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Sidmouth 2012

27 Feb 12 - 06:03 PM (#3314238)
Subject: Sidmouth 2012
From: Jack Campin

There is a chance I might get to Sidmouth this year (thinking of several very different things to do that week).

The website talks about large concerts and dance events. I know there is a big session/singaround fringe, which alone might be worth the price of a camping ticket. But the concerts certainly aren't worth the price of a full week ticket to me unless there are also the sort of lectures and workshops you get at Whitby, and they're a bit vague about that.

Can somebody compare?

Anybody know the Alnwick International Music Festival?

28 Feb 12 - 03:59 AM (#3314394)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Jack Campin

Not much buzz generated by this thread - looks like the way to go is buy a camping ticket and then get tickets for individual events at the door?

28 Feb 12 - 04:10 AM (#3314399)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: theleveller

Alnwick Music Festival

28 Feb 12 - 04:18 AM (#3314401)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Leadfingers

Jack - I cant vouch for them as far as quality or content is concerned but there is always a wide variety of Workshops from about 0930 till very late after noon through the week . Last year's programme is still avalable as an on line dowload if you look . That will give you some idea of what is on .

28 Feb 12 - 04:30 AM (#3314405)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Leadfingers

2011 Prgramme

28 Feb 12 - 04:41 AM (#3314406)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: GUEST,FloraG

There are lots of pub sessions for which you don't need a camping ticket but to get on the official camp site you need a season ticket. The camp site is on a bit of a slope and still a bit of a walk into the town centre.
You might decide it is better value to camp outside Sidmouth and use the bus in. ( parking is a problem ). Then you can pick and choose what you go to and have a day off if you feel like it.
Do you want to
Listen to concerts
The answer to that might decide what you do.

28 Feb 12 - 04:48 AM (#3314411)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: GUEST,John J sans cookie

We always 'fringe' but camp elsewhere. I go primarily for the singing in the Anchor and the occasional play in the Radway...oh, and the (expensive) beer.

I regard myself as a dyed-in-the-wool folkie, but have to admit that making full use of a season ticket for Sidmouth could well have me 'folked-out'. The Mrs JJ would certainly find it too much for her.

Some years when there's been a concert I particularly want to go to I pay the money just for that event.

It's a good do with a very active fringe and I'm looking forward to this year's festival once again, it's a permanent fixture in my calendar.

Hope this helps.


28 Feb 12 - 04:52 AM (#3314413)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Will Fly

I'm going for the first time this year, just for the last 4 days and staying in a B&B (I don't do tents). I shall just be looking out for a bit of old-time stuff to join in, if such a session exists, and might look up a bit of traditional home-grown tune playing.

28 Feb 12 - 05:10 AM (#3314427)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Jim Martin

I always find the weekly season ticket worth getting - it's good value and saves most of the hassle of queuing & gives you priority entry to events (as long as you get in the queue up to 10 mins before the start of the event).

28 Feb 12 - 05:20 AM (#3314430)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Jack Campin

Thanks Leadfingers, the 2011 programme gives me a good idea. Looks a lot more dance-oriented than Whitby. (I would have preferred a B&B to a tent too, but didn't think they were an available and affordable option).

I'd looked at the Alnwick website before - it doesn't give you any idea of what to expect, except watch a few visiting dance groups; not enough to fill a week for me, if that's all there is.

28 Feb 12 - 05:35 AM (#3314439)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: The Barden of England

Will Fly - Old Time sessions can be found in 'The Bedford' on the right hand side as you go in the entrance from the Esplanade which go on most of the day. In the main bar on the left hand side there's always a completely mixed session going on all day until very late. There are an awful lot of sessions or singarounds in 'The Anchor' middle bar upstairs, The New Tavern (you'll see Leadfingers there), The Royal York and Faulkner, The Swan (both inside and outside), the Rugby Club, The Cricket Club, the Woodlands, The Radway and The Volunteer - just about everywhere you can think of.
Jack Campin - See Leadfingers link above. I personally do exactly what you are thinking of doing, which means I can see the shows I want to see, and still have a wonderful time on the fringe, but I always have believed in putting money in the collecting tins every day to support the festival, and I like the official campsite too. More playing there if you need it.
John Barden

28 Feb 12 - 06:58 AM (#3314462)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Marilyn

Jack - Whitby is very much a festival for traddies would you say? By that, I mean that they don't go in much for big names for the concerts but they do tend to book more trad folk acts for their programme.

I love Sidmouth and my OH and I have been every year for several years now but, for us, it's more a very enjoyable seaside holiday with a bonus of a festival to dip in and out of.

We're not big concert goers unless the acts are early music (like The Night Watch at Whitby last year) or very traditional; we would never go to see a folk rock band for instance. Not criticizing at all here - just stating a preference.

We went to Whitby for the first time last year and were completely won over - this is definitely a better festival for us. I found that there were so many workshops that I wanted to attend that I had to cherry pick. We also found that there was something on every slot of the programme that we wanted to do and choices had to be made. This doesn't happen to me at Sidmouth because the programme just doesn't appeal to me as much. This is a very personal reaction of mine and not a criticism in any way - I can't stress that enough - but it might be relevant to you.

Just to stress again - we love Sidmouth and intend to go again this year if we can afford both but, if pennies are short, then Sidmouth is the one we will dump because I just couldn't miss Whitby.

