Around this time of year, I’m usually looking forward to the announcement of the line-up for the Swansea International Jazz Festival, but not this year.
Sadly, the festival isn’t going ahead in 2019.
Replacing Brecon as Wales’ biggest and best jazz festival, Swansea’s summer event has gone from strength to strength in recent years. But, in a statement on the festival website, artistic director and founder Dave Cottle has explained that the big multi-venue waterfront gathering won’t be happening.
Despite its growing success, including sell-out gigs, the festival relies on public subsidy – the Arts Council of Wales and Swansea City Council are the two biggest supporters, accounting for around half of the budget.
But, with increasing pressure on public spending, they won’t be able to confirm any support until March – just three months before the festival.
“This is not a sustainable timeframe for an event of this size,” said Dave Cottle in a statement, citing some jazz festivals in England that sometimes have a three-year agreement of support with bodies such as Arts Council England.
Thanking the venues, commercial sponsors and supporters, Dave is exploring the idea of running a smaller festival later year “to try and keep thing ticking over for 2019.”
Meanwhile, Swansea Jazzland will continue to run weekly events, without support from Arts Council of Wales, who have supported it since 2002.
Here are my reviews of the festivals in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
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