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Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?

The Shambles 31 Jul 05 - 11:13 AM
Lizzie Cornish 31 Jul 05 - 01:30 PM
The Shambles 31 Jul 05 - 07:20 PM
vectis 03 Aug 05 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Hawker with a missing cookie 03 Aug 05 - 06:23 PM
Blowzabella 03 Aug 05 - 06:32 PM
Murray MacLeod 03 Aug 05 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,NIckp cookieless 04 Aug 05 - 02:48 AM
John Robinson (aka Cittern) 04 Aug 05 - 05:34 AM
manitas_at_work 04 Aug 05 - 07:25 AM
The Shambles 04 Aug 05 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,flatat 04 Aug 05 - 11:47 AM
rhyzla 04 Aug 05 - 12:00 PM
GUEST 04 Aug 05 - 01:33 PM
The Shambles 04 Aug 05 - 02:06 PM
My guru always said 04 Aug 05 - 06:19 PM
Cats 05 Aug 05 - 03:10 PM
The Unicorn Man 05 Aug 05 - 03:59 PM
The Shambles 06 Aug 05 - 07:27 AM
GUEST 06 Aug 05 - 08:22 AM
Dave Hanson 06 Aug 05 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,rumncoke 06 Aug 05 - 10:45 AM
GUEST 06 Aug 05 - 11:10 AM
Leadfingers 06 Aug 05 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Rumncoke 06 Aug 05 - 03:02 PM
Chris Amos 06 Aug 05 - 03:03 PM
RobbieWilson 06 Aug 05 - 04:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Aug 05 - 06:06 PM
Morticia 06 Aug 05 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Don(Wyziwyg)T, by the back door 06 Aug 05 - 07:46 PM
MBSLynne 07 Aug 05 - 04:22 AM
MBSLynne 07 Aug 05 - 04:28 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 07 Aug 05 - 04:46 AM
MBSLynne 07 Aug 05 - 06:20 AM
MBSLynne 07 Aug 05 - 06:25 AM
MBSLynne 07 Aug 05 - 06:38 AM
steve_harris 07 Aug 05 - 06:49 AM
Chris Cole 07 Aug 05 - 07:54 AM
MBSLynne 07 Aug 05 - 08:06 AM
AggieD 07 Aug 05 - 12:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 05 - 01:07 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 07 Aug 05 - 01:57 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 07 Aug 05 - 01:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 05 - 02:21 PM
MBSLynne 07 Aug 05 - 02:36 PM
Col K 07 Aug 05 - 05:30 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Aug 05 - 05:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 05 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Mike from Dorch 07 Aug 05 - 06:57 PM
Leadfingers 07 Aug 05 - 07:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 05 - 07:34 PM
CharleyR 07 Aug 05 - 08:04 PM
Bonecruncher 07 Aug 05 - 10:00 PM
MBSLynne 08 Aug 05 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,The Barden of England at work 08 Aug 05 - 05:22 AM
Mrs_Annie 08 Aug 05 - 05:46 AM
Mrs_Annie 08 Aug 05 - 05:46 AM
ConcertinaChap 08 Aug 05 - 07:48 AM
AggieD 08 Aug 05 - 07:54 AM
ConcertinaChap 08 Aug 05 - 08:04 AM
el_punkoid_nouveau 08 Aug 05 - 08:26 AM
Dave Bryant 08 Aug 05 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,The Barden of England at work 08 Aug 05 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Guest - vince 08 Aug 05 - 08:48 AM
Dave Earl 08 Aug 05 - 09:29 AM
fiddler 08 Aug 05 - 10:50 AM
HipflaskAndy 08 Aug 05 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Vince 08 Aug 05 - 11:14 AM
Mrs_Annie 08 Aug 05 - 11:22 AM
The Barden of England 08 Aug 05 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Vince 08 Aug 05 - 12:38 PM
Tradsinger 08 Aug 05 - 01:06 PM
Malc R 08 Aug 05 - 01:51 PM
Ralphie 08 Aug 05 - 01:52 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Aug 05 - 02:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Aug 05 - 04:37 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Aug 05 - 05:01 PM
alanww 09 Aug 05 - 06:49 AM
HipflaskAndy 09 Aug 05 - 07:12 AM
John Golightly 09 Aug 05 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,The Barden of England 09 Aug 05 - 08:36 AM
HipflaskAndy 09 Aug 05 - 09:14 AM
Seaking 09 Aug 05 - 11:30 AM
Folkiedave 09 Aug 05 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Vince 09 Aug 05 - 01:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Aug 05 - 03:29 PM
Tattie Bogle 09 Aug 05 - 04:38 PM
The Barden of England 09 Aug 05 - 04:55 PM
Herga Kitty 09 Aug 05 - 05:36 PM
MarkAustin 10 Aug 05 - 03:17 AM
HipflaskAndy 10 Aug 05 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Striper 10 Aug 05 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Roger Hayes 10 Aug 05 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,SidmouthVirgin 10 Aug 05 - 07:07 AM
el_punkoid_nouveau 10 Aug 05 - 08:18 AM
GUEST 10 Aug 05 - 10:06 AM
John MacKenzie 10 Aug 05 - 10:54 AM
MBSLynne 10 Aug 05 - 02:15 PM
RobbieWilson 10 Aug 05 - 02:44 PM
RobbieWilson 10 Aug 05 - 02:46 PM
RobbieWilson 10 Aug 05 - 02:47 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 10 Aug 05 - 02:56 PM
Tattie Bogle 10 Aug 05 - 04:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Aug 05 - 04:33 PM
Blowzabella 10 Aug 05 - 04:50 PM
The Shambles 10 Aug 05 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,Bedazzled 11 Aug 05 - 06:54 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 11 Aug 05 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,me 11 Aug 05 - 09:06 PM
Dave Wynn 12 Aug 05 - 12:10 PM
Geoff P 12 Aug 05 - 12:42 PM
MBSLynne 12 Aug 05 - 01:10 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Aug 05 - 01:19 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Aug 05 - 01:44 PM
steve_harris 13 Aug 05 - 06:40 AM
GUEST 13 Aug 05 - 07:14 AM
John MacKenzie 13 Aug 05 - 07:40 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 13 Aug 05 - 09:35 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 13 Aug 05 - 10:30 AM
Mrs_Annie 15 Aug 05 - 04:28 AM
Blowzabella 15 Aug 05 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 15 Aug 05 - 08:51 AM
MBSLynne 15 Aug 05 - 10:16 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 05 - 06:30 PM
steve_harris 15 Aug 05 - 06:38 PM
steve_harris 15 Aug 05 - 06:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 05 - 07:15 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 15 Aug 05 - 07:42 PM
Sue the Borderer 15 Aug 05 - 08:12 PM
MBSLynne 16 Aug 05 - 04:25 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 16 Aug 05 - 04:51 AM
MBSLynne 16 Aug 05 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Musician (Anon.) 16 Aug 05 - 06:57 AM
The Shambles 16 Aug 05 - 07:37 AM
Blowzabella 16 Aug 05 - 09:00 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 16 Aug 05 - 09:21 AM
Chris Cole 16 Aug 05 - 09:39 AM
John MacKenzie 16 Aug 05 - 09:39 AM
MBSLynne 16 Aug 05 - 10:56 AM
HipflaskAndy 16 Aug 05 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 16 Aug 05 - 11:23 AM
The Shambles 16 Aug 05 - 11:48 AM
The Shambles 16 Aug 05 - 12:30 PM
The Shambles 16 Aug 05 - 12:59 PM
HipflaskAndy 16 Aug 05 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 16 Aug 05 - 03:29 PM
The Shambles 16 Aug 05 - 03:51 PM
The Borchester Echo 16 Aug 05 - 04:07 PM
HipflaskAndy 16 Aug 05 - 04:08 PM
Schantieman 17 Aug 05 - 04:05 AM
manitas_at_work 17 Aug 05 - 04:23 AM
Mrs_Annie 17 Aug 05 - 04:51 AM
Dave Earl 17 Aug 05 - 04:59 AM
MBSLynne 17 Aug 05 - 07:43 AM
BanjoRay 17 Aug 05 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,logged out 17 Aug 05 - 08:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 05 - 08:44 AM
The Borchester Echo 17 Aug 05 - 08:45 AM
HipflaskAndy 17 Aug 05 - 08:50 AM
MBSLynne 17 Aug 05 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,late night guest 17 Aug 05 - 10:24 AM
Dave Earl 17 Aug 05 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Kate Longmate, Queen Mab's Music. 17 Aug 05 - 11:05 AM
Dave Earl 17 Aug 05 - 11:10 AM
rhyzla 17 Aug 05 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Musician (Anon.) 17 Aug 05 - 02:07 PM
Lizzie Cornish 17 Aug 05 - 03:39 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Aug 05 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Kate Longmate, Queen Mab's Music. 17 Aug 05 - 04:27 PM
squeezyjohn 17 Aug 05 - 05:07 PM
The Shambles 17 Aug 05 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,cardboard cutout 18 Aug 05 - 05:05 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 05 - 05:41 AM
Leadfingers 18 Aug 05 - 05:57 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Aug 05 - 05:57 AM
Lizzie Cornish 18 Aug 05 - 06:01 AM
Dave Earl 18 Aug 05 - 06:06 AM
Lizzie Cornish 18 Aug 05 - 06:42 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Aug 05 - 10:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Aug 05 - 05:27 PM
the lemonade lady 18 Aug 05 - 05:48 PM
Herga Kitty 19 Aug 05 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Sean O'Shea 22 Aug 05 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Terry Turner 20 Mar 09 - 07:19 AM
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Tattie Bogle 22 Mar 09 - 02:25 PM
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Subject: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 11:13 AM

Probably a little early yet for most to judge yet but I paid the only visit I will be able to manage this year's event - on Saturday.

My impression from this one visit was that Sidmouth Festival was pretty good. Things may have seemed a little different but I am not sure that it was worse or obviously lacking too much. Seemed to me that there was more than enough going on for just about everyone's taste.

There will always be quibbles and especially as there are many well-organised past events to compare the present one with. But festivals organised as recent Sidmouth Festvals - were not going to be an option. So perhaps any comparisons should be made in the light of this fact - if they are to be fair ones?

I think that those who have put in the effort to ensure that some form of festival would happen this year - deserve our thanks. They can certainly have my thanks for a very pleasant day.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 01:30 PM

You canalways look at the 'Live From Sidmouth' thread on Radio 2 F&A board Shambly....save me having to put it down twice! ;0)

Here it is:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio2/F2142825?thread=721249

Hope that works OK....still got 5 more days worth to add to it yet though. There were so many Cambridge threads on the BBC (hmmm..can't THINK why!)...so I thought I'd get my own back! ;0)

Come back Shambly.....you're missing LOADS of fun!!

Lizzie :0)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 07:20 PM

I wish I could.

There was a good session in the Bedford on the afternoon and singing in the other bar - sadly that will have to be all my fun and my good memory of 2005.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: vectis
Date: 03 Aug 05 - 06:12 PM

I have just got home from a quieter, less crowded Sidmouth. The atmosphere was far more relaxed, possibly because people weren't dashing madly from place to place trying to get their moneysworth out of a season ticket.
The singing was super in the Middle Bar, Theatre Bar, RY&F and The Volunteer.
There was plenty of activity on the esplanade from dancers, traders and buskers.
The big dance marquee seemed to be full whenever I looked in.
There were plenty of music sessions going on in most of the pubs around the town, the Rugby Club and the Sailing Club.
The traders seemed to be happier now that they had a steady trade all day and didn't get the mad rush at 5pm when you used to be able to get into the arena free.
Most people who go to do fringe events were putting their hands in their pockets and putting their hard earned cash into the festival by attending some concerts and workshops or coughing up several times in the session when the collecting tins went round. There were more £ coins going in instead of small change.
The huge difference was that the festival was concentrated down in town and the locals seemed to be far more involved. I was certainly made to feel more welcome than has been the case in recent years.
I hope that this year will be a financial success and that it won't go too far down the money grabbing comercial route next year or this years lovely atmosphere could easily be lost. A lot of people commented that they had got the old Sidmouth back. Many returned for the first time in years having been put off by the direction took when Sidmouth Festival lost the 'Folk' in its title.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Hawker with a missing cookie
Date: 03 Aug 05 - 06:23 PM

Hi Vectis,
Nice to see you at Sidmouth,
We were there on Saturday, It was a lovely atmosphere, a lot more friendly and there were still LOADS of people there, street entertainers, morris, dance, concerts, and of course the Bedford sesh and The Anchor middle bar singing It definately has a thumbs up from here
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 03 Aug 05 - 06:32 PM

It has certainly sounded brilliant, jjudging by Lizzie's excellent, enthusiastic descriptions on BBC site. If I didn't have hols already planned at back end of Aug, I would have gone. Have never wanted to go before becuse the line-up hasn't appealed, but this year looks much more my cup of tea.

The lack of a season ticket would not have put me off at all - much prefer to pick and choose what I go to and pay accordingly, rather than get to a venue and find that there isn't room, because too many other season tcket holder have got there before me....


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 03 Aug 05 - 07:48 PM

Hi Vectis

An excellent post.

I hope to see you again this year at Lewes or Peacehaven or Seaford.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,NIckp cookieless
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 02:48 AM

Had Saturday and Sunday - and yesterday evening down there. Very much quieter that usual although I agree that maybe the traders were in a more congenial place - or perhaps that should be places.

The only real problem I found was food. I understand that the lack of food concessions was an agreement with the town but - unless you like fish and chips regularly - the local eateries weren't geared up to the numbers at the weekend. I had to wait for an hour for a sandwich and coffee on the Saturday and several places wouldn't serve in to the Sunday evening.

Still, good on them for getting as much as they did going and success for the future whoever coordinates the future events.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: John Robinson (aka Cittern)
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 05:34 AM

The "guests" are a little quiet ...


