Edited comments from the mudcat website posted by 'Lizzie' - an ardent local supporter of the festival. She is consistently robust in her dislike of anyone who questions plans for 2005. The quote below was her choice - again posted on mudcat. Her views have certainly caused some debate - see for example the next page.

"I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains."

Anne Frank 1929 - 1945

24 Nov 04

So hope you're not coming next year! Only true Sidmouth Groupies allowed! Stuart Hughes has managed to book Show of Hands (Radio 2 Best Live Act 2004) and The Battlefield Band and The Strawbs as well so far and it's only November! Pretty good going I'd say!!

I expect he's got far more important things to do than worry about the likes of your little Sidmouth Smear Campaign!

It's just a Folk Week in an utterly beautiful place, please don't get your knickers all twisted up with your pea-sized brain! Go somewhere else! Really! Just go to one of the other Festivals that you all keep blabbing on about and leave Sidmouth alone!

We truly won't miss you at all down here! We'll have all the people who do love Sidmouth, have always loved Sidmouth, will continue to love Sidmouth and hope to come to Sidmouth 2005 to help support Sidmouth 2006! It's that simple! It really is!

04 Jan 05

It is beyond my comprehension, in the present circumstances, how SOME people can continue to be so spiteful and unsupportive! I am not talking to the kind people who have put their thoughts down and those who have supported, very rightly, Steve Heap. But to me it's no longer a 'joking' matter! EVERYTHING has changed and we all need to change with it!

You ARE aware of what has been happening in the world lately I presume?

Do you know that the Editor of The Sidmouth Herald only escaped certain death because she chose to NOT take a boat trip from Penang, on the day of the Tsunami, but went on an inland visit to a Temple instead? She was on her honeymoon. I would imagine that for her, this year's festival and very many other things, will be joyful in a way she never thought possible!

How lucky we all are! How lucky I am to live by the sea in a place where I am safe! How fitting that the Arena is now not taking place and the concerts will be down on The Ham, so close to the sea, where we can all go and sit, play, dance in freedom and safety, with our children and grandchildren around us! Maybe it's because I live by the sea that I feel like this, I don't know! But I'll make sure to enjoy this year's festival, whatever it turns out to be, large or small.

A few weeks ago I was jumping up and down trying to think of ways to raise money for Sidmouth, well, that's all changed. I hope that Knowle Park where the Arena normally is, will be filled with people singing and dancing. There is a large concrete area there, which is normally covered by the stage. It would be perfect for dancing and performing on. And I would imagine if everything is spontaneous very little rules and regulations would come into it! Can you actually stop people gathering to enjoy themselves or having 'picnics in the park'....and maybe we could all raise a lot of money for the Tsunami Victims and a little for Sidmouth too.

There are already collections going on all over my town, as I'm sure there are in yours. It would be nice to add to those. Change your priorities! Change your views! Sidmouth is still vitally important, just as ALL our Festivals are, but we are extremely lucky to still have it, and to have people who are prepared to travel from all over the country to make 2005 happen and hopefully 2006 too! We are also EXTREMELY lucky to have the OPTION of whether or not we choose to come to it or not!

Just sit down and imagine Sidmouth Festival without ANY CHILDREN in it........All washed away!

If you can still find it in your heart to make fun or criticise Sidmouth with that in mind then, please, don't come! Honest criticism is different, but stirring and meddling is, in my view, now totally unacceptable.

Please come and be joyful and grateful for what we DO have! It could so easily have been you or I, or OUR children, family or friends. Fight for everything that is precious to you. Life is short!

4 Jan 05

I've just been watching the BBC news and it featured a lady in Aceh who has lost all her 4 children and her husband. She was sobbing her heart out, all alone on the beach. She suddenly started clinging to the BBC presenter, absolutely DESPERATE for comfort! She was SO hungry and she has NO-ONE left in the world! The BBC man ended up hugging her tightly, thank goodness. But who will be there for her in the future?

And all that some people can do is put spite on messageboards? They must be VERY sick, is all I can think. It makes me very ashamed.

The hotels are starting to come together and people are coming forward, but keep it all in perspective. The World changed on Boxing Day. Let us ensure that we change it for the better! I would hope that at all the Festivals across the land there are collections for Asia. Most musicians are caring, feeling people and the coming together that happens at Festivals should be a time of giving like never before.

Also, if you are organising anything for the Tsunami Appeal, take a look on the fRoots messageboard, where Ian Anderson has offered the resources of his magazine to help spread the word. You can e-mail him with the details.

05 Jan 05

To those with no heart....I wish you well, you need all the love you can get. To those who care....I wish you well too, you're lives are already wealthy in spirit.

But as far as Mudcat goes....I'm finished with it!

Massive changes are happening around the world and I would rather be a part of that than of this shaming Sidmouth 'performance'. Some of those above shame not only the memory of Sidmouth, not only folk music and all that I thought it stood for, but most deeply they shame themselves. I do not need to say anything else...you have said it all yourselves.

Think deeply at 12.00 o'clock today, during the 3 minute silence and ponder on what really is important in your life.

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