28 Feb 12 - 06:09 PM (#3314807)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: GUEST,Ollie

We're fortunate that once again we will be able to do both Sidmouth and Whitby. Like others, we prefer the session and workshop aspect of festivals and without a doubt both Sidmouth and Whitby are good for this. I believe that in both cases the official camp sites are for full season ticket holders only however, Moore and Coast offer a good alternative site in Whitby. Sidmouth is a bit harder and we usually end up 'commuting' from a private site four miles out.

28 Feb 12 - 06:44 PM (#3314816)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Sidmouth Folk Week official campsite is not confined to season ticket holders. But if you don't have a day, weekend, week, event or all-in-one ticket, then you have to buy a campsite passport (35) in addition to normal camping charges. That's what it says in the leaflet.
Any further queries to

28 Feb 12 - 07:01 PM (#3314821)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Jack Campin

I believe that in both cases the official camp sites are for full season ticket holders only

According to this

you can buy a "campsite passport" for 35 pounds and a week's camping ticket for 60 pounds on top of that. Which is reasonable.

I don't much fancy hauling my instruments, tent, bedding and clothes for a week for 600 miles by bus, though.

29 Feb 12 - 04:49 AM (#3314962)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012

My apologies. I got it wrong about Sidmouth camping.

29 Feb 12 - 11:54 AM (#3315124)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Steve in Sidmouth

Anyone new to FolkWeek can find a Newcomers' Guide on my website - there are lots of links to further details about the official campsite as well as details of some of the alternatives.

Link here: Newcomers' Guide to FolkWeek

29 Feb 12 - 04:23 PM (#3315259)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: JHW

I was given the good advice my first time at Sidmouth (in Steve Heap organising days) to buy a Season Ticket then you can dip into anything that needs paying for (except for some stuff now at the Ham, a large sweaty marquee venue though host to big names).
I am no longer a Seasoned Ticket holder but it was good advice. I don't use the festival campsite either. There are half a dozen permanent sites East of Sidmouth which are served all day and after midnight during festival week by a dedicated bus.
I only B&B'd once. Did find a place in town but it was a struggle, booking in January.

01 Mar 12 - 07:13 AM (#3315516)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Cats

I have done both and have to say that over the years became very disenchanted with Sidmouth so much so that i ended up going down for the odd day here and there. Now Whitby.. Love it and after you have found your way around, so much friendlier, excellent singing, concerts for all pockets and now a permanent feature in my calendar. Bear in mind Sidmouth is an hour and a quarter away and Whitby is a minimum of 8 hours it does say alot for Whitby.

01 Mar 12 - 11:17 AM (#3315625)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: vectis

I have a motorhome so I stay at the Rugby Club in the middle of town, wonderfully central location. I used to stay at the golf course and used the bus when I had tents and caravans and used the official campsite once, never again. I don't buy a season ticket usually as I want to sing and play with other singers and musicians for the week.

I did buy a ticket a few years ago as there were loads of people I wanted to see perform and I also went dancing most mornings. I did get my moneys worth but haven't felt moved to repeat the experience before or since. That makes it one ticket every 15 years or so then.

As to Whitby... Well! Wouldn't miss it for the world, I use the Moor and Coast site which has better facilities than the official festival campsite and have bought a ticket once in the last decade. More sessions and sings than Sidders and concerts to suit every pocket. Love it!

01 Mar 12 - 12:53 PM (#3315680)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler

I enjoy both, but will not be buying a week Sidmouth ticket as I think they are very overpriced compared with Whitby. I shall be enjoying both though!

01 Mar 12 - 12:57 PM (#3315687)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Jack Campin

If I can summarize what I'm being told in this thread and at Steve in Sidmouth's site: the appropriate comparison seems not to be Whitby but the Battle of Passchendaele, 1917.

Passchendaele wins because of:

- less mud
- better sanitation
- less mass assaults involving loud noise
- the Boche were friendlier than Sidmouth Council.

They're about equally liable to cost you an arm and a leg.

01 Mar 12 - 04:30 PM (#3315777)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012

Hands up if anyone actually buys a ticket?
Of course, without the actual festival..... would there be this fringe?

01 Mar 12 - 04:48 PM (#3315785)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: JHW

We do put money in the Festival collecting boxes at 'free' events.

01 Mar 12 - 06:57 PM (#3315824)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012

Last year at Whitby we were surprised how, seemingly quite often, a collection tin didn't appear at some free events. Spent many a happy evening at the Elsinore and didn't see one once. My conscience is shouting that I gave even more willingly and generously when I did see one but I thought that maybe the organisers were missing an opportunity. As one of the many that goes but doesn't buy a season ticket it seems only fair to put some money in the pot.

01 Mar 12 - 07:33 PM (#3315838)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Tattie Bogle

Hi Jack, I've not been to Whitby Festival but have been to Sidmouth many times: it is simply a massive festival with so many facets/genres to it, so you'll be bound to find something you enjoy: plenty of instrumental and mixed sessions, as I know you play a variety of instruments.
I have in the past bought a season ticket, and worked hard to make it pay for itself as well as attend plenty of Fringe events. There are quite a lot of dance events, but not as much as in pre-50th days, as there are not the same number of international teams coming any more.
Quite a good Scottish representation this year.
Have never had to camp: for years we stayed with the in-laws, but now both, sadly, departed this world. Last year we found B & B in a village in but 3 miles out of town.

10 Apr 12 - 11:48 AM (#3336278)
Subject: RE: Sidmouth 2012
From: Steve in Sidmouth

Some details are now available for the new Stowford Rise Centre.

This is planned for use as a major social dance evening venue in 2012.

New Stowford Rise Dance Hall.

It is to be hoped that the licencing issues are sorted out well before FolkWeek!