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newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival

Ruth Archer 04 Aug 10 - 10:52 AM
Richard Bridge 04 Aug 10 - 05:07 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Aug 10 - 05:31 PM
the lemonade lady 05 Aug 10 - 04:07 AM
Leadfingers 05 Aug 10 - 04:53 AM
VirginiaTam 08 Aug 10 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Essex Girl 09 Aug 10 - 07:02 AM
Tug the Cox 09 Aug 10 - 07:54 AM
VirginiaTam 09 Aug 10 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,Essex Girl 09 Aug 10 - 09:04 AM
VirginiaTam 09 Aug 10 - 09:17 AM
Herga Kitty 09 Aug 10 - 12:35 PM
Herga Kitty 09 Aug 10 - 01:09 PM
Noreen 09 Aug 10 - 01:50 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Aug 10 - 02:39 PM
Noreen 09 Aug 10 - 03:09 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Aug 10 - 03:15 PM
Noreen 09 Aug 10 - 03:39 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Aug 10 - 03:41 PM
Noreen 09 Aug 10 - 04:02 PM
Tattie Bogle 09 Aug 10 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Folkiedave 10 Aug 10 - 04:59 AM
Mr Red 10 Aug 10 - 05:45 AM
Ruth Archer 10 Aug 10 - 08:30 AM
VirginiaTam 10 Aug 10 - 01:01 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Aug 10 - 01:02 PM
Old Vermin 10 Aug 10 - 01:26 PM
JHW 10 Aug 10 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Folkiedave 10 Aug 10 - 03:27 PM
Tug the Cox 11 Aug 10 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 11 Aug 10 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 11 Aug 10 - 12:34 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 12 Aug 10 - 04:55 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 12 Aug 10 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,folkiedave 12 Aug 10 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 12 Aug 10 - 07:32 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 13 Aug 10 - 05:03 AM
Ruth Archer 13 Aug 10 - 07:04 AM
Bloke from Poole 13 Aug 10 - 08:05 AM
Rumncoke 13 Aug 10 - 08:42 AM
Ruth Archer 13 Aug 10 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,LDT 13 Aug 10 - 09:33 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 13 Aug 10 - 10:39 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 13 Aug 10 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,LDT 13 Aug 10 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,LDT 13 Aug 10 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,cardboard cutout 13 Aug 10 - 12:00 PM
VirginiaTam 13 Aug 10 - 01:07 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 14 Aug 10 - 08:37 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 14 Aug 10 - 08:45 AM
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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 10:52 AM

It is equally a matter for festival publicity to counter inaccurate or misleading rumour, speculation and gossip when it appears in public fora such as a folk messageboard - hence my response. Local communications and relationships are a separate matter and will be dealt with in due course through the appropriate channels.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 05:07 PM

It was local channels that I reported. Go to.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 05:31 PM

By the way, did anyone find my hat? It's a straw hat with a bit of a hole in front and a hatband that says "Fosters". I think I left in in the Bedford, but it might have been the York and Faulkner. It was on Saturday night. If so please give it to John Barden, or Jan Barden, or Fisheye, or Kev the Clogs, or Dilligaf, or a Leopard (or Leopard cub) to return to me. Ta.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 04:07 AM

is really impressed with the Sidmouth Folk Week newsletter (Wednesday 4th August edition) Suggests you go here but it doesn't work for me.

Sal


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 04:53 AM

From: the lemonade lady - PM
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 05:33 PM

Any lemonade there this year?
Sal

Nowt at all Sal - And let me say I miss your stall - Nice for a refereshing NON Alcohoic drink and a god natter


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 11:48 AM

Defo going to offer ourselves as stewards next year. Enjoyed doing the stewarding almost as much as the festival and the fringe. Nice break and different head space than going from event to event.

Howard and Graham at the Manor Pavilion were super nice.

Best bit not stewarding was the last concert we attended. Chumabwamba at the Manor on Thursday night. They were called out for an encore and who do ya think got pulled up on stage to help them with a Johnny Cash impersonation? Clive Lever. It was fabulous.

Only 3 suggestions from me and they will go on the feedback form.

