IT was a joyous occasion for all involved when the much-loved Bude Jazz Festival returned this year.
The 33rd Bude Jazz Festival was held from August 30 to September 2, and so many people commented how good it was to be back after the two year gap caused by COVID.
The format was similar to recent years with all the venues in walking distance of each other, two or three gigs at each venue per day, and staggered intervals so that festival goers could move around without encountering breaks.
The festival started on the Tuesday morning with a parade led by a marching band and followed by a good number of people in a brolly parade; brollies were judged at the Triangle and prizes given. There was also a strolling band playing at various locations around the town on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes, and busking sessions outside the Falcon every morning. There were Lindy Hop dance lessons each morning, led this year by South West Lindy Hoppers. The venues included festival regulars – the Falcon Hotel, the Parkhouse Centre, and the Methodist Church. The Golf Club was also used again this year and there was a new venue, ‘Upstairs’, which proved to be popular for smaller bands. A bar and catering at the Parkhouse centre, by ‘Outside Inn’, was very well received; as were the cakes at the Methodist Church.
Although the roots of the festival are in traditional jazz the organisers have widened the scope in recent years to include alternative genres. There were many festival regulars but new bands this year included the JazzMain Quartet, Sonic Jazz Project, Ian Bateman’s Jazz Crusaders, and the Dorine de Wit Family Band. There is also a determined effort to involve younger bands with younger musicians.