The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #76150   Message #1347168
Posted By: George Papavgeris
04-Dec-04 - 09:35 AM
Thread Name: Raising Money to Save Sidmouth Festival
Subject: RE: Raising Money to Save Sidmouth Festival
Lizzie, this must be your best post ever (not beeing cheeky here, I'm serious). This came all out from the heart, and your colours showed (oops, missus!).

I sympathise with your predicament. You had an excellent festival at your doorstep, in a town where the average age goes up 1 year every year, at least, and where little happens for the youngsters. I too would fight to keep the festival, or some sort of activity in any case, for my children, if I was in your place.

The majority of the rest of us however, and indeed the majority of the SIF attendees, have slightly different criteria. We DO want a good festival, with lots of good acts and a vibrant fringe. We would like it to be in an attractive place, too. Sidmouth has scored well there in the past.

But we would also like it to be easily accessible, and when we are there we like to feel that the townies are enjoying the atmosphere with us, and not hear mutterings if we go into one of the local shops. Here Sidmouth can "do better" (well not in accessibility, it's stuck where it is).

If Sidmouth was still so popular despite these latter drawbacks, it is a testament to the quality of the festival itself.

Faced with at least 30 brilliant festivals to choose from every summer, many punters look for "second best" closer to home every year. Now that SIF05 is looking like a fringe event with a few concerts, but without much of what made SIF04 the success it was, I think we can take it for granted that even more punters will look for other alternatives for their limited cash and time. No need to disparage them or call them names, they cannot all be "patriotic" about SIF - it's simply the market forces at work. And ranting at them will not persuade them to turn up at Sidmouth - more likely it will just annoy them; which is why I criticised some of your postings in other threads.

A scaled down, mainly fringe, event in 2005 may not be a bad thing anyway. Lots will enjoy it. And the reduced trading activity (as forecast) will be enough as a warning to locals; we don't need to cut off noses to spite faces here.

SIF05 will not be anything like SIF04. It will not have its size, glamour or variety. Or, indeed, its prestige. Pretending otherwise would be negative PR. But it will be good for some, whether for old times sake, or for whatever reason.

And then, we will all look forward to SIF06...