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Sidmouth on the move?

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GUEST,Dave Chamberlain 24 Jan 05 - 10:23 AM
Snuffy 24 Jan 05 - 10:59 AM
ConcertinaChap 24 Jan 05 - 11:03 AM
Dave Earl 24 Jan 05 - 11:05 AM
Liz the Squeak 24 Jan 05 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,davy 24 Jan 05 - 11:16 AM
GUEST 24 Jan 05 - 11:28 AM
pavane 24 Jan 05 - 11:35 AM
GUEST 24 Jan 05 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Guest 24 Jan 05 - 12:18 PM
Dave Earl 24 Jan 05 - 12:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jan 05 - 02:04 PM
George Papavgeris 24 Jan 05 - 02:19 PM
Ned Ludd 24 Jan 05 - 02:23 PM
John MacKenzie 24 Jan 05 - 02:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jan 05 - 03:08 PM
MBSLynne 24 Jan 05 - 05:19 PM
Dave Earl 24 Jan 05 - 05:32 PM
GUEST 24 Jan 05 - 06:09 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Jan 05 - 06:29 PM
Herga Kitty 25 Jan 05 - 02:32 AM
MBSLynne 25 Jan 05 - 02:38 AM
Liz the Squeak 25 Jan 05 - 05:03 AM
Adrianl 25 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM
GUEST 25 Jan 05 - 04:19 PM
MBSLynne 25 Jan 05 - 05:18 PM
Herga Kitty 25 Jan 05 - 07:18 PM
Snuffy 25 Jan 05 - 07:37 PM
Cllr 25 Jan 05 - 07:38 PM
Herga Kitty 25 Jan 05 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,Anon 25 Jan 05 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,anonymous 25 Jan 05 - 09:22 PM
fiddler 26 Jan 05 - 03:40 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 26 Jan 05 - 09:44 AM
steve_harris 28 Jan 05 - 07:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jan 05 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,Sidmouth Resident 29 Jan 05 - 11:54 AM
MBSLynne 29 Jan 05 - 04:24 PM
Dave Earl 29 Jan 05 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Sidmouth Resident 30 Jan 05 - 11:35 AM
steve_harris 30 Jan 05 - 11:40 AM
MBSLynne 30 Jan 05 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Ella still no bloomin cookie 31 Jan 05 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,Council Officer 06 Feb 05 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Member of the public 06 Feb 05 - 10:59 AM
Cllr 06 Feb 05 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Prize Pedant 06 Feb 05 - 12:00 PM
Cllr 06 Feb 05 - 12:39 PM
GUEST 06 Feb 05 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Council Officer 06 Feb 05 - 05:07 PM
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Subject: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Dave Chamberlain
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 10:23 AM

JUst seen a piece on the BBC Wales news website to the effect that the organisers of the Sidmouth festival are visiting Llanelli to assses the suitability of the festival fields as a location for the 2006 festival!
A bit of background - the festival fields are on reclaimed industrial ground & were created specifically for the 2000 national Eisteddfod. Camarthenshire county council are also spending £65,000 on bringing permanent water & electricity as well as a permanent fence around the site.

to see the full story click here


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 10:59 AM

It used to be in Stratford-upon-Avon before those seasiders nicked it from us back in the 50s!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 11:03 AM

"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.

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 Fields.

Organisers of the festival are planning to visit the site to assess its suitability.

The Festival Fields is a fantastic site and is rightly attracting interest from far and wide

Carmarthenshire councillor Clive Scourfield,

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.

If the Festival Fields site is deemed suitable, the event will be staged there in August 2006.

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.

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."

One question: who are the organisers herein referred to? Such a festival would be more Glastonbury than Sidmouth. Sounds right up Mrs Casey's street.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 11:05 AM

But who are the team organising it. I doubt whether it will be Steve Heap and Mrs Casey. There will still be the problems with potential finanancial losses in the event of wet weather.

Other threads around here will tell what is happening at Sidmouth in 2005 and 2006.

