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Review: Sidmouth '08

Tattie Bogle 24 Dec 08 - 02:18 PM
Folkiedave 23 Dec 08 - 05:14 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 23 Dec 08 - 05:01 PM
steve_harris 23 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Peter 23 Dec 08 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Gadaffi 23 Dec 08 - 04:11 AM
Tattie Bogle 22 Dec 08 - 08:43 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 22 Dec 08 - 07:28 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Dec 08 - 06:27 PM
steve_harris 22 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Dec 08 - 03:44 PM
steve_harris 22 Dec 08 - 02:24 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Dec 08 - 11:48 AM
Folkiedave 22 Dec 08 - 09:14 AM
Mr Red 22 Dec 08 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 22 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM
GUEST 22 Dec 08 - 05:32 AM
steve_harris 21 Dec 08 - 08:33 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 13 Dec 08 - 08:55 AM
bubblyrat 12 Dec 08 - 02:45 PM
Folkiedave 12 Dec 08 - 11:25 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 12 Dec 08 - 10:32 AM
Folkiedave 12 Dec 08 - 10:21 AM
Ruth Archer 12 Dec 08 - 08:46 AM
mattkeen 12 Dec 08 - 08:24 AM
Ruth Archer 12 Dec 08 - 04:16 AM
Folkiedave 12 Dec 08 - 03:05 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 11 Dec 08 - 07:55 PM
Surreysinger 11 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM
Fidjit 11 Dec 08 - 06:08 PM
Folkiedave 11 Dec 08 - 05:48 PM
Ruth Archer 11 Dec 08 - 05:34 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 11 Dec 08 - 05:06 PM
vectis 11 Sep 08 - 04:18 PM
Mavs82 11 Sep 08 - 12:49 PM
Dick The Box 11 Sep 08 - 10:00 AM
Folkie 11 Sep 08 - 08:19 AM
Ruth Archer 11 Sep 08 - 04:05 AM
fiddler 11 Sep 08 - 03:58 AM
Mavs82 10 Sep 08 - 11:31 PM
Mavs82 10 Sep 08 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,Chaz 10 Sep 08 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,watcher 10 Sep 08 - 02:15 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 08 - 09:19 AM
Dick The Box 10 Sep 08 - 08:07 AM
GUEST 10 Sep 08 - 03:53 AM
Mavs82 09 Sep 08 - 06:12 PM
Herga Kitty 07 Sep 08 - 03:57 PM
Rumncoke 07 Sep 08 - 12:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 02:18 PM

Peter, I take your point about finding a larger venue when a big audience is expected: this is something which sometimes can be difficult for festival organisers to predict. Yes, probably the New Rope String Band could have filled the Ham marquee.
However the Bedford is of adequate size for many of the concerts that take place there, and if I want to go there, I turn up after the queue has gone down and usually get in. I just thought "Dump the Bedford" was a bit strong and would be tantamount to biting the hand that feeds you!
And the way to guarantee entry to a particular concert is to buy a ticket for that specific concert (which, of course, you will not want to do if you already have a season ticket)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:14 PM

If Ruth had chosen these bands:

All Blacked Up Bedlam Boka Halat Bursledon Village Band Committee Band
Geckoes Horsley Band (do passble French also) Juice Steamchicken
Stomp The Gloworms The Watch Tickled Pink Trinculo Woodpecker Band

Then I reckon Steve H would have had a list of bands he preferred and it would have looked like this:

The Oyster Ceilidh Band The Old Swan Band Whapweasel Hekety
Glorystrokes Random Climax The Outlandish Knights Toothless Mary
Spinach for Norman Meridian Dalla Poisson Rouge The Dartmoor Pixie Band

I would have thought whoever chooses artists for Sidmouth (because it is such a big festival with a huge variety of needs) is bound to upset some people. Surely what an artistic director has to do is balance nationally known names, local names, up-and-coming bands etc. and all within a budget and I'd say she has done a damn good job.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:01 PM

A merry and
C
    O
      L
       O
          U
             R
               F
                   U
                        L
                               Christmas and New Year to all sentient beings.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: steve_harris
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM

> Maybe next year?