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 07:25 AM

Didn't they say they were going to Eastleigh?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 09:22 AM

Was it thought by anyone that the lack of a season ticket was a problem?

I certainly agree that concentrating events in the town itself - was preferable and something that I hope will be the case for future events.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,flatat
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 11:47 AM

it sounds as if things have gone very well this year without season tickets, however I know of quite a number of people (and there must be many many more I don't know!)who decided not to go this year because of the lack of season tickets which provide unlimited choice of events at a known cost for the week.

Perhaps next year they will once more be available but this will presumably need 'the festival' to act as promoter for all events booking performers and arranging venues, insurance etc. It will also need a substantial 'kitty' in case sales of season tickets plus 'door sales' doesnt add up to what it has cost although costs could presumably be considerably less than in previous years if the arena anad it's huge infrastucture is not brought back. Season tickets wuold also provide a fair reward for the efforts of those who give up their time as stewards.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: rhyzla
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 12:00 PM

<>

And also for artists who were not financially rewarded (and even had to pay to play in some venues!), but would appreciate the opportunity to see other artists.

I attended for 4 days, and enjoyed it a lot, tho' did not attend any concerts. The fringe certainly supplies the true atmosphere of the festival, and should never be lost IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 01:33 PM

We ate at the Manor Pavilion cafe the food was fastr and excellent on the saturday lunch and tea baked potato with cottage cheese and Grimsby pie, chips peas and carrots VERY nice and very reasonable too.
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 02:06 PM

Could it be that the particpation in the sessions etc was better because of the lack of season tickets.

Without the need to get full value from their tickets - perhaps many were involved this year in these fringe activities - who would not normally have attended the events?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: My guru always said
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 06:19 PM

Got back today from a brill week, thoroughly enjoyed it except for the cold I've acquired from all the hugging of good friends. The Middle Bar was just as good as usual & the collecting tins were filled to bursting every session for the Festival next year. Was good to be there for this 'interim' Festival, Hats off to the Organisers, a job well done!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Cats
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 03:10 PM

Stunning week. I worked incredibly hard all week and saw hardly anyone I wanted to as I was involved in making the festival work. Yes, I was one of those who spent the whole week performing with the storytellers and in Unsung Heroes, for no money whatsoever. No expenses and paid our own accommodation. And I don't begrudge it one little bit! Fabulous week, loads going on, the festival is back in the town where it belongs. I'm ready for next year...


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Unicorn Man
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 03:59 PM

Only 360 days to go then.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 07:27 AM

Just my view - but to my mind the best folk festivals are when the folk are involved in every aspect of them - rather than being there primarily as paying spectators. Perhaps when the paid performances are thought more to form the fringe events?

For a paying audience seeing a sample of perhaps a number of different acts - commercial festivals on the line that the past Mrs Casey ones were at Sidmouth are good value. But to see the very best performance of an individual act - it is probably better to see them when they are the main attraction, can perform for longer and can control all the aspects of their performance.   

This is not to say that paid performers have no place at all at folk festivals - far from it. But if the struggle to pay for these top performers whilst still trying to make a profit from the festival - (given the other uncertainties like that of our climate) - mean the sort of atmosphere - where charging admission to the music and craft stalls is thought necessary - perhaps festivals of that type are not really worth us all paying this price?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 08:22 AM

Everybody who will come back from Sidders will say positive points about it.
Just like if you miss your folk club for a week,that week before was the best ever.
I look forward to seeing this not,but it will happen.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 10:19 AM

The BBC Radio 2 folk and acoustic message board is a poor excuse for a folk based thing, it has about a dozen posters [ not including Lizzie ] who are pseudo intellectual nob heads, who talk the biggest load of shite I've ever heard, they are nearly all so far up their on arses they never see daylight, to sum up it's a mutual appreciation society for people who wouldnt know a good folk song from the Spice Girls crap.

eric


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,rumncoke
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 10:45 AM

Best Sidmouth ever for me.

I only hope that the people who did so much for free this year can be recompensed in future, or people can be found to do the same service, or something in between, more people sharing the burden would seem to be the obvious answer.

I just hope that we never again get an organisation of the Mrs Casey type ever again. Sidmouth is not really a place to go to see big names on a stage - it is not the right size and shape for that.

Last week seems to have been an almost audienceless experience, it appeared that everyone sang, told stories, played or danced, or was there with someone who did. It was wonderful.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 11:10 AM

An audienceless experience? Can't imagine where Guest rumncoke was. As a direct result of the lack of season tickets, punters stayed put throughout concerts as they'd paid to be there and didn't have the option of drifting in and out. Good for artists, maybe, but what definitely wasn't good was how, with dozens of warring factions organising events independently, booked performers - whether they liked it or not, and many didn't - were parachuted in and out on a daily basis, exactly in the style of Cambridge-type, commercialised mega-festivals. This is not was Sidmouth is about and certainly not how Mrs Casey Music did it. Artists on the whole stayed the week, or most of it, did workshops and played in sessions. Not a lot of this occurred during the past week and sessions appeared to be dominated by bash-it-and-thrash it, out-of-tune, unprofessional drunks. Many people deserve congratulations for actually pulling something off, but it was far, far from perfect and much needs to be learned and done better for next and subsequent years to have a chance of success.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 12:53 PM

The New Tavern sessions were a bit curates egg , with people NOT being in because they went to see people they REALLY wanted to see at concerts - It seems to me that the majority of people who came to Sidders were true enthusiasts , but not in sufficient numbers to sell out the concerts and still leave enough people to pack ALL the fringe sessions ALL the time ! Overall , the atmosphere was JUST RIGHT !! and all the people I spoke to were having a good time !!
We were SUPPOSED to be on twelve til three and eight til closing , but it seemed that there were always such good things going on that we over ran nearly every day !! Thanks to all the Musos who came in to play and sing with us !! Now I am going to bed for twenty four hours to start the recovery process !!!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Rumncoke
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 03:02 PM

I wonder why I am a guest - too tired to sort it out - still have to unload the car.

Maybe I put it badly - I meant that there was a high proportion of people who were performers of some sort rather than 'professional audience', there just to watch and not participate - of course there were audiences, singers watching dancing, dancers and others in the concerts, but where I was, involvement was the normal thing. Even visitors got roped in - I heard several people who were in the area on a family holiday and had come intending just to visit for one day, become involved and travelled in every day after that.

The oldest person joining in Herbaceous Border was in her 90s - I think the award for youngest dancer has to go to Motley - he might have been three.

The Cafe Bar sessions were starting early and finishing late.

Everyone around the places I frequented seemed to be expressing their approval, and 'Best Sidmouth for Years'was repeated many times.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Chris Amos
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 03:03 PM

I only got to spend one night and the following morning there and it reminded me of how it used to be in late 60's and early 70's. I would be interested to hear how it played with the local populous and businesses, with the reduced attendance. My vote goes to this year's format.

The Folk Club was great and well attended.


Chris


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 04:03 PM

Just got back. Was there from Mon to Fri. Loved every minute of it.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 06:06 PM

Arrived home after a very good week at Sidmouth.

It was pretty amazing how it had risen from the dead. Mary Ellen Carter stuff - a labour of love by people who had refused to accept the seeming inevitable. Around the country over the years festivals have run themselves into the gound and died, and they don't come back. We say "what a shame" and we move on. (The only exception I can think of is Walton which was very nearly killed by the disruption caused when Princess Diana's death and funeral buggered things up, and got foprced back to life beacuse regulars refused to accept it was gone.)

Last year there was all the talk about taking a year off, and coming back all shiny and organised, but it was whistling in the dark. I think if it hadn't gone ahead this year whatever happened in future years it wouldn't have been the real Sidmouth.

But instead we bounced right back, and this was as good a Sidmouth as I can remember - and I can remember a lot of Sidmouths. At the feedback meeting on Friday someone likened it to a rose bush that's been pruned back hard, and will be all the better for it.

Not having a season ticket - I didn't like that. True, maybe it removed a bit of the pressure, and the feeling you ought to make the most of it - but for me the season ticket has never been about saving money, or getting my money's worth. If I didn't get my moneys worth and spent my time in free events, that was OK by me, because I knew that my money was helping to keep the whole show on the road, and the whoel show was what I really valued most of all.

But the main thing about the season is having the freedom to try anything. This year I tended to stick to the things I knew I'd like, and though I had a great time, I didn't have many of those moments of amazement I've had in the past, because of that very freedom to roam.

And in fact I probably spent a lot less on tickets than I normally would on a season ticket (even including the voluntary contributions in the tins) - and I'm pretty sure that's true of a lot of people, and it's the main reason why there is pretty well bound to be a season ticket of some kind next year.

The other thing I missed was the international presence, both because of the opportunity to see the English traditions dispalyed in the context of other traditions, and because it was such fun to walk around a corner and run into some monks from Tibet or farmers from Slovakia , or Bengali Dancers from Brixton, in the White Horse Cafe or the charity shops, or joining in the Social Dances. The native English folk traditions are great but they aren't the only folk traditions - even in England.

But I'm sure one way or another the things I missed this time will grow back in a healthy way. The main thing is, we've got Sidmouth back, and it's a kind of miracle.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Morticia
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 07:42 PM

nice post, Kevin......and yes, I agree.It was interesting to hear people's comments as I went round collecting for a festival next year....most people liked the pared back approach and were happy to have something closer to the Sidders they remembered and glad to prove it by giving up their hard earned cash.

I'm glad to say rumours of Sidmouth's death were greatly exaggerated.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Don(Wyziwyg)T, by the back door
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 07:46 PM

Just arrived back, after a long days drive. Logged in to see what was being said, and I'm delighted to read this thread.

It was indeed a great festival, and from direct contact with one of the main organisers, a success in every respect. There is money to get the ball rolling for 2006, and given the results achieved in so short a time, one year from now we will see something amazing next year.

My hat is off to those good people who knocked themselves out to ensure the survival of this unique event. They deserve nothing but praise and admiration for their efforts.

High spots of the week for me, in no particular order of merit,were:-

Bob & Gill Berry's Folk week folk club, which booked some very fine guests, and featured some talented and entertaining backing artists (I hate the term floor singers), playing to a full house throughout the week at the Arts Centre

Leadfingers' sessions at the New Tavern, which, while sparsely attended at certain times, were lightly guided and thoroughly enjoyable.

The open mike sessions at Dukes, very ably conducted and producing some really top class performers, including the odd appearance by professional artists.

The Middle Bar, as good as, or perhaps better than ever.

The first Friday evening session of The Asby de la Zouch folk club, well run as always by our own MBSLynne.

And of course The Bedford sessions, packing 'em in as always.

The concerts were in the main well attended, and those I went to were great value for money.

While the international aspect was much reduced (tho' not entirely absent), I felt that The whole was more integrated, and being centred in the town, there was less of the "us and them" division between the concert scene and the so called fringe, which I feel was, on balance, a good thing.

The business community were generous in supplying funds for this one, and deserve our gratitude for that.

All in all, I don't regret the past year of posting positively about Sidmouth 2005, and feel that my optimism and enthusiasm has been more than justified.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 04:22 AM

Just got back last night. It certainly felt more like the Sidmouth festival I came to first years ago and loved so much I've been back every year since. We arrived the Saturday before to help erect the campsite, which was made far more difficult by the awful weather we had. Everyone worked really hard (epn did something like a 60 hour week as team leader). GUEST said something about 'warring factions' promoting different events. As you might expect, this is an extremely warped view of what was actually happening. I thought it was wonderful to see how the different people, some of whom haven't always seen eye to eye in the past, worked together because they all love the festival and want it to continue. Early indications are that those who put up large amounts of their own money (and took an enormous risk in doing so) will at least have broken even, and that's really all they were concerned about.

Conversation with locals was also very positive. Everyone I spoke to was really pleased with the changes and the fact that the festival was based far more in the town.

I'll send this now and post again because i seem to lose long posts if they go on too long.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 04:28 AM

The festival itself was great. We didn't have the problem of lack of season tickets, because, as stewards, we had what almost amounted to one anyway. While it was only actually finalised a couple of weeks before the festival, stewards were very adequately compensated with free entry into almost everything, including camping and bus passes. One of the big problems was that, probably due to the late sorting out of steward's perks, we were woefully short of people. Could do with lots more next year...any offers??

I did miss the arena showground a bit, but then, we had "Not the Arena Concert" on Tuesday afternoon, (Including performances by Christie Less, Toffee Thomas and White Umfolosi) which was great fun and will probably become an annual fringe event unless the arena comes back into use.

The Ashby de la Zouch folk club, which was a programmed event for the first time, was packed, and much harder work to run than usual. The high point of that for me was Houston Diamond and Clive getting together to perform "No Woman No Cry". Absolutely brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 04:46 AM

" we were woefully short of people (stewards) ". Strange, I was told by Alan White that all places were fully subscribed. I offered to give lots of my time before the festival but was told all the task force and people to build the campsite, etc, were already in place. During the festival week I was told by someone I know only casually as a folkie that I had a stewards badge waiting for me in the Manor Pavilion - the first I had heard of it!! Earlier, Folk South West had phoned to ask if I could do hours that I had specifically said on the stewards form that I did not want to do. They had been given my name and phone number but no details of what I said I could and could not do. Talking to other people, the whole organisation of stewards seemed to be very haphazard. The organisers did a brilliant job overall but if they had made more use of the help that I and others offered (and that was refused!) maybe other people would have had an easier time.

I have collated comments from many people I know locally and some who I know only as festival attendees. They are heavily weighted towards the dance and ceilidh events but there are aspects of the organisation as a whole that need to be discussed. Universally, the organisers are praised, but it is doubtful if 2006 can be a rerun of 2005 - the ticket structure and prices are not sustainable and funds of goodwill run out sometime. Personally I doubt whether there will be a LNE event next year - so few people attended this year whereas some of the Ham events sold out.

