Sidmouth Festival in Wales? From
the BBC Wales website 23 Jan 2005 - and based on inaccurate information from the local
Folk festival looks at Welsh move
A major international folk festival usually
held in Devon could be staged in Llanelli, south west Wales, after outgrowing its current
location. The Sidmouth International Festival, one of Britain's longest-running music
festivals, attracts thousands of people and brings £5m to the local economy. (this has been questioned!)
But organisers say they are looking for a bigger venue to stage the show.
They are in talks with Carmarthenshire Council who have offered Llanelli's Festival
Organisers of the festival are planning to visit the site to assess its suitability.
The event, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2004 and attracted around 60,000
people to Devon over six days, is said to have brought in an estimated £5m into the local
economy. (read that again: is
said to have brought in..?!..)
If the Festival Fields site is deemed suitable, the event will be staged there in August
More than £65,000 is being spent at the site on new infrastructure including a permanent
fence and power.
It has already staged a number of events including a three day 'Party on the Coast'
extravaganza last summer.
Carmarthenshire Councillor Clive Scourfield said: "The Festival Fields is a fantastic
site and is rightly attracting interest from far and wide.
"It is in a stunning location and the recent investment will provide the
infrastructure needed to attract big name organisations.
"The council is committed to providing better events and entertainment across
Carmarthenshire and we are confident that Festival Fields will become widely known as a
major venue in Wales."
Comment: If this is a big-field
extravaganza like Glastonbury
would it really be a replacement for Sidmouth? So much of the atmosphere is generated by
the town centre: it is possible to dip in and out of folkie activities because there is so
much else on offer.
A day after this story was posted, Steve
Heap wrote to the BBC as follows (copied from the mudcat website). The BBC immediately
amended their webpage.
Your item re: the speculation of Sidmouth Festival moving to Wales. As the ex-Director of
Sidmouth Festival and Director of Mrs Casey Music I can quite categorically state that the
50-year-old Sidmouth Festival belongs and should remain in Sidmouth. My organisation may
well be entering into discussions with Carmarthenshire Council to investigate the
possibility of running an event on a site yet to be viewed. Under no circumstances will
Mrs Casey Music attempt to move Sidmouth International Festival to Wales.
I would appreciate you withdrawing the BBC website speculation whilst understanding that
the information may well be contained in a press release from the Council.
Steve Heap, Director
read the BBC story
here (revised version!)
back to top of section
back to home page