FolkWeek will ‘go on as long as people want it’

Sidmouth Folkweek sign. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0636-32-14AW. To order your copy of this pho

Sidmouth Folkweek sign. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0636-32-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

“Sidmouth FolkWeek will keep evolving – we won’t stand still.”

FolkWeek director John Braithwaite

FolkWeek director John Braithwaite - Credit: Archant

That is the message from festival director John Braithwaite, who after this year’s ‘all-engulfing’ 60th anniversary is looking ahead to its future.

He said it is a celebration of British history that will continue as long as people want to attend it, but must adapt to their changing tastes and needs – so the touted move to Salcombe Hill may one day be revisited.

“I’m sure when it comes to the 70th year it will look very different – as different as it looks now from when it was 50,” said Mr Braithwaite. “We won’t allow it stand still.”

As the festival has evolved, the organisers have looked for new locations that would be better suited for the main campsite than Bulverton.

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They were awarded an events licence for Salcombe Hill but faced opposition from residents and logistical hurdles moving the main campsite.

“It was a big project we were taking on, as well as the 60th anniversary – we couldn’t do both and our current site works perfectly well,” he said.

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“We have a fabulous venue at Bulverton and we want to make more and more of it.”

But Mr Braithwaite said Salcombe Hill had not been ruled out and the organisers will evaluate their options over the next few months – including considering other sites around town.

But he added that wherever they move the campsite to, if they do, they need assurance it will be usable in the long term.

“As long as folk music is something that still appeals we will keep going – here’s hoping,” said Mr Braithwaite.

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