Sidmouth festival: Dance and workshop tickets 2005

The following information was taken originally from a leaflet distributed in local folk clubs. It was last updated on 11 June 2005. A full (provisional) daily programme is available on folk47c - as supplied to me by Ray Goodswen on 11 June 2005.

Originally: "Provisional bookings have been made for Sidmouth College, St Frances Church Hall and Sidford Village Hall for the purposes of holding dances and workshops during the festival week 2005. A range of dances and workshops will be on offer from 9.30 am to 10.30 pm. Other venues may be added if numbers attending warrant it."

LATER NOTE. The largest hall, at Sidmouth College, is no longer available because the Fire Officer has ruled it is unsuitable for public events - despite apparently being safe enough for schoolchildren! The Youth Centre at Manstone is a poor replacement.

Photos and discussion of actual venues here.

Refunds are available (until 30 June apparently) for people who bought tickets a long time ago and who now wish instead to attend more of the 'in-town' events. Ray Goodswen told me late in May 2005 that a 5 admin fee would be deducted - which I suppose is fair. A full refund might have been in order given that the major venue proposed at the time early tickets were sold (Sidmouth College) is no longer available. Some people are planning a refund on their weekly tickets and hoping to buy daily tickets instead.   

"The cost of tickets will be 90 each and limited to around 300" - although getting 300 people into the proposed venues would be a tight squeeze. No details of refund arrangements were given in early leaflets but see above and confirmed in an email from Ray Goodswen here. Day tickets available at 16 each and it has been confirmed (11 June 2005) that every event will have tickets for sale on the door, so subject to 'house full' you can turn up at any event and pay typically 4 to 7.

Tickets are available from Ray Goodswen (a caller at 2004 Sidmouth) at the following address

Tomperrow farm, Threemilestone, TRURO, TR3 6BE England.

Cheque for 90 per person should be included payable to SIDFOLK which is given as the trading name of a company called Lifestyle Design Management Ltd.

An email link was given as - this was an email address publicised by Ray at Sidmouth 2004. Other contact details are telephone (01872) 561002 or

Artists/callers appearing will include:

Pendragon, Geoff Cubitt, Orion’s Ring, Robert Moir, Kelly’s Eye, Colin Hume, Chris Turner, Ron Rudd, Newfolk, Mike Courthold, Charles Bolton, Gerry Yates, Anne Welch, Charles Bolton, Valerie Webster, Rosemary Hunt, Ivan Aitken.

Local folkies are divided as to the value of these tickets. The venues are not exciting because they miss out on the in-town atmosphere:

St Frances Hall is in Woolbrook. It is a reasonable size  - maybe 80 to 100 people maximum.

Sidmouth College Hall (NO LONGER AVAILABLE) is much larger - maybe 250 capacity (?) but a mile or so from the town centre on the way to Sidford.

Sidford Village Hall is convenient (if you happen to live in Sidford......) but two miles out of town otherwise. Capacity is around 60-70, beyond that it feels crowded.

To get to Sidmouth College and Sidford Hall you can walk or cycle (illegally) down 'the Byes' from town or drive and park in nearby roads (irate residents permitting?). St Frances Hall is near the LIDL store where car parking is available.

If you want to dance at Sidmouth 2005 these were once thought to be the only venues apart from casual seafront dances. It is now confirmed that there will be evening ceilidhs in Blackmore Gardens also ending at 10.30pm. There will also be some afternoon ceilidhs in the Ham marquee.

At the meeting on 11 February in Sidmouth there was disquiet about these arrangements - Ray Goodswen has not 'come on board' to join the main organising committee and has refused to join in a 10% discount scheme for people who become a 'supporter' of folk week. A few local folkies are now regretting buying his tickets because there are other options to dance in town at times that conflict with his out-of-town dances. Until 30 June the option exists to cancel the 90 'season ticket' and buy day or single event tickets instead. 

LNE events are not included in the price so the tickets may seem expensive - other events will be charged separately by the individual organisers.

Ray Goodswen is keen to stress that many callers and bands are willing to pay their own travel expenses and work for possibly no fee just so that they can support the festival.

A pity therefore that EDDC could not find enough petty cash to pay for some dance marquees in town - and that the main campsite and car park could not be given to the festival 'free of charge' in 2005. These small 'gifts' would have enabled the whole festival to be concentrated in town - where it surely belongs - and demonstrated some genuine commitment from the town.

It seems to be turning into a 'small man gives freely and rich town gives nothing' festival!

And if the weather is foul it will be a grossly inconvenient festival for dancers. 

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