1. A proper disabled accessible shower.
2. The toilet was great, though individual keys would have been more helpful. Getting up 3 times a night to go seek the key 2 caravans away got to be a bit wearing. If it had been raining, I would have been in trouble as even dew covered grass was very slippery to walk.
3. Seating outside Ham for elderly and disabled queueing for big concerts.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Essex Girl
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 07:02 AM

Tam, as I explained to you, at the Ham we usually make seats available to people who find it hard standing for a long time, you just have to ask the stewards so we can ferret them out!!


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 07:54 AM

Go to the Sailing Club for Showers...good facility.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 08:37 AM

some (namely me) people are too shy to ask, Essex Girl.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Essex Girl
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 09:04 AM

Tam, I'm sure that after your debut on the Hub you won't be shy next year!


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 09:17 AM

Hunnybunch... singing and asking for special concessions is 2 different things.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 12:35 PM

Tam - I'm so glad you made it to one of the morning singarounds in the Faulkner bar, and sang!

I caught up with Sal's lemonade at Dartmoor.

Would be grateful for an update on Jeff Keller, though I haven't checked other threads yet.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 01:09 PM

In case anyone's mystified by my query about Jeff K - Cllr and Becca paid a flying visit to Dartmoor festival on Saturday afternoon, in between trips to Exeter hospital A&E, where Jeff had been admitted with excessively high blood pressure and arhythmic heartbeat....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 01:50 PM

From Rebecca:

Jeff's pretty much back to his old self... he just needs to take it fairly easy until he can consult with his own doctor, and there are no apparent problems otherwise. All in all, it was about as inconvenient as something like that ever would be. :-)

That's what Sidmouth does for you ...


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 02:39 PM

Now that there is no need for concern may I be curmudgeonly and ask where in the UK one would "consult with one's own doctor" rather than "consult one's own doctor"?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 03:09 PM

You may ask, Richard, but the answer is that Jeff will be consulting with his own doctor when he gets home to Boston (Massachusetts, not Lincolnshire).


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 03:15 PM

In that case, it is very probable that he will do just that!

May I also suggest that political support for a fully funded free-at-the-point-of-use National Health service in both countries is in oder?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 03:39 PM

Oh, yes.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 03:41 PM

By the way (thread drift setting in) did you have any trouble with the mains supply to the caravan? VT apparently has no feed to the consumer unit.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 04:02 PM

We never tried the mains supply, so can't say, sorry.

Back to Sidmouth! (I wish)


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 08:03 PM

Just wondering how "Greenguy" got on after all the advice supplied, or did we ever meet him?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Folkiedave
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 04:59 AM

I was there for the week, and thoroughly enjoyed it all. We have to accept it is a different festival to the one Steve Heap ran. One of the markers of this is very visible in the programme.

Most of the events are now sponsored by local businesses. That does not happen by accident. I used a particular ice-cream parlour (amongst a wide choice) because they sponsored a particular concert. I have more examples but that was one.

Now I remember the controversy of the latter years of Steve Heap when the traders claimed the Festival brought little to the town - and didn't want much to do with it. We have seen a sea change since then.

There will always be complaints - there was the usual letter in the Sidmouth Herald about folkies urinating in the gardens.

One other point - the evening concerts in the Ham seemed to be mostly sell-outs. Although value for money they did not come cheap. Ask a tourist board person how they would like a week of high income visitors like Sidmouth gets. And someone else organises it for them!!


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 05:45 AM

I was being berated by a Morris man who said "We've seen you dance now sit there and watch us dance"! And you know I didn't see that particular berator doing any dancing! Did I Dave?

All my irritations are really organisational. The kind of thing that can be thought through before the fact. Artistically my preferrences are not the next Folkie's so if I don't like I don't go, and if I go and find I don't like I am comforted by the fact that someone liked them, because they booked them. If I can't accept others' preferrence how the hell can they put up with me? But turning up to a workshop that has been moved to an earlier time is not good planning. Cancell it because there are two, and we are disappointed, move it forward and we are irritated. And that is the very kind of thing that a newbie at Sidders will not have found out how to cope with. Read the newsletter every day? Not even us more hardened Siddernauts do! We bought a programme, and that couldn't possibly be wrong. Turn up for an event and it is postponed, we know when to return. Pre-pone it and we have NO CHANCE. Simples innit?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 08:30 AM

Mr Red, I have absolutely no idea which workshop you are referring to. I am not aware of a workshop being re-scheduled for an earlier time. But if this happened at one of our almost 700 events, I can only humbly apologise.