Some initial discussion is here feedback on Sidmouth 2005, problems for 2006


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:20 AM

LNE was one of the problem areas, but that was partly because of no season tickets this year I think, and also because Malcolm Burrow, who was supposed to be running LNE at Salcombe, suddenly decided he wasn't going to do so, giving the organisations only a matter of weeks to make alternative arrangements. I think they deserve an accolade for having managed, in that time, to organise and run LNE at all.

The organisation of stewards may have seemed haphazard, but that was partly one of the problems of the different organisers for different events. Co ordinating something like that is an enormous and time consuming thing, and the people who were doing it were also doing most of the work of setting up and running campites, LNE and the Ham. All will be learnt from for next year.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:25 AM

I was disappointed not to meet more new Mudcatters. There seem to have been a number there that i didn't get to meet. And where was Lizzie??? I expected her to be a high profile presence but lots of people were saying "Who's Lizzie? Have you met her?" and no one had. I think we should have a Mudgather next year.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:38 AM

Sorry to keep posting....I forgot to say that I had several proud moments at Sidmouth this year, when my two kids (RAT-W aged 14 and ShadyLady aged nearly 10) performed. ShadyLady won Doom Gloom and Despondency with "The Unquiet Grave" and is now carting around a coffin containing the trophy! (Her Dad, el_punkoid_nouveau, came second) RAT-W danced with herbaceous Border and was in the procession, and both of them sang wonderfully at the Ashby de la Zouch folk club and in the Middle Bar. They both say that they have had their best Sidmouth ever.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: steve_harris
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:49 AM

"Last year there was all the talk about taking a year off, and coming back all shiny and organised"

I'm so glad we didn't go down that shaky path. We now know that a different sort of Sidmouth IS possible.

From viewing the camp site, I estimate attendance at 75% down but we were still offered just about all the usual events - except the Arena. And the organisers haven't lost money.

I look forward to a similar Sidmouth 2006 with half the 2004 numbers which will be comfortable for all concerned.

What was particulalry good this year was that just about everybody PARTICIPATED. Yes, there were fewer people at LNE but a far higher proportion were dancing.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Chris Cole
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:54 AM

Lynne I am pleased to say I met Lizzie. If you had, you would understand why she lives in a world of smilies! All I can say is I would rather know Lizzie than some of the "guests" that frequent this site. What a lovely lady and family.
Sidmouth is different things to different people and as a family we will have had a significantly different time to other people. My main points are
1) Disappointed to meet locals that could still find reasons to whinge - they seemed obsessed with the "outside" traders in the Arena. Perhaps they should focus their energies into providing a without chips eaterie in Sidmouth.

2) Delighted that my daughter could spend 10 and a half hours singing with Emily, Lauren and Jim for £15. What a bargain and what lovely people. The super singers were indeed super.

3) Huge thankks for the determination and hard work of a group of wonderful people who allowed me and mine to enjoy our annual folkie holiday. Dipping in and out of events, meeting up with old friends and making new ones etc.

4) Sidmouth happened and was not by any stretch of anyone's imagination a failure. Imagine that being the case 12 months ago? Cynics can have their say (thank God), but I was there and had a great time/holiday.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 08:06 AM

Steve...I agree with every word you said. I think the future for Sidmouth festival looks rosy. And perhaps I'll get to meet Lizzie next time!

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: AggieD
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 12:04 PM

Oh dear woe is me. I see that folkies are regessing & looking inward again. Do we really want to go back to the 70's & be regarded as a joke (Arran sweaters et al) or do we want to see polished performances that can hold their own with the best of them & see the music we love given more credence?

Please don't get me wrong I enjoy the true meaning of folk music, with all being able to join in & have a go, but there are many people out there who will just laugh at us if we allow ourselves to become inward looking & lose some of the polish that many of our top artist have achieved if we don't allow the 'big' events every so often. Ok I don't have a problem with Sidmouth going back to a more core festival, but please don't discount the fact that lots more ordinary people are drawn in to have a look at what's going on if there is a slicker, glossier organisation. I wonder how long the professionals will be willing to pur their hands in their own pockets?

I didn't make it to Sidmouth this year, partly because my other half is not really a folkie & only comes along if he can have a season ticket & can drift in & out of events until he can find something he can enjoy & partly because we like to do different festivals, but one thing that I hate to hear in the folk world is that it was just like it was 30 years ago.

I really hope that the festival comes back better & stronger, but please lets not go backwards.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 01:07 PM

I don't actually think people particularly care for "slicker, glossier organisation". I mean ordinary people. Unless that means stuff like good sound systems and efficient systems for selling tickets, and getting things like that right aren't anything do with being slicker and glossier.

Look around the world today and it's full of slick glossy operations run by slick glossy operators who couldn't organise a booze-up in a brewery.

So far as I'm aware the sound systems worked pretty well this year. The ticket sales were pretty shambolic, that's true - but that was most especially the case where the paid professionals in the Tourist Office were involved.

Getting things right matters, but that is a matter of people taking responsibility, recognising what needs to be done, and doing it. It isn't about image, it's about committment - and there was plenty of that about.

I think Sidmouth 2006 is going to be one hell of a good festival.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 01:57 PM

The Tourist Office staff did their best issuing tickets over many weeks utilising an archaic 'record everything using a quill pen' system. They deserve credit for keeping at it not only before but during the festival when the load should have been taken off them by other people.

To be sure there were queues - more than an hour at times - but no-one expected it to be perfect this year. What is important now is not to carp about the petty failures but to analyse what worked and what didn't and to plan logically for 2006. For my money, the LNE may not be viable next year and the whole idea of a Supporters card is a non-starter. No-one asked to see the cards when you went into events, it complicated the ticketing arrangements and a much better idea would be simply to offer discounts for early purchase - just as Steve Heap did.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 01:59 PM

I forgot to add - I didn't meet Lizzie (not to my knowledge anyway) and I am truly mortified.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 02:21 PM

I'm not blaming the Tourist Office people - as paid employees they presumably felt they didn't have the freedom to use their own initiative and adjust their way of working so as to reduce the delays. My point is, making use of amateurs and volunteers can sometimes be more efficient than the alternative.
.....................................

There's no reason a LNE of some side shouldn't work very well. It needn't be a primarily dance event way out of town, there are lots of ways of doing it. But some conveniently situated late night place where people can wind-down and meet at he end of the day, and the different aspects of the festival can come together could be very good for teh festival, as well as enjoyable. Maybe something like the one at Fylde (but in a less crowded setting than that please!)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 02:36 PM

Aggie, you may consider the way Sidmouth has been this year to be going backwards. I,most emphatically,don't. Because the festival was a little smaller and much more relaxed than in recent years, doesn't mean that the many artists who performed, some of them 'big name' professionals, were any less polished than they ever are. This time we had a really good mix of the glossy, professional acts, the smaller, more accessible (but no less polished and professional) acts, and the participatory events. It was a better Sidmouth than it has been for years in some ways....certainly in atmosphere.

And I personally couldn't give a damn whether people laugh at me, or us, just so long as I'm enjoying my music and my festival

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Col K
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 05:30 PM

Yes it happened, despite all the doom and gloom merchants out there who said it could not be done. OK it was not Sidmouth 2004 repeated regurgitated or copied, it was Sidmouth 2005. Lets congratulate all those who were involved in any way with the organization. Yes of course there were problems, as the organizers all said " We are on a steep learning curve this week".
The organizers have learnt a lot this last week and I am sure that they will take these lessons on board and that next years will be even better.
Major comments heard were about the lack of the arena, the vast majority of them being in favour of forgetting the arena and concentrating events in town.
All in all a good time was had by many people ---- Thanks to those people who risked it ----You WERE successful --- WELL DONE


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 05:42 PM

It sounds so wonderful. The way it ought to be. Next year I simply MUST get dogsitters and officesitter and do it and Dartmoor.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:00 PM

Here's a link to a bunch of pictures of this year's Sidmouth on flickr.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Mike from Dorch
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:57 PM

I nearly didn't go this year, for personal reasons not because of the change of style, but a friend persuaded me to go for three days and I'm glad I did. Most of the things that I go for, and most of the people I usually see, were there. I don't think I missed sitting on that horrible steep grassy bank, or wandering round those Arena stalls full of neo-hippy tat made in sweatshops in Asia.
Many thanks to all of you who worked hard to make it happen. Next year I'll go for the week


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:06 PM

Talking about being 'Inwards Looking' - WHY do some session musos have to sit in a circle playing to each other ?? At The New Tavern we
sit looking OUT at the rest of the bar , NOT looking at each other !!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:34 PM

Horses for courses, Leadfingers - I looked in and found that set-up looked unfriendly (I'm sure it wasn't meant to be), so I slipped off to the Bedford instead, which is raucous and crammed but welcoming.

There's something about the Newt as a pub that has never really appealed to me, I'm not sure what it is. (I'm not talking about the musicians - I think it's more the layout of the place.)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: CharleyR
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 08:04 PM

I find it's easier for musicians to interact with each other whilst playing if they can see each other, otherwise wouldn't they just end up playing in a little world of their own and ignoring what everyone else is doing?

I didn't go to this year's Sidmouth but it sounds like in general it was a success, well done to everyone involved!

Charley


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 10:00 PM

Congratulations to the organisers for a first class week.
A phoenix arose from the ashes, rather than the dodo expected by the detractors.
Although numbers were down, a great number of people who "only came for the weekend" decided to stay longer. Also many new people booked in to the camp site during Tuesday and Wednesday. Could some of these have been those who said "Sidmouth 2005 will never work"?
LNE numbers were obviously down due to the reduced overall number of attendees. Many people came with children and were unable to attend LNE due to babysitting. A few parties changed camp-site to be nearer to LNE. We could have made use of a few more volunteer stewards at LNE, though.
Those who believed in the Festival were there.
I had a fantastic time meeting old friends and making new ones, as well as seeing some wonderful entertainment.
The organisers did a fantastic job in the short time they had available and no doubt next year will be even better.
Colyn.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 04:44 AM

I found a number of people who used to come to Sidmouth and hadn't been for years turned up again this year. I was particulary pleased to see Mitch Reynolds for the first time in about ten years. She was one of my 'crowd' in my first few Sidmouths.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 05:22 AM

Survived another great week at Sidmouth. I'll just say I agree with all the positive things said here, and just add that I hope that the Arena never rears its ugly head again. Instead of the usual trek - Campsite/Arena/Campsite/LNE, or park car at Arena/stay in Arena/go home, people actually came further into the town and found the promenade, the sessions, the Ham, The Manor Pavillion and Arts complex. This wasn't a nostalgia trip, but a brand new and fresh beginning and the season ticket will be sorted out I'm sure,
Me? I just loved it.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 05:46 AM

We were there from Monday to Friday and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The sessions in the bars, (specially the Bedford), the lovely local beers on offer everywhere, the whole atmosphere. We went to some concerts, saw some dancing, sat in the gardens, walked on the cliffs.

We met Lizzie - a lovely enthusiastic lady and definitely NOT a troll!

We would definitely go back again.

Well done to everyone who got it all together.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 05:46 AM

quote: "There's something about the Newt as a pub that has never really appealed to me, I'm not sure what it is. (I'm not talking about the musicians - I think it's more the layout of the place.) "

For us it was the sticky floor and tables, the dirty glasses, the worst pint of beer we had all week. (which we left half of and walked out)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 07:48 AM

No-one's mentioned the Radway yet. We spent most of the week there and had a very good time indeed. Very very few of the usual suspects were missing, quite a few good newcomers and a *lot* of good music. The only time it went wrong was on Monday night when seemingly the entire set of Radway regulars decamped to Flos Headford and Paul Burgess's programmed session in the Rugby club and the pub was completely empty of musicians. Some of us felt a bit guilty about that (including, I should say, Flos himself, who made a point of spending much of his time in the Radway for the next couple of days after that).

I'd like to see more workshops, but unlike the previous few years we actually went to some workshops this year. This was because we didn't have the awful, expensive and invidious workshop season ticket system to deal with. I would be very upset if that ever returned.

Oh, and the Ceilidh in the Ford didn't happen again as usual on Friday. We look forward to it not happening next year.

We've already rebooked our accommodation for next year.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: AggieD
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 07:54 AM

Well I hope to make it next year, if only for the weekend & look forward to seeing it in all it's new revamped form.

I do agree that I won't miss all that tat hawked in the Arena, hardly genuine 'craft work'& I think the dance & music on the front is truly great & unique.

However I do still stick to my opinion that people are now used to better organisation & whether we like it or not, the administration will have to be better organised & those precious people who volunteer to be stewards will also need to be better organised.

I certainly do think that those people that took the bull by the horns & took on the task of organisation have been fantastic for taking it on & I hope they have the enthusiasm to carry on.

MBSLynne I am the last person who cares about what people think of me & my music personally, having been involved with Morris for over 25 years & very used to all the stares & jibes. However I still would like to see our national music & dance appreciated & not treated as a joke, but with respect as are other genres, & IMHO going backwards is not the way to do it.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:04 AM

... But sometimes if you go the wrong way then you may have to reverse your path a bit before you can continue in a more appropriate direction ...

Just a Thought.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: el_punkoid_nouveau
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:26 AM

Personally, the best thing of the whole week was meeting loads of "young" people, never been to a folk festival before, who want to come back next year and participate - sing, play, dance, whatever.

So it must have been good to inspire them!

epn


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:26 AM

Linda and I had a wonderful week at Sidmouth, even though I wasn't in the best of health. We spent quite a lot of time in the Anchor Middle Bar, but still managed to sing at The Bedford, The Newt, and the Swan Garden.

