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Review: Sidmouth '08

Mavs82 24 Aug 08 - 04:35 PM
JHW 24 Aug 08 - 05:07 PM
Fidjit 24 Aug 08 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,watcher 24 Aug 08 - 05:51 PM
bubblyrat 24 Aug 08 - 06:22 PM
Mrs Scarecrow 25 Aug 08 - 11:37 AM
John MacKenzie 25 Aug 08 - 02:23 PM
melodeonboy 25 Aug 08 - 02:47 PM
Fidjit 25 Aug 08 - 03:08 PM
John MacKenzie 25 Aug 08 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,watcher 28 Aug 08 - 12:58 PM
Fidjit 28 Aug 08 - 03:14 PM
Mavs82 28 Aug 08 - 07:18 PM
John J 28 Aug 08 - 07:46 PM
GRex 29 Aug 08 - 03:23 AM
mattkeen 29 Aug 08 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Dazbo at work 29 Aug 08 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 29 Aug 08 - 06:11 AM
Ruth Archer 29 Aug 08 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 29 Aug 08 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,JM 29 Aug 08 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 29 Aug 08 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 29 Aug 08 - 08:49 AM
Ruth Archer 29 Aug 08 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,miss lemon 01 Sep 08 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,Paul B 01 Sep 08 - 12:02 PM
Fidjit 01 Sep 08 - 02:52 PM
Ruth Archer 01 Sep 08 - 03:45 PM
Tattie Bogle 01 Sep 08 - 05:59 PM
dilligafxx 01 Sep 08 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Vince 02 Sep 08 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 02 Sep 08 - 05:44 AM
Ruth Archer 02 Sep 08 - 06:00 AM
Mr Red 02 Sep 08 - 07:54 AM
Fidjit 02 Sep 08 - 03:06 PM
John Golightly 03 Sep 08 - 12:41 PM
John MacKenzie 03 Sep 08 - 12:50 PM
Ruth Archer 03 Sep 08 - 01:30 PM
Herga Kitty 03 Sep 08 - 03:54 PM
Folkiedave 03 Sep 08 - 04:09 PM
Ruth Archer 03 Sep 08 - 05:04 PM
Folkiedave 03 Sep 08 - 05:09 PM
bfdk 03 Sep 08 - 07:01 PM
Leadfingers 03 Sep 08 - 07:31 PM
Ruth Archer 04 Sep 08 - 03:58 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 04 Sep 08 - 04:35 AM
Ruth Archer 04 Sep 08 - 04:52 AM
ConcertinaChap 04 Sep 08 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Peter Stockport 04 Sep 08 - 06:55 AM
Folkiedave 04 Sep 08 - 12:12 PM
Scooby Doo 04 Sep 08 - 12:15 PM
Dave Earl 04 Sep 08 - 12:16 PM
Folkiedave 04 Sep 08 - 01:53 PM
John Golightly 04 Sep 08 - 05:03 PM
John Golightly 04 Sep 08 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,watcher 04 Sep 08 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 04 Sep 08 - 07:53 PM
Dick The Box 06 Sep 08 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,watcher 06 Sep 08 - 09:35 AM
Ron Davies 06 Sep 08 - 10:24 AM
Ron Davies 06 Sep 08 - 10:33 AM
John MacKenzie 06 Sep 08 - 10:48 AM
Fidjit 07 Sep 08 - 05:48 AM
Rumncoke 07 Sep 08 - 12:45 PM
Herga Kitty 07 Sep 08 - 03:57 PM
Mavs82 09 Sep 08 - 06:12 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 08 - 03:53 AM
Dick The Box 10 Sep 08 - 08:07 AM
GUEST 10 Sep 08 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,watcher 10 Sep 08 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Chaz 10 Sep 08 - 06:43 PM
Mavs82 10 Sep 08 - 11:14 PM
Mavs82 10 Sep 08 - 11:31 PM
fiddler 11 Sep 08 - 03:58 AM
Ruth Archer 11 Sep 08 - 04:05 AM
Folkie 11 Sep 08 - 08:19 AM
Dick The Box 11 Sep 08 - 10:00 AM
Mavs82 11 Sep 08 - 12:49 PM
vectis 11 Sep 08 - 04:18 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 11 Dec 08 - 05:06 PM
Ruth Archer 11 Dec 08 - 05:34 PM
Folkiedave 11 Dec 08 - 05:48 PM
Fidjit 11 Dec 08 - 06:08 PM
Surreysinger 11 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 11 Dec 08 - 07:55 PM
Folkiedave 12 Dec 08 - 03:05 AM
Ruth Archer 12 Dec 08 - 04:16 AM
mattkeen 12 Dec 08 - 08:24 AM
Ruth Archer 12 Dec 08 - 08:46 AM
Folkiedave 12 Dec 08 - 10:21 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 12 Dec 08 - 10:32 AM
Folkiedave 12 Dec 08 - 11:25 AM
bubblyrat 12 Dec 08 - 02:45 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 13 Dec 08 - 08:55 AM
steve_harris 21 Dec 08 - 08:33 PM
GUEST 22 Dec 08 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 22 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM
Mr Red 22 Dec 08 - 07:39 AM
Folkiedave 22 Dec 08 - 09:14 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Dec 08 - 11:48 AM
Ruth Archer 22 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM
steve_harris 22 Dec 08 - 02:24 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Dec 08 - 03:44 PM
steve_harris 22 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Dec 08 - 06:27 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 22 Dec 08 - 07:28 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 Dec 08 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Gadaffi 23 Dec 08 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,Peter 23 Dec 08 - 12:18 PM
steve_harris 23 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 23 Dec 08 - 05:01 PM
Folkiedave 23 Dec 08 - 05:14 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Dec 08 - 02:18 PM
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Subject: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 04:35 PM

So, to all the 'catters who made it to Sidmouth this year, what did everyone think?
Sal - it was good to see you again! I hope you had a decent week trade wise, despite the inclemant weather.
So, any thoughts, insights, comments, suggestions etc. with regard to Sidmouth 2008 would be great!!!

Thanks guys!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: JHW
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 05:07 PM

I didn't get down till Monday but that gave me a good campsite spot. I could almost see the next tent through the mist. I really enjoyed it. This year a highlight was the Ballad sessions under the Bedford where there were some great surprise linking songs from those gathered. The room there is far more suited than the Cons club at Whitby but I think also it works better in Jacks with just the one guest each day which gives a focus.   
I've missed two years Sidmouth and thought there were less folks about but next year's a must again.
The Cleverley Brothers were good in the Swan. Silly but fun with a beer or two. Better beer now in the York and Fork.

John


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Fidjit
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 05:46 PM

As posted on the other thread.

Subject: RE: Sidmouth FolkWeek 2008
From: Fidjit - PM
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 03:53 PM

Finally back in Sweden after many Festivals. Among them Sidmouth.
Spent most time there between Sue the Border's, Herbaceous Border on the Esplanade, and the Anchor Garden lunchtime ceilidh's. also via the Newt. Where Terry and I had a laugh or two.
Jacks bar in the cellar of the Bedford and The Ship were my other haunts. In the Ship I met up with my mates from the, "Half Moon" in Bishop's Stortford. Great sessions thee.

Looked in on the Radway - mostly diddley stuff when I looked in. Like the Swan Not my cup of tea. As was the main bar session in the Bedford.
Got some dots from John KP.at the Rugby Club.
Caught Derek's talk on RVW. That was good.
Sorry Surreysinger I missed your Lucy bit. Found out next day.
The Volunteer was too far up the street for me.
In fact I found the whole of Sidmouth was far too spread out.
Missed you Lemon lady so never got a drink of that sort.
Sue. I had a really great time with the Hosepipe Band and all of HB.

