All About Jazz Festivals In England

Jazz music festivals were introduced in England by Harold Pendleton in the 1960s as the National Jazz Festival for a display of British and US jazz. Jazz music festivals are greatly shaped by the events happening around the world and have always grown and changed over the years. After the WW1 and WW2, the circuit of jazz festivals began when Europeans needed a distraction from the crisis around them and resorted to the folk culture and reflections on the good old days.

The first jazz festivals were smaller events which were usually held outdoors on private estates. The British aristocracy and establishment have been inextricably intertwined with the history of jazz festivals in England. The music festivals have been sites for social and political debate and actions. These events often bring to light, deeper socio-political issues bothering on race, religion, class, sexuality, gender, education and societal stereotypes.

Jazz festivals are general modern music events that feature live performances by a number of notable jazz artists.  If the musicians are not enough, the services of a DJ is usually employed for an after concert party. Such festivals are organised to reap cultural, political, economical, social, tourist, and even educational benefits within the established communities.  They are usually held in dramatic settings which can be indoors or outdoors; with tents or roofed temporary stages for the artists or an amphitheatre. Most times, the festival lasts for a few days and are held annually or repeated at certain intervals; so as to minimise damage and maximise opportunity.

In England, jazz festivals often involve a varying number of activities, but jazz remains at its core with workshops, jazz trains and cruises, late-night jams, club and outdoor stages, competition for young musicians, large auditoriums, heaps of DJs , chilled out bars and onsite camping.  There are other attractions such as dance, crafts, food and merchandise vending, performance art and social not cultural activities. All these activities are organised to further immerse the attenders into the festival experience.

It is believed that jazz festivals should be situated around exotic resorts and unique venues because they are an amazingly wonderful experience. They are also believed to be an intimate experience also as one might get up close and personal with artists, dine, dance, take photos and even have excursions with them. These jazz festivals are welcomed and encouraged in England because just like any other music festival, they attract visitors who spend money and this boosts the local economy both on and off the festival arena. Jazz festivals equally provide adequate opportunity to help build and engage the region.

Jazz music festival became widely accepted and adopted in England because they served as a tool in the preservation of its heritage. These festivals also helped in boosting the economy of the area (through generation of revenue by tourists), fostering community pride, strengthening relationships and learning and teaching new things ( tg3 festivals have been remarkable sites for experimenting with alternatives lifestyles and practices). Generally, a successful jazz music festival event enhances a nation’s reputation.