Agreed! You need about half my list to bring 2009 up to scratch!

> Thing is, we can't have every band every year.

Sidmouth has some of the same weaker bands every year!

The "tea time" Anchor ceilidhs are admittedly a difficult slot but one band could only attract enough dancers for a single 4 couple set.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 12:18 PM

Tattie, I did say as a performance venue.
I paid for a week ticket and had to queue for an hour every time to make sure I got in, it's wrong to put major acts on in such a small venue.
I repeat..More people were locked out of the New Rope String Band concert than got in.
Keep the sessions and the accomodation but use another bigger venue for the concerts.
Shutting out customers who paid for their tickets 6 months previous is the worst crime.

If you want paying customers you've got to look after them.
Peter


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:11 AM

Does this have to be in red? Most visitors to this site are sentient beings.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 08:43 PM

Just catching up on this thread after some time away, and was horrified at this comment from Peter Stockport in September:

"Dump the Bedford and get another decent mid size venue?
Peter"

While it may be the case that not all those who want to get into a certain concert can do so (and this applies to other venues too), Peter obviously doesn't realise what an integral part the Bedford plays in every Sidmouth Festival or Folk Week: apart from concerts there, there are the sessions, the good food, the accommodation for many visiting artistes, the fireworks, - and the sheer dedication of the proprietors Colin Pyne and his wife, and all the team who look after so many visitors with tolerance and good humour. I always make a point of thanking them at the end of the week, and they say they do it because they love the music.
Colin is, and was one of the people who helped to make sure that the festival continued after Mrs Casey pulled out.
"Dump the Bedford"? Shoot thyself in thine foot Peter!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 07:28 PM

I visited the official website a few days ago and I recall that there was a statement to the effect that the Blackmore Gardens ceilidh dance floor was to be made larger - but I can't find it now that the website has been updated (maybe it was wishful thinking?).

Can we know the intention please? Also, there is no mention of whether there will be a marquee on what was Church House Lawn (now Kennaway House Lawn after its £1million refurbishment, which is well on the way to completion). Maybe discussions are ongoing.

Knowing the venues that may be on offer could be as important as which bands for dancers who will need to decide whether to book tickets. I agree with Steve Harris when he suggests that the exodus of accomplished ceilidh dancers from Sidmouth must be reversed. The standard of ceilidh dancing at Sidmouth used to be superb. What has been sadly lacking for years is dedicated basic instruction for newcomers.

No-one can expect all their personal choice of ceilidh bands - but we can expect the organisers to take notice of what were almost universal comments regarding the venues - and including ventilation of low-height marquee(s) and excessive sound levels that have been problems for several years, especially at Bulverton.

The festival would probably not wish to book every top name ceilidh band - but (as a personal view) it is disappointing that neither 422 (excellent at Sidmouth 2008) nor Last Orders (ditto at Towersey 2008) seem to be on the list. These young bands need to be encouraged - they are very danceable and not too loud! However, there are several local groups (Pixies, Spinach for Norman and Dalla from Cornwall) which in itself is very welcome.

I've only recently seen the comments about SeeRed dating from September. I'll reply to some of the more worthwhile observations as and when. However, quite obviously, you don't need access to the small print of festival finances to do calculations. The back of an envelope can often be quite sufficient - it would have been for Northern Rock anyway.....I guess having worked with professional economists and knowing how to apply marginal cost benefit arguments are advantages also.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 06:27 PM

Maybe next year? Thing is, we can't have every band every year. Happily, the feedback to the programme so far has largely been really good.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: steve_harris
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM

> Sounds like a great festival, Steve. When's it on?

