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newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival

VirginiaTam 14 Aug 10 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,folkiedave 14 Aug 10 - 01:47 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 15 Aug 10 - 04:06 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 22 Aug 10 - 06:43 PM
JHW 23 Aug 10 - 09:42 AM
Girl Friday 23 Aug 10 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,LDT 23 Aug 10 - 10:28 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 24 Aug 10 - 06:16 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 24 Aug 10 - 06:25 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 24 Aug 10 - 06:35 PM
JHW 25 Aug 10 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,LDT 25 Aug 10 - 05:56 AM
Leadfingers 25 Aug 10 - 07:02 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 25 Aug 10 - 11:12 AM
Bloke from Poole 26 Aug 10 - 07:24 AM
JHW 26 Aug 10 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,LDT 26 Aug 10 - 05:30 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 08 Sep 10 - 12:32 PM
Girl Friday 08 Sep 10 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Guest. Joan Crump 08 Sep 10 - 02:16 PM
VirginiaTam 08 Sep 10 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,Joan Crump 08 Sep 10 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Girl Friday 08 Sep 10 - 06:55 PM
VirginiaTam 09 Sep 10 - 02:48 AM
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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 10:23 AM

taps both drinking water and other were on the far side of toilets and well away from driving track up the field, so no danger of swamping the road. water butts come with wheels now making transport easier.

Sorry maybe I keep pressing for the festival campsite because it was fine weather and lovely experience for me. Hearing people singing, whistles, guitars, pipes and banjos, concertinas and even a trumpet while basking in the sun on a break was wonderful.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,folkiedave
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 01:47 PM

I didn't use the festival campsite. I wanted a hook-up for my motorhome and I wanted good showers. I also wanted to avoid being towed out in case of bad weather from the official camp site. I have an expensive motorhome and I did not want to take a chance on it being damaged.

To answer Steve's question about the Alpha bus - on the way out - to the Radway turn right to Sidford, up the big hill(Trow Hill?) - takes a right for Salcombe halfway up the hill along some narrow roads, stops at Salcombe Regis Camping and then goes onwards. (We got off there). I understand there were two more camp sites afterwards. But I have no idea.

Inwards much the same except it comes down Fortescue and Sid road and then stops on Salcombe Rd by the bridge. A bit further than the festival campsite at a guess. Took us forty minutes approx. to walk on a more direct route for cars (Salcombe Regis Rd). but not suitable for the bus to go.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 04:06 AM

I agree that in a year of good weather any 'official' folk festival campsite would be hard to beat. The pity at Sidmouth is that the site is inherently unsuitable for camping - it has quite a slope over much of its area and the ground rapidly becomes waterlogged. In contrast, Towersey is broadly flat and, being on more chalky ground, it dries more quickly if there is rain. The view from Sidmouth festival campsite on a good day is second to none. There is a report in the local Sidmouth paper about the 'fringe' festival at Thorn Park campsite - I'll copy it to my webpages shortly.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 06:43 PM

Some comments are now loaded on Sidmouth's SeeRed website - they've been through several drafts and discussions locally and are now available on the web. start at page 139 and onwards to page 153.

Constructive ideas and further comments welcomed.

link here for 2010 pages: http://www.seered.co.uk/folk139.htm


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: JHW
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 09:42 AM

The Alpha bus does Thorn, Salcombe Regis, Oakdown and Kings Down Tail.
I've stayed at Salcombe Regis, a but plusher than King's Down Tail but much more crowded and all the site at King's Down Tail is flat.
At Salcombe Regis my pitch was sloping (though not as bad as at the official site where every time I awoke I was like a foetus at the bottom end of the tent).
I've used KDT lots of years. Making a late decision to come I came down Monday. Lots of folks go home Sunday night so while you might struggle to get a last minute pitch on Friday you'll probably be OK Sunday night.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Girl Friday
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 10:23 AM

I have been looking at Sidmouth's hotels and B and Bs. They are charging obscene amounts.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 10:28 AM

I've been looking too. They all seem to be out of my budget. Might have to give in an camp...although somewhere with electric hook up.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 06:16 PM

One of the reasons 'cheap and cheerful' B&Bs no longer exist is that to be 'approved' and appear on some internet listings you have to have ensuites (etc etc) and it all got a bit expensive for some owners - so they needed to put up prices to cover all the capital expenditure they were (in effect) forced to undertake in order to stay in business at all.