Met a few friends and made a few new ones.

Having done them both now, i.e. Sidmouth and Broadstairs.
I must say that of the two, I prefer Broadstairs. Not so far to walk between venues there.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 05:51 PM

It's often been said there isn't "A" sidmouth festival, its a lot of overlapping ones that people can choose between. some people on this list appear to never leave their chosen pub/venue!

so, where to start....
The display dance teams were excellent in spite of the weather. The Latvians were amusing as well as well drilled,the French girls enthusiastically joined in the ceilidhs after their performances, and the home sides Mortimers, Great Western and, er, Chinwrdde? (OK, Kenilworth I can spell) were crowd-pleasers. All the teams seemed to be enjoying themselves, dancing with precision but not being precious.

Ceilidhs were a mixed bag.
Like many others, I thought Maerlock were no good for dancing (uneven rhythms, a waltz that wasn't in waltz time etc). Likewise Demon Barbers were a bad choice for the final LNE; many people expected a last night ceilidh and felt short changed, some said they might not bother buying season tickets in future. Even Blowzabella seemed to have lost their edge to some extent, in particular the long hurdy-gurdy solo was just self-indulgent, and the fiddle solo supposedly for a bourree had people trying to spot where the beat and A and B sections of the music were.

LNE layout was unsatisfactory - previously rows of seats alongside the dance floor meant people could be based somewhere and know where to find each other - the lack of seating this year made the event less sociable, people crowded at the back couldn't easily get up and find a partner for the next dance. And why was the whole of one side occupied by crash barriers surrounding the sound desk - the Blackmore set-up was unobtrusive and the mixing was also of a much higher standard.

Blackmore Lastminute ceilidhs had a better atmosphere, but were too crowded. They need the whole of the marquee, not have part taken for craft stalls, and hopefully some sort of "beer-garden" so people can pop outside for fresh air and a drink. Again, the seating arrangement was poor with a single block - people sat in the middle were stuck there and would struggle to get to the dance floor if they could spot a partner. I do wonder if the people planning the layouts of both the dance marquees actually do much dancing at sidmouth.

The Anchor ceilidhs went well despite the weather, gave "experts" what they wanted but also brought in the general public novices who will hopefully get more involved in future. I don't like the word "inclusivity" but it is appropriate for the Anchor events and is good for public relations with the locals.
Speaking of "inclusivity" or lack of it the Cornish/Breton evening seemed elitist, no attempt to teach newcomers, anyone who didn't know the dances in advance just floundered (but the music was good).

I've said enough, now for the arguments and slagging off..... :-))


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: bubblyrat
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 06:22 PM

I didn't "steward", OR buy a ticket this year, but just went for the "fringe". Obviously, several elements of the "old" Sidmouth are missing,especially the Arena ( I miss all the people walking up the hill !! ),and the Church House Lawn marquee. Also, the "ambience" isn't the same around the Ham marquee either. Blackmore Gardens did not seem to have the same "buzz", and, from a distance, the LNE complex seemed to be smaller than in previous years ,or is it just me ?? But I enjoyed the American Old Time sessions, and Colin's hospitality and lunchtime victuals, in the Bedford Hotel ( some things never seem to change, thank God !!) , and the Radway was fun, too. Otherwise, the whole thing was kind of OK, but not nearly as memorable as was the case a few short ( 3 or 4 ) years ago. There is definitely something missing, I feel ( sadly ). Of course, the weather ( what happened to Global Warming ?) didn't help !!
                               See you (maybe !) at Wallingford, Swanage, Banbury, and Bampton ( Devon ) !!

                               Nick E. Nackinou


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mrs Scarecrow
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 11:37 AM

I only did the fringe and was only there from the Monday, never the less I had a good dance in the Anchor Gardens, Heard and joined in some cracking singing in the Anchor Middle bar , and the York and Faulkner Played in the radway and sang in the Newt and generally had a marvellous time that the horrible weather did not manage to spoil. I even managed 3 swims in the sea!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 02:23 PM

Do we need to have scraping and squeezing in EVERY bloody bar?
Well anyway it seemed like that to me!
I could have stayed home and listened to all that Irish and Scottish material, could even have enjoyed the same weather.
Nothing unique at all this year for me, but I did meet up with 3 people I hadn't seen for over 20 years, so that was good.

JM


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: melodeonboy
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 02:47 PM

"Do we need to have scraping and squeezing in EVERY bloody bar?"

If you scrape or squeeze in the anchor Middle Bar, you're likely to get your goolies chopped off!

I didn't notice an awful lot of it in the York and Faulkner either. And there was plenty of unaccompanied stuff in the Ship, along with scrapy, strummy, parpy and squeezy!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Fidjit
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 03:08 PM

John MacK

Then you didn't hear me sing The Cruel Sister, Child No.10 in Norwegian, at the "Body count" session, at the Woodlands Hotel. We came up to 30.000 odd. I only added two.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 03:22 PM

Who could tell?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 12:58 PM

Terrible in Blackmore Gardens, the lastminute bar was charging £2.60 for an excellent pint of Royal Oak, £1.80 a pint of shandy, a quid for non-alcoholic cocktails(with fruit and paper umbrella!) and 50p soft drinks.
They need a good talking to otherwise we'll be inundated with that lot from the whitby golden egg thread, cluttering up the place and rattling their begging bowls.....


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Fidjit
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 03:14 PM

John MK.

Anyone who knows the Cruel Sister
The younger sister drowns the elder sister is turned to stone.

My point John MK is,

That there were other places where there was not scraping and squeezing.

Although I spent quite a lot of time with Herbaceous Border on the Esplanade. I did get to other places.
This was my first ever Sidmouth so I went nearly all over.

Jack's bar (underneath the Bedford) was every afternoon ballad singing.
As was the Woodlands Hotel.
I'm sure - although I didn't get there - too far up the street. The Volunteer was unaccompanied too.
The Ship had some great sessions with all sorts of song and tunes. Seldom scraping style.
The Middle bar also u a c.
Terry (Leadfingers) in the Newt was mostly songs. At least when I was there.

Derek Schofield had Eliza Carthy in for a couple of songs at his lecture on RVW.
I'm also reasonably sure that Surresinger (Irene Settle) sung some of Lucy Broadwood stuff at her talk. Sadly I missed this in the program.

It really depends where you were.

I'll get me coat.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 07:18 PM

Bubblyrat mentioned that there is something missing at Sidmouth these days. Does it not strike any of you that the something missing is the large number of people that used to turn up and enjoy the week without being critical of everything they could be?! I don't remember people bitching and grousing about the layouts, the sessions, the workshops, the displays, the marquees etc etc etc...

I think people have become far more judgemental since the 50th and that impedes on their ability to relax and enjoy the festival. I found plenty to occupy me and had a thourighly enjoyable week. I don't feel any need to complain about what wasn't there - I just went to the stuff that was!!

Why is it that people (And this isn't aimed at any individual) feel the most appropriate thing to do is complain that things aren't how they used to be?! Here's some news for you guys - no, it's not. For a start, it's not being run by full time professionals but by volunteers. Isn't it enough to just enjoy what is going on without childishly complaining that this, that or the other hasn't been arranged for you?!?!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John J
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 07:46 PM

Middle Bar was excellent. Again.

JJ


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GRex
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 03:23 AM

Mavs82

         Hear Hear

                   GRex


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: mattkeen
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 05:23 AM

Did anybody enjoy any of the concerts?