Dave Earl


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 11:08 AM

Has anyone ever thought of asking Steve Heap directly? You can reach him via Mrs Casey, or the Festival Organisers Association. If you want the truth of a matter, always go to the source, don't piss around with speculation.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,davy
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 11:16 AM

Won't be Sidmouth! it's in a different country and Sidmouth's still in Devon!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 11:28 AM

Its Devon's lost and South Wales gain!!!!!.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: pavane
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 11:35 AM

Never been to Sidmouth, but Llanelli is only just down the road...

But what about Pontardawe, also in August?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 11:53 AM

Pontardawe is later in the month than Sidmouth use to be.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 12:18 PM

Sidmouth festival is in its entirety an experience. Carmarthen in a field is a different and new experience, Ponterdawe is just down the road and has its own roots. Sidmouth has the tradition the streets the pubs and the atmosphere- the financial problems are with the big venues and names not with the folk singers and musicians who just want to gather and make music! Sidmouth will be crowded with folkies this year just as it was last year but independently of Mrs Casey thank God!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 12:31 PM

If this plan takes off I find it difficult to see where in August it could take place without clashing with something else.

As far as I know there will already be "something" in Sidmouth,Broadstairs,Whitby,Towersey and some other weekend festivals which seems to me to take up most, if not all, of August.

For what it is worth, and disagree if you wish, I shall continue going to Sidmouth to sing with my mates at what we believe will be a "real" Folk Festival.

Dave Earl


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 02:04 PM

Festivals in fields away from towns are a totally different kind of thing. It might be possible to move "Sidmouth" to another town and keep the heart of it, but out in a field, however well set, won't do it. It might be a great event in its way, but it's not my way. I don't think I'll be the only Sidmouth regular to give it a miss.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 02:19 PM

I think we are seeing the International Festival growing away from town centres and heading towards a Cropredy/Cambridge type of event. There is demand for this sort of event anyway (we already know that the younger folkies prefer that), so I suspect they will do well after any teething problems with the transfer (including the problems of cutting the umbilical from the "fringe").

Meanwhile, Sidmouth retains a smaller scale, "fringe"-oriented (with some booked acts) event, more suited to the town perhaps; and with many die-hard fans to seed it, it will also do well (I certainly wish it well).

I detect lots of undercurrents in the thread (and others similar), including bitterness at the departure of the International Festival, resistance to change, a wish to compare festivals and events and find one wanting, location "nationalism" etc. All bad reactions, if understandable.

Lets be grown up about it, and wish both events a long a prosperous future - and move on.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 02:23 PM

So someone's starting a new festival. Sidmouth will still be there as well. May the best fest win! it all helps the music. The more the merrier!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 02:44 PM

Cherry Hinton the Cambridge venue is nicely situated, and managed to bridge the gap between Glastonbury, and Sidmouth type venues. Totally closed in venues with all franchised bars and food outlets are not for me I'm afraid.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 03:08 PM

Cambridge? Yes, that's the kind of event I had in mind...
I'm reminded of the continuing push there is to move Notting Hill Carbival out of the streets and into a park - it makes a kind of practical sense, but there are more important thinhs than practicality.

Culture gets turned into packaged entertainment.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 05:19 PM

Steve Heap has put out a press release categorically stating that under no circumstances will Sidmouth festival be moving to LLanelli...it belongs in Sidmouth. He has asked for the piece to be withdrawn from the BBC web site.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 05:32 PM

So my understanding of the situation is that, while something may happen at Llanelli, it will not be "Sidmouth" in another place.

Good luck to them but I know where my home festival is and it ain't in Wales.

Dave Earl


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 06:09 PM

The piece quite clearly stated that Mrs Casey would be evaluating the site to see what would be suitable. Not necessarily a folk festival at all.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 06:29 PM

This is exactly the sort of reaction I have been hoping to see. Nice to have so many people say that Sidmouth will not die. Best wishes to Llanelli, but I'll still be with the rest of you at Sidmouth.