In the days when I stayed in lots of B&Bs I was quite happy with basic accommodation so long as it was clean. Also, so many people now expect 5 star comfort even from a simple B&B.

Here is a true story:

a friend of a friend stayed in cheap lodgings in London to save money. Got back home and started to itch. Turned out to be bed bugs. His whole house had to be treated - they apparently hide everywhere even inside wall sockets just waiting for their next meal. They can wait for more than a year at low temperatures. It makes your own tent seem quite atractive! Like TB, bed bugs are making a comeback.

I read a very interesting book years ago entitled "The Life that Lives on Man." It had wonderful pictures of the scabies mite including one of a mite in its burrow in human skin. I'm ITCHING to read it again.....

An out of date listing of B&Bs is here: http://www.seered.co.uk/hotels.htm

I may add 2011 prices if I get round to it.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 06:25 PM

Thank you for the info about the Alpha bus by the way.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 06:35 PM

It was apparently a documentary film as well: http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/262942

I doubt it is available for viewing these days on the internet but let me know if it is!!.

The Listener magazine called the book "Positiflea delightful."


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: JHW
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 05:40 AM

I came away this year with the TIC list of Hotels, B&Bs etc.
Weekly prices listed make some saving on daily rates but start about £200.
Getting a vacancy is another matter. The once I have B&Bd (with a none camping friend) we struggled to find somewhere booking in January (But did) Single B&B would be harder again.
I am though trying to decide I AM going next year and trying to find a B&B NOW.
Here's why. Campsite for just me, car and tent was £13 a night. One return bus trip makes £16. If I take or fetch the guitar and freshen for evening that's £19. With breakfast downtown say £24.
Being in town is probably worth half as much again...?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 05:56 AM

I'm looking at B&B's now and struggling. Might try looking in Exeter or Honiton as Sidmouth is out of budget unless I only do a weekend.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 07:02 AM

I spent the week in Sidford one year , and walked in and out - Was passed by a Bus ONCE in the week !


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 11:12 AM

If you walk from Sidford, take the scenic route down the footpath and cyclepath - not a bus or car in sight! Buses are every 30 minutes most of the day.

Sidford is perfect if you cycle - a safe cyclepath all the way into town, and no hills. Buses from Honiton to Sidmouth are every hour, about £3.20 single I think, but not late at night. Check late night bus services if you stay outside of Sidmouth, unless you can use your car - some places are impossible on buses (Ottery St Mary for one).

I agree costs mount up: one woman I know reckoned on close to £1000 for the week as a single person - £500 for Sidholme hotel (8 days) 150 season ticket, £30 Ham tickets, £120 travel, etc.

Luckily the festival was not this week - families camping on their summer holidays have been packing up and going home they are so wet through. Applies to Cornwall too - soaked through and nearly blown away.

There may be scope for a free list on the internet of B&Bs that only do folk week - I'll happily do one at no charge to the householders - I think the TIC charge people to be put on their supplementary list, maybe that is why more people don't do it.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 07:24 AM

I thought it was downhill from Sidford to Sidmouth centre - and uphill coming back???


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: JHW
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 05:22 PM

GUEST LDT are you looking at B&B sites or via TIC office?


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 05:30 PM

using 'enjoy england' website, 'tripadvisor' and googlemaps (search nearby-accommodation). Would usually use laterooms.com but really its 'early' rooms i want not late.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 12:32 PM

I have now produced the first draft of a Newcomers' Guide to Sidmouth FolkWeek (Folk Festival).

This is available on my website together with many updated pages assessing the 2010 event.

Newcomers' Guide to Folk Week

If someone would like to check my sat-nav and postcode info - just to make sure it works!

I have also updated the camping page

campsites for Sidmouth

- some of the information on these pages was obtained from this forum - so thank you for that.

I'm not going to be rushing to update the material so take your time with comments!


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: Girl Friday
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 01:44 PM

Steve - I've been on your website and thanks for all the links. It simplified matters considerably. My comments are:
1/ Possible removal of Supporters Club membership allowing use of the official campsite. I say - not good, as I am happy to partake in fringe activities and am not fussed about concerts: this is the only way to do my bit in supporting the festival.

