As shops, bars and restaurants across Birmingham reopen for business and Brummies start looking forward to spending the summer doing what they enjoy best, music fans in the city have an extra reason to be cheerful. The 37th consecutive year of The Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival is confirmed to take place in the city and across the region for the ten guaranteed sun-soaked days from Friday 16th to Sunday 25th July.
Remarkably, the 10-day festival did take place in the Covid-dominated 2020, still live but during the slightly later period of October, neatly fitting into the gap between lockdowns. Although it was a truncated version, it was, we believe, the only live festival or event of any size to take place last year in Birmingham – and probably further afield.
This summer the festival will be back to something approaching what is expected from this event, that has entertained residents and attracted visitors over recent decades. The festival will present over 100 performances, with more than 90% of them free to the public. As well as jazz, blues, swing, dixieland and more, there will also be free ukulele, jitterbug, vocal and instrumental workshops open to all comers of any age and ability.
It is bound to be a wild few weeks in the jazz festival office, talking to venues, booking musicians, recruiting volunteers, ordering programmes, posters, and T-shirts ready for the programme announcement at the beginning of June.
The venues, bars, restaurants, shopping centres and markets where the festival is hosted will all strictly adhere to social distancing and all other requirements regarding Covid.