By the way, there were only two newsletters.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 01:01 PM

Unfortunately the first news letter ran out before we could get one and as stewards we needed it. We had to borrow the Ham box office copy and mark changes in our main programme. The lanyards for holding passes also gone and we arrived on Thursday 29 July well before festival started.

If possible, it might be good to have a different coloured lanyard (or armband) for stewards (even if we have to buy them) so there is a visible presence to punters who have questions/concerns. Someone mentioned to me that there should be more stewards in the high viz vests just wandering about town. But in the event you don't have enough stewards, then I for one have no problem stepping up to fill the one off needs when I am off duty. The special lanyard or armband would facilitate that.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 01:02 PM

bum... I meant to put that last post in the comments thread. Guess I will copy and paste it there.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Old Vermin
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 01:26 PM

Having popped in and out for a day, only doing the real essentials, I am now struck by how much easier it was without camping or having a complex schedule.

I seem to remember that last year all went more-or-less OK for us for about two days from the Monday. It then started to fall apart with poor weather, interrupted sleep - just too many people being stupidly noisy at ridiculous times on the 'quiet' far end of the camp-site - and the Blackmore/High Street area being sealed off after the assault & rape. We ended up with most of our second book of workshop tickets unused.

Perhaps the trick is to do as little as possible. That said, I'm beginning to consider Folk Camps. We enjoy actually singing, dancing and playing a bit, but are getting a bit reluctant to pay money to sit still in crowded venues and listen to other people doing stuff.

Keep it simple? Are the best bits of Sidmouth free-ish?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: JHW
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 01:30 PM

I was asked in the street for a 'greasy spoon' cafe ie somewhere a bit cheaper. There was one in the market but that is now the 'original' factory shop. The Rugby Club used to do cheaper scran but moved over to catering for teams.

I've had decent enough meals but had to bite the bullet on price. Anyone find a bargain?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Folkiedave
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 03:27 PM

I was being berated by a Morris man who said "We've seen you dance now sit there and watch us dance"! And you know I didn't see that particular berator doing any dancing! Did I Dave?

1. I had watched you dance. 2. I haven't danced for fifteen years, a combination of age and asthma. 3. I am now simply a mouthpiece designed to drum up a crowd.

My missus went to a different dance workshop each day. No problems. To be fair as a (non-dancing) member of a morris team booked for the festival I was delighted with the organisation of the (Morris et al) dance side of things.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 09:21 AM

The fish and chip shop between the Anchor and the Ship does good,, reasonably priced breakfasts etc.
There is so much good participative stuff on the fringe that it is easy to have a great week without going to any paid events...just be generous with the collecting tins.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 12:26 PM

I'm glad Tug the Cox added the bit about being generous with the collecting tins. At the end of the day, the fringe stuff is there (and everyone enjoys it being there), only because the main festival exists. and that has to be paid for. Artists, marquees, people to run the festival 52 weeks of the year, publicity, etc etc........ The money collected in those tins are an important source of festival income. So thanks to everyone who contributed, musically and financially!
Derek


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 12:34 PM

Inspired in part by Cllr's original posting, and by meeting his American guests in the Bedford, late one night, I would like to work on a series of FAQs for the festival website. In other words, a newbie's guide.
So, what do you think should be included?
Particularly interested to hear from people who were new the the festival this year (and who bought a ticket).
Warning - I don't want loads of stuff about the fringe! Yes, one item might be "Are there any informal sessions? Answer - yes ..." plus some details.
So I am more interested in the main festival.
You can post your suggestions here (thoguh if it's slow, I may start a new thread), or email press @ sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk
thanks
Derek


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 04:55 AM

A FAQ page or two would be a good idea - I've done some of them already on my camping page on the SeeRed website because so many people want to know about alternative campsites - where there is less mud, better showering facilities and less noise in the small hours. It is surely small minded not to include 'alternative' information that is of use to some festival attendees.

Try this http://www.seered.co.uk/camping.htm

Similarly people ask about the alpha bus that serves the Golf Club site - they get it confused with the festival bus service.

I've responded to queries about public transport with a page of my own including a bus map - it's proven useful to a few people.

link here http://www.seered.co.uk/busmap.htm

The official website has links to many other websites that are Devon folk linked - how about a link to mine?? If only the festival management could be so broadminded as to include all relevant links and views!

