Tatterfoal, I should explain a few things:
Ticket Solve isn't an agency, they provide an on-line box office for the festival. Selling tickets on line costs money. A big problem that the festival has had in recent years is that, from the time the box office opens in Sidmouth in the week before the festival, we have had to move to a paper-based system which is not related to the system we use pre-festival. This is not particularly efficient. The new system will allow us to migrate (seamlessly, we hope!) to live selling, using the same system throughout the week. This will allow us to keep track of capacities in venues much more efficiently, will allow us to capture information about purchasers during the week so that we can keep in touch with them over the year, and provides all sorts of other support services that any modern box office would. It's a big step forward both for us and for our customers. It's not an agency, and they are not "making money out of folkies" any more than the people we hire the marquees or the seating or the toilets from. It's all going towards making the festival experience better and making the festival more viable in the long term.