Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Jazz carnage in the North - "it's going to be one long hard day"

Sad times for the jazz world-due to the COVID-19 virus. Its been a dreadful day - Ribble Valley, Wigan and Gateshead festivals axed, and whole promoter programmes everywhere, JazzLeeds festival, all gone  just gone, like that. Here is a list of the latest festival and promoter cancellatios

Scarborough Jazz
This is going to be one very long, hard day. Anyone I have given work to please expect an email from me. I hardly need to tell you what the content will be.
Bob Walker   

Bradford JAtP
In the light of the latest Government advice and the effect of that on the jazz scene generally, the JATPjazz Committee have most regrettably and reluctantly concluded that the best, most responsible course of action is to cancel all forthcoming gigs up until the end of May at the earliest.
We should not forget Bradford Latvian Club and Jazz Musicians in general in the current circumstances. In the light of the advice to avoid public gatherings, such venues and maintain "social distancing", coupled with the suspension of Bradford City AFC fixtures, the supporters of which pack the Bradford Latvian Club to the rafters for home games, it is easy to imagine the black holes which have suddenly appeared in their respective balance sheets.
We should also not forget our faithful Members, without whom none of this would happen in any circumstances. We advise that membership duration will be extended by the number of months we are "off-line" such that there will be no disadvantage to Members in terms of annual subscriptions. Of course, those members who would prefer a refund of outstanding subscriptions arising from cancellations, please contact Steve whose details can be found in the brochure.
We hope to be back where we belong at Bradford Latvian Club in the not too distant future and hope you will bear with us in the meantime.
Please stay safe and hopefully virus-free until happier, more normal days return.
We wish you all well.
JATPjazz Committee

Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues
The restrictions as set out the government today, confirm the decision we were about to make as a committee, which is to cancel this year’s Ribble Jazz Fest set for the first weekend in May. Our approach regarding our cancellation will be to airlift our programme forward to May 2021, working through the year once things settle to ensure that is a reality. Even this looks a bit grim right now – but let’s hope.
Sue Bradley

Gateshead International Jazz Festival
I write with a heavy heart to inform you that In light of the most recent Government advice, Sage Gateshead will be closed to the public from today until further notice. The health and safety of audiences, musicians and staff at Sage Gateshead is our priority.
 As such we have no option that to cancel this weekend’s Gateshead Jazz Festival. I know that for some of you this will be a relief and expected and for some of you it will be, as it is for us, a huge blow. We have put an enormous amount of work into the weekend and are devastated.
We won’t be able to move the whole festival to a different period, but we would like to work with all of you to find an alternative dates within 20/21. Under clause 16 of our contract we will enter a suspension period. We will be in touch with each of you individually as soon as we can to discuss this.
My apologies for this hugely disappointing news. With kind regards,
Tamsin Austin

Wigan Jazz festival
As a result of the increasing uncertainty and concerns being created by the coronavirus and taking into account the announcements made by the Government on Monday 16th Marchwe have taken the decision to cancel the 35th Wigan International Jazz Festival due to take place from 9th to 12th July 2020. Wherever possible musicians will be offered performances at the 2021 Jazz Festival.
Updates as to the activities of the Music Continuum will be made on social media, on the websites www.wiganjazzfest.co.uk www.wiganjazzclub.co.uk www.musiccontinuum.co.uk and in the monthly newsletter ‘Jazz Notes

Band on the Wall Manchester
In light of government advice issued on the evening of 16th March, we’re temporarily closing our doors with immediate effect. While we’d love for the show to go on, the health and safety of our customers, artists, staff and their friends and families are of paramount importance.
Therefore, unfortunately all events from 17th March – 18th April are postponed or cancelled. All ticket buyers will be notified via email.
During what is undoubtedly going to be a challenging time across the entertainment, culture and hospitality sectors, it’s important that we as a society and industry support each other. Band on the Wall has been here for over 200 years, and with the support of our amazing customers and partners, we’ll continue to play our role in the UK’s thriving music scene.
We are a small part of the huge, vibrant, brilliant community of venues, artists, promoters, creatives, freelancers, technical teams and front of house staff, and everyone in between, that makes up Manchester’s music community. Together, we’ll come back stronger than ever.
Gavin Sharp

Wakefeld Jazz
We are sad to make the announcement that none of our advertised gigs will go ahead until the COVD19 crisis is over, We are gutted for the jazz musicians affected by the lockdown
Pete Rosser

Sheffield Jazz
Because of the fast-deteriorating Covid-19 problem and associated Government guidance suggesting mass self-isolation in the near future we have decided to cancel all future gigs including Ant Law this cominhg Friday. We will shift the Nikki Iles Orchestra gig to Friday 25 September 2020 and will also be looking to rearrange the subsequent Crookes Social Club gigs and probably also the 30 April Jason Rebello Trio gig which is planned for Firth Hall. Please keep an eye on the Sheffield Jazz website for the new dates, for which your advance tickets will still be valid. If however the new date s inconvenient or you just want a refund as soon as possible please email sheffieldjazzorg@gmail.com and we will arrange a full refund via TicketSource.
We very much regret having to take this step, especially in view of the financial repercussions for the musicians, and we would urge all our audience to try to compensate at this very difficult time for them by buying CDs, downloads and other merchandise from the musicians' websites.
Paul Thomas

Jazz Leeds
With great sadmess we have to announce the cancellation our entire concert and festival season until further notice due to COVID-19. Our gigs at Seven Arts and Inkwell will no longer take place and we are also cancelling plans for the JazzLeeds Changes Festival in July. Our workshops, choir, rush hour jazz and jam sessions are also suspended. Where possible we are re-arranging concerts for the autumn. Do keep in touch via our website (www.jazzleeds.org.uk) and social media pages as we have plans to put some of the concerts on live stream.
Thanks for all your support and kind words. We wish all our musician and venue friend well in this difficult time.
Steve Crocker and all the team at Jazz Leeds

Jazz at the Spa (Boston Spa)
Not unexpectedly, Jazz in the Spa has suspended all gigs till the end of April in the first instance.
Looks like this will go on for quite a bit longer – but no point anticipating the worst case scenario.
Kind regards

Jazz in York
Eagle and Child
Jazz at the Eagle and Child every Thursday has been postponed until further notice. Stay safe everyone we need you to return in numbers when all this blows over
Cross Keys
With much regret it has been decided to cancel the jazz sessions at the Cross Keys until further notice. As soon as the coronavirus situation abates we will reinstate the jazz.Watch this site!
Mal Bramley

Jazz North East Newcastle
For now all Jazz North East concerts and Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music are going ahead. Our next scheduled events are Vula Viel at GJF and then Alter Ego on 2nd April at The Black Swan Bar and Venue. Zoe Gilby 'Aurora' Quintet album launch is at Gosforth Civic Theatre on 23rd April.
Wes Stephenson


  1. Just about all the local northeast venues have surrendered - possibly some are still mulling it over. Hexham Jazz Club made a brave attempt and, at the last count, had 3 in the audience. But it's not just jazz although, obviously it's our main concern, but what about the pubs, the clubs, the high street, the inevitable job losses which will knock on to effect audiences and as for the over '70s... Still what can we do? At this moment in time I'm just glad that I've heard so much wonderful live music over the years. Whether it be at a mega profile festival or a back street pub I've enjoyed them all equally - sometimes more the latter than the former!

  2. Very sad, Steve. It's an important part of many people's lives. You are not one to give up, finding a solution as far as possible with livestreaming etc.

  3. We have to count our blessings, and stick together. You've done a great job Lance, let's hope something may come out of it. As Winston Churchill said,never waste a good crisis!