I though Chris Wood was great and really enjoyed Jo Freya's Lal Waterson project


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 05:37 AM

To be honest mattkeen, I didn't go to one concert at the ham - not one appealled to me (unusually). The only concert I went to was to see the Askew sisters at the rugby club. Hope they do a lot better next year (matching my tastes) or I'll bugger off else where for a change.

Some good ceilidhs but blowzabella went on too long (fatigue set in after 3 hours) and the Demon barbers was the wrong choice for the last lne (still enjoyed what I saw of it though)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 06:11 AM

OK. My thoughts for what they're worth.

First time at Sidmouth with no official reason for being there.
I will confess that my spiritual home is the Radway (Popular to Contrary belief, very few Irish tunes are played!) With occasional forays to the Volunteer.
It might be a well kept secret but the Rad is all encompassing, particularly to learners. Nothing better than hearing some really well played tunes to give inspiration.
Overheard two people in the High street.

Person 1. Where are you off to?
Person 2. The Radway.
Person 1. Not for me, they play all this complicated stuff!!

Highlights for me, getting to play with Matt Quinn (Dans son) for the first time, and hearing an amazing harmonica player (from the North East I think, didn't catch his name sadly.)

That's the beauty of Sidmouth, renewing old friendships, and being blown away by something new.

Yes, of course, the Anchor, The Swan, and every other fringe venue is equally important. Not my bag, but vital to the festival.
Interestingly, both the Rad and the Anchor have a Mid winter re-union, on the same weekend. Shows the commitment of both Singers and Musos to schlep all the way there just for a laugh.

As for beer prices.....I live in London....nuff said!!

Long may the festival continue.
"Nothing changes, It all stays the same"

Ralphie
(Didn't get to see the sea until the third day!!)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 06:26 AM

"hearing an amazing harmonica player (from the North East I think, didn't catch his name sadly.)"

If it was a young chap, it was probably Will Pound, who is on the Folk Degree at Newcastle.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 06:42 AM

Thanks for that Ruth.
Will go-a-digging!
Hope you're well.
See you soon
R xx


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 07:08 AM

There's a track of Will playing Princess Royal here - http://www.myspace.com/jigcrew

For a muppet he can't half play the harmonica well. He's also the drummer in Steamchicken.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 07:30 AM

Blue clicky:

http://www.myspace.com/jigcrew


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 08:49 AM

DOH!
Thanks Jim.
Memo to self.
Should really get out more!!
Ralph


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 08:56 AM

You should have heard him playing Music for a Found Harmonium (or as one of my young musician friends referred to it, "The MFI advert!") in the ASBO session at the Bedford one evening. Several harmonicas were involved. It was amazing to watch and to listen to.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,miss lemon
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 07:13 AM

i have a pretty good time considering. My fellow camping mates bunked off due to being townies and not being able to cope with a bit of rain! Ha whimps!

Does anyone have any photos to share with the group, then??

Sal


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Paul B
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 12:02 PM

Ralphie - might have been young Will Pound, who plays in Steamchicken. We played together at Whitby and he was playing up a storm, lots of blues riffs and ornaments around the tune - great stuff. At the end I asked if he'd enjoyed it and he said that he wasn;t sure, as a lot of the tunes had been in G, he hadn;t had a G gob-iron and so had to play them in the C!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Fidjit
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 02:52 PM

Ruth Archer

Would have been nice to catch up with you. Understand, The Swan was your scene. Which wasn't mine.

Some other time.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 03:45 PM

Paul B - your post has given me deja-vu! See previous posts in this thread re Harmonica Will...

Fidjit/Chas, I was just really busy during Sidmouth week, and didn't do much in the way of pub sessions and stuff at all. I go to the Swan for the mackerel rather than the music. :)

We would have crossed paths (albeit briefly) during Derek's RVW talk - I was doing the sound.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 05:59 PM

A somewhat negative thread, methinks! I enjoyed most of what I went to, and even missed some things I would have liked to have seen being otherwise occupied in fringing (e.g. Thurs pm in the Ham - Last Night's Fun and the Demon Barbers.
There was some evidence of bad temper and primae donnae in the Bedford sessions: having complimented one of the session "facilitators" on his giving everyone a fairer crack of the whip than exists sometimes, there was a major ruckus from a couple who were miffed that they couldn't just jump in ad nauseam every 2 minutes! And as for the "mobile phone" episode.....nuff said!
The Anchor Middle Bar was great for nearly every session I attended.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: dilligafxx
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 06:41 PM

From the point of view of a Sidmouth virgin (it was my first time) I had a great time luckily I wasn,t camping but dispite the rain I danced with Herbaceous Border, drunk gallons of Otter beer (very drinkable) stewarded at the Manor, thank you Howard and every body else there for being so nice. Enjoyed lots of good sessions diddly diddly and other wise and danced lots in water and out, met friends old and made new ones, Then drove through the night to Broadstairs so as to dance Sat am with my morris side. Sorry but I have to disagree with you fidgit Simouth beat Broadstairs, friendlier and more going on, for me anyway Thank you Sidmouth Please can I come back next year?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 05:28 AM

Sidmouth 08? For me it was much like Sidmouth 07/06/05 etc.

Swan - Bedford - Swan - Bedford - Swan - Bedford - The Black Horse - Swan - Bedford - Swan - Faulkner - Bedford - Swan - Bedford - No Ceilidh Not In The Ford - Swan - Bedford - Fireworks - Bedford, all with a backing track of regular (and frequent) drinking.

Hey I even had my guitar in tune most of the time, and 'sang' a couple of songs too (great fun for me, not so much for those in the vicinity!).

Great meeting up with good old friends John B, Phil, Elinor, Steve, Paul (squeezy things and banjos), Paul (Wombles), Des, Kevin and all the rest. Cheers too to Colin & Bev and the bar staff at the Bedford.

FANTASTIC. Can't wait for next year.

There was some camping and eating in there too, but I can't remember much about that, except I did have to run for the 2 o'clock bus to Salcombe Regis almost every night, the prospect of the walk up that hill gave me previously unheard-of running abilities.

Oh, saw Martin Hayes at the Ham too - beautiful, just beautiful (I think that's my third Sidmouth concert in the six or seven years I've been going, I've still not made it to an arena gig - do they still have those? ;-) ).

Vince


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 05:44 AM

Will Pound is an exceptional talent. Look out for his band the QPs. Very good at Towersey. Not sure if Will is resuming the degree course, but tells me he is staying up in Newcastle for the moment.

Also very talented is Doe Mehmet - in the style of Seth Lakeman, but with a more rootsy feel. There was tremendous support from Matt Quinn, David Steptoe and Vic Baines in The Volunteer throughout the week. In the Tradition has never looked healthier - but then, I would say that, wouldn't I?

Only got to play in The Radway once (or was it twice?) during the week.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 06:00 AM

Doe Mehmet has a great energy and style all his own - I wouldn't really compare him to Seth myself. I saw him again at Whitby and it confirmed for me that he's one to watch. I like it that he seamlessley combines the influences from his Turkish Cypriot background and his English upbringing. What could be better to represent what "English folk" REALLY means?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 07:54 AM

It's a town festival, run by enthusiasts. Loadsa ceilidhs, sessions, disgustingly young and talented musicians (damn them). Concerts for those wot like em.
Ticked all my boxes.
One or two organisers with attitude,
but hey! They don't slag you off publically for giving them feedback.
I think I ought to be able to cope with individuality that doesn't spill over into rudeness.
Attitude gets things done and at Sidmouth - it worked for me.

