Sidmouth FolkWeek: This is the index page for the section "Sidmouth Folk Festival" or "Sidmouth International Festival" Also with details of the quite separate Sidmouth Fringe Festival.
Sidmouth FolkWeek TICKETS FOR 2014/5 - the structure has changed again! There was little change for 2012/3 except that following criticism, the design of the official website was made somewhat better. For 2014, 'family ticketing' was promised - a spin-off from a further £10,000 being voted through in closed session by Sidmouth Town Council, bringing the annual Town Council subsidy to the festival to £30,000 for 2014 - and this at a time when local government spending was supposed to be constrained!
By far the
biggest change for 2014 was intended to be relocation of the official campsite - this
could have solved many of the problems of mud and sloping pitches but at the expense of a
more dangerous journey to and from the town, especially at night. These issues are
explored at length on this page - and on several subsequent
pages, especially this one. On 31 January 2014 it was announced
that the Bulverton campsite would be used in 2014.
Devon County Council took 3 months to refuse to release a copy of the draft Traffic Management Plan that has been prepared for the Salcombe Hill campsite by John Radford of JREvent Services - a request under FoI was therefore submitted to the Information Commissioner. Correspondence with Devon County Council is here - this includes discussions of the inadequacy of local procedures for licensing events where road safety should be of paramount concern.
Travel by bus and train to Sidmouth Folk Week - some useful information - and a map (assumes use of the Bulverton campsite)
The complete Newcomers' Guide to Sidmouth FolkWeek - first produced September 2010. Updated 2015.
The official (Bulverton) campsite is not to everyone's taste because of problems with late night noise, sloping camping pitches, mud and poor showers. Details of other local campsites are here.
An academic study is available (as a pdf) of the problems that beset the old Sidmouth International Festival that ran until 2004. An introduction to the pdf is here.
This index page has become too big in recent years - I'll split it up when I have time.
Local folk dance clubs and events in Devon - information and useful links.
Learn folk dancing - and join in the fun.
Alternative camping arrangements.
For August 2016 - small touring caravan for hire if you don't fancy living in your tent at Sidmouth - it can be located on any camping field by agreement but this must be booked well in advance - also spaces available for tents motor campers or caravans in Sidford (this applies all year round). The flat and usually mud-free alternative to the official campsite - and an easy, safe 8 minute cycle ride into Sidmouth.
Search the whole SeeRed website Index for festival section
This is part of Sidmouth's largest website. The 50th Sidmouth Festival in 2004 was a huge success. During 2004/5 most 'folkies' and many people in Sidmouth said they wanted 'folk week' to continue in substantially the same form - as an internationally renowned festival. Following the 'new style' event in 2005, things were not so clear cut. This website is being maintained to record the development of 'folk week'. It will continue to include useful information not present on the official site.
Contributions and comments to improve these webpages will be welcomed. Guidance on printing webpages. Amongst the most popular pages during the build-up to Folk Week 2005 were folk51 and folk51a. These have been left much as they were in July 2005, albeit with some superfluous material removed that is of no historical interest. An analysis of where the money might go in 2005 is on folk54. The future of the social dancing is central to how folk week develops beyond 2005 and this was brought sharply into focus in 2010. The town seems just so lifeless without the music from good quality dance bands drifting across from Blackmore Gardens and what was Church House Lawn from early morning and well into the night.
In 2007, the Church House Lawn marquee was reinstated - allegedly because the Anchor pub threatened to pull out of holding ceilidhs and the festival organisers needed a replacement venue in town. But there were certainly changes evident at the Anchor in 2007 - a smaller stage (more space for drinkers and easier access to the rear fire exit?) and the Middle Bar Singers were moved to an upstairs room. As a consolation, this apparently has better acoustics for singing. It was rumoured that the Anchor wanted to have rock bands instead of the traditional 'free' folk ceilidhs, and that they were 'leaned on' to change their minds.
Dating from before Folk Week 2005, views of other festival organisers are at folk63. Comments by a supportive Sidmouth resident are at folk70 with contrasting, more sober opinions at folk71. Highlights from a mid-January 2005 newsletter are at folk72. Reports from the 11 February 2005 meeting are at folk77 and folk78 (and 78a,78b) - see also folk79.
