I won't be going this year because it won't be the festival that I grew up at. I loved the fact that you could see everything from the trad English sessions in the Volunteer to traditional dancers from Uzbekistan on the Arena, everyone together and equal, a folk festival in the most global sense.
Don T, I'm sorry, but I have to stand up for Steve Heap. The reason he isn't doing it any more is because he couldn't afford to keep going out of his own pocket. He loves both the music and the festival and I know him to be an honest and hard working man trying to do his best for what he sees to be important for the scene. This may not tally with what other folkies think of as important, but one of the wonderful things about the folk scene is that it is so diverse, full of ideas. He doesn't deserve to have his name bandied about in such a way.
As for a "real" folk festival, why did Sidmouth in its present form have to die so that this could happen? Was there no more room for other folk events in this country? Was it so worthless? A unique and enriching experience is potentially lost forever. It really is a shame. Sidmouth was the one large festival that did cater for the most die-hard trad fans, and provide those who may not know about that aspect of the music with the opportunity to experience it, and now it is gone.
Sorry if all of this has been said on threads I haven't seen folks, but I've been away for a bit. I really will miss it, needed to say my bit.