I think the first week in August would be a good idea - perhaps somewhere in Devon? On the south coast perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:44 PM

Sounds like a great festival, Steve. When's it on?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: steve_harris
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 02:24 PM

All Blacked Up
Bedlam
Boka Halat
Bursledon Village Band
Committee Band
Geckoes
Horsley Band (do passble French also)
Juice
Steamchicken
Stomp
The Gloworms
The Watch
Tickled Pink
Trinculo
Woodpecker Band

Two bands I haven't danced to yet but would be interested to try:

3 Sticks
Pigeon English

I am wary of "revived" bands but note with enthusiasm that "The Ran Tan Band" are reforming

Cracking French Traditional Dance Bands:

Amuséon
Gars du Nord (Steve Ellis & Geoff Beilby)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM

His final UK tour, John. :)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 11:48 AM

Eric Bogle in 2009 I see.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 09:14 AM

If there is one place IMHO where clever marketing does not work very well in the long term it's folk.

Come on Steve name names where clever marketing has helped and hyped a young band? I'd say that was a good selection there and as Derek says - "in progress".


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 07:39 AM

Well I have only been going for three years and fatigue has yet to kick-in. Mentally anyway. Last festival there were some new ceilidh bands (like 422) that would make up for another less appealing band (names withheld) and a night that was so popular that most people would demand it returns, like the Cornish night. Mind you I don't do the LNE more than once.

I can think of dancers who have changed from Towersey to Shrewsbury and think it was worth it. To a keen dancer like me that makes no logical sense. Unless you consider that the person isn't being honest with themselves. 20 years and a wish for change may have more to do with the 20 years worth of nostalgia than the stated opinion on content. And you try telling notso young people that................

Grass, greener, 'tother side - you fill the gaps.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM

sorry, forgot to put my name in the "from" box.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:32 AM

The Sidmouth Folk Week website states:

"Ceilidh bands

The ceilidh and LNE programme is still in progress, but these are the bands and callers we've lined up for you so far

The Oyster Ceilidh Band
The Old Swan Band
Whapweasel
Hekety
Glorystrokes
Random
Climax
The Outlandish Knights
Toothless Mary
Spinach for Norman
Meridian
Dalla
Poisson Rouge
The Dartmoor Pixie Band"

So, the list is "still in progress".
There is, I believe, no deviation from the Anchor lunchtime, evening Blackmore and LNE ceilidh programming. That's at least 3 ceilidhs a day. I can't see any other festival matching that level of programming.

which bands do you believe are missing Steve? Have you made your suggestions to the festival?

Derek Schofield


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: steve_harris
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:33 PM

I've been going to Sidmouth for 20 years but after the 2008 event, I started wondering about spending my main holiday elsewhere. I may still do Sidmouth 09 but if the Festival carries on the way it has it will lose me soon.

What I need from Sidmouth is about 10 cracking English Ceilidhs. Looking at the list of bands for 2009, I'm not going to get half that number. Worse still, a lot of the people I danced alongside for years have already reacted to the decline and have gone already.

Of course, there is some young blood coming along to fill some of the gaps. They have been brought in by clever marketing but clever marketing of a mediocre product doesn't get repeat business.

Put on a really good (dancing) festival and you retain customers young and old. I dance with women aged from around 16 up to 80 and we have one thing in common - we love great dancing.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 08:55 AM

I know quite a few people who avoid ceilidhs now - just because of the sound level. If you wish to be pedantic (would I?) sound level is the level of 'intended' sound, noise level is the level of unwanted 'background' sound. So the band is producing an excessive sound level and the people talking to try and make themselves heard above it (and drowning out the caller so the rest of us can't hear) are making a noise - as perceived by the rest of us.....

I well remember Asha playing at THIS year's Towersey when the sound equipment didn't work. They had to start the ceilidh without any amplification. It was wonderful. The reason for all this excessive sound is simple - the technology is now available to produce it and the children who are in charge of sound desks feel they are not doing a proper job unless they use it to full effect.

I agree - it's not folk.

