Sidmouth Folk Week 2009: Stewarding problems

Lack of stewards in 2009 was a serious problem. The festival needs about 450 and as of the end of May was about 130 short of target - far too many at such a late stage. Appeals were sent to existing stewards asking people to encourage friends to apply. At the start of FolkWeek there was still a shortage of around 75 and appeal notices were posted around the venues. A few stewards didn't come to the festival - having seen the weather the week before and knowing what they had to expect on the campsite. However, they were in a small minority.

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On several occasions I drove into the Bulverton car park to find not a single steward on duty - a serious 'Elf and Safety' matter given the dangerous site conditions.

I raised this with one of the supervisors (who looked as though he had been working 40 hours without a break) - he said that the stewards there had been working particularly long shifts. Shortage of stewards has become a recurrent problem at Sidmouth. I recall there was a waiting list in the Steve Heap days.

Stewards have made the point that although their ticket is worth a notional 140 the hours of duty mean they cannot use it at all times they would wish and, therefore, it is worth maybe half its face value. This is particularly true of Sidmouth because there is just so much to see and do all the time - unlike at lesser festivals!

Img_3967 small.jpg (23881 bytes) If you too could stay cheerful after a week in charge of the campsite at Sidmouth, then FolkWeek needs you!

Put your name down for next year - see the official website in early 2010.

Whatever job you do, you'll get a vote of thanks. It might make up for the weather.....

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