trust or similar, with membership extended to involve local business people, East Devon District Council, Sidmouth Town Council, Folk South West, the Wren Trust, Great Western Morris and other similar organisations, each of whom would nominate representatives to act as Trustees.

The objective of the Trust would be to create a structure for the Festival that would make it sustainable into the future and reduce its current dependency on good weather.

To allow time to build a sustainable festival, with a stronger identity and maintaining the current brand image, it was agreed not to promote a festival in 2005, but instead to work towards a full status festival in 2006.

Councillor Moulding said after the meeting: "I am absolutely delighted that we have come up with a proposal that should ensure Sidmouth has a sustainable Festival for many years to come. We are determined to ensure that the Festival we put on is the kind of festival that everyone wants and not something that is a mere shadow of the extensive and eclectic Festival that everyone knows and loves.

"East Devon District Council is totally committed to the Festival and sees this as a way forward. But we want to allow time in the very near future to consult with other interested parties to ensure they are happy with the new structure and that we can rely on their full support for this preferred way forward.

"We will be setting up a facilitated conference day and workshop in the early autumn, at which all interested parties will be invited to commit to the plan. Obviously the financial issues are at the heart of the Festival's future and this will form a crucial element of our discussions."


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:03 AM

So despite the first post in this thread, there defintely is NOT going to be a festival next year......Or is there?

I can't help thinking that rather a lot of time has been wasted, since Mrs Casey's first announcement was made. Time that could have been better spent ensuring that some form of festival could take place in 2005.

As this appears to be what all parties want - it seems a little strange that 2005 will not see the 51st Sidmouth Festival. This appears to be the English way of doing things (or rather of not doing them).


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: treewind
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 01:04 PM

Roger - The fact is, it takes 18 months to plan the Sidmouth festival, so anyone taking up the job or running Sidmouth 2005 in its present form would have to have started in March, which I think is before Mrs Casey even made their announcement.

Anyone taking over without all the necessary contacts and experience would likely take longer, or make a complete balls up of the 2005 festival, or at least have a very limited event.

It was expected (a few days ago) that next year's festival would consequently be very small. The difference now is that they've decided to go for full scale and use the extra time to make sure they get it right. That's the theory anyway...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: MBSLynne
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 01:15 PM

Having just got back, a lot of people are saying that they will definitely be there next year, official festival or not. I think if as many Sidmouth lovers as possible turn up anyway it will help to save the festival from losing impetus over the gap-year. We could have a great fringe! I'll be there!

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 01:49 PM

Anahata

I take your point but how long does it take to plan not to have any event at all? And is that really possible for these people to decide that a 2005 event will not happen in some form?

If the planning to hold some form of event had been started when Mrs Casey made the initial announcement, the time could have been well-used to make the necessary contacts that will help to make any full-scale 2006 event a success. I agree with the last post, in that whether any organisers are ready or not - some form of event will almost certainly happen next year in the town. This will be a good thing too, for the reasons stated and I will be there also.

Sidmouth is too important to leave only in the hands of commercial organisers and councils. And the size of any 2005 event will not be up to them to decide but those who visit Sidmouth next year to make some music and dance. If it works - the folk may not have to depend on organisers demanding vast amounts of money and can carry on without being held to ransom.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 02:33 PM

Next year currently threatens to be a real shambles because of the uncertainty about who will turn up when, and for how long. Or what venues will be available. Neither the Theatre Bar singaround or Rosy's sessions are likely to happen, although they were magic this year.

The future of the festival shouldn't be determined just by visitors. There are different agendas here, and Sidmouth for many years has been a different festival for different people, depending what their interests are.

Steve has been running the festival as one of national cultural importance, with a particular emphasis on youth events. The performances by people like Jim Causley (who's actually from a few miles up the road) and other Shooting Roots were wonderful. So were the Sidmouth Steppers and Great Western Morris. People who live locally need to feel that it's their local festival as well as being internationally famous.


Keep an eye on the festival website - www.sidmouthfestival.org.uk.

Kitty
Kitty


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 07:41 PM

Next year currently threatens to be a real shambles-

I did say I would be there.......But would finding venues for some of the join-in events really bo so difficult? If you build it - there are many who will be willing to come.

