Email exchanges with Ray Goodswen re: Dance tickets and venues. Sidmouth Folk Week 2005.

These emails were sent in early March 2005. It is unclear where 300 dancers will be accommodated if that number of tickets are eventually sold. The two large confirmed venues appear to be Sidford Village Hall - which can accommodate no more than 80 dancers comfortably - and St Frances Hall - which is about the same size. Details of any marquee in Blackmore gardens is awaited - this may be part funded by the Town Council and used for children's events. A number of 'House Full' signs may be needed! Evening ceilidhs in Blackmore Gardens are now confirmed as of May 2005.

Leaving aside the sarcasm in Ray Goodswen's reply - note how my direct questions were avoided.

Ray Goodswen

As you will be aware, there was some discussion of your 'independent folk week' dances at the recent town meeting in Sidmouth. Concern was expressed that you were not participating in the Supporters Club discount scheme. Please confirm this is the case. The discussion is recorded on my website.

A development has been the move to the Youth centre (a truly terrible building?) from Sidmouth College, which at least offered a sizeable venue. Some local folkies (including me) now wish to know your refund policy. You sold tickets on the basis of Sidmouth College being a main venue. Owing to reasons outside of your control this is apparently no longer available. A further reason for requesting your refund policy is that there may now be competing ceilidhs in town at the same time(s) as some of your dances in outlying halls.

Please confirm policies by the weekend and I will update my website as appropriate. There is already some discussion of the fact that most of the contributors are planning to give any profits to the official fund for Sidmouth 2006. Some people purchased your tickets thinking they were in some way supporting the ideal of the Sidmouth Festival. There is a widespread understanding that you will not be doing this despite that (as you asked me to publicise) many of your bands and callers will apparently be giving their services for free or for low fees. Again, please confirm your intentions in as much as you are prepared to do.


Dear Stephen,

Thank you for your letter. Our refunds policy has been stated from the outset and remains the same. 'We will consider refunds prior to 30/06/05 but not after this date.'

I would be interested to know who the other local folkies are who are concerned about the change of venue and the other issues you raise. It would appear that I move in different folk circles to you and I would like to be able to redress this omission of mine.

Further your comments about 2006 and beyond intrigue me to say the least. From where does your information come? I am committed to the long term future of a festival in Sidmouth. It began as country dance festival that is what I am providing this year and will hopefully provide a foundation for the future. I am in communication with the rest of the steering group and will do what I can to help.

Ray Goodswen
5 March 2005

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