Amongst the most important of the earlier pages are folk21and folk22 which discuss economic analysis of festivals. It is argued that the larger festivals should perhaps most appropriately be subsidised from central rather than local funds. Folk26a is a dated yet perceptive document. These pages served to generate some academic interest in calculating the true benefit of the festival to the town - culminating in a research paper in 2009/2010.
The latest news is always on the last few pages in the index below. Please tell all your folk friends and any press/media contacts about this website.
An early website, run by a couple of East Devon councillors was called sidmouthfestival.org and was seen as an attempt to 'cash in' by organising 'non-folk' events during August 2005 whilst utilising the name of the festival. This is further discussed here and with an update here. The material is now out of date but will be preserved for the historical record.
There was concern in 2005 that any money collected from ticket sales, etc, should be properly accounted for by persons independent of East Devon councillors and should be devoted to supporting future folk festivals in Sidmouth. As of February 2005 this ideal seemed likely to be realised with the exception of the social dancing. As of 2006, this issue became 'history'. However, financial problems continued. 2006 was a good year - which was just as well because otherwise it could have been the last.
Over 50 years, the Sidmouth festival grew to become a highlight in the folk calendar. It is also what brings Sidmouth 'alive' during one week of the year. The town itself would be a principal loser if the festival were to be downsized or abandoned.
This section of SeeRed serves merely as a record of what happened, who said and did what, and with what final outcome. The pages are largely in chronological order.
The 2004 Sidmouth Festival was the 50th anniversary. However, the build-up was overshadowed by an administrative shambles over ticket sales and behind the scenes 'politics' as to future funding arrangements. As may be seen from many letters and articles in the local paper, there had been signs of trouble for years. However, only in January 2004 was East Devon District Council warned that 2004 might be the last festival run by the current management team. The first the town as a whole knew about this was a press release from the festival organisers dated 7 May 2004.
Photographs from the 2003 festival are presently located within an older section of this website. A selection of professional photos is available on the BBC website. There are also hundreds of photos available on facebook and elsewhere. Many of the best ones are on Alan Cole's site.
If your principal interest is the Sidmouth Festival (FolkWeek) you need not venture outside of this section of SeeRed - simply read some of the pages listed below.
Index for the folk festival section of SeeRed (largely in chronological order)
Trouble brewing - extracts from the Sidmouth Herald - 17 August 2001
Typical 'anti-festival' letter in the Sidmouth Herald - 24 August 2001
Report of an 'internet row' over the quality of the 2001 event
Yet more storm clouds - article of 14 December 2001
Petty squabbles with Sidmouth Town Council - 26 April 2002
Typical absurd claim for profits generated - 8 August 2003
Typical (and annual) letter from an anti-festival Sidmouthian - 15 August 2003
The threat of closure: Press release of 7 May 2004 and EDDC's response
The shambles of ticket sales in 2004
Initial local press comment - May 2004
Letter from Sidmouth resident calling festival visitors 'riff-raff' - May 2004
Letter from Derek Schofield - financing of the International Festival explained
Letters of support for the festival 26 May 2004
Letter centred upon festival history - 4 June 2004
Letter centred on festival finances - 4 June 2004
Letters in support of the festival over the years
Letter critical of festival 'begging bowl' mentality 11 June 2004
Options put before the 'Town meeting' held on 14 June 2004
Discussion at the Town Meeting : summary of issues raised
Local press comment following the Town Meeting
Middle Bar Singers vow to continue - press report of 25 June
Calculation of economic benefits of the Sidmouth Festival : is money everything?
Discussion of the AFO report of March 2004 - all gloss and little substance?
