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Applying to be part of the Jazz Festival

What is suitable for the programme?

The festival’s ticketed programme is primarily contemporary jazz and related genres, with a focus on artists playing original music. Other relevant genres include blues, fusion, soul, R&B, funk, Afrocuban and Latin music, for example. Please check previous line-ups to see if your music is suitable.

The festival uses venues ranging from 150 to 2,000 capacity, most of which are seated venues and all are indoors. Each event is ticketed separately and is budgeted based on how many tickets it will sell. Please note we have very few slots suitable for big bands and large ensembles.

As part of our commitment to the Keychange pledge, we strongly encourage female and non-binary artists to submit their work for the ticketed programme. If the personnel for the project you are offering us are not already fixed, we would appreciate you giving extra thought to the gender balance of the line-up.

Our free fringe programme called ‘….Around Town’ has a much broader remit with many more slots available, taking in all styles of jazz and a wider set of genres. Performances happen across small outdoor stages, local bars and restaurants, and busking spots. Around Town has a formal application process which usually opens in mid-December each year and closes in late January, and payment is a fixed contribution to expenses. We receive a large number of applications for around 100 programme slots so you will only be contacted if successful. Keep an eye on the News section of our website and social media for announcements.

Who books the programme?

Dave Gaydon (Head of Programming) – all ticketed events and overseeing free programme
Sam Slater/Mubu Music (Freelance Family Progammer) – family events
Becky Woodcock (Around Town Producer) – free events, working December to May only
The following people offer suggestions and provide advice during the process:
Ian George (Director of Festivals)
Gregory Porter (Artistic Curator, freelance)
Tony Dudley-Evans (Programme Advisor, freelance)
Other guest curators
Jazz Festival Advisory Group
We feel we have a stronger programme thanks to the expertise of various people, but as a result things can take a little longer than you might expect.

How do I submit my music?

Artists may submit information about projects via the Contact Us page, but if you have contact details for the programming team you are advised to go to them directly.
Tips for applying:
• Most programming for the festival takes place from July to December each year, (although we start work on headline names much earlier) so that is the best time to get in touch.
• The final programme is signed off by late January so do not submit anything after this date.
• Do not contact us about the following year’s programme during the festival or immediately before/after it as your message may get missed.
• Include links to audio or video – please do not attach files to emails.
• Include press quotes, details of your biggest gigs, and any endorsements or awards.
• Show us how your band or project helps us present a diverse programme – to help us measure this you may be asked for diversity monitoring information but this is stored anonymously.
• If you have not performed in the UK before, please note that fees here are often lower than in Europe. All artists in the ticketed programme need to have some profile in the UK in order to sell tickets at the Festival.

What happens next?

All submissions will be read but unfortunately, due to the huge volume of emails, we can only respond if we have a suitable opportunity for you and even then, it may take a couple of months to reply. If we are interested for the future but don’t have a slot for the coming year, we will try to respond. If you have not heard anything by late January then, unfortunately, you have not been selected this time.