Released Sunday 26 July

BRECON JAZZ FESTIVAL 2020 : 7, 8, 9 August

Updated Press Release

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Brecon Jazz Festival 2020 will be online from Friday, 7th August. More information coming soon. SIGN up HERE>> to get the latest.


The Jazz Festival’s 37th year record has been saved from the ravages of the Covid-19 virus that has swept the world since early 2020. While many other events have been cancelled, a local band of organisers joined up with the musicians involved and worked with others to create new partnerships that will keep the jazz alive. They have invited the artists to commit planned BJF performances to video – and asked them to ‘make it personal’ – this is for ‘Brecon’.

Rather than miss a year, the places and spaces of BJF2020 will be ‘virtual’, and the get-togethers online. But is also an ambitious plan to present Brecon and its Jazz Festival across a wider world. With over 100 musicians participating, including from USA, France, Poland, Italy, Argentina, Spain and Uruguay , there is a huge potential to showcase Wales and to attract interest and new followers globally.  British and Welsh jazz talent is on full display too, and musicians in all countries have jumped at the chance to work together with others in creating international lineups for the Festival.

It is very hard, of course, and very challenging, to produce ‘jazz’ when bands cannot physically get together and lineups may be spread across different countries. The invited musicians are working on on overcoming these ‘distances’ of space, location and technology, and so too are the audiences, who will watch and receive the performances in a context that is not their norm for BJF. It seems that we are all taking part in a giant, risky and creative experiment. So the organisers have decided to make the Festival FREE and accessible to all.  It means that the wonderful music that comes out will reach more people than ever, and maybe even bring some new audiences to jazz.

We’ll have no ticketing and thus no ticket income and the organising team – all volunteers – are achieving all of this on a tiny budget and with no Welsh ‘arts’ funding at all. Support has come from Brecon Town Council and donations from the Friends of Brecon Jazz group, Festival well-wishers and help from Jazz Club members, all of which we greatly appreciate. The team urges everyone who loves and supports Brecon Jazz Festival to consider making a donation, no matter how small. There is a link on the website, see below. And thank you to those who have already contributed.

The team has sought out creative partnerships with others who value BJF and the creative arts to create ‘Virtually Brecon Jazz’ and the ‘Festival online’. We are delighted to announce that BJF2020 online will be delivered by a three-way partnership, between Brecon Jazz Club which runs jazz events all year round, Ratio Studios & Productions in Wales, and the music web hosting service VIALMA, which is based in France and UK.  The jazz Club team created the Festival and artistic programme, the project and the framework, our media partners at RATIO Studio have advised the artists on creating their performances, and in several cases provided high quality studio/recording facilities to them, while the team at VIALMA is hosting and supporting the Jazz Festival events, designing its service to accommodate a celebration of jazz throughout August. It is also helping to circulate and publicise BJF as a whole.

In another special community initiative, the Jazz Club team is planning to provide ‘showreels’ of the programme material in Brecon, so that the cafes and outlets of the town can reflect the music of the surrounding Festival on the ‘jazz weekend’ in August, ie Friday-Sunday 7,8,9 August. Groups are already planning ‘live’ get-togethers to watch along – also wearing the latest BJF2020 yellow logo T shirts and hats, which a local store has quickly gone into production to make available. Check Bobbins of Brecon, now on sale click here.

Brecon Jazz Festival 2020 will be online from Friday, 7th August. More information coming soon. Please sign up here for our mailing list to get the latest.


Coronavirus: COVID-19 Information

Released Friday, 10th July 2020 – Festival will go ahead in August
As one of the smaller, devolved, and independent Music Festivals in Wales, BJF has been able to adopt a ‘wait and see’ policy in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we are now at the point where some important decisions must be publicised. Brecon Jazz Festival 2020 will be going ahead – online.  More information will be coming very soon. Please sign up to our mailing list to be in that information circulation.

