Sidmouth’s first Jazz Festival hits the right note 

Mica Paris performing the Jazz Festival's finale concert outside Kennaway House 

Mica Paris performing the Jazz Festival's finale concert outside Kennaway House - Credit: Greg Towning

The director of Sidmouth’s first ever Jazz and Blues Festival has hailed it as a success and is promising an ‘even better’ event next year. 

The festival took place from Thursday, June 2 until Sunday 5, with free live music at venues around the town and ticketed concerts at the Parish Church. The first day coincided with the Platinum Jubilee street party in the town centre. 

Joe Stilgoe performing at Sidmouth Parish Church during the Jazz Festival

Joe Stilgoe performing at Sidmouth Parish Church during the Jazz Festival - Credit: Greg Towning

Director Ian Bowden said the festival had created a ‘wonderful vibrant atmosphere’ in the town and that the feedback from the public had been excellent. 

Freak Flag performing outside Kennaway House at Sidmouth Jazz Festival

Freak Flag performing outside Kennaway House at Sidmouth Jazz Festival - Credit: Greg Towning

He said: “We have been absolutely thrilled by the overwhelming and positive responses that we have received following this year’s first festival. We know that so many people really enjoyed the variety and quality of the music that was on offer which included local and regional music talent performing jazz, swing, blues, roots, funk, Cuban, Latin and soul music.
 

“There were so many wonderful highlights, and we gratefully thank all the amazing musicians that performed, our sponsors, patrons, venues, and the town of Sidmouth for being so supportive.  

“As a new festival we are totally committed to learning from our year one experience, and we will be looking to implement changes where required to make the festival even better in 2023.” 

Appreciative audience at the stage outside Kennaway House

Appreciative audience at the stage outside Kennaway House - Credit: Greg Towning

Sidmouth Town Council, which supported the festival from the start, was also pleased with the debut event, saying the council is ‘extremely proud’ to be associated with it. 

In a statement the council said: “The festival organisers worked collaboratively from the very start of the project with the council and local organisations to bring a quality festival to the town. 

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“We have received excellent feedback from some of our hotels commenting on how accessible the music and venues were for all, bringing the benefits from holding such an event to as many festival goers and businesses as possible.  

“The organisers’ wish to source venues and refreshments as locally as possible is really appreciated, whilst the atmosphere in the town was one of a happy festival being enjoyed by all, whether it be residents, musicians or visitors to the town.” 

Next year’s festival dates have been announced as Thursday, May 25 to Monday 29, encompassing the spring bank holiday. 

For more information, and to see the photo gallery from this year's festival, visit www.sidmouthjazz.com