Marsden Jazz Festival (11-13 Oct) launches crowdfunder (aim: £10k by 21 July)

Peter Bacon reports: There is no easy way to fund a jazz festival, especially when a crucial part of the organisers’ philosophy is to expand the music’s reach via free access. Which is why Marsden Jazz Festival needs your help and has launched a crowdfunding campaign.

Carnival atmosphere at Marsden (Photo: David Preston)

Here is their press release: Award-winning Marsden Jazz Festival has launched a funding campaign and needs to raise £10,000 by 21 July to secure the festival for this October. The 28th Marsden Jazz Festival will take place from Friday 11 – Sunday 13 October welcoming thousands of visitors to the iconic village of Marsden, set right at the edge of the picturesque Yorkshire Pennines.  One of the unique aspects of Marsden Jazz Festival is that three-quarters of the 90 or so events taking place on the festival weekend are completely free to attend, including the much-loved festival parade and street band battle. To keep these events free, the festival, which is a registered charity, has to raise significant funds each year. Barney Stevenson, artistic director of the festival says, “The competition for funds gets keener every year, so we have to work harder and harder to secure funds for our festival. Luckily we have a fantastic network of supporters who have donated and adopted gigs in the last few years, and this has contributed significantly to the survival of the festival.”  In 2018 the festival launched it’s very first crowdfunding campaign when funding was cut, and they raised an incredible £12,000. Last year’s festival included the premiere of a new suite by Shepley-born composer Jonny Mansfield, which set to music five poems by Marsden poet Simon Armitage, who is now Poet Laureate. The 2019 festival will feature performances by award-winning composer Cassie Kinoshi’s SEED Ensemble and 2018 Ensemble of the Year the Alison Rayner Quintet, which features renowned guitarist, Huddersfield-born Deidre Cartright. The festival partners each year with community groups, schools and organisations working with young musicians, providing a platform for performance and education.  The festival aims to meet its £10,000 target by Sunday 21 July. “It’s key that we raise the £10k at this stage because we’re in the middle of programming,” Barney says, “this is when all of the free events are planned, artists are booked, and venues come on board. If we fail to reach our target, then it’s likely we’d have to make cuts to the number of events we can programme.” LINK: Donations can be made via the Marsden Jazz Festival website

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