The coronavirus epidemic has been highly disruptive to the calendar of most cultural events here and worlwide. Many festivals have cancelled or postponed their 2020 editions, including numerous big named events. Nonetheless others, including BRECON JAZZ FESTIVAL 2020, have been working to develop online alternatives, to offer streaming services to their audience at home, organize virtual meetings, showcase innovative contents, and support the film, video and music industry. The majority of the cultural workforce in the UK is freelance/self-employed, from musicians, technicians, directors, composers, sound engineers, to stage managers, and volunteers organisiers and need support. Jazz musicians across the UK, and worldwide, want to perform their amazing music and we all want to hear and support them. So join us: online events will commence on Friday, 7th August as planned – and we’ll make them available throughout August too !

Friday, 15th May 2020

Coronavirus: COVID-19 Information

Being one of the smaller, devolved and independent Music Festivals in Wales, means that BJF has been able to adopt a ‘wait and see’ policy for 2020, in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we are at the point now where some crucial decisions must be made.

The outdoor / street closure and trader stalls for BJF2020 will not now go ahead. The contactors (epm Marketing, Swansea) for this part of the festival have cancelled for public safety reasons, due to the virus and ongoing restrictions. Brecon Jazz Club, which runs jazz events all year round, is the music programming and grant holder body for the annual festival ‘BJF’ in August. It is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. We are determined to explore alternatives for BJF2020 so that we can emerge stronger from this, more connected to our audience, the artistic and support communities, than ever before.

For all of us, the first priority is audience, team and visitor safety. This includes the jazz followers, the musicians, crew, venue teams, jazz volunteers and traders, all of whom are each a much loved component of every Brecon Jazz Festival Weekend.

The nature of the Jazz Festival as a one-off summer event in August poses specific challenges. Festivals around the UK now face not just a temporary shutdown of business, but a whole year of loss, their capacity built being wiped out, and potential oblivion. This includes for the artists, the sound, stage and lighting companies, local suppliers, businesses and more. We cannot assume they will mobilise, bounce back, and bring people back in.

Taking the lead from organisers such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, now in its 54th year, we are planning to livestream a number of free and dedicated music events during August 2020, and will keep all subscribers fully informed as we go forward.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Coronavirus: COVID-19 Information

The situation facing the Brecon Jazz Festival, like so many other events and groups across Wales and the world, is changing daily. We are reviewing our Brecon Jazz Festival plans in line with the pandemic developments and will continue to monitor these alongside the latest guidance and advice from the Welsh Government, key partners and Public Health Wales. We are also in touch with other event organisers, funders and jazz networks in Wales/UK and EU.

Clearly now, the safety and wellbeing of all is paramount – the general public, jazz volunteers, artists, audience, supporters and visitors, and those involved in the BJ outdoor activities.

We will liaise with stakeholders to find ways in which we can support the ‘Brecon’ and ‘Jazz’ communities by looking for workable arrangements for after these difficult times, and to keep a balance between optimism and realism.

We are looking at various options. We know that in due course, Welsh Government and Arts organisations will want to support the renewal and revival of music and the arts; we will want to play our part in that. It is uncertain when that will be. Everyone knows, of course, the importance of music in wellbeing, enjoyment, and our coming together as people in such celebratory events.

At significant junctures, we will put information out and make contact via email, our website and social media. Please register to receive our news: join our contact list by scrolling down below to the ‘Newsletter’ box and entering your email address.

We are grateful to everyone for their continued support – those cheerful as well as sympathetic and constructive messages. Please look after yourselves and others.

Also, find ways to support musicians and artists direct and via charitable organisations – so that we, and they, will have capacity for the future when it is needed.

The information above is correct as of 27th March 2020.

Our not-for-profit organisation has to face reality. We need to raise funds to support us as we plot a sustainable route to secure Brecon Jazz Festival going forward.

We thank everyone who made it possible for us to curate a viable “Street Jazz and Jazz in Town” experience last year. If you are in a position to support us again, please visit our Crowd Funding page for more information.


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