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Jazz Fest 2017: ‘A colossal success’ - Mayor

02 May 2017

Once again, organisers of the 2017 City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival have said this year’s festival was a colossal success. The festival took place over the bank holiday weekend, from Thursday 27th April until Monday 1st May attracting tens of thousands of people.

Enticing international artists and visitors to the city, year on year, the festival, organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, continues to grow with occupancy rates in local hotels, B&B’s and guest houses extremely high each year, as thousands of people fill venues, streets, bars, hotels and restaurants to enjoy the hundreds of performers on the programme.

During the five days, over 50 venues provided over 300 live performances to packed audiences. Alongside international stars such as Imelda May, Hot Chocolate and Robert Mitchell, were festival favourites Gay McIntyre and the Jive Aces and some new faces like the extremely talented Joseph Leighton.

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock said she was proud of the city and festival organisers for again exceeding expectations. She added: “The City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival is without doubt one of the key highlights on city and district's event calendar. Many people await this weekend as the popularity of the festival has soared over the years.

“There was a thrilling atmosphere about the city centre all weekend with our bars, venues, restaurants and shopping spaces packed with people enjoying the spirit of jazz that has taken over us all since last Thursday. To see so many jazz enthusiasts, visitors and local people return home for this weekend is really heartening. It gives a true sense of what this festival is all about - fun, family, entertainment and ‘all that jazz’, there really is no better place to be than here for May Bank Holiday Weekend.

“I would like to thank everyone who made the festival a remarkable success; our own residents who help create the unique atmosphere and showcase our hospitality to visitors, our local businesses and venues, the community groups and schools who took part in the programme, our sponsors Guinness and Tourism NI, Council’s events team and of course all the performers, who excelled themselves this year.”

This year festival organisers further developed the festival with outreach programmes in local schools and community groups, making jazz accessible to everyone, especially young people and older people in the community. 

Andrea Campbell, Festival and Events Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “It was great to see so many schools and community groups get involved with the festival. The feedback we have received has been tremendous and I believe we have encouraged a few young budding stars, who may well headline future Jazz festivals in the city as a result of the workshops.

“It has been a great weekend. Attracting high calibre artists is very important to ensuring the crowds continue to support the festival each year. I am pleased we have been able to achieve this, gain international recognition and help boost our economy. Thank you to everyone who took part and joined us this year and we look forward to what next year will bring to the festival!”

The jazz festival is organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council and sponsored by Guinness and Tourism NI. The full City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival programme is available online atwww.cityofderryjazzfestival.com.