The Marsden Jazz Festival team have been working hard over the last days and weeks, keeping abreast of all of the news and guidance which has been released by both the government and funding bodies, and meeting digitally to discuss the developing situation and the impact on Marsden Jazz Festival.
The festival is committed to protecting our artists, staff, volunteers and local community, and as such we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Marsden Jazz Festival. We know October still seems quite a long way away, but even at this stage of the year planning for our annual festival is usually in full swing and we are fundraising to put the festival on as well as commissioning artists. Whilst we hope things will improve significantly over the coming months, at this stage we do not know when things will return to a semblance of normality and so we have to plan accordingly.
Arts Council England has responded incredibly quickly to the crisis by diverting £160 million to a COVID-19 emergency fund to help the creative sector sustain itself over the next six months. Many organisations and individual artists face very difficult times with work unable to take place and venues temporarily closing. Arts Council England is not funding live audience-facing work over this period, so we are unable to apply for the usual grant to put on Marsden Jazz Festival this October. We would like to thank Arts Council England for the work they are doing to make this funding available and we absolutely support their decision.
We want to support both artists and our local community as best we can during this uncertain time and as such we are exploring what opportunities there might be to deliver some online events and music over the coming months. We also want to keep you, our lovely supporters, entertained as best we can. We will share news and updates regularly on social media, on our website, and via our email newsletter.
Some of you have been in touch asking how you can support us through this difficult time and whilst keeping yourself safe and healthy is the best thing, those who do want to support us can donate to the festival on our donation page.
We know this news will come as a big disappointment, but we want to reassure you that Marsden Jazz Festival’s central aim is to ensure that we survive over the next 18 months and deliver our much-loved festival on 8 – 10 October 2021. There is much uncertainty ahead, but we will do everything we can to keep the music playing.
Stay safe and take care of yourself, your friends, family and neighbours.
We will see you soon.