Throw in a cohort of nice people and .......... lets just say I enjoyed it immensely.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Fidjit
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 03:06 PM

Ruth said.

We would have crossed paths (albeit briefly) during Derek's RVW talk - I was doing the sound.

Ah, that was you was it . Bit fortnight the sound was. Program was good.

Bit too early for Eliza to sing. (She said that).

I hung back to chat to Derek afterwards for a few minutes.

Regards

Chas


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Subject: Some News....Next Year's Sidmouth FolkWeek
From: John Golightly
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 12:41 PM

Next Year's Sidmouth FolkWeek

As this year's festival season draws to a close, you'll be pleased to know that we're already planning for next year and, as usual, we'd like your help. Jim Moray summed it up recently on one of the internet chat lines: 'The important thing about Sidmouth, as someone who has attended most years of my life, is that it doesn't belong to "them" in the way that other festivals do, it belongs to everyone to make their own thing out of.' So please use the opportunity to 'make your own thing' out of Sidmouth by downloading our feedback questionnaire from the website www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk and when you've filled it in, either email it back to us (info@) or print it out and post it. Obviously we can't guarantee to grant all your wishes, but we'll do what we can. And you could win two season tickets for next year in the prize draw if you get it back to us before October 1st.

You may have heard rumours during the Festival that Eddie Upton was stepping down from his role as Artistic Director to concentrate on his 'day job' as Director of Folk South West. Eddie has played a leading part in developing the new organisation of Sidmouth FolkWeek and we are very grateful to him for the immense amount of effort and skill he has brought to bear on making the Festival sustainable. And the dancers among you will know that Ray Goodswen has retired this year, after 13 years of leadership of social dance at Sidmouth. Again, we are indebted to him for his enormous contribution to the new organisation. Thanks are also due to Graham O'Callaghan for the work he put into planning the concert programme in the last couple of years, and indeed to many others involved in different aspects of the programme. To quote Jim again: 'The programming was some of the nuttiest ever ... but on balance all the better for it'

We are pleased to announce that Joan Crump has been appointed as our new Artistic Director. Before joining the Sidmouth team, Joan was Programme Manager at Loughborough Town Hall, where she directed the highly successful Loughborough Folk Festival. Prior to that, she was the Education Manager at De Montfort Hall in Leicester, where she developed workshop programmes for outdoor festivals such as Summer Sundae and One World Leicester. Joan has also lectured in Arts Management at De Montfort University, and managed events for Leicester Comedy Festival. We count ourselves lucky to have found an Artistic Director with such solid credentials to take Sidmouth forward, and Joan is looking on it as 'an exciting and challenging opportunity'. She is already putting together a team of advisors, some old, some new, to ensure she is kept fully up to date with the different areas covered by the Sidmouth FolkWeek programme

Many of the improvements in the venues and on the camp site this year were a result of the Festival developing a partnership with Stage Electrics, and we are working with them to make further exciting improvements for the future. Watch this space, as they say!

We'll be in touch with you again around Christmas time with more information and the first details of the guest list, and season tickets will be on sale from the website from January 1st. You probably already know the dates of next year's Festival, but we'll remind you anyway, it runs from 31st July - 7th August, and we look forward to seeing you there.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 12:50 PM

Well done Joan Crump, one of our own Mudcattters too.


JM


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 01:30 PM

Cheers, G.

:)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 03:54 PM

I just looked at this thread because I've just read the Sidmouth newsletter and wondered if it had reached a thread yet! I see that John G beat me to it. Congrats Joanie.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 04:09 PM

Can I add my own congratulations - well done Joanie.

There must be some local residents who will be delighted at the appointment.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 05:04 PM

Again, thanks to both of you. It's very daunting, but incredibly exciting. I think I'm going to learn ever such a lot in this job.

Dave, you are VERY naughty. :)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 05:09 PM

I like to think so................


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: bfdk
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 07:01 PM

Congrats from here, too, Joanie. May see you there next year if you're not too busy running things ;o)

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Sep 08 - 07:31 PM

As a predominately 'Fringe' Sidmouth goer , Congrats Joanie


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 03:58 AM

Thanks, Terry and Bente. I imagine things will be rather hectic next year, but you never know - you meet the most interesting people in Sidmouth!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 04:35 AM

Hey Joan...!!!
You kept that one quiet didn't you!!!
Many Many Congratulations from me too.
How thick is your skin??
Seriously, Good luck

Ralphie xx

PS....If you where a Housewife, who would you choose?
(You can't blame an old bloke for trying!)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 04:52 AM

LOL!!!

Thanks, Ralphie. x


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 06:40 AM

> Looked in on the Radway - mostly diddley stuff when I looked in

Um, Chas, we don't do diddley in the Radway ...

The Radway was where I spent most of my week, and I thought it was a vintage year. Some lovely music making, and the lunchtime sessions would just keep going for hours! What I saw of the York and Faulkner suggests that is picking up again nicely with some really good singing. I'm sure if someone had organised a ceilidh in the ford during that sunny period on Friday afternoon I would have enjoyed that too.

One thing I don't miss about the old festival is the arena. I always disliked the geographical split that caused in the festival; now it's gone the festival is much more coherent.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Peter Stockport
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 06:55 AM

A really good festival!
I think the Bulverton is not so good as a performance venue, perhaps because it's so far out of town
We went to see Ember up there and they were brilliant.
Clever lyrics, excellent musicians and entertaining. It's good to see
new performers with their own material.
But why shove them out on the edge?
I'd like to see them in the Art Centre!
As for putting the New Rope String Band on in the Bedford, there were more people locked out than could get in!

Dare I say this?
Is it time to change?
Maybe put another tent up in the town? For performance?
Dump the Bedford and get another decent mid size venue?
Peter


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 12:12 PM

What about that area on the left as you walk up towards the campsite? COuple of hundred yards past the narrow bit in the road....

That'd make a good venue area......


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Scooby Doo
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 12:15 PM

Is that the first festival campsite in the 50's.

Scooby.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Dave Earl
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 12:16 PM

As in Knowle Park?

I think that has been considered in the past ;-)

Dave


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 01:53 PM

Really Dave? :-).........


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John Golightly
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 05:03 PM

Hmmm - lots of interesting ideas here - keep 'em coming...


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John Golightly
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 05:06 PM

PS i'm Serious - think outside the box


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 05:37 PM

Having another concert tent could be an attractive proposition, allowing bigger audiences than the Bedford, Rugby club or Manor, but how would it fit in with season tickets? I suspect that many people were put off buying seasons when they realised the total cost of the Ham on top of the ordinary season if they wanted to see the headline acts. A mid-sized tent venue could bring in revenue from "casual" audiences who this year couldn't get in to the above venues.

Someone will have to work out the cost of another concert tent compared to the projected extra income.

Putting a tent on the Knowle(old Arena)site would again split the festival geographically,not a good move in view of the number of folkies and locals who have said they prefer having everything in town.

