Plans moving apace as jazz festival is reborn

PLANS for the resurrected Isle of Bute Jazz Festival are moving fast after the organising committee decided to proceed with a 2011 event - only three weeks after announcing its cancellation.

The raising of almost £13,000 in just one week may have been just short of the £15,000 target set at a public meeting in Rothesay on January 26 - but the effort put in by the community to save the event, which is now in its 24th year, persuaded the committee to go ahead with organising a festival.

The 2011 event will run from Friday, April 29 until Sunday, May 1, making it slightly shorter, and therefore less expensive, than in previous years - although the organisers have already begun their preparations.

“There is an awful lot to be done in a very short time,” committee member Tim Saul told The Buteman.

“However, we have already organised adverts in the March issues of Jazz Guide and Just Jazz, which are the principal publications for trad jazz fans, and we will release a list of bands as soon as bookings are confirmed.”

Contact has already been made with more than half a dozen bands from as far afield as Surrey and Liverpool, and the Pavilion has already been booked for the weekend, while discussions are planned with Historic Scotland for the use of Rothesay Castle for the popular ‘family jazz picnic’ concert.

“We as a committee want to thank everyone who has offered and given financial support,” Mr Saul continued.

“In particular we must pay tribute to Ian Bruce for providing the impetus for the public meeting on January 26, and for hosting it at the Victoria Hotel, and Alison McAllister from the Victoria for the work put in before and since the meeting.

“We would also like to pay special thanks to Jenny Brown for her tireless fund-raising in the shops and streets of Rothesay in the run up to last Wednesday’s decision - it really was an exceptional effort.”

The AGM of the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival Ltd has been organised for Wednesday, March 9 at the Victoria Hotel at 7.30pm, and will be immediately followed by a public question-and-answer session, while further information about the 2011 event will also appear regularly in The Buteman between now and the end of April.

In the meantime, donations towards the cost of the festival are still being accepted at the offices of Wm. Skelton & Co in High Street, Rothesay, and online via the festival’s website (www.butejazz.com).