Congratulations to the MBS for securing their seventh Bill Rutter walking stick for a collection which at something like £1,400 which was at least three times that of the runner-up - as well as raising over £500 for the Sidmouth lifeboat on Tuesday evening.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,The Barden of England at work
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:47 AM

It was good to see you Dave. Seeing you in The Bedford was a pleasure, and I hope you are feeling better. With you and Hugh Diamond there we certainly didn't suffer from 'Crowd Noise'!!
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Guest - vince
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:48 AM

I had a wonderful time this year at Sidmouth, spent most of it in the Bedford Sessions, so no real difference from previous years. I liked being able to camp at Bulverton without needing a season ticket, which meant I didn't have to keep pitching my tent when the council decided to move us on.

I have photos of the Bedford (mainly) here
Can't wait 'til next year...

Vince


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 09:29 AM

Had a great time myself.

Spent a lot of time working on the Newsletter (Yes it all my fault!)
and when not doing that I was Laughing, Drinking and Singing in the Middle Bar.

So where was Lizzie? I didn't knowingly encounter her.

Should be even better next year (and perhaps a bit less disjointed)

Dave Earl


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: fiddler
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 10:50 AM

In the Middle of this don't forget one integral part of the festival which came together against all the odds and with a lot of hard work by - Alan White - The Public don't see it, lots of the festival folk stay there for the week - The Campsite - the only 24 hours a day Stewards Team usually - and I beleive at the last minute stewards
co ordination which no one else had taken on board.

Some one say thanx to him please......

The boys (and girls) in the back room handling the daily drudge jobs are indispensible!

OK I was not there but I do know what went on!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 10:50 AM

Various ramblings from my first ever time at Sidmouth.

Arrived in Sidmouth on Wednesday (work commitments prevented full week).
I sought out and located the infamous Lizzie (PM facility here meant that goal was easy to make possible).
She hasn't exactly held back her admiration for my band's music (based on her purchase of our CDs by web) on various message boards so I have to confess that meeting her for the first time was a daunting prospect.
No worries though. She seems a perfectly 'normal' and remarkably unassuming lady. No wonder you 'couldn't find her' Lynne, Breton Cap (and others above).
I might have fully expected some sort of, er, 'loud' brash person, full of 'look at me' and so on. Nope. She (and all her family) seemed, in total contrast to the sometimes OTT outpourings on the message boards (which at least are positive) quite quiet and unassuming.
Her husband Peter seemed a tireless worker for the festival (among so many valuable others!) and spent a great deal of his time setting up, operating, and packing away the PA system for the (Dukes) Open Mic sessions each day.
Lizzie flitted from one place to another making notes and taking in as much of the various activities as possible, from dawn to dusk (for her self-appointed role as unofficial roving reporter for another board). Interestingly, I noticed her opt to maintain a low profile when Steve Knightley came to stand and watch a while at Dukes (she can be a little over the top in expressing her admiration for SOH music on boards too!) Even when our melodeon player (who is also called Steve!) offered to introduce her to him (Steve knows Steve well) she declined. Hardly the mad stalker some would have you believe. No, just an honest and enthusiastic soul, that bubbles with optimism (albeit too much for some) and a complete love of music generally. Bless. She's a kindly soul in the flesh.
Now I have a face to put with the name.

My wife Pam and I made our way to various venues over Wednesday afternoon, night and all of Thursday. Acclimatising ourselves, trying to soak up the Siddy atmosphere, as we were 'first timers'.
Last Night's Fun were amazing (as usual) in the Marquee in the afternoon. That reminds me. I read a reference elsewhere intimating that the 'paid artists' didn't go and take part elsewhere, just did their spot and got away. Not so. I'll try and cite other examples later, but the glaringly obvious 'first' is that LNF's Nick and Chris played on into the wee small hours in a pub session, for the sheer enjoyment of it. My, they're good!

A lot has been made (here and on the Beeb board etc) of numbers being down overall. It must've been hell in other years then! Everywhere we went (with one exception) we had a great deal of trouble getting in, getting served at any bar, and invariably had to stand as all seats were taken!
The only exception was the 'Newt' but that may just have been due to timing. Not knowing the ropes, we started at 7.50pm on Wed night by calling in there first. Only five people in the room, a weird set up of high seating round the perimeter (the only seat we got all week!) surrounding an open area with no tables and chairs at all! Most uninviting, and I wasn't surprised to see an endless procession of folk (many with instruments) enter, look, assess and head off elsewhere. A chap with a squeezebox kicked off proceedings at 8pm singing 'Enery the 8th' as in came three more folk, one with a guitar who promptly sang two songs in a row making me wonder if those there before him should have been more 'obvious' if they were there to sing also. I wouldn't know, I am not sufficiently versed in the etiquette required when I attend any new place. We decided (at the end of a pint) to seek out other places. I do hope that venue picked up a head of steam later, but meantime we felt obliged to sample elsewhere and (perhaps unfairly) never made it back.

We stood outside the Ham Marquee along with the overspill from a full house listening to a grand sounding Blackthorn, returning a good while later to hear some of the superb KathTickell Band.
In between-time, and later on till VERY late, we stood to drank beer and listen to all 'sorts' of sessions (mixed, tune and song) in various rooms within the Black Horse, Swan, Radway and Anchor.
Contrary to suggestions made elsewhere, we found a high standard of musicianship everywhere, and where there were 'learners' interspersed amongst the 'experienced' throng, we hoped they managed to raise their own game in the best way possible, rubbing elbows with those of a higher standard (hopefully inconspicuously) being dragged upward in the most sociable of surroundings.

A good night's sleep (airbeds on the floor of 'friends of the festival') and we were off after breakfast for a walk round the town, the craft fair, the instrument stands at Church House and the Ham and a 'touristy' walk up Jacob's Ladder to the wonderful gardens where I confess I posed unashamedly with the Sidmouth Fiddler. Cliché? Yes indeed, but relatives expect etc……

Around 2.15pm Steve and I played and sang three songs (for fun) outside at the open mic affair at Dukes, hanging on (as requested) to do three more later on. This was no terrible hardship given that there were barrels of real ale set up in a side room and the Test Match (which was going well) in another. We were only too pleased to keep a weather eye on it! Maybe that's why various other artists on the 'bill' took time to drop in and perform there all week.
More likely though, they just like to play!

Thursday evening was spent trawling through the sessions as we had done the night before. Apologies! Didn't revisit the Newt, time ran out.
The passing of a leafy branch round the infamous Middle Bar was interesting. We had fancied a turn, but after standing in amongst them there a total of about four hours over two nights, when it did get anywhere near, seeing it bypass us again and again, we gave up all hope of perhaps singing a song down there. Once again, not knowing the correct procedure in an established set up, no one proffering aid for the uninitiated, and not being the sort to be at all 'forward' in such surroundings, we limped off into the night untested. Our fault entirely, I'm sure.
It would have been nice though.
One 'proper' downside in the Anchor, the 'new' Landlord saw fit to put a 'soul' band on in the garden, as there wasn't a folk event organised there on the Wed night. Even the presence of 'Bouncers' at the top of the stairs didn't keep the door shut half enough and the noise from the 'band' garden made listening (to the singers) from that end of the middle bar very difficult.
Friday passed us by, as there was much to do to prepare for our gig in the evening. We checked into our rooms in the Bedford and met up with the rest of the band as they arrived one by one from the North (only three of us had arrived on Wednesday and Thursday.
We did catch the ever-magnificent Whapweasel as we unloaded our gear at the Ham Marquee and 'cheated' somewhat by lingering around backstage in the 'wings' to admire them.
Before we knew what time it was, we were sound-checking after the Battlefield Band and soon after it was 7.55 and we were heading onstage.
The evening concerts all week were sold out I understand, fire regulations setting the capacity at 807. I was a little stunned to find the place completely full when we kicked off at eight. The Batty's fans did us proud, taking to their seats for us too rather than drifting in for their scheduled start at 9.15pm
Our MC (as per programme) was otherwise engaged preparing for his own gig at the LNE (11.15 start) so the diminutive but delightful Sue stepped in, announced us, and the next hour flew by!
I thoroughly enjoyed playing our set and the audience reaction was far above my expectations! I was particularly pleased for our fiddle player Anne, who got the biggest cheer of all as I introduced the band during the last set of Jigs.
We spent the rest of the night having backs patted and hands shaken and we couldn't believe the volume of CDs we shifted.

A few thanks are order. Cheers MC Sue, soundman Chris (the mini-disc recording is superb!), the Batty-Band (who made us feel like we were friends right from the start), the extremely helpful head steward and his band of stewards (many of whom were so supportive and encouraging from right after the sound-check onwards!) and bar staff (who looked after us well), to ALL those souls that worked their socks off to keep Sidmouth Festival alive. You did more than just that! It did far better than merely survive! It was a success. Those there had a whale of a time. All power to you, I hope you kick on from here, improving as you go, to become bigger and better still.
But personally, a huge thank-you to Gordon Newton, not just for his organisational merits, for putting his head on the block, but also for having the courage to put on a relatively unknown semi-pro outfit like us amidst the full time pros.
Thanks for the opportunity GN.

And then….
After watching the great Battys and packing up, it was back to the Bedford for the rest of the night. It was HEAVING in there. The session in the front room so crammed and vibrant it was nigh on impossible to get to the bar! Anne (our fiddler) was agog watching one chap 'go' in there. A superb fiddler in her estimation, wonder who he was? A second room was in full flow too (behind the bar) and in there later on, two Battys (fiddle and guitar) were soon in full flight, totally amazing stuff. Later the pipe player joined in too and we watched in awe. Being the lightweights that we are, Anne and I retreated to our beds at about 2.30am exhaustion had set in.
I've been a punter at Whitby for some 15 or more consecutive Festivals, then, more recently, as a performer at various festivals for the past four years - and my conclusion is, I don't know or cre whatwent before, 'this' new Sidmouth is right out of the top drawer! Cheers one and all. HFA – Duncan McFarlane


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 11:14 AM

HipFlaskAndy wrote:
Anne (our fiddler) was agog watching one chap 'go' in there. A superb fiddler in her estimation, wonder who he was?

In all liklihood it was me old mate Dan... The link in my post above has some pictures of him. (He never stops!)

Vince


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 11:22 AM

Great pictures Vince, I almost feel as if I was there (oh I forgot, I WAS there)

HFA what a great description of Lizzie, like you I was surprised she wasn't more 'loud, brash, etc. I was very pleased to meet her, and she did her best to see as much as possible, because she loves it all.

I'm sorry now we didn't fight harder to get in the Bedford late Friday, but it was just TOO packed - and we wanted a beer! It sounds like a great time was had.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 12:16 PM

It's got to be Dan hasn't it Vince - who else?

I was totally worn out come Friday, but managed to hang on until 1am, but Dan and Vince were up until 4am. Oh to be young and awake!!
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 12:38 PM

Well, I may have been 'young and awake' last week, but I have also spent all dayt at work trying not to fall asleeep at the keyboarddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

Vince


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 01:06 PM

The missus and I had a great time at Sidmouth and in our view the week was a success, Certainly Eddie Upton thought so, and he and Folk Southwest put in a lot of hard work to make it so, by bringing together the various disjointed bits of the organisation to form a coherent team. I didn't really miss the arena shows as we saw some cracking performances in the Marquee and the Manor Theatre - Bellowhead were magnificent as usual, the New Scorpion Band were great and I really enjoyed the Demon Barber Roadshow - OK in the latter band the bass was too loud and you couldn't hear the words of the songs, but did you see that rapper dance! Superb.

The wife and I got some songs in and I even gave a talk with video clips. There is talk of my helping out to help organise the talks for next year or to help set up some ballad sessions - anyone up for that?

It was good to see the food outlets of the town being used rather than the marquee food, but a) Sidmouth caterers have to learn to give better customer service: half hour waits for food or waiting 10 minutes before having your order taken are unacceptable and b) Sidmouth caterers do not do healthy - it's chips with everything.

That said, as a people's festival, it was a great success - lots of singing, playing, dancing etc and the promise of even better next year.

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Malc R
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 01:51 PM

We stayed on the Bulverton camp from early Saturday morning, having driven through the night from Yorkshire, until Thursday morning.
During the short week we attended concerts at the Ham, heard some amazing Story Telling saw varied dancing, street entertainers and visited The Anchor, Newt, Bedford and Black Horse (Which I might add serves excellent value for money meals - and not all served with chips).
I'm sorry to admit that I too failed to knowingly meet with Lizzy and get my Hug :o( but overall we enjoyed our stay and found it to be what we expected - a folk festival.
Must congratulate all those that made it possible, and Alan White for the Campsite facilities.
We do have one minor criticism however (Actually two but they are linked) and that was the "noise" eminating from the Anchor Garden, which on occasions stretched the interpretation of FOLK to extremes, coupled with the constant flow of people into the middle bar through the back door made listening to some of the MBS's nigh on impossible.
Good luck and best wishes for Sidmouth 2005

Mal


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Ralphie
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 01:52 PM

Hello Mr Concertina Chap.

Yes, It has always struck me as strange that most of these threads revolve around the Bedford/Anchor singers, Mainstream Irish/Popular Folk Songs,with Banjos and Bodhrans. (Nothing wrong with that.It is, after all a week long party....so, lets party.) It's not my cup of tea particularly, but, on the evidence of Sunday night, a fine time was being had by all. Hope you can all do it again at Whitby...Respect to all.

Meanwhile the poor Old Radway barely gets a mention. A sad 3rd place after the Volunteer.

Maybe thats just as well. (If the word gets out, you'll never get in. Bit like the old days of the Balfour!)

Due to lack of time down at Sid this year, I only had Monday lunchtime at the Rad. Always a quiet day, it was still a sumptuous 3 hours of the best of English music. And twas great to meet old friends again. (and a few new and younger peeps too)

So, if any old mates read this. A salute to you. Maybe next year.
Sad to have missed Dartmoor. Ho Hum.