I agree with many other sentiments also.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 02:45 PM

Well,I have been thinking about it ,and I have to say that I ,personally,miss the "Arena" venue-----part of its charm was the fact that it WAS remote from all the other things,and one could,actually,spend a whole day there without getting bored (especially if one went to events in the adjacent town hall venues as well !!).As for the Bulverton and the LNE "ceilidhs"----well,I love playing in bands for,and attending, ceilidhs, but certainly NOT at the DREADFUL level of amplification that has been used in recent years !! For me (and, I know ,many others), it ruins the music--in fact I have had to leave as it has been PAINFUL !! Either DUMP it, or turn the bloody volume down I say----I don't know what it is,but it aint FOLK !!And the camp-site is much noisier and unruly than it used to be,especially with regard to the endlessly "thrumming" generators. I didn't stay on it this year,(couldn't face it)'but I did when stewarding (box office) the previous year and I was both alarmed and disgusted when some fellow stewards,responsible for NIGHT TIME CAMPSITE SECURITY,told me,with apparent pride,that they had been so drunk (on duty) that they couldn't stand up,and didn't remember what had happened ! If things are allowed to continue like that (Ruth take note !)it can only be a matter of time before there is some kind of "incident" ( punch-up,sexual assaault,fire etc) there.Come on people,let's start taking things seriously,shall we ??


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 11:25 AM

I shall start taking more water with it before writing to this thread again.

Next year's Sidmouth.

Checks carefully - yes that seems right. I'll get mi coat.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 10:32 AM

It's not this year's, it's next year's.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 10:21 AM

Good heavens!! We are arguing about this year's Sidmouth before it has started selling tickets.

Usually we wait until the event has at least taken place!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 08:46 AM

I will speak to the board about this, Matt. They will be very touched, I'm sure. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: mattkeen
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 08:24 AM

And we all know that everything printed in yer local paper is always 100% accurate !!!!!

I will be buying 3 tickets as soonn as they are on sale, and will make a contribution to the cause.
Anybody wishing to do likewise can get a Gift Aid form from here
http://www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk/supportersclub.htm

Is there another way of donating Mrs Archer?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 04:16 AM

Steve, I find it hard to see how scare-mongering is helping the festival, particularly at a time when people may well be making ticket-purchasing decisions for next year.

A substantial number of donations and pledges of support have been recieved. The overall outlook is currently very good, which is a rather different position than the one presented at the meeting a couple of weeks ago (which you did not attend, so you are not in a position to say what happened there). I'm not really at liberty to say any more at this point. I rather hope, if you really have the festival's best interests at heart, that you'll choose the same approach.


Joan Crump
Artistic Director
Sidmouth Folk Week


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:05 AM

Mis interpretation of my words - what I meant was what are you doing posting that doom and gloom - might it not be better to wait and see.

Your commitment to the festival in that way is not in doubt.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:55 PM

In the past, the town council has given £5000 (for supporting the children's events). Last year Devon County Council contributed too.

£30,000 in a few weeks is asking a lot. Try reading the article. Mr Braithwaite is quoted as saying both that the £30,000 figure was not mentioned at the Bedford meeting (so maybe the figure should not have been headlined at all??) and "we are already on the way to achieving our target (which is true if you have raised only £1), although there is still a long way to go."

So there is a long way to go, and there is a recession looming. Read into it what you will, I just made the article more widely available!

Anyone could guess 2009 is going to be difficult - it is going to be difficult for many events where people feel the expenditure is an option for their household budgets.

As for the comment 'what are you going to do?' - I helped in the box office last year, I sent the organisers a large number of suggestions on how to improve the operation of their systems and following the untimely death of Pat B (see another small thread) I offered via John Golightly to do much more to help this year.

Other local people have offered likewise - we await to see if the organisers need or wish to take up our offers.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Surreysinger
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:22 PM

I must admit that having read the headline and the content of the article I'm at a loss to understand how Steve has reached the conclusions that he seems to have ... I read it in the same way as Ruth and Folkiedave!


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Fidjit
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:08 PM

Yeah I could do with a £30.000 boost too

Chas


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:48 PM

Steve it says what Joan says. The local businesses are reaching into their pockets.

What are you doing?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:34 PM

Sorry to disappoint, but if you read the article again you'll see that numerous businesses have already stepped up to the plate, and that the organisers are confident about reahing their target.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:06 PM

Any millionaire would do right now:

latest from the Sidmouth Herald 12 Dec 2008

Only £30,000 needed before 1 January 2009


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: vectis
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 04:18 PM

Well I certainly enjoyed myself despite the rain.
Plenty of sings in the RY&F
Plays in the Sailing Club, Radway, Swan & Bedford.
Loads of dancing everywhere, ecxept (of course) in the ford.
Paid to see the few artists I wanted to in the Ham.
Middle Bar a bit quieter thab the old vebue but plenty of good songs and choruses.
What more could a girl desire (apart from a 95 year old multi millionaire)?