Report to Sidmouth Town Council 5 July 2004
Latest news - as of before the 2004 festival
Internet chatter and comments on the Sidmouth Festival crisis - Aug/Sept 2004
Views of councils and EDDC
Views of Steve Heap and Mrs Casey's Music
Sponsorship, the Arts and Opera - comparisons
Sidmouth is special - in more ways than one
Sidmouth is unique
A poem posted on the Internet
Gripes corner, cynics rectangle, and other geometry
The festival and local people
The Arena marquee - to cover or not to cover
Trust Funds, Underwriting and Insurance
The Fringe - many views but it is an integral part
Type and size of festival - some comparisons
Infamous last words?
A Golden Welcome - extract from Festival News 30 July 2004
Festival News 2005??: an important unofficial leaflet distributed in limited numbers
A draft letter to Tessa Jowell - made available in dance marquees
Policing the Sidmouth Festival - and EDDC's No Trading notice - what a joke!
Council crackdown on seafront traders
Festival Press Release - August 2004
Job application by Steve Heap (spoof notice posted on festival boards)
"Thank you" from Steve Heap and David Slater - from Festival News 6 Aug 2004
Advert for JKL video marking the 50th anniversary - from Festival News 6 Aug 2004
Report 'Crisis meeting to save Festival' - Sidmouth Herald 6 August 2004
Press Release issued 6 August 2004
Giving the Festival a bad name - local press coverage
Letters - Sidmouth Herald 13 August 2004
The festival must go on - press report 13 August 2004
Warning about the sidmouthfestival.org website. internet warning
Caribbean Night in Sidmouth - cash in hand?
Newsletter on Sidmouth Fringe 2005, distributed at Towersey 2004
Observations from a festival organiser - do EDDC know what they are taking on?
Could other festivals replace Sidmouth? - a collation of internet discussion.
Letter of support for Steve Heap - from the Sidmouth Herald 10 Sept 2004
Proposed concerts in the arena during 2005 - a conflict in the making?
Sidmouth festival to be starved of cash aid? - report of 1 October 2004
Please write to the BBC - let's see more of Sidmouth 2004!
Dancing and workshops at Sidmouth 2005
Discussion of venues and photographs
Email exchanges with the organiser Ray Goodswen
Detailed dance programme
Intrigue, double dealing and incompetence at EDDC? Updated 14 October 2004
EDDC Executive Board report - a missed opportunity for the folk movement?
"Save our festival today or it will die" - a belated appeal by Sidmouth Town Council
Questions and answers for Sidmouth 2005 - you can submit your questions
Tickets for Sidmouth Folk Festival 2005 - ticket information here
Questions and answers for Sidmouth 2006 - replaced by page folk83.
Sidmouth's SeeRed website praised
Sidmouth fringe festival 2005 - where is all the money going?
Money from the arena - a challenge to Councillor Stuart Hughes
Cllr Hughes sees red - can the festival survive if run by amateurs?
Report of Fringe Festival planning meeting - held in Sidmouth on 23 October 2004
The new sidmouthfolkweek website - yet another one!
Sidmouth's Councillor Stuart Hughes - some history
Fur flies on mudcat - showing the standard of internet 'debates'
Press Release of 9 November 2004 - following the meeting on 23 October
Sidmouth Folk Week 2005 - time for some realism?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2005 - errors in the proposed structure
Sidmouth Folk Week 2005 - the experts cast doubt?
Festival volunteers left in the dark - from the Sidmouth Herald 19 November 2004
Hugo Swire becomes shadow Arts Minister - East Devon's part-time MP is promoted.
Broadstairs anyone? - a comment from the BBC Folk and Acoustic website.
Press Release of 24 November 2004 - primarily a response to my letter of 19 November?
Safety on the Bulverton camp site - introduction
Caravan safety - letter of 15 June 1998 to the Chief Executive of EDDC
Caravan safety - letter of 14 July 1998 to Sidmouth Festival Office
Caravan safety - letter of 29 July 1998 to Chief Executive EDDC
Caravan safety - letter of 17 August 1998 to Mrs Ferrero EDDC
Caravan safety - experience on a Caravan Club site
Reality check - 31 December 2004 - proposed use of the arena is abandoned
Comments from 'Lizzie' in Sidmouth - early 2005
Comments from another Sidmouth resident - early 2005
Festival Newsletter of January 2005 - and local comments thereon
Does no-one care about the festival? From the Sidmouth Herald, 21 January 2005
On the move to Wales? But would a field in Wales be a replacement for Sidmouth?
