The Sidmouth Herald of 18 February 2005 covered the folk festival meeting held on 11 February in some detail.
The front page article "Full steam ahead" highlighted the 'mission statement' read to the meeting by Eddie Upton.
"Sidmouth Folk Week stimulates and celebrates awareness, interest and involvement in traditional and folk arts from the united Kingdom and beyond through accessible and inclusive performance, participation, learning opportunities and other activities".
The new 'Supporters Club' is mentioned and with discounted tickets available for members - except for the social dancing. Copies of the new 'glossy colour' leaflet describing how the festival is hoped to look are available from the Sidmouth Tourist Information Centre and can be seen in outline here. Production costs were met by Gordon Newton who is organising events in the Ham marquee. Without the involvement of this entrepreneur it seems unlikely that much would be happening at all in 2005 - the organisers have been been so starved of up-front cash.
The article containing the cartoon discussed at some length that the dining hall at Sidmouth College could not be used as a venue for some of the dancing because it had too few fire exits. The actual reason (so I am informed) is that the school head refused to countenance removal of a filing cabinet that was blocking an area where an extra fire door could have been fitted. No extra door, no licence for public events (but it is still quite safe for children!). The adjoining sports hall was apparently not offered to the festival because it was felt inappropriate to reschedule a regular aerobics session. In all, the Devon County Council controlled College proved less than helpful.
The article also covered the some of the exchanges that took place at the 11 February meeting. A letter was published in the same edition of the newspaper and critical of the Town Council. For a change, I didn't write it!
subpages: article containing cartoon letter supporting the festival
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