Ah! Point taken!
Winchester FF used to get sponsorship from the city council and the city council used to charge them exactly that amount to hire the main venue - something to do with accountants.
Once again, I say it's lovely to have the basics (the venues) and even if you have to get every guest on a shoe string I bet the other council expenses (police, traffic etc) would not be waived.
I look forward to Sidmouth continuing in some form or other and I will continue to support it in my small way as, although I have not been a festival regular (as it usually clashes with Broadstairs) I HAVE enjoyed many a short weekend there.