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 12:49 PM

Dick,

I'm not trying to deny that you may have a valid point, but as was previously pointed out in this thread it is sometimes the case that one or two venues need to be subsidized by other venues to ensure the diversity of the festival.

The flip side of this coin is that if you did choose to axe the Bulverton, how many paying customers would decide that the season ticket was no longer worth having, not attend the festival and therefore reduce revenue further. In that sense, is it not a question of speculate to accumulate?! Is it not better to listen to what people are saying and use the venue in a different way next year, rather than 'give up' on it as a 'lost cause'?

Regarding your comment about noise levels, I accept your point, but it is a difficult situation. If you reduce the volume until it is inaudable from the campsite you would find that it seems too quiet in the venue itself and would be drowned out by the sound of feet/talking etc. I think the bass frequencies are the major issue due to the fact that they travel further when amplified to the same level as the mids and trebles.

Regards licencing, yes, I realise this and would generally agree, but SFWP need to work with them rather than being intimidated by them - kowing tow to their every demand doesn't help the festival's ongoing relationship with the authorities who aren't there purely to spoil everyone else's fun.

Like I said on a previous post, I don't actually intend to rant, but the survival of the festival is close to my heart. As a local boy I understand what it does for the local economy and I also know that most of the locals look forward to, and enjoy Folk Week.

What I want is for people to help develop the festival and not be so quick to damn it. Sorry for any offence caused - I'm passionate. And with reference to my earlier comment about wanting to meet Steve W, it wasn't meant to sound like a threat, I genuinely want to see if some of the points he raises can be utilised. Some of them (the less sweeping generalisations) are quite valid.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Dick The Box
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 10:00 AM

Replies to Mavs82....

Firstly, for the record, I am not in any way connected with Mr Wozniak - merely an often gobsmacked reader of his website!

Regarding the Bulverton finances - yes I am just guessing.

Just because it isn't as loud as other festivals doesn't make it right. If I can lie in my tent at the bottom of the camp site and listen to the music then that kind of suggests that it is too loud.

From my experience at the Blackmore I know that Licensing, Health & Safety, Police and Environmental Health all take a keen interest. Anything that makes them take a keener interest, like complaints from the public about noise, should be avoided because whenever they appear life seems to get more complicated i.e don't make yourself a target.

I am not advocating axing venues just because they are expensive - I am not that stupid. All I am saying is look at the cost-effectiveness of venues and when you do it makes sense to look at the expensive ones first. I am guessing that the Ham is cost effective because it appeared to be full of paying punters most of the time - but hey what do I know....


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Folkie
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 08:19 AM

Personally I think the so called "second class" season ticket is fantastic value. I went to a workshop every morning where I received superlative instruction and then had access to a variety of concerts in the afternoons and evenings where I had the opportunity to see all the performers I wanted to see. OK, I missed out on some headliners at the Ham but I prefer to see people in smaller venues. I did go to a couple of afternoon events at the Ham marquee and was very disappointed, especially with one particular performer I had wanted to see for a long long time, but when I heard that same performer at the Manor Park Pavilion unamplified and without a backing band I was very impressed. In fact Manor Park has to be my favourite venue - good acoustics and comfy seats.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 04:05 AM

Always, mate. :)


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: fiddler
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 03:58 AM

Just seen this thread, been off line most of summer - festivals and work keep a boy very busy - work is an unfortunate interference for the folking classes

Some good thought patterns!

Barring the odd character assasination.

Ruth you watching?

Andy


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 11:31 PM

Dick the Box, more comprehensive comment/feedback on your post!!

"Steve Wozniak....visionary genius or a complete tosser" - I'm of the latter opinion.