(I now return this thread to the MBS ...enjoy!)

Oh, and if you should read this Lizzie, the fact that "PJD were in one room at the Bedford, and the musicians were in the other," caused greaty hilarity in the band, and expect the quote to appear on our website soon.

To all. Enjoy the rest of your summer

Kind regards Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 02:16 PM

Came home via Dartmoor festival, so have only just caught up with this thread.

I had a lovely week. The Theatre Bar singarounds were programmed to run from 11.30am-2pm, rather than 10.30-2 as previously, because the Beach Store in the Bedford sessions started at 10.30. But after a couple of days we started earlier and finished later, so that we could get all the usual singers in and still have time for people who went to the Bedford first.

I agree with McGrath that the disadvantage of not having a season ticket was that you couldn't dip in and out of events. But some people preferred not having a season ticket, because having a ticket for a particular event guaranteed that they would get into it. Also, people could pay to camp without having to buy a season ticket.

I can't see that anyone will want to undertake the risks of running the Arena and international dance teams in future. But Sidmouth Folk Week lived up to its name.

Kitty

PS I came third in the DG&D


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 04:37 PM

I missed the Arena - not the Big Guest concerts, but the dance displays and the entertainers in the rest of the place, and the tune sessions in the Beer Tent and so forth. And some of the traders, who weren't by many means all tat.

I hope that one way and another those kind of things can come back in the future, and if they can involve using the natural ampitheatre all the better. Many an enjoyable afternoon and evening I've spent there. I know some people never even get up there, but then I never get to the Bulverton, and that doesn't mean I have to dismiss it as not worth having. The special thing about Sidmouth has been that people can have totally different festivals and still fit in together.

There's always ben the moment when you find yourself standing there listening to the sound of half a dozen different types of music coming from different directions - a dance band somewhere, a Morris side, a bunch of people playing a tune in the graveyard, someone busking on a corner, a foreign team parading along a street nearby... That's what makes Sidmouth magic.

Big costly events where bad weather will mean financial disaster, we can do without them. But that doesn't have to mean cutting down on the diversity of the music and the dance.

There's no reason why dance displays, involving both British and International sides, couldn't be brought back without enormous cost. It just means having sides who are self-financing in the way Morris teams are, and who fancy a holiday trip to England, or can fit a side trip to Sidmouth in with some appearance at Langollen or something. And maybe even more so, there is the potential of bringing in more of the enormous range of music and dance from ethnic minority communities in Britain.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 05:01 PM

There's a separate thread going on the theft of Alan Bell's concertina. It was nicked last weekend from a table in the Bedford Hotel, so if anyone who was in the Bedford sessions has any idea where it went, could they please let Alan know.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: alanww
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 06:49 AM

Congatulations to all the volunteers who made the festival a success and helped to bring Sidmouth back to its roots!
Best wishes.
"... for I am free to go abroad!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 07:12 AM

Seen the piccies - thanks Vince - yep, I believe that thar Dan's the man!
I can't be certain as I couldn't get in anywhere near, but I reckon so. Our Anne (being very tiny) squeezed through for a close look, but I can't ask her to view the pix as she left for Croatia yesterday!
I did see him stop and seemingly make notes, fill in staves etc - does that help narrow it down?
Anne came back with 'Jings! Wit duz HE need tae write doon?!!'

Hey Kitty, how you doing?
Sorry we never ran into you at Siddy, but I'll see you at Herga on Nov 14th if not before!

Cheers! - HFA


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: John Golightly
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 08:04 AM

Thanks for your comments, fiddler - I've passed them on to Alan White.

On another note - last week I discovered that there are still quite a few people around who believe that if they were on the mailing list for Sidmouth International Folk Festival, then they must automatically be on the Sidmouth Folk Week mailing list. Not so.

Remedy - click Here to register your details.

John


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,The Barden of England
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 08:36 AM

Hi HipflaskAndy

I think Dan was writing down a tune for Elenor (the lady playing the flute at much the same pace as Dan), and couldn't remember them all - far too much Guiness was the excuse. At the same time Elenor was writing down a different one for Dan (whilst under the influence of Otter Ale). You can bet your boots that next year they'll both be playing those along to each other. It's always a sight to behold, and to hear.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 09:14 AM

Cheers John (Barden) - I'll let Annie know when she returns from hols.
All the very best - HFA - Duncan (McFarlane)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Seaking
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 11:30 AM

Can I thank all the musicians in the Bedford and Newt for making my three children (aka 'Mash') so welcome and giving them huge amounts of encouragement whenever they played. They've come back fuelled by enthusiasm for their music and next year's festival - and so have I.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 11:58 AM

There's no reason why dance displays, involving both British and International sides, couldn't be brought back without enormous cost. It just means having sides who are self-financing in the way Morris teams are, and who fancy a holiday trip to England, or can fit a side trip to Sidmouth in with some appearance at Langollen or something. And maybe even more so, there is the potential of bringing in more of the enormous range of music and dance from ethnic minority communities in Britain

As a point of information really more than anything else. And certainly not intended as a note of criticism to the above idea.

I write as someone whose morris team (Sheffield City Morris)have been all over Europe and also to South America. Generally speaking the deal for the "International Sides" is that you get yourself to the festival and they look after you whilst you are there. This will generally include hostal accommodation and food (B,B and EM) for the days when you are performing. And if you go by Bus as we did to Poland, fuel for any bus you have brought with you, sometimes from the point of landing. Some festivals, notably large French ones pay each person a daily rate too!! On top of this you need insurance and things like a doctor on tap.

If people fly then local transport is provided (as it was in Hungary last year where we were). So it may not be possible to arrange Sidmouth like it was before.

This clearly does not apply to English sides who go to Sidmouth even as arena sides but it does to the foreign sides and I believe they were generally put up in Exeter Halls of Residence and came in each day. Í don´t have Derek Schofield´s book to hand, but I seem to remember that Sidmouth College was the place in the old days.

I doubt if homestay would be an option in Sidmouth except perhaps with local teams like the Sidmouth Steppers to take one side on a sort of recipprocal understanding, and having organised a visit or two like this let me tell you it is dauntng!!

I do think it is a shame that the foreign sides may no longer be seen, but I can see the logic in giving up the Arena.

In a sense it is a shame because one of the great things about a festival with International teams is that there is some great interaction between the teams - even if sometimes the festivalgoers do not see all of it.

And in fairness it never happened between sides from GB and abroad much at Sidmouth.


Hope this helps,

Best regards,

Dave


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 01:55 PM

HipFlask Andy,
John's right - Dan was writing out tunes for Elenor (or for someone else) - at least this year he had the presence of mind to bring manuscript with him, 'cos drawing five straight lines is nigh on impossible in that state! In a few weeks we'll be at Bridgnorth where last year Dan got to the point (at about 5:30am) of being incapable of walking, talking, even smoking or drinking, but still wanted to play more tunes (and could!) - The man nust have a pact with the Devil I tells ya!

As for Fiddler Anne heading off to Croatia, it reminds me of the T-shirt slogan I caught in the Bedford: "Good people go to Heaven; bad people go to Zaghreb!"

Cheers!

Vince


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:29 PM

Generally speaking the deal for the "International Sides" is that you get yourself to the festival and they look after you whilst you are there.

That's more or less what I had in mind. But my impression is that over the years the International participants at Sidmouth were increasingly big scale or near professionals, a kionnd of show business at times, and the cost involved has been allowed to mount quite steeply.

I can't see why the living expenses for a foreign team staying at Sidmouth should be any higher than for an English team, whether staying on the campsite or indoor camping in school halls or whatever. The only real difference is the cost of getting there in the first place.

Maybe somethimg like town twinning between dance sides might be one way forward "look after us when we go to you, and we look after you when you come to us."


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 04:38 PM

It was indeed a great week and tributes all round to those who made it happen.
Agnes, I didn't see a single Aran sweater(one n please!) about, even if the occasional Clancy bros song slipped in. (Arran is a Scottish island, Aran (of the sweaters)off the coast of Ireland.)
Dan, Elenor and the manuscript paper: Dan's promised to come back with "Niel Gow's Lament for the Death of his Second Wife" by next year - a lovely tune - must be the only one he doesn't know!
John B - thanks for the Bedford songs, and really enjoying your CD.
Gems of the week: the Demon Barbers and Bellowhead concert, and "This Farming Life" with Tom and Barbara Brown: the latter was the only event I could persuade my non-folkie husband to come to, and he loved it!
Personal goal achieved: playing in the Festival band with the great JK conducting/playing/arranging.
MBS were brill as usual - "the Power of Song"
Trish


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 04:55 PM

Ah - so now I know who Tattie Bogle is!! Hi Trish.

Have you made it past the first 5 tracks of the CD without falling asleep? A good friend of mine says that his insomnia has completely gone since buying it! I even fell asleep whilst recording it - I had to every night didn't I.
I thought Sidders was up to standard in all cases this year, and there were many people who managed to get in the Bedford who just hadn't been able to in previous years. Sure there were less people, but not that many less.

Until next year - and maybe a new CD -I'm working on it
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 05:36 PM

Thank you, Tattie Bogle, for your contribution to Dave Taylor's rendition of "The melodeons are coming" in the last Theatre Bar sinaround (well,we were billed in the newsletter as a sinaround).

I've heard this evening that the person who inspired my DG&D entry was hospitalised as a result of the injuries sustained when she fell at work the Thursday before last. But will be going home tomorrow, whereas I will be going back to work.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MarkAustin
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 03:17 AM

Replying to a couple of points.

Big Mal mentioned the music from the Anchor Gardens. According to Dick Stanger, who ran the Anchor, the landlord/brewery put up enough to cover 10 folk events. This meant 7 lunchtime and 3 evening dances. On the other 4 evenings, the landlord booked "standard" rockish bands. I suspect this is what you heard.

For HipFlaskAndy, and any other first-timer in the Middle Bar next year, if you in early enough the seats at the front are for singers, so the twig will automatically be passed (exceptions are made for thos such as the elderly who cannot stand all evening). The Bench is for those running the session. At the back, there are fewer singers so there is a tendency to pass it on to *known* singers. The trick is, when the twig has been passed but before that person has started singing tap them on the shoulder and ask. As long as you're not obviously twig-chasing that will work. After the first few times, you'll be recognised. Alternatively, ask the Bench to include you - they often do a "have we missed anyone wave around" before leaving an area (in particular the back bar)

Mark Austin


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 04:22 AM

Thanks for the pointers Mark, I'll remember for next time. Always a bit on the shy side (honest!) when unsure of the house protocol.
I stood in there for about two hours on both Wed and Thurs and must have missed the "have we missed anyone wave around" - probably due to numerous trips to the bar and, subsequently, even more numerous trips to the loo!!! Then there were other venues to check out as it was our first Sidmouth.
Enjoyed the atmosphere down there though!
Cheers - HFA


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Striper
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 06:07 AM

I have only just got back from a five day stint in Sidmouth via a five day stint in Watchet. This was my first Sidmouth and a very nice experience it was too. For a festival that was going to die on its feet, according to some, it was pretty damn good as well as being vibrant and lively, with a little of something for everyone. I enjoyed it immensely both from a performers point of view and as a punter so to speak.

Thanks for all the hard work put in by the organisers "Ya dun Gud".

Nice to meet you at last Lizzie,Pete and family, thanks for everything.

See you at next years Sidmouth Festival.

Take Care.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Roger Hayes
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 06:53 AM

After looking at the campsite (see above) Steve Harris estimated that attendances were 75% down on normal.

Can a festival that loses three-quarters of its audience in just one year really survive for much longer?

After looking at this thread it would seem that those who did still attend Sidmouth 2005 enjoyed the experience but they were far fewer in numbers than in previous years.

I suspect it's the 'hardcore' Sidmouth veterans who post on here and so it's no surprise when they praise this year's event.

Those of us 'guests' who only post occasionally and therefore can't be bothered to register as full-blown 'mudcatters' may have a less 'rose-tinted-spectacles' view of things.

Overall I guess that:

i) Sidmouth WILL survive but as a much smaller event than in the past, just one of many small-scale folk festivals in an already overcrowded calendar

ii) Those who attended this year may well return in 2006

iii) Many of those who attended are actually quite happy to have a smaller, less commercialised Sidmouth Folk Week, but...

iv) There is nothing to mark Sidmouth out from the crowd now. It can no longer boast of being Europe's biggest folk festival... or even Britain's... or even the South West's. It is just a small-scale Folk Week now and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if those who still go enjoy it.

Personally though I miss the international element, the arena shows and the variety that was Sidmouth in the past. That is why I didn't attend this year and, with a heavy heart, will not be returning in the future.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,SidmouthVirgin
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:07 AM

I hope Roger Hayes is right when he predicts that Sidmouth will survive even if not in the same form as previously.

I attended for the first time this year so cannot comment on how it compared to previous years.

I enjoyed myself but found the programme of events for those of us who don't sing or dance somewhat limited and disappointing.

The LNE was a fiasco and a friend who is in Bellowhead told me the band were shabbily treated backstage and won't return even though their concert was (for me) a Festival highlight.

I don't know yet whether I'll return myself but I'm glad I attended this year. It was enjoyable and those who worked hard to make it happen deserve thanks for doing so.   Tara


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: el_punkoid_nouveau
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 08:18 AM

The point Roger Hayes seems to be trying to make that Sidmouth was a lot smaller this year than in previous years does not necessarily mean that it will remain a small festival. Apart from anything else, Mrs Casey (in the guise of Steve Heap) was quite open that it took eighteen months to two years to organise something of the order that the company ran. This year's organisation had less than twelve months - and very limited budgets.

The other point Roger misses is that the festival this year was built very much around the fringe events - largely the pub sessions and so on. Again, this was due to the constraints of time in organising things, and the limited budgets available.

