Sidmouth Festival Press Release 3 August 2004.
A Statement from Sidmouth International Festival Limited and Mrs Casey Music.
Mrs. Casey Music is employed by Sidmouth International Festival Limited to organise and run the Festival.
The cost of organising the Sidmouth Festival and the potential losses in years of bad weather have risen to such an extent that the Shareholders of this "not for profit" company have advised Mrs Casey Music, with great regret, that as private individuals, they are unable to continue to underwrite the event, and that the 50th Festival in 2004 will be the last they can sponsor.
Mrs Casey Music is not in a position to undertake this risk and therefore the 50th Festival will be the last they will be organising.
For the past 5 years and particularly for the past 3 years, assiduous efforts have been made to persuade others with deeper pockets or direct financial benefit from the event to take over this risk but to no avail.
It is particularly disappointing that East Devon District Council is unwilling to fully underwrite an event which brings more than £5 million a year into the local community and that the majority of local businesses do not see fit to invest in the future of an event that brings them increased business.
We hope and believe that there will continue to be a celebration of International Folk Arts in Sidmouth, perhaps on a much reduced scale and with local organisation. We hope that those people in powerful positions will recognise that this international event is about much more than finance and one day fully invest in a celebration of the traditional cultures of the world.
In the hope that someone will take up the challenge we suggest that the provisional dates for a Festival in 2005 could be 29th July to 5th August and enquiries should be addressed to Leisure Services Department, East Devon District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth. EX10 8XL.
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