"scrapping the Bulverton as a venue on the grounds that it is the least cost effective of the Sidmouth venues (especially in view of the losses that the festival has made in the last three years)" - Is this the case? Do either you or Steve know this? Or are you guessing?

"it is a muddy and steep trek to get to (the bulverton)" - Yes, but it always has been.

"it is not at the heart of the festival (apart from LNE)" - that opinion depends on what you go to Sidmouth lookinh for - bear in mind it is a very diverse festival offering much for many tastes.

"it is one of the major contributors to noise pollution (why does it have to be so loud? it must piss off the residents of upper Sidmouth big time)" - And you think you can solve this by putting it closer to the town?!?! And actually, I can tell you it was not as load as comparable festivals.

"it is probably a big target for Environmental Health and Licensing" - Target? What does that mean?

"it is probably the second most costly venue behind the Ham." - Probably, but does that mean it should be axed? Surely as the most expensive, the ham should, if you follow the logic through.

Should the venue be scrapped, moved or kept? Does it serve a useful and popular purpose apart from LNE? - It should, in my opinion, be kept. I think it could be used more during the day but I believe most of the criticisms levelled at it on SeeRed.co .uk are b****cks, quite frankly. Saying the venue was rubbish due to the lack of "dancers who knew what they were doing" - what an exclusive, disgusting remark. Surely we should be encouraging people to join in and not complaining that less experienced dancers "probably ruined everyone else's run".

Sorry, I don't mean to rant but much of the stuff on SeeRed in utter tripe. He's passing off his personal opinions off as facts!

Steve, if you're reading this, let me know. I'm local to you and want to meet you sometime.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 11:14 PM

As mention has been made several times of 'the other Sidmouth thread' could someone supply me with a blue clicky?! I have four on my Tracer but only one 'post '08'.

Ta.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,Chaz
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 06:43 PM

Here's an interesting thread about how money is spent and has to recouped in the ticket prices

CB


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 02:15 PM

I agree with the comments from Dick the Box. Also, this thread is titled "REVIEW" which in many organisations means looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. If you just talk about the positives and pretend the negatives aren't significant., the weaknesses and threats are likely to bust the organisation.

Whoever was in charge of organising the dance display teams did a great job (pity they couldn't organise the weather better!). Ceilidhs at the Anchor and most of the Blackmore were very good. Negative - the Blackmore does need a bigger tent for both the dance showcases and ceilidhs .
I was told the social dance events were also full.

Concerts were generally good but I suspect that people who couldn't pay the extra for the Ham evenings moved to the Bedford and Rugby club, which were then crowded. Major negative—people then couldn't pay on the door to get in meaning loss of income for the festival.

Neither of the threads on Sidmouth praise the "roots" element at the Bulverton, and the audiences have been low, so who is pushing for it to be in the folk festival when it is obviously not what the paying public want.
OK, there is likely to be an element of subsidy of some events, but remember that means putting up the prices for other events. A lot of people this year were thinking that season tickets are no longer worth the money, especially with the headline acts needing an extra outlay on top of the ordinary/second-class season ticket. Again, the festival will be losing potential income when people stop buying seasons.

On the issue of cross-subsidy, who had the daft idea of giving a 39quid reduction to 18-25 year olds? That's a big drop in income for the festival finances. These young adults should be able to pay the same as older folkies(who are more likely to have major commitments or be on pensions) or they are old enough to steward.
Towersey, Shrewsbury, Chippenham, Loughborough etc all limit the reductions to youth stopping at 17.

Remember that Mrs Casey pulled out because the potential losses outweighed the average revenues, and they were spreading their admin over a number of festivals and activities. The committee needs to consider what its core audience wants, and look carefully at where the costs are not bringing in the benefits, otherwise the festival will go bust.
Instead of putting up overall prices to subsidise the roots and the young adults, concentrate on keeping the season ticket affordable for the ordinary festival goer.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 09:19 AM

With regards to the negative nature of the thread, it is human nature to point out the things that were felt to be wrong so that hopefully they can be improved. It is much harder to point the good things because they didn't make you grumpy!

