How pleasing to see some further sensible discussion of excessive sound levels at Sidmouth FolkWeek.
There has been some discussion in the pages of Set & Turn Single magazine - some of the letters are on these webpages:
initial letter from me and further correspondence as follows:
reply to my initial letter
further letter from me
The editor is keen to continue the debate - so do please air your views. I only experienced the DIN from Dukes in the run up to the final torchlight parade. It was just absurdly loud.
The festival organisers do not seem to realise (or care) that they are losing significant amounts of money because many dancers (social and ceilidh) simply do not wish to be deafened - they want to dance to a reasonable volume and be able to enjoy the music as they dance.
It is certainly possible for bands to 'turn it down' and not lose any of the instruments - Tickled Pink are known for being very loud (and they seem to be proud of being so silly) but in the first half hour of event 109 (Blackmore Gardens, first Friday) their music was simply fabulous to dance to. Yet by 8pm they had ramped it up so much that some people (including me) simply left.
It's such a pity - when turned down to a sensible level they are one of the best ceilidh bands.
I only went to the Anchor once - to hear the English String Band with Dave Hunt calling. Very good they were too - I did the initial polka and that was enough for my knees afetr suffering Blackmore Gardens dance floor all week.