Sidmouth FolkWeek cash plea

A FOLKWEEK meeting held in Sidmouth last week was voted a success but more financial backing is needed say festival organisers.

A FOLKWEEK meeting held in Sidmouth last week was voted a success but more financial backing is needed say festival organisers.

Representatives of over 20 businesses as well as town and district councillors attended the annual festival and town review, held at the Bedford Hotel.

John Braithwaite, managing director of Sidmouth FolkWeek Productions, told the meeting that a successful festival with a significant increase in festival visitors and a rigorous budget had resulted in a small surplus for FolkWeek 2009.

But he called for more local businesses and organisations to offer financial help.

Mr Braithwaite said: "The festival still needs more financial support to maintain its long-term stability."

He thanked the town council, Devon County Council and the Sid Vale Association for their increased funding, East Devon District Council for help in kind and all of the festival sponsors.

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Mr Braithwaite added: "We know that the local economy benefits enormously from the festival's presence in the town.

"FolkWeek is responsible for bringing this increased trade and prosperity to the town, and needs to share in the benefits to secure its future and further development."

Artistic director and marketing manager, Joan Crump, also gave a preview of the marketing designs which are to be launched on December 1 coinciding with the first announcement of guests and the season ticket sales.

At a further meeting, local FolkWeek enthusiasts and supporters gathered to give their comments on the festival, and to hear plans for the 2010 event.

Derek Schofield, FolkWeek spokesman, said: "The Festival is keen to build a local network of supporters who can assist during the year with such matters as promotion, leaflet and poster distribution and necessary tasks such as stuffing envelopes with festival leaflets. We hope to build a team of 'FolkWeek Ambassadors'. We were very pleased with the turnout and the offers of help."

Any businesses interested in supporting the festival can email John Braithwaite at or ring 07831 873958.

To discuss assisting the festival, ring Derek Schofield on 07732 264291 or email

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