The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69569   Message #1180544
Posted By: Herga Kitty
07-May-04 - 02:34 PM
Thread Name: 50th and last Sidmouth festival?
Subject: 50th and last Sidmouth festival?
I received this e-mail today from the Sidmouth festival management:

Press Release for immediate use


Sidmouth International Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year from 30th July - 6th August with a fantastic line-up and record ticket sales (season tickets are expected to sell out very shortly for the first time in 20 years), all pointing to a superb event. It is expected to be a landmark in the festival's history and growth, and this year will be televised nationally.

However, there is now considerable uncertainty about the festival's future.
The financial risk involved in organising and staging such an event has grown considerably over recent years, and the current festival management find themselves unable to commit to events in the future without establishing a security fund of £200,000 to underwrite the festival in case of adverse weather.

Sidmouth International Festival contributes in the region of £5,000,000 to the local economy, yet business in the district fail to realistically support the festival's Patron Scheme. Also after 50 years of support, East Devon District Council have indicated their financial support will soon come to an end, exposing the management to even greater risk than before.

Faced with this situation, the 50th Sidmouth Festival will be the last one organised by the current management.

The organisers are aware that this news will shock many of the event's supporters. This decision has not been reached lightly. The only way that the current management is prepared to consider a future beyond the 50th festival is to secure sufficient underwriting.

If there are companies or individuals willing to make significant financial contributions towards this underwriting they should register their interest to the Festival Office by Friday 28th May. Based on the response, final decisions on the future of the festival in 2005 and beyond will be made in early June.

Festival Office, PO Box 296, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3XU, UK

May 7th 2004