The full Programme for the London Jazz Festival is now published. The launch party, with speeches from Arts Council England, Serious and Radio 3, is still in full swing as this is being written
– Dates are Friday November 11th to Sunday November 20th.
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– The statistics: 280 events spread across 53 venues. There are over 50 free events
– Festival on the Move artists are Arun Ghosh, Emillia Martensson, De Jongens Driest
– There are foreign presences: Iceland, Estonia, Romania, Swizerland, Scotland, France, Lithuania, Poland, the Netherlands
– One unexpected new bonus element not in the brochure: the Royal Festival Hall closing concert on Sunday features Ornette Coleman – full line-up to be announced.
– Last year LondonJazz provided the most comprehensive coverage of the festival with 51 previews / reviews.
That's typical London Jazz Festival. Great to see that they've booked Ornette. But not great to announce his performance when many other final day events have been publicised, and tickets will have already been booked by punters who might have wished to see Ornette as a priority.
It's the opposite of their usual policy, which is to publicise their major acts well in advance of those performing in the smaller venues, so that tickets are booked for those events before most of the more interesting 'fringe' events are advertised (so the smaller venues can lose out, as well as some punters).
Why can't London Jazz Festival/Serious just hold back and announce all the events at one time to give everybody a fair chance of making their favoured selection of events to attend?
Thanks Anonymous 1. It's a fair point.
Anonymous 2 whom I haven't published. In all honesty, I don't see how a festival with 280 gigs in it can be just written off with the word “boring.”
If you have ideas as to who ought to be in it who isn't, I'd love to hear.
I think the frustrations voiced by Anon 1. are completely valid. It's disrespectful to audience and performers alike. As is the bizarre omission of band line-ups in most of the copy, even online – people want to know who they're seeing! Most jazz listeners and supporters really want that level of detail, and I think it's symptomatic of just how far removed Serious are from the actual music that it's lacking…
Anonymous 3… we all like a good moan from time to time, I'm no different from you… but let's try to solve this: if there are specific information requests about the line-up on particular gigs, please just ask me.
I completely agree that the line up should be announced all at once. By the time I saw Abdullah Ibrahim was playing, he was sold out!
Fortunately, there is more than enough to keep me busy – I think it is another great series of gigs scheduled. My only regret is that Ornette clashes with Frisell – I think I'll choose the latter.
Presumably band line ups aren't announced because they aren't always known when the booking is made or announced. And it means we might get done pleasant surprises!