News article in the Sidmouth Herald of 15 October 2004.
I do not understand the merit of this approach. It has been clear for a long time (and has been explained in detail on this website) that the benefit of the festival to many Sidmouth traders is small, and that the real financial benefit to East Devon is also arguably much smaller than has been stated by EDDC. Some relevant calculations are on pages folk21, folk22 and folk54. Certainly a mistake was made in the past in concentrating fund raising efforts on the business people (traders) of Sidmouth. There is arguably more potential in asking the wider community - not only are many non-traders amongst the most wealthy people in Sidmouth, many can appreciate the artistic merit of the festival. Whether they would subscribe to any initiative by the town council is a matter for individual conscience.
Seeking Arts Council funding may now be a priority. It is not necessary to employ a professional fundraiser to submit a well argued case. That could be done by the artistic members of the steering group working in co-operation with some of the more able local festival supporters who have yet to be asked to help. Competent people having artistic merit and living in other areas of the UK would (no doubt) also be prepared to help - as might Steve Heap. Under his direction Sidmouth has developed into a festival of national and international importance. Arguably, it has become a 'national treasure' and should not need to be funded at a local level - and nor should it be under too much local control.
The whole approach of asking local people to give money to employ someone to contact both DCMS and the Arts Council (and commercial sponsors) seems muddled. It may be a product of desperation. Going the route of employing a consultant is a well worn path for councils who lack necessary expertise but are keen to retain control.
It is important to note that whilst Steve Heap tried many avenues to obtain third party support for the international festival he did not wish (perhaps for personal reasons, I do not know) to relinquish any artistic control - as might have been required if the event had been restructured so as to be eligible for Arts Council money. This was discussed in June 2004 at the Town meeting.
Anyone wishing to make constructive suggestions for amendment of any part of this website is, as always, welcome to contact me. Folk48.htm was amended slightly to take on board concerns that were expressed, and within hours of its first publication.
My thanks to Google for listing many of my festival and other webpages above thousands of others. Google is completely automated and easily the world's favourite search engine.
|Google : Earth Day 2004.|
Comment posted on an internet discussion forum shortly after this page was first published.
I might not agree with everything Steve Wozniak thinks but we do owe him a great deal of thanks for his detailed discussion of both issues and personalities as this goes on, thanks Steve. Most of all his transparency.
If Steve Heap went through a tenth of this over the 18 years he ran Sidmouth then he deserves a gold pig. The fact that he solved these problems and ran a great festival is a tribute to the talent of the man and his organisation. And note from the SeeRed website that tickets simply to dance and attend workshops for a week are £90.00. No major concerts; (Arena/Ham); and no LNE; no Bedford concerts; Manor House Pavilion, etc. no Volunteer sessions and so on.......
Note from SeeRed author: It is too early to know what else will be running in Sidmouth 2005. At present no-one knows how it is going to turn out. One concern being expressed locally is that if thousands of people attend yet have nowhere to go in the evenings (no central campsite with singsongs, no LNE, etc) they could all be drinking in town and many of them may not be well behaved folkies who traditionally have caused no trouble (except for a considerable amount of litter). We shall see. It may not be as child friendly as in the past either. The next page is "questions and answers for 2005".
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