I've heard nothing but praise for the Ham and Bedford music by the way. I'll be publishing draft pages of discussion and a few photos later in the week, comments welcome as always - and I'll maybe work on a FAQ page of my own.

I hope you made a good profit this year - conditions were ideal.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 05:03 AM

I'll be sending suggestions for improvements to the festival website re: ticket ordering. So many people need particular aspects of the structure clarified that I would be a rich(er) man if I had a pound for every time I answered some questions!!


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,folkiedave
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 06:19 AM

We camped at Salcombe Regis Camping and Caravanning and it very good. Excellent showers and constant hot water + electricity for the motorhome was a boon. (Not up to Caravan Club standards but still very good). It was recommended by a Sidmouth resident.

We used the Alpha Bus service which was basically hourly (with a meal/rest gap at lunchtime and evening). Last bus at 1.00 am which to be honest was a bit too early for a night owl like me). Drops off near the Radway/Swan and thus very handy.

Some of the Alpha services in the evening (late evening they are every 30 minutes or so) could be very crowded. But everyone got on and there was often some singing (generally "The Wheels of the Bus.......). The two drivers (husband and wife) were very friendly and the cost was £1.50 in each direction which was reasonable. No season ticket.

Apparently the Cricket Club is now £35.00 a night and I was assured could not be booked. Spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis. There may be a discount for a week. Whilst this is expensive (Five Star Caravan Club site is £20.20) it is very convenient and I would consider it for future years. I took a peek at the showers and they are communal but looked of high quality.

Don't know about the Rugby Club but the showers are rumoured not to be first class!!

A couple of years ago I discovered the Sailing Club showers paying (I think 50p a go. Don't know if that still goes.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 07:32 AM

thanks to Steve and Dave for these comments. Look forward to receiving comments on the ticketing system - this and box office arrangements are on the agenda for Autumn discussion.

any more comments from others?

Derek


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 05:03 AM

Feedback is always useful for campsites - one social dance caller + his wife had an appalling experience on a local farm site and left after a couple of days to get accommodation out of town.

This type of info can be very useful to other people, especially newbies, and I'll be updating my camping page as appropriate.

If anyone can tell me the route taken by the Alpha bus and if it is a constant pattern year on year that would be helpful - I've never actually even seen one of them (rare species?).

The rugby club certainly book year on year for campervans - I know someone who does this. I'm surprised by the suggestion the CC does not. What happens to all those turned away and if the main festival site is full?

Better and firmer info would be useful to all, especially newcomers. I did try and interest the local press about doing an article asking people if they would be prepared to let motorcampers and/or tent campers use their lawns or driveways (some people do this year on year) but there was no interest.

A couple of people I know camp (tents) in gardens and use showers etc in the house, it works well and they have a secure and quiet base each year. If a register could be set up more households might participate - it might take custom away from the main campsite but competition generally serves to improve standards and encourage people to attend the festival, even if they don't use the official campsite.

Accommodation is an increasing problem - the organisers were frantically trying to find spaces for some artistes this year - one problem is that insurance companies are apparently taking a stronger line on letting private houses out for a week and refusing to provide cover. So fewer residents now do this.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 07:04 AM

"the organisers were frantically trying to find spaces for some artistes this year"

See, this is the reason why I have been disinclined to join in with these discussions and, in fact, to post links to your website on ours, Steve. The statement above is simply not true - a case of hearsay augmented by assumption, which is the case with many of the assertions on your website: a sliver of information plus a whole lot of conjecture often add up to conjecture being presented as fact. Our accommodation manager is amazing, and he lives in Sidmouth. He did a fantastic job of finding us accommodation for all the artists, and there was nothing "frantic" about it at all. We decided on a different approach to artist accom this year, and sent many of our artists who were only staying for one night to hotels in Exeter. This was partly to do with accommodation shortages in Sidmouth itself, but also because our hospitality team, who change beds and make up rooms in self-catering accommodation during the week, is small and worked very hard last year. In coming up with solutions, we ended up with over 100 bed nights in Exeter, which relieved greatly the pressure on the rooms available in Sidmouth. Again, there was nothing frantic, and this strategy was in place many months in advance.

