A few of the letters in support of the festival - from the Sidmouth Herald over the years.

Festival is top value.

(24 Aug 2001)
I see from the letters page, that once again, it bears out what your columnist Outsider suspects - that there are those who cannot stomach a bit of change in Sidmouth for one week of the year - or perhaps they dislike other people having I some fun.

The expense versus profit for the town debate is explained on other pages, but I would like to comment, as I did a few years ago, on the grumbles about the cost of tickets. Have the grumblers bought a ticket recently for a large theatre, a show, or something like a professional football match? Try some comparisons.

We are mainly involved with the children's part of the festival, having visiting grandchildren. This year, there was only one, and her season ticket cost 30. For this, she went to two dancing workshops and one craft one per day (she could have gone to more). It gave her free admission to the arena - we too, went in free, being senior citizens. In between she watched street theatre and processions.

If she had that week's holiday some other time, we would have had to think what to do daily, and spend on tickets for theme parks, swimming pool, cinema, not to mention fuel or fares to get to various places. This would have come to far more. And yes, we do know the beach is free and there are some free play areas - these did suffice when the children were quite small, but not as they grow older.

So, please, let's stop the grumbles, support those who work hard, and the traders who back the festival and then enjoy the peace afterwards - for 51 weeks. For those who really can't manage this, go away, and let your house out for a magnificent sum for a week.

20 Livonia Road,

Lucky to live here.

(15 Aug 2003)
I write in reference to Mrs Puzey, the lady who had to move out of Sidmouth.

I also live at Woolbrook Rise and have done so for 20 years, and yes because of the wonderful weather sound from the drums have carried, but it certainly has not kept me from sleeping with the windows open and has been well compensated by the pretty lights and the visitors from all over the world enjoying this glorious weather and boosting Sidmouth's economy. We are very fortunate to live in a delightful quiet part of the town, 51 weeks of the year it is so quiet one can almost hear a pin drop.

I do not think that for one week in fifty two it is too much to ask that we could be unselfish enough to let all our world-wide visitors enjoy themselves.

Woolbrook Rise

Event is great shop window for the town.

(4 June 2004)
I have grown up in Sidmouth with the Folk Festival. As a young student I attended one of the first performances 50 years ago. My children and now my grandchildren (some at university), as well many friends, make sure they are in Sidmouth for this splendid event. As residents we do have to put up with inconvenience and alter our weekly routine, but this is a small price to pay for the privilege of experiencing an event of international renown in such a beautiful setting. The festival provides performances to suit all tastes; we are so fortunate to listen to and watch performances of such a high calibre and all within our valley. Sidmouth provides us with a wonderful place to live and work, quiet, safe and with so many opportunities to follow our own particular interests. It is very good for all of us, young and old, to have one week of the year when we welcome people into our town from all over the country and from many parts of the world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Sidmouth International Folk Festival organisers for the excellent programmes they have arranged. It has been a brilliant shop window for Sidmouth and I look forward to many more Folk Festival weeks in Sidmouth.


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