Would it be possible to have a concert tent on the Church House Lawn (assuming its not a building site next year) ? That would be close to the Blackmore dance tent, the Anchor and not far from the Manor and Rugby.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 07:53 PM

What about a concert tent on the car park area at the cricket pitch? Surely a park & ride facility could be provided to replace the space taken (wasted) by car parking?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Dick The Box
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 05:53 AM

I was reading Steve Wozniak's site at www.seered.co.uk a few days ago. He writes extensively about Sidmouth (and other festivals) and has strong views - which you may or may not agree with! However, regardless of whether you consider him to be a visionary genius or a complete tosser, in amongst the reams of text is raised the idea of scrapping the Bulverton as a venue on the grounds that it is the least cost effective of the Sidmouth venues (especially in view of the losses that the festival has made in the last three years). I must say that I was not impressed with the new layout, it is a muddy and steep trek to get to it, it is not at the heart of the festival (apart from LNE), it is one of the major contributors to noise pollution (why does it have to be so loud? it must piss off the residents of upper Sidmouth big time), it is probably a big target for Environmental Health and Licensing, and it is probably the second most costly venue behind the Ham. Should the venue be scrapped, moved or kept? Does it serve a useful and popular purpose apart from LNE? Is it cost-effective? Any comments?

PS I am neutral on this one - I am just promoting a discussion.....


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 09:35 AM

An interesting discussion topic from Dick the Box
I consulted the working programme to help me argue why the Bulverton should be kept
I hadn't realised until today how little use it was.

Fri-Sun nothing until 8pm
Mon-Fri workshops 9.30 to noon, then nothing until 8pm

The evening dance descriptions didn't appeal to me (except Token Women and the re-arranged Asha which should have been in Blackmore).

The Late Night Extras approach was muddled. Some were good ceilidh bands, but Maerlock and Demon Barbers annoyed the keen dancers, and Blowzabella splits the audience between those who want Eurodance and those who want a proper ceilidh (and what is the point of that long hurdygurdy undanceable solo?)

The organisers seem to want the Bulverton increasinly to appeal to a youth audience, possibly not a clever move financially if they have 18-25 yaer olds paying significantly less than the old fogies.

Presumably Blackmore and other town venues would not be allowed late opening, so loss of the Bulverton would unfortunately mean loss of the LNE which I've enjoyed in previous years. But, if its dragging the rest of the festival into the red then it would have to go.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 10:24 AM

As a Yank visitor (fringe), I thought Sidmouth was just great, as always. We got killed by the exchange rate, but that's not Sidmouth's fault.

But the richness of music on the Prom is always wonderful--weather permitting--and it did---weather was mostly excellent. Too bad there were so many vendors--I heard there were 54--more even than the Sidmouth council authorized--Devon authorized more. But on the Prom, even with all the vendors, there was lots of music: Hanging Johnny, Roy's Irish band, the South Devon Accordion Orchestra, a local group raising money for pure water throughout the world--singing a cappella from Africa, Georgia, Italy, southern US.   A stunning ukulele player, a real virtuoso, I think her name is Emily Warner--about 22, did lots of George Fornby. Appalachian clogger/banjo player/singer--amazing. A boy who played Irish tunes and classical guitar etudes--he was 11. Trio of kids playing and singing "In the Pines", "Knocking On Heaven's Door"--with adults coming up to suggest that C major there should be an A minor. Hammer dulcimer player. Impromptu groups springing up, welcoming outsiders.

I agree with another poster that Stream of Sound was definitely one of the highlights--Anchor Garden. Those kids are so talented, so enthusiastic, have everything memorized--and it's obviously "cool" to be part of the group. That's more than half the battle.

Tony's group (Exmouth Chanteymen?) great entertainers and singers.

Incredible number of excellent squeezebox players. I borrowed a fiddle from one of the best--who played everything from Irish to Russian to French boulevard songs from the 50's.


We got a "Nigel" for "Cicada Serenade" in the Middle Bar--Silly Songs. That was fun. Some great parodies at various venues--Farmer's Alphabet--including Z is for Zubsidies--at the Volunteer, I believe.

Just great, as always, to be part of the March to the Sea from the Middle Bar.

We can't afford it every year, but Sidmouth is more than alive and well--from my perspective it has hardly lost anything from 2004.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 10:33 AM

Oh yes, also Rosie's sing in the York--how could I forget so soon? Well run, as always--real multiplicity of talent. One of the highlights: Dave Taylor: "The Melodions Are Coming", "Why Don't They Join In?" (spoof of tuneless singers). Wasn't it a Mudcatter who led the sing in the Volunteer the first Friday? (thanks to Leadfingers for cluing Jan and me in to that)--delightful.

Would have been fun to see a concert, but mostly they seemed rather packed, in hot venues----and facing stiff competition from the music listed above.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 10:48 AM

Surely as it's the closed season for rugby, more could be done with the Rugby Club venue. If they can hold pop concerts on football fields, then folk shouldn't be a problem on a rugger pitch.

JM


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Fidjit
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 05:48 AM

Ah! A scrummage of Folkies. Passing the concertina.

Great idea.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Rumncoke
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 12:45 PM

It would be a disaster for me if there was a loss of any parking close enough for me to go too and fro all day, I need my drum when playing for the morrises, my guitar for the singing, sometimes a costume change or dry clothes, or wet weather gear - sometimes my copy of the Sacred Harp for when I can fit shape note singing in - and then I put everything away and go to the Anchor, so cutting down on the number of parking spaces would severely curtail my enjoyment of the week and the number of things I could be involved in.

This year I decided to bring a van - which was a good choice as it was just big enough for me to move my bed into when the rain came, but I had to use the cricket club instead of my usual haunt of the Rugby ground - even though some of the cars there were larger than my van.

I plan to continue to visit Sidmouth for as long as possible, but without a parking space close to the activities I would no longer be participating to the same degree as at present.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 03:57 PM

Ron - yes, you're right about Friday night in the Volunteer garden, the Ashby-de-la-Zouch folk club run by MBS Lynne. Dave Taylor is a Mudcatter too!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 06:12 PM

Dick the Box,

I read your comment about Steve Wozniac's blog-site and my first thought when I read it quoted was "What does Steve know about which venue's are/aren't loosing money?" and "Where has he got this information?".

My personal opinion (and that's all it is) is that he comments on an awful lot of things that he probably knows little or nothing about.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 03:53 AM

Keep the ideas coming folks.

Yes Seve Woskniak to my knowledge has no access to authoratative financial or other critical figures relating to the Festival. I stand to be corrected on that one but I don't suppose that I will.

I have met the man and will add no more than that.

A Venue making a loss is not a reason to scrap it! Sometimes one part of a festival such as Sidmouth will be subsidised by another in order to give the depth and breadth that makes it (the festival) a special event.

That does not however mean that such matters should not be aired and considered. To my knowledge this process has begun by those with the brief to do so (and the real figures) already.

Slightly dissapointed by this thread, the first Sidmouth thread after the festival was - at last - after a craking festival - very positive.

This thread has the feel that is is heading in the direction of so many other Sidmouth threads of the past, serving no purpose other than to make folk think why bother going to what is a different but still a great week in sidmouth. Sounds ratehr like a badly run village fair at times, it is not.

A plea - please try and be constructive. Don't forget more venues in town too creates more traffic (foot and vehicle) and more noise, Sidmouth is very densly populated.

XX


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Dick The Box
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 08:07 AM

I don't think that Steve Wozniak has access to festival finances but it is not rocket science to look at the infrastructure of the Bulverton site and see that it must cost a lot to put together. If the festival is losing money then you must look at the cost-effectiveness of your venues. However, as has been pointed out, the non-financial value of a venue to the festival must also be considered. This is why I raised the issue so that it could be debated.

With regards to the negative nature of the thread, it is human nature to point out the things that were felt to be wrong so that hopefully they can be improved. It is much harder to point the good things because they didn't make you grumpy!

I spent most of my time playing for Morris or doing the bar in the Blackmore dance tent so can't comment too much on the bulk of the festival program and other venues.