With regard to the campsite: it costs us a lot to put in the infrastructure for our campsite. It is within the festival's financial interest to promote the campsite while it still has vacant space. It is quite ridiculous to think that we would promote or advertise the services of other campsites when our first concern is filling our own. The festival is a business and it needs to run as such. If you want to promote other campsites on your website that's entirely your choice, but the expectation that we would do the same is a bit naive.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 08:05 AM

Due to a problem with holiday/breakdown cover arrangements I couldn't steward this year, but I had made some enquiries: (as of early this year)

1) Cricket club don't take bookings, just turn up. The guy said they hadn't turned a camper van away yet. But then at £35 a night I don't suppose I would.
2) Rugby club are cheaper (£20? not sure) and take bookings during a fixed period, in the autumn as I recall. But they go very quickly.

I was looking forward to seeing the campsite improvements, after getting towed out last year. Some of the points I suggested were implemented, I believe (although not necessarily as a direct result!)

While I understand Ruth's comments, the festival campsite will never be to everyone's taste. I don't think some links to other local sites would be out of order.
The purpose of a business is, after all, to make money for its shareholders...

Malcolm
who made it for Friday morning and afternoon, and got unaccountably wet at an event that didn't happen.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Rumncoke
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 08:42 AM

The showers in the Rugby club are always hot - I have been using the ladies side of them for decades.

Sure the floor can be muddy and there is a lingering odour of testosterone laden sweat until the ladies have been using them for a few days, but there is a broom cupboard if you really have to mop, I just use plastic shoes to cross the floor.

If you just need to refresh yourself and get changed then the Rugby club showers are fine - they were 50 pence a go.

You can sing 'The Oggy Man' to the buzz of the extractor.

The cricket club was reluctant to allow non campers to use the showers, the water was not all that hot and sometimes very cool, and they charged a pound a time.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 09:01 AM

Malcolm: the TIC, who also act as our box office during the year, can happily direct festival-goers to the other accommodation available in Sidmouth, including campsites. Our website exists to promote the services and goods that we provide. It seems an amicable situation, and I don't think it is likely to change in the near future.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 09:33 AM

Finding this thread rather interesting as am planning on going next year (and maybe volunteer for stewarding). I've even insisted that my 'transport' book first week of august off as she has to book holidays a year in advance.


Being allergic to camping ;) (hate having to share public loo's/showers *shudder* and the grass makes me sneeze and a NEED electricity to charge up my stupid phone with short battery life) I think I'll have to find myself a B&B.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 10:39 AM

Quote: "the organisers were frantically trying to find spaces for some artistes this year"

"See, this is the reason why I have been disinclined to join in with these discussions and, in fact, to post links to your website on ours, Steve. The statement above is simply not true - a case of hearsay augmented by assumption, which is the case with many of the assertions on your website: a sliver of information plus a whole lot of conjecture often add up to conjecture being presented as fact".

Not so 'Ruth' . I had a discussion on this very topic with people who host in Sidmouth. Let's just say my knowledge of some of the facts seems to be different from yours - although you might have more complete information. And I live here all year too. Many people contribute views and information to my website to make it as rounded as possible.

As for promoting other campsites - you seem to have a rather narrow business model. Which is better - people coming and buying festival tickets and choosing not to use your campsite (because of what they have been told about it or have gleaned from arguably reliable and popular third party websites) or simply not coming at all?

Sidmouth people gain from B&B - do you resent this? Other campsites gain, and so does the festival, when people come who would not dream of using the official campsite because of age, infirmity, home comforts, etc.

Your attitude reminds me of the local people who resented the money Steve Heap sometimes made from the International Festival despite that every year they did well out of it themselves.

And whatever else you do - please don't tell me I am naive when it comes to finance and economics!!

This discussion is all about being helpful to newcomers - put yourself in the position of someone coming for the first time - would it be helpful to have lots of info in one place (or even with links to my website) rather than have to scratch around all over Google and tripadvisor (etc) to collate all the most relevant data?

Who is being naive?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 10:54 AM

In reply to Guest LDT - I had a tour of the Sidholme Hotel the other day when I took a festival attendee to the airport (to save her a £28 taxi fare!). They seem to offer good value and have rooms free for next year. £62 for B&B and evening meal included and apparently no single room supplements. Meals are quite good too so I'm told. Other hotels were advertising B&B alone from £60 - likely with a supplement for a single person.

