I very much doubt the organisers are trying to achieve 'self funding' for each event - it has long been a part of many festivals that some events have to subsidise others that are 'worthwhile' but might not bring in as much money as they cost to run. It's a standard business model to allow this - only a buffoon would try and split Sidmouth into dozens of cost centres and cut each and every one that didn't pay. Net profit or loss has to be calculated for the major venues (see my discussion on the Bulverton maybe not paying its way in past years) and I have reproduced an interesting comment from the programme on my webpage 121 that this venue is going to be 'more intimate' this year. Smaller?? What a surprise!
The Arena used to be a venue that paid for lots of other events in the good years, and the Ham still does this (we hope) under the new scheme of things.
Worrying about where you put a few odd pounds in which tin is just silly - no-one is going to notice! No-one has the time or inclination to analyse to that degree and the figures would be so variable anyway, depending on weather , distance to trek to each venue etc.
Nevertheless, introducing paying £8 for events that used to be 'free' or 'collection' - if indeed that is what has been done - smacks of some measure of desperation. They could have started this year with a notional charge, £3 maybe, and assessed what effect that had on attendance. Zero to £8 is far too steep - unless you are desperate.
The webpage containing the quote and some comments about funding is on the link below - it's my opinion, like it or not!
They have made an interesting comment too about "traditional music and song elements restored to their proper place at the core of Folk Week" - strange use of words - any idea what they mean? The relevant piece is also on my webpage (see link belw) as a jpg image.
You can't make each part self financing - the social dance took a large hit when it was only in Church Halls - now they are trying to bring it back by including some dances in the enlarged Blackmore marquee but this may fail to attract many people for years - until the dance element builds up again. Ditto Bulverton - it certainly lost money in the early years in my view, so it has to be adjusted over the years to try and make it work.