Poaitivity at last!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 02:32 AM

Text of Steve's Press Release:-

Sir,

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.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Heap, Director


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 02:38 AM

A festival in Llanelli would be Llanelli Festival, not Sidmouth Festival. Whatever happens in Llanelli, Sidmouth Festival will continue...in Sidmouth. Steve Heap resigned as Manager of Sidmouth Festival anyway, so how could he take the Festival anywherre else? It no longer has anything to do with him

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 05:03 AM

Good grief, someone took my advice?!!! *Sits back in stunned amazement!!*

LTS


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Adrianl
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM

I'm most disappointed after reading the thread title to read the messages.

I had thought that the Sidmouth was breaking away from the Devon mainland to drift like a giant iceberg away down into the sea. Dedicated folkies would hire small ships to make a last minute dash to continue the Folk festival as Sidmouth drifted sedately down through the Bay of Biscay into the Atlantic. Emergency convoys of food would be shipped to the new preambulating island.

As the town drifted on the folkies would continue to morris, celidh and sing while the rest of the town barely noticed. Some shopkeepers and hotel keepers would at first complain about the lack of trade but this would soon came back as the novelty generated a thriving tourist trade. But many inhabitants would hardly notice apart from complaining about the change in the weather and how it was much better in the old days. Steve Wozniak would continue to rhetorically berate the council and others via a specially created satellite link. Show of Hands would be parachuted in to keep Lizzie happy.

Eventually Sidmouth would drift into the West Indies and a new hybrid folk would be created with limbo morris, 56 verse reggae ballads and ska ceildhs (Whapweasel are practising already).

Maybe I will get my tent out this summer and see where Sidmouth ends up.

Adrian


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 04:19 PM

Love the story if only it was "true".


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 05:18 PM

Lol Adrian!!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 07:18 PM

Mmm, anyone interested in starting a Sans Serriffe festival?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 07:37 PM

Perhaps we could get the Grauniad to sponsor it - give those Sidmouth traders a break.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Cllr
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 07:38 PM

adrian LOL thats the best post on a sidmouth thread that I have read really funny. Cllr


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 07:44 PM

Cllr

Have now been brought back down to earth. If the festival was moved to Sans Serriffe, there would just be arguments about whether it should be on Lower Caisse or Upper Caisse....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Anon
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 08:06 PM

Glad Steve Heap has confirmed you can't move Devon to Wales.

Note he is talking about a POSSIBLE new festival in Wales and said nothing will happen before 2006.

It seems there is already a new festival aiming to replace Sidmouth in 2005, this one near Southampton in Hampshire (Eastleigh?) with rumours of a star-studded guest list of artistes.

This new festival along with the established Cambridge and Broadstairs festivals will give those of us not going back to Sidmouth this year a decent choice of alternatives.

Sidmouth will soon be forgotten as other festivals take its place.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,anonymous
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 09:22 PM

Glad someone realises that Steve Heap is organising another festival near his base in Derbyshire.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: fiddler
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 03:40 AM

I think Adrian has come up with the best comment on all teh Sidmouth threads that have existed sincec last year!

Well done - I'll practice my reggae riffs and West indian Songs now and be ready for the off.

so have you got any news of the iceberg - the festivals on it you see.....

To be continued!!!

Andy


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 26 Jan 05 - 09:44 AM

""Steve Wozniak would continue to rhetorically berate the council and others via a specially created satellite link.""

Split infinitive Adrian old chap - bad form. (...to boldly go...)

