Sidmouth Jazz Festival 2022: latest plans announced

Joe Stilgoe, one of the performers lined up for Sidmouth's Jazz & Blues Festival in June

Joe Stilgoe, one of the performers lined up for Sidmouth's Jazz & Blues Festival in June - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

The latest plans for Sidmouth’s Jazz and Blues Festival in June have been revealed. 

The festival will run from Thursday, June 2 until Sunday 5, with a series of ticketed concerts by top artistes at Sidmouth Parish Church, along with outdoor daytime entertainment in Blackmore Gardens. 

Among the line-up for the church concerts are Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, Mica Paris, Ian Shaw & Liane Carroll, Joe Stilgoe and various blues acts. 

Mica Paris, one of the artistes due to perform at Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival

Mica Paris, one of the artistes due to perform at Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival - Credit: Contributed

The festival’s director Ian Bowden plans to have a stage in Blackmore Gardens with live music from lunchtime, through the afternoon and into the evening; a selection of jazz, blues, big band, swing, R&B and roots. He would also like to have street musicians performing around the town centre. 

Liane Carroll, due to perform with Ian Shaw at the Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival

Liane Carroll, due to perform with Ian Shaw at the Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival - Credit: Contributed

This year’s festival is a slightly scaled-down version of the original plan, which would have included a 2,000 capacity seated concert venue at The Ham, with a VIP area for sponsors to entertain clients, and a late-night lounge. 

Ian Shaw, due to perform with Liane Carroll at the Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival

Ian Shaw, due to perform with Liane Carroll at the Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival - Credit: Contributed

Because of the impact of the Covid pandemic and the difficulties of raising corporate sponsorship, Ian decided to put that part of the festival on hold for a year.  

He said: “We decided that the sensible course of action was to say, ‘we’ve done all this work on the Ham, it’s a fabulous venue, we’ve put considerable resources into that, and we want to revisit that afresh once we’ve established the festival in 2022. 

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“So really the plan is to present the first year with concerts at the beautiful church in Sidmouth, which almost creates a sort of intimate Ronnie Scott's environment for us – the acoustics are lovely, the architecture is superb and we’ll put professional staging and lighting in.” 

Details of those concerts, and how to buy tickets, will be announced in the next two weeks. 

The entertainment to be staged at Blackmore Gardens will depend on the funding available. Applications for grants are being made to the Arts Council, Big Lottery Fund, East Devon District Council and Sidmouth Town Council.  

In the meantime, Ian is keen to hear from any local or regional jazz/blues bands who are interested in performing at the festival – both professional artistes and up-and-coming talent. He is also calling for volunteers to help with ushering, marshalling, ticket checks and other hands-on jobs during the event. To contact him, email ian@sidmouthjazz.com 


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