There does not seem to be much point in looking back to the many good things that Mrs Casey have done or encouraged in the past - as this is now very much in the past. We can hope that many will reappear in the promised 2006 event and do what we can to ensure they do but that does not mean that all the other good aspects, that do not need vast sums of underwtitten, need not to happen in 2005.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 07:56 PM

http://www.sidmouthfestival.org.uk./

This is what the site that Kitty gave the URL for, is currently saying:

SIDMOUTH FESTIVAL WILL BE BACK IN 2005

To misquote a Sidmouth Folk festival booklet from years ago:
Something will happen in Sidmouth on the first week in August 2005.
It may not be clear yet what will happen or on what scale. But one thing is certain - Sidmouth Festival is
NOT going to lie down and die!

The festival may be about to end in its present form and come back in 2006 - but what about next year? A number of people who feel passionately that this very special week in Sidmouth's calendar should continue have set up this website as a first step towards securing the 2005 Sidmouth Festival.

The organisers of the annual Caribbean Night have already applied to book the arena for the night of 6 August 2005 and there are more events and ideas in the pipeline. In the coming days and weeks, we want this website to be the meeting point for all who want to see a festival in Sidmouth next year.

This will be the place where you can read about latest developments.
See you next year!


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 08:42 PM

Just back from Sidmouth, and it was magic this year. All the worries about its future made this more so, if anything. "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone..."

Pretty obviously, there'll be stuff happening next year - a sort of Interregnum Festival. I wonder if it'll be counted as the 51st Festival? I think what happens next year will be very important in helping to keep whatever is proposed for 2006 on target, and maybe provide a chance for trying out fresh ideas, and marking the fact that the festival belongs to all of us.

It should be interesting anyway. No shortage of people coming along to make music and dance and sing, likely including some contingents from overseas - which is important, because that's been a thing that has marked out Sidmouth as different from the other festivals. And I'm sure there'll be plenty of places to welcome us too.

Coordinating things so that people don't get in each others way too much, and so that people know where to go to enjoy things, that's going to be a conmplicated process, and so is stuff like ensuring that there is stuff like a solid children's programme, which won't happen just by chance. And there's the new licencing laws hanging over us too...

I'd imagine the internet should play a central part in making it possible for those things to be sorted out. Acrually that link to http://www.sidmouthfestival.org.uk./ didn't work for me, but that's the kind of thing that'll get fixed soon enough. I suspect the Mudcat could be quite significant too...

Of course it's irritating the way this whole thing was played out as an exercise in brinkmanship. And I think the whole episode is something that indicates something pretty contemptible about the people in charge of things in Devon and in England generally, regardless of their political labels. But that's hardly news, and it's not worth focussing on at this time.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 08:48 PM

I do not go the Sidmouth to go to the Arena events - I found I needed to wear ear defenders, and the physical sensation of the sound hitting me is unpleasant even walking behind the stage.

I spend the first part of the day at the Pavilion singing in the cafe bar, at six thirty pm I try to be at the motley morris in front of The Marine, I then go to the Anchor and as long as no one is smoking I stay there all evening, or if I am forced out I go outside in the town or to the Volunteer garden.

I plan to find something similar to do next year - the Rugby Club chairman (I think he was) said that if there were people coming the parking would be available.

I found that I could have been going to workshops even though I did not have a season ticket - despite what it said in the program (Season Ticket Holders Only) I could have paid to go in. Maybe they didn't want my money - but that is not what they were saying.

From what I was told, the talks/workshops I would have liked to attend were not full, and there had been a change of policy but there was no announcement of that - how could it be announced - there is no notice board, central information point or the like. It surely can't be beyond the wit of man to set up a number of boards in suitable places - is there a local radio station? Perhaps it would oblige with some airtime for the festival and the wavelength and the times of interest could be put on a website beforehand?

Whatever happens the festival will change, but the first meeting of the revolutionary committee of the socialist republic of Sidmouth takes place in the Anchor Middle bar late in July next year.

Anne


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 09:04 PM

Here's another site about all this that would be worth keeping an eye on - lots of links, and copies of press releases and such - "This is part of Sidmouth's largest website. During the summer of 2004 its prime purpose is to help disseminate information on the crisis facing the Sidmouth Festival, and to solicit ideas and support so that (it is to be hoped) the festival may continue in substantially the same form.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Phot
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 09:40 PM

Wouldn't it be great if the fringe outdid the festival, and in 2005, we had a return to the roots of the festival, the main focus of events being at Blackmoor Gardens, and all the old venues. Just a thought, or am I getting old?