Good point - Point well taken -


    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Dick The Box
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 08:07 AM

I don't think that Steve Wozniak has access to festival finances but it is not rocket science to look at the infrastructure of the Bulverton site and see that it must cost a lot to put together. If the festival is losing money then you must look at the cost-effectiveness of your venues. However, as has been pointed out, the non-financial value of a venue to the festival must also be considered. This is why I raised the issue so that it could be debated.

With regards to the negative nature of the thread, it is human nature to point out the things that were felt to be wrong so that hopefully they can be improved. It is much harder to point the good things because they didn't make you grumpy!

I spent most of my time playing for Morris or doing the bar in the Blackmore dance tent so can't comment too much on the bulk of the festival program and other venues.

However, on the positive side, I liked the extra lights and no fencing at the campsite. I also thought that the toilets on site were always clean, well stocked and a pleasure to use. Didn't like being woken by the sh*t-sucker every morning though!

Food at Chez Nous on the Ham was excellent - maybe there could be some other sellers for variety but on past experience they tend to be expensive and have small portions. One I would recommend would be Leon's Veggie Food which I tried at the Big Session. And what happened to the Jerk Chicken & Goat Curry man at Warwick?

The Esplanade was much better now that the sellers are controlled. The buskers were also more helpful in that they had a timetabled rota that allowed for the market square displays to happen without too much friction. The massed ranks of morris dancers on the Sunday were good but there just isn't enough room - how about getting the road closed from the Bedford to the Ham for 2-3 hours?

The dance bands in the Blackmore were good throughout the week. The bar was also great but then I am biased. The bands at the Bulverton were not so good and there were several I positively didn't like (and I could hear them in my tent even though I wasn't at LNE).

Hope that lot is more positive!

Cheers, Richard


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 03:53 AM

Keep the ideas coming folks.

Yes Seve Woskniak to my knowledge has no access to authoratative financial or other critical figures relating to the Festival. I stand to be corrected on that one but I don't suppose that I will.

I have met the man and will add no more than that.

A Venue making a loss is not a reason to scrap it! Sometimes one part of a festival such as Sidmouth will be subsidised by another in order to give the depth and breadth that makes it (the festival) a special event.

That does not however mean that such matters should not be aired and considered. To my knowledge this process has begun by those with the brief to do so (and the real figures) already.

Slightly dissapointed by this thread, the first Sidmouth thread after the festival was - at last - after a craking festival - very positive.

This thread has the feel that is is heading in the direction of so many other Sidmouth threads of the past, serving no purpose other than to make folk think why bother going to what is a different but still a great week in sidmouth. Sounds ratehr like a badly run village fair at times, it is not.

A plea - please try and be constructive. Don't forget more venues in town too creates more traffic (foot and vehicle) and more noise, Sidmouth is very densly populated.

XX


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Mavs82
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 06:12 PM

Dick the Box,

I read your comment about Steve Wozniac's blog-site and my first thought when I read it quoted was "What does Steve know about which venue's are/aren't loosing money?" and "Where has he got this information?".

My personal opinion (and that's all it is) is that he comments on an awful lot of things that he probably knows little or nothing about.


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 03:57 PM

Ron - yes, you're right about Friday night in the Volunteer garden, the Ashby-de-la-Zouch folk club run by MBS Lynne. Dave Taylor is a Mudcatter too!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Review: Sidmouth '08
From: Rumncoke
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 12:45 PM

It would be a disaster for me if there was a loss of any parking close enough for me to go too and fro all day, I need my drum when playing for the morrises, my guitar for the singing, sometimes a costume change or dry clothes, or wet weather gear - sometimes my copy of the Sacred Harp for when I can fit shape note singing in - and then I put everything away and go to the Anchor, so cutting down on the number of parking spaces would severely curtail my enjoyment of the week and the number of things I could be involved in.

This year I decided to bring a van - which was a good choice as it was just big enough for me to move my bed into when the rain came, but I had to use the cricket club instead of my usual haunt of the Rugby ground - even though some of the cars there were larger than my van.

I plan to continue to visit Sidmouth for as long as possible, but without a parking space close to the activities I would no longer be participating to the same degree as at present.


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