Anyhow, the shore based website is as up to date as ever. Try the latest pages from folk70.htm onwards. As for the new 'official' website it's all very pretty but with lots of practical questions still to be resolved. At least the Town Council are giving some money now - even if aspiring councillors couldn't be bothered even to mention the festival. Read it on SeeRed..... Start here latest news from sidmouth mainland

The main Q&A page is also updated. latest, latest, read all about it


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 07:23 PM

Steve in Sidmouth! Why doesn't your post contain any rhetorical questions????? I do hope you are not ill :-)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 07:44 PM

Plenty of festivals, and lots of enjoyable times to come, I'm sure - but there aren't any which have the International dance and music aspect which Sidmouth has had. I think that matters.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Sidmouth Resident
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 11:54 AM

Very nice new Sidmouth Festival website but my friends at East Devon District Council tell me they have still NOT approved any licence for any outdoor venue in Sidmouth this summer.

One officer has expressed considerable doubt as to whether the planned Ham marquee will be allowed.

The Arena has already been ruled-out.

To quote 'Steve of Sidmouth' there are still "lots of practical questions to be resolved" such as licensing conditions; insurance (£15million Public Liability required by EDCC); risk assessments; health & safety issues; security (SIA registered staff now needed) etc. etc. etc.

Certainly there will be something in Sidmouth this summer but whether it's just a few sessions and morris dancing on the prom or a proper festival remains to be seen.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:24 PM

Having just got back from a meeting in Sidmouth about this year's 'Folk Week', I'm happy to report that "A Sidmouth Resident" is very far from the truth in his comments. There is definitely going to be very much more than 'a few sessions and morris dancing on the prom'. I'm not sure why certain people have been doing their best to undermine the efforts of those working to ensure the continuation of Sidmouth festival, but I can report that they have failed.

The comment about The Arena having been ruled out seems to suggest that this is because of licensing. This is not the case. There are a couple of reasons why the arena will not be used, but the licencing issue is not one of them.

So...roll on July! This is going to be a year to be there, and I'm looking forward to it even more after being at the meeting than I was before. See you there!

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:40 PM

the man said-

"but there aren't any which have the International dance and music aspect which Sidmouth has had"

This leads me to ask if WOMAD is not to his liking. Ive never been there but understood it was all about "International" music and dance.

Dave Earl


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Sidmouth Resident
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 11:35 AM

Sorry MBS Lynne but my comment above is correct and yours is wrong.

East Devon District Council have still NOT approved any licence for any outdoor site including the Ham.

I'm pleased your group are planning more events but they still have to be licenced by the Council if taking place in marquees such as that planned for the Ham.

Council officers say there are a great many licence requirements to be met and they will NOT licence any outdoor or tented site until all health & safety, security and licensing requirements, including the provision of £15 million Public Liability Insurance, are met.

I hope you succeed in getting licenced but you haven't done so yet. It is dishonest to suggest otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 11:40 AM

"One officer has expressed considerable doubt as to whether the planned Ham marquee will be allowed."

There's been a Ham marquee for years. Presumably the 2005 Ham marquee will be similar in all essential respects.

So what EXACTLY did this "officer" say the problem was?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 05:18 PM

Sidmouth Resident...I said nothing whatever about the Ham or anywhere else having received licensing permission. Would you like to get YOUR facts straight before you start accusing me of dishonesty? Thank you very much. And an apology for your accusation would not go amiss.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Ella still no bloomin cookie
Date: 31 Jan 05 - 03:15 AM

Oh that'll be fab for me... I could get there in a flash.... oh that would be fab!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Council Officer
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 01:22 AM

I hesitate to intrude on this discussion but have been asked to comment on the points regarding a tented structure on the Ham.

No formal licence application for the Ham has been received so far by East Devon Council.

However officers are aware of proposals for concerts at the Ham and I believe there have been some informal discussions between interested parties and with representatives of the Town Council.

There were problems with licensing at the Ham last year and I believe the Council's insurance requirements were not met although concerts were still allowed to proceed in 2004.

Concerts will only be allowed in 2005 when all licensing conditions are met.

Anyone wishing to stage concerts at the Ham will need to obtain £15 million of Public Liability Insurance, employ a properly qualified Health & Safety Officer, provide the licensing authority with satisfactory Risk Management, Noise Management and overall Event Management plans, and satisfy all our other licensing conditions to ensure a safe and acceptable event.

