The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69569   Message #1182701
Posted By: JennyO
10-May-04 - 09:56 PM
Thread Name: 50th and last Sidmouth festival?
Subject: RE: 50th and last Sidmouth festival?
I'm in Australia. We have festivals of varying size here, most smaller than Sidmouth but a handful are bigger. I was on a tour with my choir in 2001, and we performed at Sidmouth.

One of the things that struck me at the time was how dependant on the weather this festival is. That year, the weather was very changeable, with sun one minute and downpours of rain the next. Every time it rained, everyone in the Arena area had to run for cover and activity ground to a halt. A part of the stalls area, which was under cover, was still in trouble after the rain stopped, because water ran in and the ground was flooded. The large outdoor stage seemed to be partly protected, but the audience area was completely in the open. Even the showers in the camping area had no roof.

In Oz, at the festivals I have been at, even the smallest of festivals, there have been many wet-weather contingencies in place, so that they will continue to function. We use indoor venues and marquees for all the concerts, and the worst that might happen is that you might decide to stay where you are for longer if a storm hits. Our festivals also tend to be much more compact, even quite big ones (The National in Canberra is a perfect example), and the camping is closer (with the exception of Woodford, which has a FREE shuttle bus). I must admit I came back with an increased respect for our own festival organisers.

I was really surprised that a festival as big as Sidmouth did not seem to take weather factors more seriously. Is it an English thing, to tempt the weather gods this way?