So stop being negative Roger - come back next year, and see what can be done. Yes, the festival will change direction (but it has done so before, and no doubt will do again in the future). No it won't be the massive International Festival that Mrs Casey built up, but will probably return to being a Folk Festival. What is certain is that it will continue to celebrate the "Folk" arts.

And when you do come back, I might even let you buy me a pint in the Dove, or the Anchor, or...

epn


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 10:06 AM

Don't go Roger Hayes - there were enough people this year without you who makes judgements without having been there. The moon's made of cheese you kow, I can assure you as that's what I've been told.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 10:54 AM

Well it was my first visit too, and I enjoyed it tremendously, so will be back next year. Nice to see so many fellow Catters.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 02:15 PM

Actually, there seem to have been loads of new people this year....so it was far from being 'hardcore' Sidmouth devotees. I also saw several people who used to go and haven't been for years until now.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 02:44 PM

I was in the Bedford at least once a night and quite apart from the amazing variety of music and humanity on view I was v impressed by the standard of the bar service.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 02:46 PM

The hurdy Gurdy/ bagpipe duet at the Swan was a bit specialtoo.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 02:47 PM

And I haven't seen anyone mention the Reindhart experience; those giys were just phenomenal


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 02:56 PM

Mere numbers are not what made Sidmouth unique, even through the Mrs. Casey days.

I suspect that next year will see a huge increase in attendance, as many of the people who did not go this year went elsewhere because they wanted to ensure that their main holiday was not a disappointment, rather than that they didn't like the new format.

Those who believed took the risk because they believed, and thank God for them.

I don't feel animosity toward anyone, whether they attended or not. I must say tho' that the atmosphere was quite different. Gone the "us and them" feeling between arena goers and what they labelled as the fringe, and in its place a community feeling of "we are all here for the same thing".

I sincerely hope that, with the financial success of 2005, the arena shows will return, but I hope also that the sense of oneness will remain, and that every part of the festival will be regarded as vital to the character of the whole.

No rose tinted specs here, lessons will be learned and the best possible start has IMHO been made.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 04:11 PM

The CD actually helped me thro' the huge pile of paperwork that awaited my return, John - very relaxing, I grant you, but I didn't fall asleep! By the way, I had washed my Mudcat T-shirt specially to bring it to the festival then left it on the airer at home!
Roger, how can you make a valid comment if you weren't there? All the hotels/guest houses/B&Bs/friends and family houses were full, so don't judge everything by the campsite!
Kitty, I play a B/C button accordion so can even play the B flats and other accidentals.
HipFlask Andy, even non-newcomers to the Middle bar sometimes have a long wait for a song; just as the twig gets near you, off it goes on a perambulate around the back row for no apparent reason other than the wishes of those on the bench (said with tongue firmly in cheek!)
TB


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 04:33 PM

So far the only people who have been unimpressed by this year's Sidmouth have been those who didn't actually go...


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 04:50 PM

Well, I didn't go but I was vicariously very impressed - had an immensely good time reading Lizzie's journal on the R2 F&A site - and a nice natter with Mr Laycock on his mobile with street sound effects...

Hopefully next year - have never fancied it before.....


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:47 PM

Not too surprising if one is not open to new evidence (i.e. like actually visiting Sidmouth Folk Week 2005 or listening and giving some credit to those who did visit) that one's verdict may remain unchanged.

The verdict of those who did attend is a lot better informed and consequently of far more interest.....


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Bedazzled
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 06:54 PM

Who knows or cares whether it was a success or not and how do you measure success anyway?

If those who went enjoyed it then in their eyes it was a success.

If others felt there was less of interest to them this year then it was not a success.

Does anyone know whether the various concert promoters covered costs or made money?

Does anyone know whether businesses in the town made as much money as in previous years?

El punkoid nouveau says things had to be planned hastily. In fact everyone knew a year ago that Steve Heap was withdrawing so everyone had a year to plan this year's event.

A year is exactly what we have to plan next year as well.

Will it be bigger or better? Will it be smaller or worse? Will this year's absentees return or will some who gave this year a try go elsewhere next year?

Who knows? Who cares? So long as true devotees return year-upon-year there will always be some form of Folk Week in Sidmouth. Smaller maybe, less professional maybe but still a Folk Week to be savoured alongside the (now bigger) Festivals at Towersey, Warwick, Chippenham, Broadstairs & elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 09:00 PM

The point is, Bedazzled, that Steve Heap said publicly that Mrs. Casey Music took eighteen months to arrange each festival, so there was a continuous overlap.

It is also true that, by the time the organisation had been put together, Sidmouth 2005 was organised in about seven months, not one year as you stated.

I have been told that 2005 covered all costs with some cash left over for 2006, but you would have to ask the organisers if you wanted confirmation.

As for Sidmouth traders, it seems that they did benefit from the festival being centred in the town rather than pulling people away to the arena. They certainly seemed very happy with it, and , as a group, they put considerable financial backing into the kitty.

Lastly, less professional is IMHO a harsh judgement given the time constraints, and the fact that one of the leading figures is the man who has organised Rochester Sweeps these many years. You could hardly call him an amateur.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,me
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 09:06 PM

i wish i'd been at sidmouth or some festival this season. although i've been bought up by folkies i've never actually experienced the delights of a festival but long to!! can you fill me in on costs and when to buy tickets/book camping etc because i am determined to go next year,


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 12:10 PM

Read it all and I am confused as to what kind of festival do people want next year. The old (eg 2004) Sidmouth or the newer 2005 style. This is not a trawl for argument just genuine interest.

Sidmouth 2005 sounds better (From the reviews in this thread) than the Sidmouth I went to in the late 1990's. So how will this format be maintained without restricting growth. Also the atmosphere seemed to be reported as better this year and that is something that cannot be organised.

Spot


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Geoff P
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 12:42 PM

We went to the festival this year and throughly enjoyed it!!

The atmosphere was the one that I remember from the eighties very relaxed. All the sings we went to were well attended and the individual concerts well supported.

We did miss season tickets though and the buying of tickets from the TIC was a bit of a mission, (sorry I don't know why someone needs an address when people buy tickets, particularly when there's a queue!).

Congrats to all who put the festival together, and particularly Alan White and his team at the Bulverton site.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:10 PM

Well whatever they want, they won't get the 2004 festival back. Personally I'm quite happy with the way this year has been and if it goes along these lines, with the lessons that have been learned from this year, I think it will be an improvement on recent years. Some people will obviously not want the 'new' festival, but you can't please all the people can you? It certainly did seem to be a more relaxed atmosphere this year, and local businesses seemed to be much more closely involved, which can only be a good thing. I did miss the arena showground, but that was the only thing I missed. Whatever next year is like, it will be interesting!

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:19 PM

Next year I shall try to be nearer the centre, my poor old legs can't cope with all the walking!
Giok


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:44 PM

Hi Spot the Dog,

I really don't think that we shall see too much insistence on pushing the festival in any particular direction. It may well happen that the arena will once again feature, but that will depend on the momentum developed by those who wish for particular aspects to return.

Sidmouth festival has a life of its own, constantly evolving and changing over the last 51 years, and that, I think, will continue.

I know that there are many people who want the arena and the international dance etc. I am rather keen on the idea myself.

What I would respectfully suggest is that this is unlikely to happen if those people simply go elsewhere.

Sidmouth 2005 was successful because large numbers of people chose to take the chance and go there. It only happened at all because some very determined people decided that they would not let it die.

If the arena shows are your desired objective, take a leaf from our book, get involved, as an organiser if you can (I'm sure your input would be welcome), or as someone who will definitely BE THERE next year to buy the tickets. If you ditch the festival, where's the incentive for the organisers to consider your wishes?

Looking forward to next year
Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: steve_harris
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 06:40 AM

``Can a festival that loses three-quarters of its audience in just one year really survive for much longer?''

If the audience size was "right" in 2004, you would have a point. If it looses 75% every year, you would soon have a point. Personally, I expect 2006 to run very successfully on around 50% of 2004 figures.

``There is nothing to mark Sidmouth out from the crowd now. It can no longer boast of being Europe's biggest folk festival... or even Britain's... or even the South West's''

I really think you ought to have been there. If there is another festival anywhere in the world where you can dance English Ceilidh 3-4 times a day for a week, do tell me please.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 07:14 AM

The ceilidhs were the least sucessful part of the whole venture and they'll have to do something about the floors.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 07:40 AM

English Ceilidh, surely an oxymoron like Scottish Morris Dancing!
G.. ¦¬]


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 09:35 AM

Local Press comment so far has been very positive about the new size and format of the week.

But do people who like the new format just because they didn't much care for Steve Heap (for whatever reason) realise just what Sidmouth has lost? It was not just the biggest festival of its kind in Europe (?) but personally I doubt if 2006 will be as big as 2005 - so many people said 'hang the expense' in 2005 just to support the organisers. I'll summarise all the local feedback shortly. It was the parade and torch ceremony on the last night that really brought home just how much had not been there during the week.

And will so many bands and callers come for nothing or for reduced fees next year, again just to support the organisers?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 13 Aug 05 - 10:30 AM

Steve,

Of course we all realise what has been lost, but realising it is not enough. If we are ever to get it back, we need positive action, not carping criticism by wet blankets who don't intend to support it, whatever the cost, because it isn't exactly to their liking.

My response is, if you want it, fight for it, get up and do something to make it happen. That's what we all did this year, and we don't think it was perfect by any means, but it was the best it could be in the circumstances.

Next year WILL be better, so stop putting people off with negative comment, say what YOU want to see, and help make it happen.

I hope I'm not going to have another year of being called nasty names because I support my favourite festival, but support it I will regardless.

That is what is needed for success, so climb on board and grab an oar.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 04:28 AM

Don said:
I don't feel animosity toward anyone, whether they attended or not. I must say tho' that the atmosphere was quite different. Gone the "us and them" feeling between arena goers and what they labelled as the fringe, and in its place a community feeling of "we are all here for the same thing".

I watched the BBC4 programme again over the weekend, and I did gain the impression that the arena was a separate entity, with its own food stalls, etc, and that if one spent the day there, it would be like a mini-festival, and one would not get involved in the town at all, e.g. like Cambridge.

I liked the way it was all integrated into the town, and if you didn't go to an organised concert, you could just wander around and see what was going on. It was commented upon in the local paper, that the town people felt more involved, specially in the crafts marquee, and the childrens events (you didn't have to have a season ticket to join in).


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 04:49 AM

Geoff P said / asked

"We did miss season tickets though and the buying of tickets from the TIC was a bit of a mission, (sorry I don't know why someone needs an address when people buy tickets, particularly when there's a queue!)."

I would imagine that the TIC had been asked by organisers to obtain people's addresses, so that they could be included on a mailing list for future festivals. Makes sense, really - not everyone who would be buying tickets would be die-hard fans, who will keep the festival in their diary come-what-may.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 08:51 AM

Thanks to everyone who helped me out at the Volunteer and/or came to the Arts Centre talks. Excellent atmosphere all week. I now have a few ideas for improvements for next year. The Radway was as well-supported as usual - pity I couldn't get there more often. You know when Sidmouth is good coz you try to be in two places at once, and end up at a third! Missed the ceilidh in the f**d this year. Was the drum-playing Scotsman there with his special malt for the band (or should that be NOT there)?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 10:16 AM

No, he was, of course, not there, because there was, of course, no ceilidh in the ford at 3.00 on Friday afternoon, as there always isn't. He appeared to have his usual good time, despite not being there. I wasn't there either and didn't actually dance for the first time. It was as good as it usually isn't. I'm already looking forward to not being there again next year. :-)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 06:30 PM

And here's a picture of the ceilidh in the ford not happening...
..........................
Personally I loved this year's festival, and I loved last year's and all the other Sidmouths I've been to over the years. And I'm grateful to Steve Heap for many happy summer weeks, while he was running things.

I'm looking forward to see how it grows back after the pruning, and that it will be able to bring together different types of festivalgoers, enjoying different types of festivals in an inclusive way. And I hope that the international aspect,which has always been at the heart of Sidmouth will on the way and another still be at teh heart of the new Sidmouth.
.......................
"not everyone who would be buying tickets would be die-hard fans">/I> - anyone who endured the tortuous ticket buying process with the TIC who wasn't a die-hard fan probably was at least on the edge of deciding to stay way in future.

"I liked the way it was all integrated into the town, and if you didn't go to an organised concert, you could just wander around and see what was going on." That's how I've always experienced Sidmouth - this years was no different really, except that not having a Season Ticket reduced my ability to drop in on things on the spur of the moment.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: steve_harris
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 06:38 PM

``The ceilidhs were the least sucessful part of the whole venture and they'll have to do something about the floors''

They covered their costs and people enjoyed them. It's not the only festival to have floor trouble and th eorganisers have taken this on board.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: steve_harris
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 06:56 PM

``But do people who like the new format just because they didn't much care for Steve Heap (for whatever reason) realise just what Sidmouth has lost?''

Ah, found out! Yes, we hated Sidmouth 2005 but we hate Steve Heap more so we'll make out that it was wonderful and force ourselves to go every year until we are 93 in the shade out of spite :-)))

What have we lost, let's see:

- We've lost the fun of tripping over recumbant bodies between the LNE and the bogs
- We've lost the thrill of trying to find space on the camp site
- We've lost the joy of mega-queuing in the rain
- We've lost the joy of sardine ceilidh at the LNE
- We've lost the joy of traders too busy and alientated to offer polite service
- The lumbering Arena-saurus is no longer threatening to drag the festival under


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 07:15 PM

Good then, good still, good in the future...

Maybe they should get a Sidmouth symbol combining the qualities of a seagull and a phoenix... Get Hedingham Fair to do it, and incorporate the fabulous design into a poster and a T-shirt.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 07:42 PM

I'd go for that Mcgrath, and I'd buy one.