Town Meeting of 11 Feb 2005 - haunted by uncertainty and rumour on mudcat?
Town Council Meeting of 7 Feb 2005 - expenditure on Britain in Bloom denounced
Article in the Sidmouth Herald of 11 February - report of the meeting
Report of the Town Meeting, 11 February 2005
Press coverage of the 11 February meeting - from the Sidmouth Herald, 18 Feb
Text of an article in the Herald of 18 February
Letter critical of Sidmouth Town Councillors
Official Sidmouth Folk Week colour leaflet (allow time to download)
Second official leaflet (allow time to download)
Evening ceilidhs and other developments - May/June 2005
LNE event cancelled - and then resurrected - late June 2005
Impressions of the 2005 week - and feedback for planning 2006 - updated 10 Aug 2005
Social dances a huge success - but not financially? Newspaper article of 5 Aug 2005
Letter to Gordon Newton, late July 2005 - do ceilidhs have to be so noisy?!
Prospects for Sidmouth Folk Week 2006 - comparisons with other festivals
Post Mortem declared by Sidmouth Town Council - did they really mean after death?
Could good weather be a risk to Sidmouth folk week? A comparison to Chippenham
Analysis of the Sidmouth Festival - as an example of Coase Theorem Failure
References for the above report
Report of a public meeting in Sidmouth - 17 February 2006
Report in the Sidmouth Herald 14 July 2006
Folk week 2006 - some observations.
Folk Week 2006 - Health and Safety issues, as if common sense mattered.
Folk Week 2006 - local press coverage - articles from the Sidmouth Herald.
Sidmouth vs. Shrewsbury Some observations from Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2006 and highlighting the differences between local council attitudes and finances.
Showers at folk festivals - calculations based on the Shrewsbury experience!
Floods in Shrewsbury - photos in an EA publication (pdf file 461kB)
Noise of outdoor events drives a Shrewsbury resident to move home!
Sidmouth Rugby Club hands over cheque - article from the Sidmouth Herald, November 2006
Sidmouth Festival tickets 2007 - confusion and complexity as the organisers attempt the impossible!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2007 - synopsis: once again the weather was kind - but financial problems still loom.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2007 - problems at the Bulverton campsite - is it time this was properly managed?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2007 - social dance, ceilidhs and the marquees.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2007 - letters in the Sidmouth Herald of 17 August 2007 .
Sidmouth Folk Week 2007 - lessons from 2007 - can do even better in 2008?
Sidmouth - the end of the line for a special town? saturated by intrusive CCTV?
Sidmouth Folk Week - tickets and stewarding in 2008. All change again - and more expensive!
Sidmouth Folk Week - seafront traders warned about 'a new approach' to policing. Call that headline news?!
Folk Week accounts - 2006 - from the Charity Commission website, how close to no content can you get?
Seafront traders - lots of hype but no prospect of action?
Seafront traders - a letter from John Dowell - confirmation of Police and EDDC impotence.
Midnight curfew on Sundays at LNE - yet more 'environmental health' rules?
Curfews and conditions at other folk festivals - yet more power vested in mediocre council officers?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2008 - wet, windy but with people in great spirit - but did Folk Week make a profit?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2008 - should the Bulverton be axed? - and why youngsters prefer Towersey.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2008 - Health and Safety - the rule of the box-tickers.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2008 - Health and Safety - how officialdom put folkies at risk of injury?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2008 - Blackmore Gardens marquee
Sidmouth Folk Week 2008 - The campsite - mud glorious mud - and two nasty accidents
Sidmouth Folk Week 2008 - Social dance - in three church halls only - and were these really workshops?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - £30,000 needed to support the festival - and in a hurry!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Lest we forget - the International Festival remembered.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Better late than never? Social dance organisation, stewards and caravan spaces.
Academic study of the failure to invest in the old Sidmouth International Festival.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - final preparations - and councillors taking credit as usual!
