Record crowds for Valley’s jazz festival

Crowds flocked to the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival. Photo by Chris Meyer.
Crowds flocked to the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival. Photo by Chris Meyer.
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The sun shone and the music played as the ninth Ribble Valley Jazz Festival attracted record crowds across the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

More than 6,000 visitors attended the five-day festival – which played host to 71 events and welcomed 450 musicians to Clitheroe and select venues in surrounding villages, from Mitton to Longridge.

The voluntary-run festival organising committee, Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues, were thrilled with the public response.

Director Geoff Jackson said: “We are delighted with the response from record crowds to the most entertaining and diverse jazz festival programme presented in nine years.

“Audiences brought social, cultural and economic benefit to the area.

“The festival has been made possible thanks to major grants and sponsorship from Arts Council England and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

“But equally valuable has been the immense response from local hospitality, catering and entertainment organisations and businesses that have helped us present a wide range of indoor and outdoor events, with a special note of thanks to The Grand and Holmes Mill.”

The festival welcomed visitors from all over the UK and beyond, with international visitors from France and Slovakia.

UK jazz singer Clare Teal, Norwegian pianist and composer Bugge Wesseltoft, Denys Baptiste, Mammal Hands and the Swingtime Big Band were among the headline acts who performed at The Grand.

The Grand Programme Manager Matt Evans added: “It’s been a fabulous showcase event for the area and it is a credit to everyone involved – especially the tireless work of the festival volunteers, to pull together an event of such excellence.

“Some of the performances at the Grand have been stunning.”

For more photos see this Thursday's Clitheroe Advertiser.