Like many live events in 2020, the long-running Sidmouth Folk Festival was facing a serious threat to its future – their non-stop 65 years finally brought to an end by coronavirus restrictions.
A testament to the place the festival holds in so many hearts, they hit their initial funding target of £30,000 in just four hours after launching! In the following days and weeks they sailed past stretch targets – £70k, £90k – and finally closed the crowdfunding campaign at over £100,000.
“It costs us a lot of money – over £700,000 – to stage this iconic 8-day long festival with 750 events, unrivalled in variety, range and participation; the streets and many venues in this stunning seaside town location spilling over with festive atmosphere and fun.”
When, unavoidably, Sidmouth Folk Festival had to cancel 2020’s festival, they had already launched plans and spent 20% of their cost budget on marketing, the artistic and production planning, deposits and ticket overheads.
They needed the help of their community to ensure the future of the festival in 2021 and beyond, and to continue offering support to brilliant musicians, singers, dancers, performers, educators, speakers, not to mention the many exceptional local businesses and residents who work closely with the Festival and its audiences.
Jo’s pointers on key things to do and when were really useful – without her help we could well have got lots wrong as we hadn’t done it before and didn’t have time to learn the hard way. Her documentation and initial support were clear and helpful, and guided us through setting targets and what type of campaign to go with. We hit all our stretch targets and more, and the campaign showed us the clear evidence of customer loyalty we were hoping for.Alan Bearman
“When we looked at what faced us after having to cancel the 2020 Festival, the most urgent priority was to raise sufficient funds to cover our 2020 losses to be able to get through to the 2021 event. Beyond that, we wanted in these uncertain times, to build some security for the future. Thanks to all those who have invested in the festival’s future in so many ways, we can now look forward to sharing it with you.”
In 2021, Sidmouth Folk Festival will return to its beloved seaside home with a celebratory event. With so much uncertainty around the viability of live events and festivals this summer – and taking into account the informative and thoughtful responses to our audience surveys – the festival team are now excited to be planning a celebratory week of shows and activities, primarily based in the heart of the town at Blackmore Gardens, with all day entertainment and evening concerts.