Good morning everyone, here’s the Upton Jazz latest news….
In late summer we reported pessimistically about the future of the Festival. Many of these concerns remain…rising costs, risks to the charity if we fail to achieve ticket sales, and most important the shortage of volunteers to help out; or committed enthusiasts who could take the festival forward over 3-5 years.
Thank you to the supporters who expressed their sadness, their goodwill, and a handful of people who said they would donate or for example, pay for their stewards ticket. We have had two or three people come forward with offers of practical help. Most of all we have had helpful discussions with people in town, especially our local councils, our venues, and good wishes from the Jazz community right across the UK. This has encouraged us to persevere.
Many people do not want to see this internationally known event, which has helped to make Upton-upon-Severn famous, just wither away or disappear.
The few of us who are Jazz Council have now come up with a plan for a 35th Jazz Festival in June. This plan needs to be progressed in the coming weeks, but it features…
- ‘inside’ venues, all in town; no expensive marquees, staging, or fencing.
- some free venues; a continuation of the Fringe at the Swan Hotel
The festival will run from Friday evening, and all day Saturday and Sunday. We are going to make every effort to keep up the same quality and range of music that earned so many favourable comments in 2019.
We will finalise budgets and debate ticket prices over the next month. We have a willingness to provide camping on the sports field, and aim to enlist the team involved in successfully running that three years ago. We are offering the town traders the opportunity to organise stalls - we will not have to stretch our resources to do that, with road closures and all that goes with it.
We will invite and encourage Best of Young Jazz performers into the heart of the festival, especially the Fringe; and we may not have a Parade or a Church Service though we are open to offers…!
If all goes well in the next few weeks we will announce a programme and prices pre-Christmas as usual. We will have an early bird ticket sales deadline at 31st March next year, as we will need to achieve a good level of sales ‘in the bank”. We will need stewards, and a few more people to take responsibility for venues over Jazz weekend.
So lots to do, and still hurdles to overcome. Even as we speak the Baptist Church have committed to opening their doors as a venue. Our plan is that if we can continue even in a more manageable shape, it makes it easier for people to join us, and take things forward. All we need from you is to turn the goodwill into a determination to buy a ticket and turn up in June - 26th, 27th and 28th - 2020.
Council of Management
Upton Jazz Festival