Academic study into the Sidmouth International Folk Festival - introduction.

Partly as a consequence of the range of information made available on the SeeRed website, two university academics took an interest in the collapse of the Sidmouth International Festival after such a successful year in 2004. Their work was published originally late in 2004 but in a considerably updated and extended form in 2010.

The scope of the analysis is extensive. The full 2010 paper (see link below) warrants careful study if only because so many of the conclusions could apply more widely to UK tourism. For example, in the last few years of the old Sidmouth International Festival an absurd figure for the economic benefit of the festival to the town of Sidmouth was promoted by both the festival organisers and by the local district council. Similarly erroneous calculations seem to be produced routinely by other bodies who seek to claim that their particular brand of tourism benefits the UK economy (or some part of a regional economy).

In fact, tourism within the UK may bring very little by way of economic benefit to the UK as a whole, since expenditure is within a closed system. Only tourism from overseas may produce a net economic gain, and this will be offset by travel of UK citizens to other countries.

There is therefore more to be said on all of the subjects touched upon by the study into the failure of the old Sidmouth International Festival in 2004 to produce a workable business model for the future.

Indeed, it may be that tourism should correctly be seen not as any part of 'wealth creation' but as merely a fuel intensive (and therefore environmentally irresponsible) method of redistributing wealth.

Permission to reproduce the full 2010 paper on SeeRed is shown here.

next page

back to top of section

back to home page