I'm actually quite concerned by one reply from Joan (Ruth):
"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."
I sincerely hope that any ticket charges applied to on-line sales pre-festival are not going to be retained for all sales during the festival week?
Selling overheads are either the usual 2 or 3% VISA/MASTERCARD charges which retailers have to absorb (maybe 40pence on a £20 ticket) or the more controversial £3 or even £6 charges for the privilege of buying tickets on-line. Given the very small costs involved in all automated transactions there must be scope for competition to bring these down.