Sea Fest organisers remain optimistic for festival's return in 2022

Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20-17TI 2944. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Sea Fest usually takes place in May each year - Credit: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Sea Fest will not be taking place for the second year running but organisers are remaining optimistic for the festival’s return next year.
 
Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub, made the announcement on Friday, April 9 following hard decision-making talks with its members around Covid precautions and other logistics of running the annual festival.
 
Louise Cole, Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub director, said they have decided against proceeding with the usual Sidmouth Sea Fest this year, planned for May 22, but are still hoping to run some activities including choir recording, author talks and art installations.
She added: “To do this for the second year is hard and impacts on our funding as we will not be able to generate income again from this year’s festival for next year.
“We know so well too that for traders and performers this continues to be really tough.
"But we are busy optimists so have lots of amazing projects ongoing which continue to lead to more creative community opportunities and we know we usually find a way.”
 
Covid risk management, interpreting guidelines and other safety requirements are proving onerous for the festival organisers who say they ‘feel it is too early and would not be possible to generate the wonderful community atmosphere’ with strict marshalling of the event.
 
Louise said: “We always appreciate all the volunteering support, ideas and contributions from everyone so look forward to a full festival in 2022.”
 
Despite the festival cancellation, a series of mini pop-up events centred around the 2021 theme of ‘Rockpools, Reefs and Reconnecting’ are set to take place throughout the year.
 
Commenting on the hub’s 2021 programme, Louise said: “The projects we have been busy with over the last year are progressing well and in themselves offer lots of opportunities to get creative and get involved.”
These projects include: 

  • Community Coral Reef Themed Garden – planting is happening and construction of the garden underway working with a number of community groups
  • Refresh of the Fish Wall Mural by the Ham – white paint done – fish to be repainted soon with designs from Sidmouth Primary
  • The Fishermen’s Shed Space – refurb almost done – planning micro creative workshops – get in touch with organisers if you would like to run one
  • The Ham Wall Space project – the billboard will be installed in the next few weeks with a new artwork being worked on with Sidmouth College
  • The Beach Ramp Project – led by Dave Rafferty – the hub are supporting the process and will be integrating an art project as it develops

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