I think the success of 2005 will ensure the future, no matter what that future may be. Heres to Sidmouth, the best of festivals, and long may it continue.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Sue the Borderer
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 08:12 PM

Don, I second that.

I had a wonderful time this year (as I did the previous 3 years, which is all I've been to). I look forward to seeing how it develops.I hope we can keep some of the new good things (eg Woodlands Hotel and the inclusive feeling) and have back some of what was missing (I personally missed the season tickets but not the Arena) I also missed my voice which I lost somewhere in the Anchor on Tuesday night.

We had a wonderful time as 'Herbaceous Border' too, especially with our 'Have A Go Sessions'. We had 50 people in the torchlight procession, many of whom had never morrissed before FolkWeek and had scoured the charity shops in order to make their tatter jackets.

I remember saying on one of the pre-Sidmouth threads that I was positive I'd have a good time and I most definitely did. And I'm sure I will next year.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 04:25 AM

McGrath that's a brilliant idea. I'd definitely buy one too.

I did miss the Arena showground, but it was only a swmall miss...there was certainly plenty else to do to fill the gap....and our own "Not the Arena Concert" was brilliant.

Sue, I'm afraid I only managed to dance with Herbaceous once due to too many other things going on. I will try to do better next time!

McGrath, I think the metaphore of Sidmouth having been pruned is a really good one. Everyone knows that pruning makes something grow stronger and healthier afterwards.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 04:51 AM

Sue,

You obviously contracted a case of Sidmouth Froat, a well known affliction among devotees of the smoky, and often noisy, session venues.

There is nothing more annoying than finding your voice has run away and hid. I managed to keep mine till mid Friday evening, and didn't catch up with it again till yesterday.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 06:40 AM

It's an affliction we find less in teh Middle Bar now since we have polite notices up requesting people not to smoke where the singers are. It's made the Middle Bar even pleasanter than it was before and makes singing much easier.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Musician (Anon.)
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 06:57 AM

Hello All,

One thing missing from this thread is the view of professional musicians booked to appear in The Ham Marquee.

Many of us enjoyed successful and well-attended concerts.

We were pleased to support Sidmouth 2005 (often for substantially lower fees than we can normally command) and we were pleased that Sidmouth audiences supported us and the concert promoters.

BUT...

I have to say the organisation backstage at The Ham was very poor and the treatment of professional musicians was worse than at any other festival I have appeared at this year (and I've appeared at many).

When I see the manager of one of the best bands on the circuit being treated like a little child by the concerts promoter it saddens me and when I see the same promoter shout at her and yell that he "will not take instructions from a woman" I do wonder why I have agreed to play for the same promoter.

For obvious reasons I have to post this as Anon. but some other musicians will know who I am and others who were backstage can bear out the fact that things were not as good as they should have been.

I am delighted that Sidmouth has survived into 2005 and I very much hope Sidmouth survives and thrives in 2006 and beyond but if the Ham concerts are to be repeated then somebody needs to sort out the things backstage that the public out front don't normally get to hear about.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 07:37 AM

I am delighted that Sidmouth has survived into 2005 and I very much hope Sidmouth survives and thrives in 2006 and beyond but if the Ham concerts are to be repeated then somebody needs to sort out the things backstage that the public out front don't normally get to hear about.

If you had not posted anonymously - the public would have been none the wiser about personal disputes that are perhaps best settled in private and not in public. I am not sure that the reasons for anononimity are really that obvious as it starts unhelpful speculation.

I am sorry that you feel you we not given the treatment you think deserved by some of the organisers and I hope that it will not put you off entertaining the audiences at future events who perhaps are prepared to give you better treatment. But we still don't know who you are - it is difficult to judge if you deserved better treatment or not.

This year - I got some nice lunchtime food and a little beer provided for me (and the rest of the session) at The Bedford. Perhaps our expectations are different - although there is never any need for rudeness but I have received a lot of that from previous Sidmouth organisers and stewards.

Under the circumstances - perhaps some of this years organisers - who may have been under a lot of stress for little personal reward - may have some excuse and they certainly all have my appreciation. Next year perhaps will be different?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 09:00 AM

Shambles said / asked:

"But we still don't know who you are - it is difficult to judge if you deserved better treatment or not."

Shouldn't anonymous fellow posters be treated the same as named fellow posters - does knowing the name of someone allow another someone to say whether or not the person deserved to be treated as they have been treated, or can one not accept that, because someone feels they have been treated badly then, in their eyes at least, they have been treated badly....

Is Shambles really suggesting here that people's behaviour might, in certain circumstances, make it ok for other people to treat them in a particular way, based on their individual reaction to that behaviour? Noo...surely not. For surely, backstage personnel have a similar role to play (as representatives of the management) as, say, the Joe Clones have here - and, therefore, should be completely impartial and whiter than white......   

(tongue only partly in cheek) apologies for off-threading


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 09:21 AM

It is certainly unforgivable to treat professional artists (indeed, anyone) other than courteously, and respectfully, and it saddens me to hear that any of the people performing at the Ham might have been greeted with outright rudeness.

The comment concerning not taking instructions from a woman is particularly worrying, as it suggests an attitude that is indefensible on any grounds. When the person concerned is the manager of a professional act, it should be understood that she is acting in what she sees as the best interests of her clients, and if what she wants is not possible, that should be explained politely.

I hope that this was an unfortunate one-off, due to pressure, and that it will never happen again.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Chris Cole
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 09:39 AM

Possible reasons:-
The person involved was a teacher? I have experienced this syndrome myself and witnessed the same behaviour at other festivals. I have seen them revert to the techniques required when dealing with children when under stress. It hacks me off beyond belief.
Or
The artist(es) involved may have forgotten they are simply a big name in the folk world - try asking the average non folkie if they have heard of Martin Carthy. That kind of behaviour hacks me off beyond belief.

Before you all rip my head off, I am trying to suggest there are always 2 sides to an argument and usually mitigating circumstances. Most people have been involed in rows where what they have said previously has been quoted back supposedly verbatim, but the accused has no recollection of ever saying those words.

Don't let this kind of thing become an issue and an opportunity for gossip and chinese whispers. No-one needs it, especially people on a steep stage management learning curve. I have a mate who is a technical manager at a large Manchester venue and they could top and tail this little scuffle.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 09:39 AM

A few pictures Sidmouth 2005
I think that whoever said the words reported, and to a woman should not being doing the job he was, paid or unpaid. However I cannot see what light if any Shambles tunnel vision has cast on the subject, as usual I find his gnomic utterances mind bogglingly irrelevant.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 10:56 AM

What you report, anonymous musician, is unfortunate and possibly unforgivable (especially the bit about not taking instruction from a woman!) but having been involved in the first week setting up of the festival, I can see a certain amount of possible reason for that sort of outburst, while not in any way condoning it.
Apart from the hours of work that were put in by completely unpaid people (and one organiser was driving back and forth for a couple of hours each way for the first few days as weel) we had horrific weather conditions to contend with as well as not being at all sure what was actually going to come of the whole thing. At least two organisers put in large amounts of their own money and no real idea whether or not they would be getting much of it back. The stresses and pressures were enormous, believe me. Ok, that sort of treatment of artistsw is not on, but perhaps you may look at it with a little understanding after this explanation, I hope

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 11:21 AM

GUEST,Musician (Anon.) obviously had a bad experience. That's a pity.

He/she does make the comment....

'One thing missing from this thread is the view of professional musicians booked to appear in The Ham Marquee'

...must have missed my, er, rather lengthy post way up earlier then.
I know we're technically only semi-pro, but we were booked and paid as 'proper' artists to appear at the Ham Marquee.
Our experience, however, seems to have been the reverse of our Anon Muso.
We found the backstage 'staff' from steward to head steward to head-honcho-in-chief as pleasant and helpful as could be.
Nothing was too much trouble for them.
They, in turn, seemed very happy with our outlook and attitude towards them and, consequently, everything ran smoothly and painlessly for both parties.
I spoke to many other artists over my four day stay at Sidmouth and found no other dissenting voice.
I am sorry the 'injured' party feels this way but would not like the staff that worked so hard there all week (and who knows how much more before and after) to be tarred by one particular evening's incident. That would seem a tad unfair.

They did us, and many others proud, and as I mentioned in the previous post - our thanks to them all.
HFA (Duncan McFarlane)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 11:23 AM

Message from John Dowell for anyone with Sidmouth photies:

We're having a photo competition on the website (http://www.sidmouthfolkweek.org.uk./)as one way of showing the rest of the world that it happened and that everyone enjoyed it. The winner to be voted for by the punters so we keep them involved.

What we need to get it started is a few pics of smiling faces, big audiences etc. So if you found time to take any during the week it would be good if you could pass one or two on to me and I will get it started.

Perhaps Giok and McGrath might consider forwarding theirs?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 11:48 AM

'One thing missing from this thread is the view of professional musicians booked to appear in The Ham Marquee'.

It is probably still missing. We have the view of one who descibes their experience and is not worried about using their name and we have the supposed view of another who is too worried to use their name. They are quite different.

The second individual also claims to speak on behalf of others - who probably don't know know this poster's identity either. Perhaps none of should not assume that any gossip in this post has any foundation - or repeat it as fact - until the poster is prepared to use their name?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 12:30 PM

In view of the fuss over the fairly recent thread (started by a named posters)about the actions of a named performer - it is probably better to treat similar claims from (anonymous) performers about the actions of unspecified organisers - in the same way.

That inccident at least was fact and not just anonymous and possibly made-up and groundless gossip.

That thread is now closed as a result of all the fuss. It would be nice if posts in this thread offered no excuse for any editing action from our volunteer fellow posters to be imposed upon us.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 12:59 PM

Complaints vs mudslinging


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 03:10 PM

Hey there Mr/Mrs Shambles,

You quote...

'One thing missing from this thread is the view of professional musicians booked to appear in The Ham Marquee'.

...and add...

'It is probably still missing. We have the view of one who descibes their experience and is not worried about using their name and we have the supposed view of another who is too worried to use their name. They are quite different.'

...does that mean I don't exist? HFA (worried)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 03:29 PM

As far as I can see the second poster doesn't claim to speak on behalf of others, but relates witnessing an incident during an event in which the promoter of an event acted abominably.

I have heard on the grapevine about this particular instance and several others involving this promoter and I sincerely hope that all of thise affected are making complaints through proper channels.

I remain anonymous in the hope of not joining the apparently ever growing list of acts 'banned' from Sidmouth next year.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 03:51 PM

does that mean I don't exist? HFA (worried)

Duncan - If I thought you didn't exist - would that mean that you didn't?

Don't worry. I simply meant that the other view expressed should perhaps be seen as more than a little suspect and perhaps not to be assumed to be what it claimed to be. For as you had pointed out - you had already expressed a view - as a performer at The Ham.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 04:07 PM

I have heard on the grapevine about this particular instance

So have I. I wasn't there but I think it is perfectly obvious who the main protagonists are. And I find the entire episode deplorable though, regrettably, predictable. I don't intend to expand on it because it is up to the individuals concerned to decide whether or not to reveal their identities. Many Mudcatters are well aware (for one reason or another) who I am (and anyone who doesn't is at liberty to PM me and inquire). I'm not anonymous but then, I have nothing to lose. I'd just like the manager (and band) concerned to know that I back them every inch of the way. I'm not interested in excuses and mitigating circumstances. This should never have happened.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 04:08 PM

'If I thought you didn't exist - would that mean that you didn't? '

I like that, Shambly-one!
Reminds me of the old Jimmy Greaves tale - and this I'm afraid is thread-creep!

Troubled by the ref's 'poor' decisions all through a game, Jimmy, somewhat exasperated, spoke to the ref...
'Ref, if I called you a right-bleedin' bast**d, what would you do?'
Ref replied 'I'd have to send you off son for foul and abusive language'
'But what if I just THOUGHT you were a right-bleedin' bast**d' said Jim
'Oh, I can't take any action for what you THINK' said the ref
'Well in that case' said Jimmy 'I THINK you're right-bleedin' bast**d!!!'

Still tickles me after all these years (and I hope I'm remembering it right!)
Cheers! - HFA


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Schantieman
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 04:05 AM

Well, I enjoyed it.

I agree that it was smaller than before - definitely a good thing. I stopped going in the eighties coz it was too big. This was the right size. I didn't miss the arena one jot as I never went there anyway.

For me, a folk festival's for getting together with like minded people, singing in the pub, a dance or three (preferably outdors, weather permitting) & playing/listening to some music. That's exactly what I got this year and I shall be there again!

Glad to hear of the resounding success of the MBS in raising all that dosh. How can we weave seven sticks into a lock?

...and thanks to all those Mudcatters who came to the Blackmore Gardens and bought lemonade too!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 04:23 AM

Seven sticks? I thought they were using the sticks to build a picket fence in recent years.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 04:51 AM

I would like to add my voice.

If this is the same promoter who was taking our tickets on the door, then he was very rude and aggressive both to my husband and a lady a few people in front of us.
I shall be making a comment when I return my Feedback form.

I must add that everyone else we dealt with were friendly, helpful, in all ways and it's a pity this one person had to spoil it.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 04:59 AM

Are we discussing "The Promotor" ,who is one person, or the Venue manager on the night, who would have been someone else?

Obviously this is still a very sad state of affairs but I think we should be clear who it is that was responsible.

Dave Earl


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 07:43 AM

Cool photies Giok!!