Child protection and stupid council officials - where will it all end? Will folk dance for children soon be banned?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - overall summary of 2009 - a year influenced by wet weather - yet again!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Ticket structures, costs and benefits - and a few problems and suggestions.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - survey of expenditure by folk festival attendees by De Montfort University.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - The Bulverton car park - not for the nervous driver!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Blackmore gardens marquee - some major improvements. Pity about the rain!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Bulverton marquee - smaller and with innovations - but will it be axed anyway?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Bulverton campsite - ideal for those of a stoical disposition?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Road safety on the Bulverton road - yet again it has to be raised as an issue!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Stewarding problems - these are becoming perennial and need sorting out.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Camping and motorhome options.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Ham marquee - new seating, new features and very swish (and German).
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Car parking, motorhome parking and bicycles - better facilities needed.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Folk Week colour along Sidmouth's sometimes sunny Esplanade.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Calculations of floor area and venue capacity for dancing.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Post festival photos - 19 August in the tropical sunshine.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Measuring the angle of dangle - calculations of road and camping gradients.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2009 - Article and letters in the Sidmouth Herald 21 August 2009.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Folk Week secures long term funding - and predictable letters in the Sidmouth Herald.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Press articles pre-festival.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Campsite safety - when will the organisers learn?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - General impressions of 2010.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Car parking and road signage.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Stewarding.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Social dancing : a further decline for 2010.
145a: - Social Dance - a priority, but for whom?
145b: - So what happened in 2010?
145c: - French and Breton dancing - and Blowzabella.
145d: - Blackmore events
145e: - Irish Set Dance and Ceilidh
145f: - Can the decline in social dance be halted or reversed?
145g: - Alternative social dance venues
145h: - Bulverton dance marquee
145i: - The Blackmore dance floor.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - letter in Sidmouth Herald 13 August 2010
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - the festival ticket structure - time to stop subsidising the Bulverton?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Observations of a social dance enthusiast from the Midlands
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Summary of Sidmouth Herald coverage 6 August 2010.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Alternatives to Sidmouth for social dance.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Sidmouth Folk Week: how has it survived for so long?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Letters in the Sidmouth Herald 20 August 2010
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Caribbean Night in Sidmouth 2010
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Letters in the Sidmouth Herald 27 August 2010
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Letter from Joan Crump in EFDSS magazine
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Article and letters in the Sidmouth Herald 3 & 10 September 2010
Sidmouth Folk Week 2010 - Academic study including of the economic benefits of tourism: introduction
Academic study including of the economic benefits of tourism - the full 2010 paper in pdf form, reproduced on SeeRed with permission, September 2010.
Sidmouth Folk Week - Newcomers' Guide to Sidmouth FolkWeek - your FAQs answered?
Sidmouth Folk Week - Newcomers' Guide to Sidmouth FolkWeek - aerial photos especially for caravanners.
Sidmouth Folk Week -2011- Letters about Social Dance at Sidmouth FolkWeek in eds - the magazine of the EFDSS.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Tickets for 2011 - preliminary information - and some comments from Joan Crump!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - reserved for future use - comment on £1.8 million benefit claims
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Ticket prices and Sidmouth FolkWeek website design - pre 2011- all very clear!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Tickets for 2011. The new (January 2011) website design was not ideal - here is a list of all the prices on one page.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Comments on the 2011 Sidmouth FolkWeek online ticket system - why make life so difficult for people?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Letters about social dance at Sidmouth FolkWeek in Set & Turn Single - the magazine for Folk Dancers.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- An article about folk dancing in the UK and use of the Internet - published in Set & Turn Single magazine, March 2011.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Excerpts from an article by Madeleine Smith in eds Spring 2011: the need for education and teaching of folk dance.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Examples of folk festival ceilidh and dance music - some typical youtube videos to inspire newcomers!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Excessive sound levels at folkdance ceilidhs - experiences at folk festivals and local events.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Published comments about FolkWeek Social Dance programme - March 2011.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Can glossy leaflets and a few big name callers restore Social Dance at Sidmouth 2011?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Sidmouth FolkWeek 2011 - the year of the sell out?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Mudcat postings - breach of copyright or fair use and parody? The FolkWeek Director sees red?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Article published in the magazine Set & Turn Single - July 2011 - what makes a good dance festival?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011- Footpath 17 across the camping field at Sidmouth - illegally obstructed?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Salcombe Regis Fringe Festival campsite (Thorn Park): some photographs from 2011 - flat and friendly.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Dance at Sidmouth in 2011 - the first day.