Letters in the Sidmouth Herald 20 August 2010

The first letter from  Mr Johnson was sent 'via email' so may not be from a genuine resident - there have been a couple of examples of fake letters in the Sidmouth Herald. In past years such people represented a small but significant risk to Sidmouth Festival. Nowadays, with the Town Council firmly 'on-side' - traders and councillors having realised just how much Sidmouth relies on its festival, people like Mr Johnson would be unable to exercise any influence.

However, whether the letter is fake or not, there is one good point: a lot of the late night music and especially at the Bulverton is nowadays simply far too loud. I have spoken to many dancers over the years - none want the music as loud as it is. Some simply tolerate it and quite a few either wear earplugs or simply don't attend the worst offending shows. It would suit both probably the majority of festival attendees and residents alike if the sound level were to be reduced. Some bands - Tickled Pink is the worst (or should it be the best) example - they seem to delight in their reputation for being loud. An interview in the Autumn edition EDS, (English Dance and Song) produced by EFDSS, confirms this.

Sidmouth FolkWeek - 'a non-essential farce'

SIR - Gangs of undesirables dropping litter, shouting and drinking on the streets, mindless disorder, late night music blasting out disturbing the peace of residents and a real fear of local people to venture out for fear of crime against themselves and their possessions.

I am not talking about life on an inner city estate I am, of course, referring to Sidmouth during FolkWeek. The one week in the year to which all common-sense is lost in the name of self greed for business owners - an event funded by Sidmouth tax payers against our will.

We are told by Mr Cameron that we are all in this together, so I am sure the residents of Sidmouth, like me, would like our councillors to explain why, at a time of cutbacks to essential services, they believe it is acceptable we taxpayers are funding the non-essential farce which is Sidmouth FolkWeek?

If local councillors want respect, they should wake up to the fact that the majority of Sidmouth residents do NOT want or support FolkWeek - it is had enough to he subjected to it every year, but to pay for it as well through our council tax is just an example of how out of touch our councillors are.

D Johnson via email

Appreciation of FolkWeek!

SIR - I wish to express my appreciation of Sidmouth FolkWeek and the kindness and hospitality of Sidmouth people. I was blown away by the magic of The Fosbrooks, playing fiddles while clog dancing at the same time.

My only disappointment was that the Askew Sisters gave only two public performances this year. I really love their music and, in previous years, the Askews have performed throughout the week. However, I really enjoyed the week and I am already looking forward to Folk-Week 2011.

Richard Cosgrave

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