Wassail!!

Chris


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: GUEST,Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 05:36 AM

Thank you McGrath of Harlow for mentioning my website (seered.co.uk) - certainly the internet will be useful to help coordinate 2005 but it would be helpful if we started with some organisation of who aims to do what and preferably without too much duplication. My website has a long history of documenting some of the 'local politics' of Sidmouth and I intend that it is kept up to date with all 'local news, politics and administration' matters relating to the 2005 festival. A lot of material from 2004 will be loaded in the next few days. SeeRed is also pretty high up the Google rankings because of its size and 'quality of text'.

However, I have little knowledge or inclination to get involved in organising who sings or dances what where and when, so maybe that side of things could become a strength of the new sidmouthfestival.org.uk site - I don't know who is behind it but the html coding is pretty slick.

Organising accommodation could be a real problem - who would take the risk of running a large campsite without public liability insurance? It is too soon to start to plan details - a few months need to elapse before we know what help if any is going to be available for 2005.

Also, someone needs to coordinate the stewards for 2005 - existing teams need to remain in contact so they can be reformed as necessary - again one central focus for this would be best.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 06:00 AM

So WHICH Fringe events are definately on for next year ?? Joe is all in favour of the New Tavern happening again and Gerry Milne and I are going for that , The Middle Bar is apparently a Go , What else is either a definate or is in the 'Possible' corner ??


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 06:01 AM

I think it would be a mistake to even think of trying to organise anything like past events for 2005. I would suggest that folk who are involved in events that they think they can continue to organise - without too much problem, just go ahead and do so. A central site where efforts could be recorded and offers of help focused - would be a good idea.

But a realistic approach about what is possible and what is not - should be the order of the day for 2005, from the start. Festvals are first about people. Accomodate them first, provide a few venues willing (and licensed) to enable some music making and dance - and see what happens.

http://www.sidmouthfestival.org.uk./


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 06:56 AM

Festivals up and down the country seem to be able to lay on camp facilities without that much difficulty. So long as there's a field available, and the people who own it are willing to make it available for a reasonable amount, I can't see that being a major difficulty.

"all the old venues - a bit of a problem with the Beach Store since they've built a hotel where it used to be. And so far as I could see, there's more music in the Blackmore Gardens in recent years than there ever used to be.

I would think there could be a realistic prospect of the people planning for 2006 helping in ensure some kinds of available facilities such as some marquees and backing for a children's festival and so forth. And perhaps the Connaught Gardens could make a come back as a venue.

Getting cranked up again for 2006, and winning back performers and punters. would be much harder if everything is allowed to lapse next year, and I doubt if that would be what they want to happen.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: MBSLynne
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 07:44 AM

Landlord willing we will be running the "Ashby de la Zouch Folk Club" in the Volunteer garden on the first Friday.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: treewind
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 08:28 AM

Drill hall ceilidhs! we should have them back!

In 2005, who's going to set up a camp site? If there's isn't some camping on a reasonable scale, then hotels, B&B and camping further away are going to be the only accommodation, and that's going to seriously limit the number of participants.

And are there going to be any booked performers?

I'll be watching developments with interest, but my focus is really going to be on the other festivals next year.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: MBSLynne
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 11:40 AM

Malcolm Burrows' site at Salcombe Regis will be operating and so will the bus that goes up there regularly. MBS are sorting it to make sure. He also has another site near Waitrose which started this year.
Yeah Drill Hall Ceilidhs would be great. So would Beach Store singarounds but that has gone. Can't go back I'm afraid

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:20 PM

And the Drill Hall has been condemned for public use because it's liable to fall down...


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: treewind
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:32 PM

I know! Only wishful thinking and nostagia for my earlier years at Sidders when the Drill Hall ceilidhs were such a feature.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 01:07 PM

Lynne

Unlikely that the Volunteer will be at all folk-friendly next year.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Barden of England
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 02:15 PM

The Bedford may well be in limbo too. If there aren't many folkies staying upstairs then it's obvious that other hotel stayers won't want that music going on downstairs.


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Subject: RE: 51st Sidmouth festival
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 02:54 PM

Nothing like a bit of positive thinking - and this is nothing like positive thinking.

Why not find out the answers before speculating in this negative fashion?


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