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Dance at Sidmouth in 2011 - social dance in the church halls.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Dance at Sidmouth in 2011 - Blackmore Gardens.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Dance at Sidmouth in 2011 - Bulverton marquee - the LNEs.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Stewarding: different management, same old problems!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - The demise of the Sailing Club as a Folkweek venue?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Councillor Tony Reed and the rewriting of history.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Set & Turn Single - coverage of Sidmouth in September 2011.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - A potentially serious fire on the Bulverton campsite - and two scalding incidents.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - How Sidmouth FolkWeek could help revive folk dancing.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - The 2011 FolkWeek website - using Building Society websites to illustrate what was wrong with the design.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Portrait of John Braithwaite - and is too much power now concentrated in too few people?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2011 - Press Release : Joan Crump replaced as Artistic Director, effective 1 Sept 2011.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Yet more cash from Sidmouth Town Council - and all decided behind closed doors.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Excessive sound levels at festival ceilidhs - a summary of the current position. - a letter in S&TS
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Is Folk Dance dying out at small local clubs? What makes a club especially successful? An article from S&TS.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Stowford Rise Community Centre - the new prestige venue for FolkWeek evening social dances.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Sidmouth Town Council: how much more public money for Sidmouth FolkWeek?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Are folk festivals storing up trouble for themselves by holding down ticket prices? Published May 2012.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Should folk festivals be increasing ticket prices rather then relying or increasing public subsidies?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Flooding in Sidmouth 7 July 2012 - links to internet discussions, pictures, videos, discussions of climate etc.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Excessive sound levels at folk festivals and dances - letters in S&TS magazine. Published May 2012.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Excessive sound levels at folk festivals and dances - article in S&TS July 2012.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - A ripping yarn from Eastbourne dance festival - all about Sidmouth's new dance venue. Letter in S&TS July 2012
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Ceilidh dancers short-changed at Sidmouth Folk Week 2012. Why should we suffer a 30% reduction in dance time?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Sidmouth FolkWeek 2012 - Stowford Rise Community Centre as a FolkWeek social dance venue: the first year.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Sidmouth FolkWeek 2012 - the need for contingency planning and more local B&B accommodation.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - An article in STS magazine about dance floors at various venues - from STS November 2012.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Letters relating to an article about dance floors - from STS January 2013 and March 2013.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2012 - Why can't folk dance attract the money spent on either online dating or Zumba? An article in STS March 2013.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Dance floors at UK festivals - including legal implications. From STS May 2013
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - The risks of climate change for UK festivals such as Sidmouth. From STS May 2013.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Speed dancing in the UK - an idea for folk festivals? Two letters from STS May 2013 and July 2013.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Sidmouth FolkWeek 2103 - infrastructure issues and poor organisation of stewards.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Sidmouth FolkWeek 2013 - time to call time on alcohol at the Bulverton?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Sidmouth FolkWeek 2013 - comments on some of the dance events
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Proposed relocation of the Sidmouth FolkWeek (Sidmouth Folk Festival) campsite and dance venue
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Early promises for the Salcombe Hill camping site - and a letter in the Sidmouth Herald highlighting some of the issues
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Salcombe Hill camping site - a letter in the Sidmouth Herald 6 Dec 2013 criticising the National Trust.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Salcombe Hill camping site - letters in the Sidmouth Herald 13 Dec 2013.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Salcombe Hill camping site - articles in the Sidmouth Herald 13 Dec 2013.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Salcombe Hill camping site - letter about Mr Braithwaite in the Sidmouth Herald 20 Dec 2013.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2013 - Salcombe Hill camping site - a summary of the arguments for and against, as of the end of Dec 2013.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Salcombe Hill camping site - the views of one local resident, in response to analysis on SeeRed, 9 Jan 2014.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Salcombe Hill camping site - article in Sidmouth Herald, 3 Jan 2014.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Salcombe Hill camping site - letter in the Sidmouth Herald 10 Jan 2014.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Salcombe Hill camping site - traffic management and discussions with Devon County Council.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Salcombe Hill camping site - Article in Sidmouth Herald 31 January 2014.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Salcombe Hill camping site - Traffic Management Plan (TMP) - Sidmouth FolkWeek, FoI requests.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Salcombe Hill Camping Site - Discussion on mudcat forum.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Salcombe Hill camping site - Letter to Information Commissioner.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Overheating in Blackmore Gardens marquee and the Ham marquee - the importance of design and venue management.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Cost of employing bands and callers at Folk Clubs - some discussion from Set and Turn Single magazine.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Sidmouth FolkWeek social dance - publicity leaflets from 2013 and 2014.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 - Dance instruction at festivals and in local clubs - a viewpoint from STS magazine March 2014.
