I know the 'economic benefits' argument is one of the main reasons why local authorities help fund festivals but it is often very difficult for authorities to work out exactly how great the 'economic benefits' are.
It is easy to say the authority is putting £xxx into a festival.
It is much harder to find out how many extra people stayed in local hotels, spent money in local shops, cafes, petrol stations etc.
End result. Local authority eventually cuts funding because it can only see one side of the balance sheet.
Colyn. I have enjoyed my stints as a steward at Sidmouth for many years but am not coming this year as it just doesn't look like the festival I have enjoyed so much.
I'm doing a couple of days stewarding at Eastleigh instead in return for which stewards get free admission to all concerts, free camping, free t-shirt and free meals - I NEVER got a free lunch at Sidmouth!
Then I'm off to Broadstairs to enjoy myself!
I'll still be thinking of Sidmouth though and I'm sure Colyn, Lizzie, Lynne, John Barden and many others will still have a great time.