The Impact of Festivals project ran from November 2015 to November 2016 at the University of East Anglia and was led by Professor George McKay with Dr Emma Webster, in collaboration with the EFG London Jazz Festival; the project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Connected Communities programme.
The book of the history of the London Jazz Festival is still in progress and we expect to launch the book at the 2017 EFG London Jazz Festival, so watch this space!
Outputs from the project include:- Continue reading Celebrating the conclusion of the Impact of Festivals project
Our article on the impact of (jazz) festivals was recently published in the Jazz Research Journal and also open access here and on academia.edu – we wanted to share some of the great (anonymised) reasons we have received from those who have downloaded the paper so far:
“As concert & Show promoter, these type of serious detailed and well documented researches are helping us comforting the sometimes sceptical investors which can’t see the correlation between Music and tourism and local spendings by festival goers.”
“I am currently working on a new Jazz Festival in Brazil and I was surprised by this great article during my research.”
Continue reading 10 good reasons to read our article on the impact of (jazz) festivals
In July 2016, George McKay and Emma Webster both spoke at the Continental Drift: 50 Years of Jazz in Europe conference in Edinburgh.
This video features Emma talking about their research into jazz festivals in a panel about places and events, also featuring William Bares and José Diaz, and chaired by Tony Whyton.
In June 2016, Emma Webster took part in the Live Music Exchange event, ‘Valuing live music‘ at the University of Newcastle. She gave a short presentation on her and George McKay’s report on the Impact of British Music Festivals and answered questions about the definition and meaning of festivals, and the British festival market in relation to other countries.
In panel conversations between musicians, researchers, journalists, organisers and promoters we found and heard about a range of approaches to trying to revitalise the (jazz) festival experience and the jazz scene at the 12 Points Festival discussion days on ‘Jazz Futures’ here in San Sebastian. This was felt important for a number of reasons, including that in some countries the big all-star jazz festival is fading, its audience diminishing, while elsewhere, perhaps ironically, perhaps in a connected way, there is a surfeit of festivalisation of culture, in that festival in its ubiquity has become everyday, even banal, and no longer the intense, heightened and exceptional. Here are some of those diversifying approaches.
- Jazz festival or event as immersive experience—music, yes, but also costume, design, actors and dancers, food, theatre and masque, historical reconstruction of scenes from jazz past with a promenading audience
- Jazz apps, and audience interactivity via mobile digital technology
- Electronic deconstruction of the live music event in the very next concert that follows, so the audience hears fresh the new music it just heard, where sometimes the remix is better than the original (though, yes, “sometimes it’s shittier”)
- An emphasis on creative curation rather than simply programming or organisation and presentation of a series of concerts
- Cross-cultural and cross-arts dialogue. Whether improvised arts (music, dance, animation) working with each other in the moment, or a festival of improvised music that must include literature and vice versa
- A continuing struggle with the Jazz word: a European jazz festival director says I don’t want to use the term “jazz festival”, it’s off-putting for a new audience, others saying we lose something worth cherishing and celebrating if we reject it (i.e. a century of live and recorded music)
- The on-going core relevance of jazz and music education: new musicians, new networks and events, new energy, andnew audiences
- The regular inclusion of academic research in the festival programme, an openness to it in the scene more generally.
Our new report about the impact of British music festivals has already garnered some great feedback – here is what some people have said about it:
“Within festivals we need and value the criticality of academic research. A report like this helps us shape, make sense of, and rethink what we are doing.”
John Cumming OBE, Director, EFG London Jazz Festival
Continue reading What people are saying about our report on the impact of festivals, ‘From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury’
Our new report, published online today, highlights the economic, social and cultural impact of British music festivals, and shows that festivals are now at the heart of the British music industry, forming an essential part of the worlds of rock, classical, folk and jazz. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Connected Communities programme, the report is based on a critical literature review of more than 170 books, papers and reports. Continue reading Report published online today: From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury: The Impact of British Music Festivals – Emma Webster and George McKay
To celebrate the launch of our new report on the impact of British music festivals, we held a day of ideas and discussion around jazz, festivals, and jazz festivals at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on 29th April 2016. The following are ten things learned from the event, which brought together leading jazz and festival researchers, and festival directors, from around Britain and Europe. Continue reading Researching (jazz) festivals – 10 things learned from a day of discussion and ideas at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival – Emma Webster
I have just returned from the Rhythm Changes ‘Jazz Utopia’ conference in Birmingham (14-17 April 2016). The majority of the one hundred plus speakers really engaged with the theme of the conference and grappled with jazz’s potential for exploring and achieving utopia from a wide variety of perspectives: historical, musicological, sociological and interdisciplinary.
My paper gave a brief overview of a literature review currently in review with the Jazz Research Journal about the impact of jazz festivals; based on the final part of my paper, this blog post will consider briefly the ways in which jazz festivals have been or could be considered to be utopian. Continue reading ‘Festivalling’: Are jazz festivals utopian? – Emma Webster
Friday 29 April 2016, 10:00am to 5.30pm
Take Five Family Tent, Montpellier Gardens
FREE attendance (must register via Cheltenham Jazz Festival box office)
The Impact of Festivals is a 12-month project funded under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Connected Communities Programme, working with research partner organization, the EFG London Jazz Festival. The Principal Investigator is Professor George McKay, AHRC Leadership Fellow for the Connected Communities Programme, and Professor of Media Studies at the University of East Anglia. The Research Associate is Dr Emma Webster, co-founder and Director of Live Music Exchange. Continue reading PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED: Researching (Jazz) Festivals: A Day of Ideas and Discussion Cheltenham Jazz Festival