Marsden Jazz Festival
Jazz In The Yorkshire Pennines

News Post

We’re back for our 30th year, but not as you know it

We’re back for our 30th year, but not as you know it

We’ve had a major funding blow, and yet together we can recover…

When we last updated you about plans for Marsden Jazz Festival 2022 back in May we told you that we were waiting for a decision from Arts Council England about our funding before we could tell you more.

We’ve now received that decision and while we can tell you that there will be a 30th anniversary edition of our festival, it’s going to take a different form to what we’re used to. And we’ll need your help to make it happen…

Over the past twelve years, we have built a strong relationship with Arts Council England as our lead funder. They have supported our growth to become the festival you know and love, and helped us survive the pandemic, re-emerging with our largest ever festival weekend in 2021.

Last week we learned that pressure on Arts Council England resources mean they can’t support us this year. This is the first time this has happened since 2008. This is a huge blow to us all but we have a plan to move forward and make the best of the situation.

Right now, we have three big challenges. We have to:

  • Ensure that the charity behind the festival remains viable
  • Deliver a version of Marsden Jazz Festival in 2022 that’s high quality and commercially viable
  • Plan for the longer term future of Marsden Jazz Festival, including a new request to Arts Council England and other fundraising to pave the road ahead into 2023 and beyond

So it will come as no surprise that 2022 will be another year of big change for Marsden Jazz Festival. Our solution to this financial challenge is to focus only on income-generating activity in the belief that you, our dedicated and jazz-loving audience, will buy what we have to sell: tickets to world-class jazz concerts in the heart of Marsden.

We will run a headline programme of ten incredible events in the magnificent surroundings and acoustics of St Bartholomew’s Church, known locally as the Cathedral of the Colne Valley, including a very special pre-festival Thursday event that you won’t want to miss.

We know how much Marsden Jazz Festival means to you. You tell us in person; we see it on your faces and in your joyous dancing at our gigs and community events; and last year a staggering 250 of you contributed over £15,000 to bring the festival back after COVID.

Like us, you’ll be feeling sad and concerned as we think about the possibility of an October without our beloved festival. But together we can transform our disappointment into positive action. ‘What can we do to help?’ we hear you all ask.

There are two things you can do:

  • Buy tickets when they go on sale on Wednesday 3rd August at 10am (pop a reminder in your diaries!). This will ensure that MJF 2022 can go ahead
  • Make a donation to support our organisational costs over the months ahead as we navigate our way through this difficult funding gap. It’s not very glamorous – the really important work rarely is! – but it will make sure we can do the essential planning and fundraising work to bring the festival back fully in 2023

We can’t wait to tell you more about our exhilarating headliner programme in the coming weeks. Make sure you are signed up to our email newsletter here and are following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to be kept in the loop.

Put Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 October 2022 in your diaries and keep your eyes peeled for further announcements in the coming weeks ahead of the ticket release…
In the meantime, please show your love for Marsden Jazz Festival by making a gift here.

Thanks for all you do to make Marsden and our festival so special. We will dance again!

© 2022