However, on the positive side, I liked the extra lights and no fencing at the campsite. I also thought that the toilets on site were always clean, well stocked and a pleasure to use. Didn't like being woken by the sh*t-sucker every morning though!

Food at Chez Nous on the Ham was excellent - maybe there could be some other sellers for variety but on past experience they tend to be expensive and have small portions. One I would recommend would be Leon's Veggie Food which I tried at the Big Session. And what happened to the Jerk Chicken & Goat Curry man at Warwick?

The Esplanade was much better now that the sellers are controlled. The buskers were also more helpful in that they had a timetabled rota that allowed for the market square displays to happen without too much friction. The massed ranks of morris dancers on the Sunday were good but there just isn't enough room - how about getting the road closed from the Bedford to the Ham for 2-3 hours?

The dance bands in the Blackmore were good throughout the week. The bar was also great but then I am biased. The bands at the Bulverton were not so good and there were several I positively didn't like (and I could hear them in my tent even though I wasn't at LNE).

Hope that lot is more positive!

Cheers, Richard


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 09:19 AM

With regards to the negative nature of the thread, it is human nature to point out the things that were felt to be wrong so that hopefully they can be improved. It is much harder to point the good things because they didn't make you grumpy!

Good point - Point well taken -


    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 02:15 PM

I agree with the comments from Dick the Box. Also, this thread is titled "REVIEW" which in many organisations means looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. If you just talk about the positives and pretend the negatives aren't significant., the weaknesses and threats are likely to bust the organisation.

Whoever was in charge of organising the dance display teams did a great job (pity they couldn't organise the weather better!). Ceilidhs at the Anchor and most of the Blackmore were very good. Negative - the Blackmore does need a bigger tent for both the dance showcases and ceilidhs .
I was told the social dance events were also full.

Concerts were generally good but I suspect that people who couldn't pay the extra for the Ham evenings moved to the Bedford and Rugby club, which were then crowded. Major negative—people then couldn't pay on the door to get in meaning loss of income for the festival.

Neither of the threads on Sidmouth praise the "roots" element at the Bulverton, and the audiences have been low, so who is pushing for it to be in the folk festival when it is obviously not what the paying public want.
OK, there is likely to be an element of subsidy of some events, but remember that means putting up the prices for other events. A lot of people this year were thinking that season tickets are no longer worth the money, especially with the headline acts needing an extra outlay on top of the ordinary/second-class season ticket. Again, the festival will be losing potential income when people stop buying seasons.

On the issue of cross-subsidy, who had the daft idea of giving a 39quid reduction to 18-25 year olds? That's a big drop in income for the festival finances. These young adults should be able to pay the same as older folkies(who are more likely to have major commitments or be on pensions) or they are old enough to steward.
Towersey, Shrewsbury, Chippenham, Loughborough etc all limit the reductions to youth stopping at 17.

Remember that Mrs Casey pulled out because the potential losses outweighed the average revenues, and they were spreading their admin over a number of festivals and activities. The committee needs to consider what its core audience wants, and look carefully at where the costs are not bringing in the benefits, otherwise the festival will go bust.
Instead of putting up overall prices to subsidise the roots and the young adults, concentrate on keeping the season ticket affordable for the ordinary festival goer.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Chaz
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 06:43 PM

Here's an interesting thread about how money is spent and has to recouped in the ticket prices

CB


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 11:14 PM

As mention has been made several times of 'the other Sidmouth thread' could someone supply me with a blue clicky?! I have four on my Tracer but only one 'post '08'.

Ta.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 11:31 PM

Dick the Box, more comprehensive comment/feedback on your post!!

"Steve Wozniak....visionary genius or a complete tosser" - I'm of the latter opinion.

"scrapping the Bulverton as a venue on the grounds that it is the least cost effective of the Sidmouth venues (especially in view of the losses that the festival has made in the last three years)" - Is this the case? Do either you or Steve know this? Or are you guessing?

"it is a muddy and steep trek to get to (the bulverton)" - Yes, but it always has been.

"it is not at the heart of the festival (apart from LNE)" - that opinion depends on what you go to Sidmouth lookinh for - bear in mind it is a very diverse festival offering much for many tastes.

"it is one of the major contributors to noise pollution (why does it have to be so loud? it must piss off the residents of upper Sidmouth big time)" - And you think you can solve this by putting it closer to the town?!?! And actually, I can tell you it was not as load as comparable festivals.

"it is probably a big target for Environmental Health and Licensing" - Target? What does that mean?

"it is probably the second most costly venue behind the Ham." - Probably, but does that mean it should be axed? Surely as the most expensive, the ham should, if you follow the logic through.

Should the venue be scrapped, moved or kept? Does it serve a useful and popular purpose apart from LNE? - It should, in my opinion, be kept. I think it could be used more during the day but I believe most of the criticisms levelled at it on SeeRed.co .uk are b****cks, quite frankly. Saying the venue was rubbish due to the lack of "dancers who knew what they were doing" - what an exclusive, disgusting remark. Surely we should be encouraging people to join in and not complaining that less experienced dancers "probably ruined everyone else's run".

Sorry, I don't mean to rant but much of the stuff on SeeRed in utter tripe. He's passing off his personal opinions off as facts!

Steve, if you're reading this, let me know. I'm local to you and want to meet you sometime.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: fiddler
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 03:58 AM

Just seen this thread, been off line most of summer - festivals and work keep a boy very busy - work is an unfortunate interference for the folking classes

Some good thought patterns!

Barring the odd character assasination.

Ruth you watching?

Andy


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 04:05 AM

Always, mate. :)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkie
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 08:19 AM

Personally I think the so called "second class" season ticket is fantastic value. I went to a workshop every morning where I received superlative instruction and then had access to a variety of concerts in the afternoons and evenings where I had the opportunity to see all the performers I wanted to see. OK, I missed out on some headliners at the Ham but I prefer to see people in smaller venues. I did go to a couple of afternoon events at the Ham marquee and was very disappointed, especially with one particular performer I had wanted to see for a long long time, but when I heard that same performer at the Manor Park Pavilion unamplified and without a backing band I was very impressed. In fact Manor Park has to be my favourite venue - good acoustics and comfy seats.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Dick The Box
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 10:00 AM

Replies to Mavs82....

Firstly, for the record, I am not in any way connected with Mr Wozniak - merely an often gobsmacked reader of his website!

Regarding the Bulverton finances - yes I am just guessing.

Just because it isn't as loud as other festivals doesn't make it right. If I can lie in my tent at the bottom of the camp site and listen to the music then that kind of suggests that it is too loud.

From my experience at the Blackmore I know that Licensing, Health & Safety, Police and Environmental Health all take a keen interest. Anything that makes them take a keener interest, like complaints from the public about noise, should be avoided because whenever they appear life seems to get more complicated i.e don't make yourself a target.

I am not advocating axing venues just because they are expensive - I am not that stupid. All I am saying is look at the cost-effectiveness of venues and when you do it makes sense to look at the expensive ones first. I am guessing that the Ham is cost effective because it appeared to be full of paying punters most of the time - but hey what do I know....


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 12:49 PM

Dick,

I'm not trying to deny that you may have a valid point, but as was previously pointed out in this thread it is sometimes the case that one or two venues need to be subsidized by other venues to ensure the diversity of the festival.

The flip side of this coin is that if you did choose to axe the Bulverton, how many paying customers would decide that the season ticket was no longer worth having, not attend the festival and therefore reduce revenue further. In that sense, is it not a question of speculate to accumulate?! Is it not better to listen to what people are saying and use the venue in a different way next year, rather than 'give up' on it as a 'lost cause'?