2/ The Bulverton Arena- This would I think, be no loss to the majority of festival attendees. It is up a steep hill, not safe for disabled people, and only used by the yoof contingent. Our yoof was content to go to bed at 11.00 or 12.00, having tired himself out. I'm not surprised that the sound from it annoys the townsfolk. I have complained on this thread before about the yoof congregating outside the toilets all night too. Yes, charge for the Bulverton. It's not needed so it'd be even better to get shot. A quieter affair such as a sing around might be acceptable on the campsite itself. That's what I expected of the chill-out tent.
3/ If the supporters ticket is withdrawn I would stay on another, flatter site.
4/ We were told that you could busk on the seafront as much as you like. No you can't because of the traders taking up all the room.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Guest. Joan Crump
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 02:16 PM

Dear Girl Friday (and others)

Steve Wozniak's "Newcomer's Guide" - and indeed his entire festival website - should be viewed as the highly subjective document that it is, and taken with a grain of salt. Steve Wozniak does not speak for FolkWeek and is not party to any internal discussions or planning. Like the other 500 stewards who volunteer their time during the festival, his time is obviously valued but this position does not give him any special insight into the festival's planning or challenges. The ticketing guide Mr Wozniak has produced, for example, may well not reflect this year's system, as we are currently reviewing the whole ticketing structure.

There are no plans whatsoever to get rid of the Bulverton or to remove it from the season ticket. It is growing in popularity year on year with a wide age range of attenders. Sound control at the venue is the best it has ever been and we did not have a single complaint from residents this year that I'm aware of.


For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please keep an eye on the official festival website.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 03:13 PM

I don't see the point in losing the Bulverton. What is needed are toilets nearer to it, so the kids needn't make their happy noisy way down through the camp all night.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Joan Crump
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 05:30 PM

Bulverton has its own toilets - and this year they were even under cover, in case of poor weather.

Sidmouth has a number of different audiences, of different ages and tastes, and it is challenging to cater for them all. We are constantly exploring new options and reviewing what we do in order to improve things and cater for the dynamic environment we find ourselves in.

"This would I think, be no loss to the majority of festival attendees...It's not needed so it'd be even better to get shot."

Bulverton had anywhere from 500 - 1000 people in it every night, and they appeared to be having a lovely time. While I personally observed (and chatted to) people of many ages at the Bulverton marquee, it is clearly a very important venue for the festival's younger audiences. The younger element is as important to the festival as any other audience - any festival hoping to replicate Sidmouth's longevity would aim to keep raising up the new generations. As they get older their tastes and needs will change - but hopefully at that point there will be new youngsters coming up to take their place. Hurrah for the multi-generational festival.

I would suggest that you talk to the campsite stewards next year about inappropriate late-night noise when it occurs, but I will also raise it as an issue with the appropriate managers at our next meeting. Please remember there are designated quieter areas of the campsite, and you can request them on arrival.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 06:55 PM

Thank you Joan for putting the official viewpoint. Also, thanks for saying that you'll raise the subject of the anti social noise and behaviour on the campsite. I did, raise with the stewards the subject of having toilets near the gate, as it seems logical to place some there. V Tam and I were two of the disabled users of the campsite, and so the quieter areas are not suitable for us. Noise from the Bulverton was expected and often enjoyable, and, whilst asleep, campsite noise was obviously not an issue. However, rowdiness was a nuisance as it was going on every time I woke up for a wee.


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Subject: RE: newbie guide to Sidmouth folk festival
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 02:48 AM

Sounds wafting down from the Bulverton were enticing and made me wish I was younger and fitter so I could go up and party all night.

There were occasional steward checks down field around the toilets at night. (I wake between 3 to 5 times a night thanks to a very small bladder). One very helpful young man must have thought me a bit drunk as I struggled up hill to Girl Friday's caravan to collect the key to the disabled toilet. When I wake, I am stiff and when I walk in that state I list.

So the stewards do make rounds down around the toilets during the night. Wouldn't be right or fair to station one down there, and neither would it be feasible to escort young revellers down through the camp at night.

I quite enjoyed all the fun they were having. About 3am one morning I was greeted by 2 boys who had made themselves up to look like victims of an axe murderer and had positioned themselves in contorted death poses. Giggle... I went up and pushed my toe into the ribs of one of them... telling him he'd get a chill, lying on the ground like that.


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