… the development of a festival identity
Last weekend saw the big return of the SeaFest:
And next week sees a new festival coming to town:
There are lots of other festivals happening this year – which has given the push to the idea of Sidmouth embracing a festival identity:
The organisers of Sidmouth’s many festivals are to explore ways of working more closely together to maximise the benefits to the town’s economy.
The Jazz and Blues Festival in early June is the latest to be added to the calendar, and its arrival has been welcomed by both the town council and the people behind Sidmouth’s longer-established events; not only festivals, but also the Air Show and the various other events run by the council and Chamber of Commerce. This year it coincides with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with the Chamber of Commerce Street Party on June 2 and other celebration events taking place locally. Later in June there is the Literary Festival, featuring well-known writers talking about their work.
Cllr Deirdre Hounsom, who takes the lead on festivals with the town council’s Tourism and Economy working group, said: “The council is pleased to welcome this new festival to our portfolio of festivals, all of which contribute greatly to the vitality and the economy of Sidmouth. It is particularly gratifying to see new festivals being attracted to Sidmouth. which sit perfectly within the aspirations of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan, where ‘the development of a festival identity helps support the diversification of our tourism offer’.
The idea was explored five years ago:
From walking and reading, to science and the sea – Sidmouth is fast establishing itself as a festival town. The events have all sprung up in the last few years, each pushed forward by handful of volunteers and facing similar challenges, as does the regatta.
Organisers came together on Monday to discuss how they can share resources and expertise – and one day become as big a draw as FolkWeek. Ideas ranged from aggregating insurance costs and cross-promotion to giving a youngster work experience as a social media expert.