Regarding your comment about noise levels, I accept your point, but it is a difficult situation. If you reduce the volume until it is inaudable from the campsite you would find that it seems too quiet in the venue itself and would be drowned out by the sound of feet/talking etc. I think the bass frequencies are the major issue due to the fact that they travel further when amplified to the same level as the mids and trebles.

Regards licencing, yes, I realise this and would generally agree, but SFWP need to work with them rather than being intimidated by them - kowing tow to their every demand doesn't help the festival's ongoing relationship with the authorities who aren't there purely to spoil everyone else's fun.

Like I said on a previous post, I don't actually intend to rant, but the survival of the festival is close to my heart. As a local boy I understand what it does for the local economy and I also know that most of the locals look forward to, and enjoy Folk Week.

What I want is for people to help develop the festival and not be so quick to damn it. Sorry for any offence caused - I'm passionate. And with reference to my earlier comment about wanting to meet Steve W, it wasn't meant to sound like a threat, I genuinely want to see if some of the points he raises can be utilised. Some of them (the less sweeping generalisations) are quite valid.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: vectis
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 04:18 PM

Well I certainly enjoyed myself despite the rain.
Plenty of sings in the RY&F
Plays in the Sailing Club, Radway, Swan & Bedford.
Loads of dancing everywhere, ecxept (of course) in the ford.
Paid to see the few artists I wanted to in the Ham.
Middle Bar a bit quieter thab the old vebue but plenty of good songs and choruses.
What more could a girl desire (apart from a 95 year old multi millionaire)?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:06 PM

Any millionaire would do right now:

latest from the Sidmouth Herald 12 Dec 2008

Only £30,000 needed before 1 January 2009


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:34 PM

Sorry to disappoint, but if you read the article again you'll see that numerous businesses have already stepped up to the plate, and that the organisers are confident about reahing their target.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:48 PM

Steve it says what Joan says. The local businesses are reaching into their pockets.

What are you doing?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Fidjit
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:08 PM

Yeah I could do with a £30.000 boost too

Chas


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Surreysinger
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM

I must admit that having read the headline and the content of the article I'm at a loss to understand how Steve has reached the conclusions that he seems to have ... I read it in the same way as Ruth and Folkiedave!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:55 PM

In the past, the town council has given £5000 (for supporting the children's events). Last year Devon County Council contributed too.

£30,000 in a few weeks is asking a lot. Try reading the article. Mr Braithwaite is quoted as saying both that the £30,000 figure was not mentioned at the Bedford meeting (so maybe the figure should not have been headlined at all??) and "we are already on the way to achieving our target (which is true if you have raised only £1), although there is still a long way to go."

So there is a long way to go, and there is a recession looming. Read into it what you will, I just made the article more widely available!

Anyone could guess 2009 is going to be difficult - it is going to be difficult for many events where people feel the expenditure is an option for their household budgets.

As for the comment 'what are you going to do?' - I helped in the box office last year, I sent the organisers a large number of suggestions on how to improve the operation of their systems and following the untimely death of Pat B (see another small thread) I offered via John Golightly to do much more to help this year.

Other local people have offered likewise - we await to see if the organisers need or wish to take up our offers.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:05 AM

Mis interpretation of my words - what I meant was what are you doing posting that doom and gloom - might it not be better to wait and see.

Your commitment to the festival in that way is not in doubt.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 04:16 AM

Steve, I find it hard to see how scare-mongering is helping the festival, particularly at a time when people may well be making ticket-purchasing decisions for next year.

A substantial number of donations and pledges of support have been recieved. The overall outlook is currently very good, which is a rather different position than the one presented at the meeting a couple of weeks ago (which you did not attend, so you are not in a position to say what happened there). I'm not really at liberty to say any more at this point. I rather hope, if you really have the festival's best interests at heart, that you'll choose the same approach.


Joan Crump
Artistic Director
Sidmouth Folk Week


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: mattkeen
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 08:24 AM

And we all know that everything printed in yer local paper is always 100% accurate !!!!!

I will be buying 3 tickets as soonn as they are on sale, and will make a contribution to the cause.
Anybody wishing to do likewise can get a Gift Aid form from here
http://www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk/supportersclub.htm

Is there another way of donating Mrs Archer?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 08:46 AM

I will speak to the board about this, Matt. They will be very touched, I'm sure. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 10:21 AM

Good heavens!! We are arguing about this year's Sidmouth before it has started selling tickets.

Usually we wait until the event has at least taken place!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 10:32 AM

It's not this year's, it's next year's.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 11:25 AM

I shall start taking more water with it before writing to this thread again.

Next year's Sidmouth.

Checks carefully - yes that seems right. I'll get mi coat.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 02:45 PM

Well,I have been thinking about it ,and I have to say that I ,personally,miss the "Arena" venue-----part of its charm was the fact that it WAS remote from all the other things,and one could,actually,spend a whole day there without getting bored (especially if one went to events in the adjacent town hall venues as well !!).As for the Bulverton and the LNE "ceilidhs"----well,I love playing in bands for,and attending, ceilidhs, but certainly NOT at the DREADFUL level of amplification that has been used in recent years !! For me (and, I know ,many others), it ruins the music--in fact I have had to leave as it has been PAINFUL !! Either DUMP it, or turn the bloody volume down I say----I don't know what it is,but it aint FOLK !!And the camp-site is much noisier and unruly than it used to be,especially with regard to the endlessly "thrumming" generators. I didn't stay on it this year,(couldn't face it)'but I did when stewarding (box office) the previous year and I was both alarmed and disgusted when some fellow stewards,responsible for NIGHT TIME CAMPSITE SECURITY,told me,with apparent pride,that they had been so drunk (on duty) that they couldn't stand up,and didn't remember what had happened ! If things are allowed to continue like that (Ruth take note !)it can only be a matter of time before there is some kind of "incident" ( punch-up,sexual assaault,fire etc) there.Come on people,let's start taking things seriously,shall we ??


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 08:55 AM

I know quite a few people who avoid ceilidhs now - just because of the sound level. If you wish to be pedantic (would I?) sound level is the level of 'intended' sound, noise level is the level of unwanted 'background' sound. So the band is producing an excessive sound level and the people talking to try and make themselves heard above it (and drowning out the caller so the rest of us can't hear) are making a noise - as perceived by the rest of us.....

I well remember Asha playing at THIS year's Towersey when the sound equipment didn't work. They had to start the ceilidh without any amplification. It was wonderful. The reason for all this excessive sound is simple - the technology is now available to produce it and the children who are in charge of sound desks feel they are not doing a proper job unless they use it to full effect.

I agree - it's not folk.

I agree with many other sentiments also.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: steve_harris
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:33 PM

I've been going to Sidmouth for 20 years but after the 2008 event, I started wondering about spending my main holiday elsewhere. I may still do Sidmouth 09 but if the Festival carries on the way it has it will lose me soon.

What I need from Sidmouth is about 10 cracking English Ceilidhs. Looking at the list of bands for 2009, I'm not going to get half that number. Worse still, a lot of the people I danced alongside for years have already reacted to the decline and have gone already.

Of course, there is some young blood coming along to fill some of the gaps. They have been brought in by clever marketing but clever marketing of a mediocre product doesn't get repeat business.

