The Festival Charity

The Sidmouth Folk Festival charity (Sidmouth FolkWeek Ltd) supports the Festival with fundraising to ensure its long-term success. It was formed in 2005, following a major change in the management of the Festival. The charity’s trustees are all enthusiastic Festival supporters, many with a long association with the event and with a strong representation from local residents. The chair is Derek Schofield, a Festival MC and author of the Festival’s history, published in 2004.

Over the last twenty years, the charity’s main focus has been the organisation of the street collections during the Festival. In the last few years and, in particular, since the Covid pandemic, the charity has expanded its activities.

Over recent years, the charity has:

● Organised the street and venue collections. Over the last 10 festivals it has contributed an average of £14,400 per year (plus £2,000 pa GiftAid), helping to fund the workshop and participation programme.

● Established a Friends Scheme, now relaunched as The Friends of The Sidmouth Folk Festival. Further details here

● Set up a Legacy Scheme, launched in 2022. Further details here

● Organised a Grand Draw in 2023, contributing £3,500 to Festival funds.

● Hosted the Bulverton Floor Crowdfunding campaign in 2023 which raised over £21,000 (plus an estimated £3,600 in GiftAid).

● Hosted the major Crowdfunding campaign during the Covid pandemic.

The charity also supports the Festival’s Business Sponsorship scheme, which is organised by the Festival organisers. Further details here.

The charity is always pleased to hear from individual Festival goers, local residents and businesses who would like to assist the charity in achieving its aims. In particular, we are always glad to hear from anyone who can assist with street collections.

Friends of The Sidmouth Folk Festival

By becoming a Friend of The Sidmouth Folk Festival, you can make a contribution to the development of the Festival in future years. We aim to establish a community of people who value what the Festival has achieved in the past and who want this to continue so that others can enjoy the Festival in years to come. The money raised by the Friends will contribute to the overall artistic budget, including a Friends sponsored event. Friends will be kept informed by Newsletter about how money is allocated. Find out more about the Friends.

Legacy Scheme

If The Sidmouth Folk Festival has been an important part of your life, then you can help future generations enjoy the Festival in the same way. By leaving a legacy, you can protect the future of this very special Festival. What will your Legacy be? More information here

Festival Collections

Street Collections from outdoor and street performances make an important contribution to the festival’s income. The charity has the street collection licence from East Devon District Council, and also collects donations at festival events billed as ‘Collection’ and at informal events. In addition to buckets and tins, we have card readers, a QR code and a JustGiving site for online donations. The sums raised, with a boost from Gift Aid, support the festival’s workshop and participation programme. Join the Collections Team as a Festival Volunteer.

JustGiving Donations: our JustGiving Campaign is dedicated to the festival. You can make donations through this site to help fund this and future festivals. Please tick the Gift Aid box if you are a UK taxpayer.

The name of the Festival charity is Sidmouth FolkWeek Ltd, (registered charity no. 1111958). Registered Office: 3 Fairleigh, Manor Road, Sidmouth, EX10 8RR.  The charity supports The Sidmouth Folk Festival which is organised by Sidmouth FolkWeek Productions Ltd.

Additional Information

The current chair of the trustees is Derek Schofield, a concert MC at the festival and author of the history of the festival, published in 2004.

Other trustees are:

Rachel Charles: Somerset shop proprietor.

Janet Dowling, vice chair: storyteller, former President of The Morris Federation and local resident.

Andy Griffiths: retired senior manager of a major UK retailer and local resident.

Barry Lister: singer, festival MC, co-presenter of Sid Valley Radio’s folk music programme and local resident.

Bev Langton: dancer, former co-producer of the festival’s Children’s Festival.

Chris Lockyear: chair of Sidmouth Town Council.

Jean Salt: founder of Sidmouth Steppers and local resident.

Tim Shardlow: treasurer and secretary: festival supporter and retired Sidmouth solicitor.

Colin Trussell: retired human resources director with an international company and local resident.

Eddie Upton: singer, former festival director and former director of Folk South West.

The charity’s objects, as stated in its Memorandum of Association, are:

“To advance the education of the general public by promoting, in and around the town of Sidmouth in East Devon, an annual festival of Folk Arts and other associated events, both in Sidmouth and elsewhere, which will encourage an awareness, knowledge, understanding, conservation and appreciation of and participation in the Folk Arts. Such Folk Arts will include, but not be limited to, the arts of traditional music, song, dance, drama, storytelling and related folklore, customs, arts and crafts which originate, but not exclusively, in the United Kingdom and their development into contemporary forms.”

The charity has a number of powers to further these objects, including:

“To apply for, collect or organise the collection of, or receive from private individuals, corporations or any other sources donations, grants, subscriptions and other financial assistance and generally to raise funds for the objects of the Charity, but in doing so the Charity shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activity and must comply with any relevant statutory regulations.”