Until those conditions are met and a licence is granted it is premature to talk about concerts at the Ham and advertise artists who are performing there.

I trust this clarifies the situation. For obvious reasons I cannot reveal my identity here but I would ask concert organisers to contact East Devon Council without delay to discuss the licensing situation and the need to submit a full and detailed licence application, site plan and other documentation.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Member of the public
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 10:59 AM

Quote from Guest:Council officer - "There were problems with licensing at the Ham last year and I believe the Council's insurance requirements were not met although concerts were still allowed to proceed in 2004."

If this was indeed the case, then I would suggest that the council planning people, and perhaps you Mr Anon. Council Officer should really offer their resignation for this major oversight!!

Or perhaps offer similar 'understanding' maybe.

Maybe the obvious reasons why you do not reveal your identity is that you like to stir it, otherwise you would direct these comments to the Festival committee, and not make them public here!!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Cllr
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 11:33 AM

As a local government elected member I do not believs for one minute that the previous post is genuine. Or if the im-poster is a local governmet officer he is nothing to do with licenscing - watch for the denial folks and precious little evidencial proof Cllr


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Prize Pedant
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 12:00 PM

Whether the Guest Council Officer is a genuine LGO or not, everyone who has ever been to the Ham (or indeed just about any other festival venue) knows that health and safety regulations have been regularly flouted in the past. Far be it from me to defend councils, but this is not their fault but that of organisers failing to arrange adequate stewarding. If councils are now tightening up this can only be in the public good. Whatever the cost, this is surely preferable to a tentful of burnt or suffocated people. If you can't afford to stage an event safely AND book a credible range of artists (as seems far beyond the capabilities of the '05 lot), don't screw around. Leave it those who can.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: Cllr
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 12:39 PM

I saw pink floyd once they were great but the support was awful.
I wasn't interested in the rights or wrongs of health and saftey neither was I commenting on the content of the post but I was stating that I did not believe in the legitmacy of an im-poster claiming what they were relevent lgo and hence trying to gain credence and more weight on what they posted. (hence im-poster it's a pune or play on words.) Cllr


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 02:37 PM

What is the relationship between Council officer and prize pedant above. Friends, or just the same person!

The fact is their aim is similar, to belittle the "05 lot" for putting on any kind of festival.

If there altruistic concerns were genuine, they wouldn't be posting here, they would be offering their opinions via the official website.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth on the move?
From: GUEST,Council Officer
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 05:07 PM

I am sorry if I have stirred-up some ill-feeling. I was asked to post here by a near-neighbour who told me of her concern about the suggestion that concerts at the Ham had already been approved.

I will not be posting here again but before leaving I will respond to comments from others by saying:

(a) In answer to cllr. I am certainly genuine. I hope you are too even though you cannot spell the word 'licensing' properly. If you are a cllr. in East Devon you will know of your need to declare a prejudicial interest and not vote in any council debate on licensing issues surrounding the Sidmouth concerts

(b) Last year's event went ahead despite a dispute over insurance cover. Organisers were informed just prior to the event that inadequate insurance cover was in place but they refused to pay for extra cover as required by East Devon Council. Effectively they defied the Council and officers such as myself have a responsibility not to let that happen again

(c) I am in no way connected with the writer Prize Pedant although I would echo his or her views. Health and Safety must be paramount at any event. If rules were broken in the past that is no excuse for them being broken again now. Local authority officers have a duty to protect the public and ensure their safety at outdoor events. Event organisers have the same duty. I would hope anyone attending such events welcomes moves to ensure their safety

I am not interested in the debate on whether the Sidmouth festival should take place this year and if so in what form. I am not here to undermine the organisers of any event. My job is solely to ensure events are properly licensed with the required insurance in place and all health & safety issues properly addressed.

I hope anyone attending events in Sidmouth this year will recognise the importance of my role in ensuring your safety.


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