Sidmouth Folk Festival
For 55 years the regency town of Sidmouth has been home to the annual Sidmouth Folk Festival. During early August, the East Devon coastal town is transformed into a week long colourful programme of over 600 concerts, dances, open mic sessions, street performances by Morris Dancers, workshops, and other events including 150 events for children and young people. Already established as a major UK folk festival, Sidmouth FolkWeek prides itself not only on its array of folk acts from across the world, but on its reputation for diversity and its appeal to all ages and tastes - there is something for everyone at Sidmouth. The festival attracts between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors, to a wide range of events. These range from large scale seated concerts and stand up music and dance performances to a collection of small events scattered around the town in various venues, from eclectic local pubs, churches and gardens. At Sidmouth, the emphasis is on community and encouraging people to join in with the 100+ workshops, creating a friendly and unique festival atmosphere.
Stage Electrics has been associated with the festival for over 25 years, providing festival management and event production. Across the festival site, Stage Electrics supply lighting equipment, sound and staging to a variety of large venues including: The Ham Marquee the festival's main venue - a 50 x 25 metre marquee which seats 1,100 and features 3 performances a day. The Ham Marquee is part of a new area called The Hub, located at the end of Sidmouth's seafront. The Hub acts as a performance centre and brings together the Ham Lawn (with food and drinks facilities), an open mic stage and a pedestrianised area with dance displays, the Festival's own brand of street theatre and the Festival Box Office. At The Ham Marquee, Stage Electrics supplied a Zero 88 Jester ML48 lighting desk, two Yamaha M7 digital sound consoles, a Par Can lighting rig, ground posted truss system, star cloth, emergency lighting and general lighting for back stage areas. The Bulverton Marquee, a mile from the centre of the town, is a late night venue with bar area licensed for 1,000. This venue held the festival's first ever 'silent folkin' disco' with guest DJ's including folk sensation Eliza Carthy. At the Bulverton Marquee Stage Electrics supplied all technical equipment including a Yamaha LS9 digital sound desk, a Par Can lighting rig with disco effect units, generators and power facilities for the Bulverton's catering and bar. Stage Electrics also provided lighting and flooring for the festival's local craft fair marquee, and facilities for the venues in Blackmore Gardens including the main dance tent, based in the heart of the town.
In addition to the provision of comprehensive technical infrastructure to the festival, Stage Electrics act as live event management consultants for the festival organisers and arrange outsourcing for refuse, toilets, portacabins, generators, trackway and fencing across the site. Throughout the week, Stage Electrics works with the festival's task force to ensure any site problems are responded to quickly and effectively. At the festival campsite which holds over 2,000 campers, Stage Electrics supply lighting for the major routes around the campsite, including shower and toilet areas. Stage Electrics also provided lighting for the main road down into the town, following a request by the local Police.
John Radford Stage Electrics' production manager for the event comments: "We offer the full package to the organisers, and offer expertise in live events and technical production to ensure the Sidmouth Folk Festival remains one of the most respected folk gatherings in the UK."
John Braithwaite, FolkWeek Chairman, added " Sidmouth is a unique and wonderful festival with so much history and respect in the world of UK festivals. We aim to restore the festival to its rightful position at the forefront of UK events by developing Sidmouth's distinctive features and brand. Our partnership with Stage Electrics is fundamental to this objective. In 2009, we have made great strides together and there is clearly a lot more still to come from joint venture."