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Music fans sad about loss of ‘magical’ Sark Folk Festival

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MUSIC lovers and business owners have expressed disappointment at the ‘sad loss’ of the iconic Sark Folk Festival.

(Picture by Jon Le Ray)

The organisers of the event said this year’s will be the last in the island for at least a few years because of the challenge of putting on a festival in a beautiful but remote location.

Jill Rang from the Pomme de Chien campsite said the event was very successful and would be missed.

‘It’s a shame, but we are very grateful for everything they did for the island and all the money they raised for local charities.

‘We were always chock-a-block during the folk festival, everywhere was overflowing, and they were always such a good bunch of people, and there was a lovely atmosphere.’

The Sark Folk Festival was first held in 2010 and the exceptional location made it an instant hit, with visitors and musicians mingling with local people in a celebration of traditional and contemporary folk music.

In fields, pubs, hotels and cafes, the island came to life with singing, playing and dancing.

A spokesman for Sark Tourism said they understood and respected the decision to end the festival next year. She added that the island had always had a strong reputation for culture and art, inspiring many famous artists and authors.

‘Sark has a lot of varied events ongoing through the summer, some are new and some are returning favourites, all of which bring in large numbers of visitors to the island.

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‘This year has seen the birth of Creative Sark, a two-week celebration of all the arts and crafts.

‘Of course, people travel to Sark not just for the events but for the things the island naturally has to offer: its peace, tranquillity and unspoilt beauty.’

Local businessman and politician Simon Couldridge, who organised the Sark Summer Festival in 2018, hinted at the possibility of a new festival.

‘If we could find sufficient help and organising volunteers, and it would probably need sponsorship, at least in the first few years, but we could consider it.

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‘The folk festival was a big economic driver for the island, it brought over so many people and showed the beauty of Sark.’

On the Facebook page of Bailiwick Folk and Roots – organisers of the event – many people have commented on how the ‘magical’ experience would be missed.

One Facebook user wrote: ‘Sad news but many thanks for all the hard work and amazing memories. Been fortunate enough to attend every festival.

‘Gone from boyfriend/girlfriend to fiancees, to married, to plus nine-month-old boy, then a three- week-old boy, now our last one will be with a nearly six-year-old and four-year-old who absolutely love music. Thanks again.’

Helen Bowditch

By Helen Bowditch
News reporter

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