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 08:05 AM

As an Old Time musician who plays in as many sessions as possible, I can report that nothing had changed as far as the right hand bar of the Bedford is concerned. We had some excellent jams all week with many different people, both in the bar and on the front. There was very little Old Time in the festival itself unlike previous years, and the only event I paid to attend was the half full Shirley Collins lecture about her American tour with Alan Lomax in 1959, which was a truly wonderful and moving experience, and she sold every book she'd brought. If you haven't seen it yet, please do - this is great history, beautifully presented.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,logged out
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 08:19 AM

It's not like the countess to be so coy is it? The band in question is Bellowhead, or so she says on another board. What did they expect? To be treated as pros at a festival organised by amateurs? If they are so desperate to get gigs they'll have to learn to put up with this kind of treatmemt or stick to playing nightclubs like they ususally do. Considering who else was on the bill that night I'm surprised the promoter didn't get headbutted.

I didn't go, I was on the side of the boycott. Of course reading that people who went for the first time and the Middle Bar Singers think it was better than usual, shows how wrong I was. That you've all let the local authority off the hook with your ersatz 'Sidmouth' doesn't matter does it? Obviously the festival won't need support next year, as all the 'profits' from this year will more than make up for the loss of funding. Attendance down by three quarters is a Good Thing too, according to Steve Harris. Well of course it is you wouldn't want all we crusty old folksters clogging and dancing and messing up your town would you? Shame the ceilidhs only 'covered their costs' they won't be adding much to next years kitty then, will they?

As for the 'Friends of Lizzie Cornish', Rhyzla and Hip Flask Andy were booked by 'Lizzies' husband (she won't thank you for letting that out you know Duncan)it's not surprising they're singing her praises is it? I met her recently at another event and wasn't at all surprised at her demeanour. Where you seen shy and unassuming, I saw a unfullfilled bottled up woman, struggling with ageing, dressed a little too young, too much make up for daytime and uneasy in her own skin. Her behaviour on that day was exhuberant to say the least, she was running about exclaiming over everything from a crap dj to a woman with dyed hair.

Rhyzlas also states that bands had to PAY to play in some venues, what kind of festival was this? That any genuine folk musician would indulge in this kind vanity is beyond me. Were the punters told this? I take it he doesn't mean floorspots paying the entrance fee. How much did they pay? It doesn't sound like those venues will add much to the kitty either.

So Sidmouth is dead for me, thank fuck for Whitby!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 08:44 AM

"People who went for the first time"? If anything it was too far the other way - probably a much higher proportion of returning regulars and low on the newcomers. As you'd expect under the circumstances.

There are always things that need sorting, and there always will be with every human enterprise. But that's a saying that perhaps fits just a few of the comments we've had here (a very few). It goes "To Hell with the Begrudgers"...


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 08:45 AM

Excuse me, "logged out", but I have not said anything about this incident "on another board".   You must be confusing me with someone else. It's widespread tittle tattle though, along with the rest of your comments. I wasn't there and neither were you. I believe it is a matter for those directly concerned to speak out if they so wish.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 08:50 AM

Some straight facts for you 'guest' as you are so wrong and yet so public with your utterances.

We were not booked by Lizzie's husband.
Was he even on the committee?
He, kindly, passed our CD on to Gordon who booked us (on merit) on hearing it.
He (and she) are fans of our music, of course they sing our praises.
He clearly thought Mr Newton might like us. He did. (So subsequently, did many others!).
As stated before, I met them both for the FIRST time on the Wednesday of the festival.
Thank goodness there are still kind folk around that will help others.
HFA


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 09:00 AM

Yawn yawn. Here we go again. This is where I stop reading this thread. See you all next Sidmouth

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,late night guest
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 10:24 AM

A general question which hopefully won't start a battle!!!

what time were the sessions in the anchor and other venues finishing?

were there any rumours about future closing times when the extended hours legislation starts?
(okay, thats two questions)

I'm just curious about the purpose/demand for Late Night extras which have to be quiet by 1a.m. if people can stay late in the pubs in town.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 10:42 AM

The Anchor sessions were over by 23:30 usually.

Don't know about other places.
Dave Earl


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Kate Longmate, Queen Mab's Music.
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 11:05 AM

I am posting here to stop speculation and to prevent further mudslinging in any direction.

I am the manager in question and I manage both bellowhead and the Demon Barber Roadshow. we did encounter some difficulties at Sidmouth and I have brought these to the attention of the committee and the individuals concerned.

However both bands enjoyed a full house and a fantastic audience and we all hope that Sidmouth thrives and prospers in the future.

With kindest regards,

Kate Longmate.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 11:10 AM

Good.

The right and proper way to go about things.

Now shall we agree to let this matter rest in the hands of the parties concerned?

Dave Earl


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: rhyzla
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 01:27 PM

guest 'logged out' wrote "As for the 'Friends of Lizzie Cornish', Rhyzla and Hip Flask Andy were booked by 'Lizzies' husband (she won't thank you for letting that out you know Duncan)it's not surprising they're singing her praises is it? I met her recently at another event and wasn't at all surprised at her demeanour. Where you seen shy and unassuming, I saw a unfullfilled bottled up woman, struggling with ageing, dressed a little too young, too much make up for daytime and uneasy in her own skin. Her behaviour on that day was exhuberant to say the least, she was running about exclaiming over everything from a crap dj to a woman with dyed hair.

Rhyzlas also states that bands had to PAY to play in some venues, what kind of festival was this?"

In reply:

I, or rather my band were booked and paid directly by Dukes Hotel.

Your description of a woman at 'another event' bares no resemblance to the person I met in Sidmouth - full stop!!

The venue that I paid to get in and play was the folk club in the arts centre - i knew that this was the case before I went!

And finally, 'logged off', you must be a wonderful person to criticise others so easily, but not quite brave enough to tell us who you are, and if you went to Sidmouth.


Also, thanks to Kate from Dabs for clearing up the other issue and finishing it!!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Musician (Anon.)
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 02:07 PM

Well done indeed to Kate for having the courage to speak out.

In answer to "logged out" you are wrong to criticise Bellowhead or any other musicians, amateur, semi-pro or fully pro, who expect to be treated with a little courtesy and respect by the promoter who has booked them.

I only know some of the members of Bellowhead in passing but they strike me as very pleasant and genuine individuals who love their music and don't deserve to be slagged-off by "logged-out" or anyone else.

Kate is too courteous to repeat what was said to her by Gordon backstage but it's already well-known in musician circles and if Gordon has a shred of decency in him he should apologise to Kate for the grossly insulting comments he made about Kate and women in general.

Most musicians want Sidmouth to continue. We recognise the enormous hard work and dedication of those who made the Folk Week happen this year. We wish you every success in 2006 and, if asked, most of us will be back to perform again.

BUT...

Whoever organises Sidmouth 2006 should think seriously before letting Gordon become involved again. His attitude and demeanour backstage contrasted sharply with the wonderful atmosphere out front. His involvement could result in artists declining bookings at Sidmouth 2006 and that would be a very great loss for us all.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 03:39 PM

Hi Guys,

Well...I've been watching this thread with great interest and great joy. It's been lovely to read so very many positive postings and to hear how much everyone enjoyed themselves at Sidmouth this year. I had THE most incredible time and I miss you all.

My town is now very quiet without you, no wonderful music drifting out over the waves,no singers, no dancers all along the seafront....no Middle Bar Singers waving their lilos in the air and singing "We're bound for South Australia" so joyfully to the sky. PLEASE hurry back next year! All that's left of you now are some photos in the window of Fords/The Post Office....of which I'm going to order quite a few.

Please let's keep the spirit of this thread alive. It has been so enjoyable for such a long while.

Kate and Musician Anon.....whatever happened at the Bellowhead concert is private and purely between the people concerned. It is NOT something to be put on messageboards where speculation can run rife and mischief makers can thwart and demean people to their hearts content. There are now comments coming out which, to me, seem almost like defamation of character.

There are ALWAYS two sides to EVERY story....here, we are only hearing one, which is unjust and uncalled for.

I had a wonderful night watching Bellowhead, really wonderful and would be grateful if the memory of that night was not spoilt any further by comments on this board.

I would also like to say that without Gordon Newton there would have been no Bellowhead at Sidmouth, or indeed any other big concert artists either. I spoke to him on many an occasion during the week when I was rushing around enjoying myself. He was always kind and courteous and he always had time for a quick natter to a batty lady (!) ;0)....and there was a permanent smile on his face too.

Gordon was also the man in the River Sid who, after the festival was finished, was pulling out all the rubbish that had been thrown in there by some local troublemakers. He didn't have to do that....and I believe he was willingly helped by the travellers too, who also get things said about them in places, usually unkind things, but I spoke to many of them during the week and found them lovely people too.

Also, whenever I thanked Gordon for what he'd done he ALWAYS said to me that it wasn't him....it was a whole team of people who'd come together and that there was such a bond between everyone and that Sidmouth was not down to any one person in particular.

He holds a very big place in my esteem. A truly lovely man. I have read the very positive comments on behalf of other artists, about their time in Sidmouth and how well they were treated and find that totally in keeping with the team and the man that I bumped into so many times recently.

And now...let's get back to Sidmouth 2005 and to your memories of that wonderful First Week In August and your hopes for Sidmouth 2006.

Lizzie :0)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 04:15 PM

Saint Gordon of Newton a 'truly lovely man'? Unprofessional mysogynists are not that. And I sure as hell wouldn't like to meet him if this is a typical example of his behaviour.   I don't care how much personal effort he put in to get the festival off the ground. Such an attitude cannot be condoned and I'm glad it's out in the open. I just didn't feel I should be the one to expose it since I wasn't present and said I would leave it to those directly involved to decide what should be said.   I have, however, met Kate Longmate who is indeed a truly lovely, efficient and professional person who manages her artists with skill. She didn't deserve this kind of treatment. Others need to be aware.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Kate Longmate, Queen Mab's Music.
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 04:27 PM

Whilst I appreciate the support and sentiments of some people posting here, I was hoping that my previous post would put an end to public speculation and accusations regarding this matter.

As I said previously I have made my difficulties known through official channels to the committee and the individuals concerned and hope that the matter can be resolved for the good of all and without any lasting hard feeling.

A lot of people put a lot of effort into this year's Sidmouth and it would be a shame to let this matter overshadow their efforts and successes. Can we let this rest and be dealt with elsewhere now please.

Kindest regards,

Kate Longmate.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: squeezyjohn
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 05:07 PM

Thanks Kate - I was about to say pretty much the same thing.

Can we leave it there please?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Aug 05 - 06:42 PM

This from the first post to this thread.

There will always be quibbles and especially as there are many well-organised past events to compare the present one with. But festivals organised as recent Sidmouth Festvals - were not going to be an option. So perhaps any comparisons should be made in the light of this fact - if they are to be fair ones?

I think that those who have put in the effort to ensure that some form of festival would happen this year - deserve our thanks.


What is done - is done and cannot be undone. We all make mistakes and the trick is to learn from these mistakes. Let us all hope that all parties can do this and will have the the opportunity to demonstrate that these lessons have been learned - for future Sidmouth Folk Weeks.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,cardboard cutout
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 05:05 AM

This thread has become very uncomfortable.
I was at Sidmouth for most of the week, and,whilst it differed from the festivals of late, enjoyed it hugely. I particularly enjoyed the Bedford Hotel events, and would like to publicly thank Barry Lister and Tom Addison for organising them.

In short, a different Sidmouth, but a good Sidmouth.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 05:41 AM

Praise also to the Blackmore Gardens ceildh crew (lastminute ceilidhs?)stepping in to run some good dances with a great atmosphere at short notice, and organising the bar with themselves as unpaid staff to put money into the kitty.

Shame about the iffy floor but I heard it was not their choice and the onlyone available at the time.
I hope they are running the ceilidhs next year


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 05:57 AM

Regarding Session Finish Times , The New Tavern is the overflow bar for Carinas Nightclub , and we only had ONE evening where we were playing after 11pm , and that was only til 11.15pm . I cant imagine The Newt running any later than this as we are then in competition with the Disco ! Suits me though as its a nice time to slip round to the Bedford for a quiet drink and chat to unwind at the end of the day .


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 05:57 AM

Judging by the ratio of complaints to praise, from those who were there, I should say that there were fewer problems than one might expect from an event of this size.

This certainly reflects well on the organisers, and bodes well for the future of Sidmouth Festival.

I am counting the days till August 2006.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 06:01 AM

So am I Don....so am I!

Lizzie :0)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 06:06 AM

This is going a bit off Thread but:-

For those who can't wait until next August there is always the Middle Bar winter Reunion in February.

If you kept the Festival Newsletters the dates were published therein.

Dave Earl
ps Will we see you in Feb Lizzie? - I want the hug you promised!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 06:42 AM

You definitely will Dave....in fact let's have TWO to make up for the one we missed! ;0)

Lizzie xxx


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 10:09 AM

Being a compulsive clearer of old files, I don't have the newsletters. Refresh please, Breton Cap, and if retirement goes to plan I shall make the effort.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 05:27 PM

I think you'll find the newsletters are there somewhere on the Sidmouth folk Week website.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 18 Aug 05 - 05:48 PM

A lots of my custmers liked it. said it as much more friendly and more like a seaside event and more personal to the town. not an enormous event that could have been put anyhere.

/sal


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 03:55 AM

MBS reunion will be 17-19 February 2006.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Sean O'Shea
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 05:16 AM

Highlight?
The amazing performance of Bev James at The Bedford on the first night.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: GUEST,Terry Turner
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 07:19 AM

Are you the Dave Bryant who recorded the tape album "naturally supernatiral"?

If so I would like to make contact with you. ttesp@yahoo.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 07:26 AM

Sorry Guest I am not Dave Bryant.

You really have been out of touch because you can't have heard the Dave died 3 or 4 years ago

Dave


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2005 - the verdict?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 02:25 PM

October 2005 it was: there's a long thread of condolences on this site: I have some pics of him in the Middle Bar at Sidmouth in 2004, with a very young singer high up on his shoulder.
And I have him singing "Sweeney Todd" on one of my minidisk recordings.


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Mudcat time: 22 July 2:46 AM EDT

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