Sidmouth FolkWeek is “special” says festival director

Forty businesses back Sidmouth FolkWeek firework finale

SIDMOUTH FolkWeek is special. Like no other folk festival in the UK, says its festival director John Braithwaite.

“We are pushing towards making Sidmouth distinct from other festivals,” he said this week, after receiving a cheque from Devon County Councillor Stuart Hughes for �1,500.

This year’s Sidmouth special on Thursday, August 4, commemorates the 20th anniversary of the death of folk singer Peter Bellamy. The Transports concert, of his folk opera, tells the remarkable true story of two convicts sent from Norfolk to Australia and features Martin and Eliza Carthy, James Fagin, Jackie Oates and more.

“It is directed by Jude Kelly of the South Bank Centre and will probably go to the South Bank,” said John. “The cast is made up of some of the best folk artists in the country. Our objective is to make Sidmouth special, so we wanted to do something special.”

This year’s festival also celebrates the 70th birthdays of Martin Carthy, its patron, and Dave Swarbrick, whose musical partnership has endured for more than 40 years.

It is the fifth year Mr Hughes has backed FolkWeek with a grant. He said: “It is important everybody supports it because it brings so much, not only to the local economy, but in enjoyment as well...It keeps businesses ticking over during winter months.”

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More than 40 Sidmouth businesses are backing this year’s firework display, which rounds off FolkWeek following a torchlight procession from Connaught Gardens at 10pm, which leads down Peak Hill, along the Esplanade to Port Royal and on to the beach.

*Firework sponsors are: Belmont Hotel, Victoria Hotel, Hunters Moon Hotel, Royal York & Faulkner Hotel, Royal Glen Hotel,

Woodlands Hotel, Mocha Restaurant, Prospect Place, Haymans Butchers, Dairy Shop, Summer Shop, Anchor Inn, The Marine,

Radway Inn, Swan Inn, The Filling Station, Sidmouth Garage, Delderfields, The Blackhorse, Potburys Furniture, Harrison & Lavers & Potburys, White Horse Cafe, Housewares, Shauls Bakery, Brophys, The Volunteer, Tasty Baguette, Fields, Sues Pantry,

Sidmouth Hotels, Carinas, Osbornes, David Govier, Thorn Park Golf Centre, Salcombe Regis Caravan Park, Upper Crust, Dunscombe Manor Caravan Park, Port Royal Sailing Club, Sign Vision, Safeguard Security and Bedford Lawn Car Park.