The webpages listed above detail the key developments during the first ten years of the 'revived' Sidmouth Festival, known often as FolkWeek. Against many expectations the event grew to be successful and in a few respects to surpass the International Festival that reached its climax in 2004. FolkWeek has now 'settled down' and with few additional administrative or otherwise notable events to report. The 'Diamond' event in 2014 was highly successful owing in part to good weather.
In 2014/15 I didn't buy a season ticket and didn't do my customary 60 hours of dance during the week. Observations from 2014/15 have been combined, and in future years only limited reports may be published. Further details of the FoI requests related to John Radford will be published later as will details of future plans to relocate the festival outside of central Sidmouth. 2015 saw 'all change' on Sidmouth Town Council as many long serving members lost their seats, and there continued to be huge upsets in EDDC, centred around their decision to redevelop the Knowle parkland, site of the Arena venue up to 2004 to help fund a relocation of council offices outside of Sidmouth. Much of the local acrimony is detailed on a difficult to navigate website - Save Our Sidmouth.
2015 was notable for a large outpouring of protest about the number of traders along the seafront - and about the number of campervans parked in and around Sidmouth on the public highway. Letters and articles from the local newspaper over several weeks following FolkWeek 2015 are reproduced below.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Tickets - yet more rearrangement and complexity!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Kennaway House and relocation of Festival Administration.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - The Craft Village.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Stowford Rise dance venue
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - 60th celebrations and changes.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Blackmore Gardens - floor, ventilation and lack of proper management.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Tom Hinds - a gamble that paid off - and a problem for the future!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Blackmore Gardens - get it right next year?
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - The Ham concert marquee
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Fears acoustic traditions on seafront 'will be lost' - article in Sidmouth Herald 7 August 2015
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Call for bylaw to end use of road as campsite - article in Sidmouth Herald 14 August 2015
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Letters in Sidmouth Herald 14 August 2015.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Camping out in a motorhome on a public road - is it legal? Further discussion in the Sidmouth Herald 21 Aug 2015.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Letters in the Sidmouth Herald, 28 August 2015 - motorhomes on the streets and amplified buskers in town.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Coverage in STS magazine issue 95: some further views of the 2015 event from festival dancers.
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - Views from a local dance club: teaching folk dance callers how to call and folk dancers how to dance!
Sidmouth Folk Week 2014/15 - L
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The principal Sidmouth Folk Week organisers for 2005 were John Dowell and Tony Day (more details here). Gordon Newton organised the Ham marquee and events and (from June 2005) also the LNE at Bulverton. These were both pivotal to the success of 2005 and (thereby) to the whole future of a folk week in Sidmouth. Gordon Newton opted out of 2006 (and subsequently) owing in part to comments made by local councillor Tony Reed. Gordon Newton deserves lasting thanks for his help in 2005. Leo Beirne acted as festival director during 2008. One of his legacies is the tiered seating in the Ham marquee. John Braithwaite became festival director in 2009/10 and has continued to 2015.
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