The main part of the hotel is rather grand - piano in the music room, vaulted ceilings, very 'Jane Austin' and only a short walk into town. They made themselves very unpopular with the Folk community a few years ago by cancelling a block booking (details on my unreliable website but all obtained from people who were directly involved!) but they happily accept individual folkies. Some people have been going there for over 10 years. I mention it only because I had a conducted tour a few days ago. The annex rooms are a bit naff - better go for the main building if you can afford it.

Maybe I should visit every available campsite and hotel and extend my unreliable photographic website record so as to be even more unhelpful to potential festival attendees?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 11:13 AM

"I had a tour of the Sidholme Hotel the other day when I took a festival attendee to the airport (to save her a £28 taxi fare!). They seem to offer good value and have rooms free for next year. £62 for B&B and evening meal included and apparently no single room supplements. Meals are quite good too so I'm told. Other hotels were advertising B&B alone from £60 - likely with a supplement for a single person."

£60? That's £420 for a whole week...hmmm...might have to just do a couple of days then.
What would be the best combination of lets say 3-4 days to do? Is mid-week or weekend best to catch all the stuff going on?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 11:25 AM

another question if you volunteer to steward do you have to be staying there the whole week to qualify?

and tickets the young adult ticket...do you have to be 24 still when it gets to august? (like if I bought the tickets when I was 24 but by time august came round I was 25 would I still get young adult ticket or need an adult one?)


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,cardboard cutout
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 12:00 PM

For Guest LDT

"I think I'll have to find myself a B&B."

I'm fairly sure there are B&Bs that will be cheaper than the actual hotels: they will get booked up a long time in advance, though.


"What would be the best combination of lets say 3-4 days to do? Is mid-week or weekend best to catch all the stuff going on?"

Mid-week has by far the more interesting stuff, in my opinion, although slightly less dance displays etc. on the sea-front.

Can't answer your stewarding query - don't know.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 01:07 PM

It is my understanding from other stewards that the campsite is much improved even from last year with a large hard standing at top and arrangements for tractors and 4 wheel drives to haul up any vehicles and caravans if need arose. So it looks to me from this one thing that a lesson was learned last year and solutions put in place. Brilliant having farm shop and hot food van at top of field too. Hope they add hot veg soup and crusty rolls for vegetarians. Another big plus the convenience of shuttle though sometimes crowded evenings returning to camp. They solved that immediately by putting on extra shuttle in the evenings. There was even a festival osteopath with massage table pitched near us.

We will continue to use festival campsite as long as we have a van, unless my physical state requires something more amenable. If/when that happens we will save for and book B&B early.   Next year we bring big awning so we have more living space. Was lovely sitting outside with muesli, strawberries and coffee in the mornings, surveying the camp and the hills beyond.

LDT I highly recommend stewarding. It provides nice break from festivalling and opportunity to make friends. Also there are companies that will deliver and collect caravans to and from festivals for you. You hire, they deliver, you use like self catering. You can have hot shower and limited electricity inside the van. Just a thought.

Oh just another thought. Could the festival (for a fee) help arrange those hired caravans? Too much work? Just thinking maybe another income generator, some how.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 08:37 AM

A quick look at the internet confirms that caravan hire in peak season is from £40 per day or £250 per week even if you collect and tow it yourself. Hiring a decent sized campervan in peak season is more like £500 upwards per week.

In theory you can have hot showers in either but you'll need to transport all the water from distant taps to refill the tanks. Only large motorhomes have sizeable on-board water storage. Festivals generally don't allow repeat trips to fill up, it can churn up the roadways too much if everyone did it. And you have to dispose of the used water.

I bought an old caravan five years ago, did some work on it and it's still fine for festivals - main benefit being a balanced flue space heater! If you know what you are doing with gas systems, brakes, electrics etc you can do caravanning on the cheap. Otherwise it's £60 per hour even for simple repairs. But you do need somewhere to store the wretched thing the rest of the year. Buying a cheap motorhome is asking for trouble unless you are very good with DIY. You need to tax, MoT and insure it too. For most people - B&B makes a lot of sense in Sidmouth.

In summary, it seems there is scope to encourage more locals to do B&B during FolkWeek.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 08:45 AM

And if anyone wishes to know the things that can go wrong with old caravans and motorhomes my website offers a reliable guide. There is plenty of other advice available on the internet but few of these repairs should be attempted by novices.

Try this: http://www.seered.co.uk/top_of_caravans.htm


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