Put on a really good (dancing) festival and you retain customers young and old. I dance with women aged from around 16 up to 80 and we have one thing in common - we love great dancing.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:32 AM

The Sidmouth Folk Week website states:

"Ceilidh bands

The ceilidh and LNE programme is still in progress, but these are the bands and callers we've lined up for you so far

The Oyster Ceilidh Band
The Old Swan Band
Whapweasel
Hekety
Glorystrokes
Random
Climax
The Outlandish Knights
Toothless Mary
Spinach for Norman
Meridian
Dalla
Poisson Rouge
The Dartmoor Pixie Band"

So, the list is "still in progress".
There is, I believe, no deviation from the Anchor lunchtime, evening Blackmore and LNE ceilidh programming. That's at least 3 ceilidhs a day. I can't see any other festival matching that level of programming.

which bands do you believe are missing Steve? Have you made your suggestions to the festival?

Derek Schofield


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM

sorry, forgot to put my name in the "from" box.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 07:39 AM

Well I have only been going for three years and fatigue has yet to kick-in. Mentally anyway. Last festival there were some new ceilidh bands (like 422) that would make up for another less appealing band (names withheld) and a night that was so popular that most people would demand it returns, like the Cornish night. Mind you I don't do the LNE more than once.

I can think of dancers who have changed from Towersey to Shrewsbury and think it was worth it. To a keen dancer like me that makes no logical sense. Unless you consider that the person isn't being honest with themselves. 20 years and a wish for change may have more to do with the 20 years worth of nostalgia than the stated opinion on content. And you try telling notso young people that................

Grass, greener, 'tother side - you fill the gaps.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 09:14 AM

If there is one place IMHO where clever marketing does not work very well in the long term it's folk.

Come on Steve name names where clever marketing has helped and hyped a young band? I'd say that was a good selection there and as Derek says - "in progress".


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 11:48 AM

Eric Bogle in 2009 I see.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM

His final UK tour, John. :)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: steve_harris
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 02:24 PM

All Blacked Up
Bedlam
Boka Halat
Bursledon Village Band
Committee Band
Geckoes
Horsley Band (do passble French also)
Juice
Steamchicken
Stomp
The Gloworms
The Watch
Tickled Pink
Trinculo
Woodpecker Band

Two bands I haven't danced to yet but would be interested to try:

3 Sticks
Pigeon English

I am wary of "revived" bands but note with enthusiasm that "The Ran Tan Band" are reforming

Cracking French Traditional Dance Bands:

Amuséon
Gars du Nord (Steve Ellis & Geoff Beilby)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:44 PM

Sounds like a great festival, Steve. When's it on?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: steve_harris
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM

> Sounds like a great festival, Steve. When's it on?

I think the first week in August would be a good idea - perhaps somewhere in Devon? On the south coast perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 06:27 PM

Maybe next year? Thing is, we can't have every band every year. Happily, the feedback to the programme so far has largely been really good.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 07:28 PM

I visited the official website a few days ago and I recall that there was a statement to the effect that the Blackmore Gardens ceilidh dance floor was to be made larger - but I can't find it now that the website has been updated (maybe it was wishful thinking?).

Can we know the intention please? Also, there is no mention of whether there will be a marquee on what was Church House Lawn (now Kennaway House Lawn after its £1million refurbishment, which is well on the way to completion). Maybe discussions are ongoing.

Knowing the venues that may be on offer could be as important as which bands for dancers who will need to decide whether to book tickets. I agree with Steve Harris when he suggests that the exodus of accomplished ceilidh dancers from Sidmouth must be reversed. The standard of ceilidh dancing at Sidmouth used to be superb. What has been sadly lacking for years is dedicated basic instruction for newcomers.

No-one can expect all their personal choice of ceilidh bands - but we can expect the organisers to take notice of what were almost universal comments regarding the venues - and including ventilation of low-height marquee(s) and excessive sound levels that have been problems for several years, especially at Bulverton.

The festival would probably not wish to book every top name ceilidh band - but (as a personal view) it is disappointing that neither 422 (excellent at Sidmouth 2008) nor Last Orders (ditto at Towersey 2008) seem to be on the list. These young bands need to be encouraged - they are very danceable and not too loud! However, there are several local groups (Pixies, Spinach for Norman and Dalla from Cornwall) which in itself is very welcome.

I've only recently seen the comments about SeeRed dating from September. I'll reply to some of the more worthwhile observations as and when. However, quite obviously, you don't need access to the small print of festival finances to do calculations. The back of an envelope can often be quite sufficient - it would have been for Northern Rock anyway.....I guess having worked with professional economists and knowing how to apply marginal cost benefit arguments are advantages also.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 08:43 PM

Just catching up on this thread after some time away, and was horrified at this comment from Peter Stockport in September:

"Dump the Bedford and get another decent mid size venue?
Peter"

While it may be the case that not all those who want to get into a certain concert can do so (and this applies to other venues too), Peter obviously doesn't realise what an integral part the Bedford plays in every Sidmouth Festival or Folk Week: apart from concerts there, there are the sessions, the good food, the accommodation for many visiting artistes, the fireworks, - and the sheer dedication of the proprietors Colin Pyne and his wife, and all the team who look after so many visitors with tolerance and good humour. I always make a point of thanking them at the end of the week, and they say they do it because they love the music.
Colin is, and was one of the people who helped to make sure that the festival continued after Mrs Casey pulled out.
"Dump the Bedford"? Shoot thyself in thine foot Peter!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:11 AM

Does this have to be in red? Most visitors to this site are sentient beings.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 12:18 PM

Tattie, I did say as a performance venue.
I paid for a week ticket and had to queue for an hour every time to make sure I got in, it's wrong to put major acts on in such a small venue.
I repeat..More people were locked out of the New Rope String Band concert than got in.
Keep the sessions and the accomodation but use another bigger venue for the concerts.
Shutting out customers who paid for their tickets 6 months previous is the worst crime.

If you want paying customers you've got to look after them.
Peter


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: steve_harris
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM

> Maybe next year?

Agreed! You need about half my list to bring 2009 up to scratch!

> Thing is, we can't have every band every year.

Sidmouth has some of the same weaker bands every year!

The "tea time" Anchor ceilidhs are admittedly a difficult slot but one band could only attract enough dancers for a single 4 couple set.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:01 PM

A merry and
C
    O
      L
       O
          U
             R
               F
                   U
                        L
                               Christmas and New Year to all sentient beings.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:14 PM

If Ruth had chosen these bands:

All Blacked Up Bedlam Boka Halat Bursledon Village Band Committee Band
Geckoes Horsley Band (do passble French also) Juice Steamchicken
Stomp The Gloworms The Watch Tickled Pink Trinculo Woodpecker Band

Then I reckon Steve H would have had a list of bands he preferred and it would have looked like this:

The Oyster Ceilidh Band The Old Swan Band Whapweasel Hekety
Glorystrokes Random Climax The Outlandish Knights Toothless Mary
Spinach for Norman Meridian Dalla Poisson Rouge The Dartmoor Pixie Band

I would have thought whoever chooses artists for Sidmouth (because it is such a big festival with a huge variety of needs) is bound to upset some people. Surely what an artistic director has to do is balance nationally known names, local names, up-and-coming bands etc. and all within a budget and I'd say she has done a damn good job.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 02:18 PM

Peter, I take your point about finding a larger venue when a big audience is expected: this is something which sometimes can be difficult for festival organisers to predict. Yes, probably the New Rope String Band could have filled the Ham marquee.
However the Bedford is of adequate size for many of the concerts that take place there, and if I want to go there, I turn up after the queue has gone down and usually get in. I just thought "Dump the Bedford" was a bit strong and would be tantamount to biting the hand that feeds you!
And the way to guarantee entry to a particular concert is to buy a ticket for that specific concert (which, of course, you will not want to do if you already have a season ticket)


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