Record crowds enjoy Jazz Jurassica festival

The Equinor Big Band, visiting from Norway, entertain on Lyme Regis seafront during Jazz Jurassica

THIS year’s Jazz Jurassica, held over the Bank Holiday weekend, attracted record crowds to Lyme Regis with a diverse mix of music involving scores of musicians playing around the town. 

Audiences packed venues and the seafront for the festival’s four day musical extravaganza which organisers say was their most successful to date.

The festival featured a 23-piece big band from Norway, a ten-piece brass funk band and a 13-strong gospel choir in a roof-raising finale at the Marine Theatre.

Saturday’s headliner, blues guitarist Laurence Jones, attracted a massive crowd for his first UK gig of the year. In an electrifying performance he proved why people are calling him the new Eric Clapton.

Free music was also enjoyed by large crowds on the seafront throughout the weekend, incorporating B Sharp’s annual Busking Festival on Saturday. This year organisers also included new venues to cater for an increased number of events and anchoring it more firmly into the town.

“We wanted to get more venues involved so the town becomes the musical destination of choice over the Bank Holiday weekend,” said festival organiser Julie Sheppard.

“It meant we could offer a greater range of music – from cool jazz, through blistering blues to sizzling soul, attracting people who wouldn’t normally go near a “jazz” festival. We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from audiences which suggests we’re getting there.

“We’d like to thank all the fantastic musicians who performed over the weekend, the technicians on the seafront and in the theatre, our small army of volunteers, the venues for staging our events, the wonderfully supportive staff in the Tourist Information Centre, Lyme Regis Town Council and last but not least, our animated and committed audiences.”

Organisers are already planning next year’s festival and vow to keep it local and community based.

Julie added: “There’s enormous pressure to get bigger and bigger but we want to retain the intimacy of being part of the town. We’re not Glastonbury. This is all about putting on great music for discerning audiences in a stunning seaside setting.”

Next year’s Jazz Jurassica will be held from Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25 2020. Sign up for announcements at www.jazzjurassica.co.uk

For more pictures from this year’s Jazz Jurassica, pick up the next printed issue of LymeOnline on Friday, June 7

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