The Sidmouth International Jazz & Blues Festival: A Symphony of Top Local and Regional Performers
Hitting a high note, the annual Sidmouth International Jazz & Blues Festival is a celebration of the very best in Jazz, Blues, Roots, Soul, Latin and Funk performed by acclaimed UK, local and regional music talent.
With outstanding free and ticketed performances around the town at Blackmore Gardens, Connaught Gardens, Manor Pavilion Theatre, as well as at various hotels, pubs, wine bars and cafes — it’s an unmissable event enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. With educating featuring highly, they also offer workshops, masterclasses and exhibitions.
The vision of the forward-thinking group is to continue to “build the festival organically by raising the bar higher each year to including new and exciting events that appeal to a wide cross section of the public, music lovers and families.”
Ian Bowden, experienced creative festival director and producer, explains how important it is to them that the event continues to grow sustainably:
Why is sustainability important to the Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival?
As an organisation it is important to us that we make the best possible steps to put in place procedures to reduce our carbon footprint at every possible opportunity.
What steps has the Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival taken to be sustainable?
We are currently working on our plan for the 2024 festival and as part of our plans we are obtaining information regarding the use of recyclable materials, and best practice across as many areas as possible. This also includes recycling certain publicity materials, implementing the use of reusable plastic glasses, working with more locally based suppliers to reduce our carbon footprint etc.
What other initiatives do you hope to implement in the future to be more sustainable?
Choosing suppliers that are eco-conscious and who primarily use recycled materials in their products as much as possible. Providing lots of recycling bins across the event venue or site, with clear – but not confusing – signage on what can and can’t be recycled. Banning single-use plastic bottles on site and using refillable/reusable plastic glasses that can be refilled at bar locations.
Encouraging attendees to pick up their rubbish or recyclable materials at the end of the event via a little-picking deposit scheme or other incentives. Partnering with a coach provider – such as Stagecoach – who can offer event-goers cheap and convenient travel to and from the festival. Promoting car sharing with festival eventgoers. Work with climate-conscious food traders and other vendors. Use cashless payments system onsite (we already do this, but we wish to encourage this further)! We already use an e- ticketing paperless system however, we wish to encourage festival goers to not print out their tickets.
What are the main challenges a festival faces to be more sustainable?
One of the main challenges is being able to reduce our carbon footprint in respect of onsite power supply that is required to run the festival. Power sources can only be achieved by using mains power supply of the local grid or by using diesel fuelled generators.
We are exploring the use of Bio-diesel generators.
Transport links to a festival can also be challenging and naturally the nearer a festival can be held with good access to a nearby train station, this will allow festival goers to use this transport network to encourage not using cars as means of transport!
How can local festivals come together to be more sustainable?
Explore collaborating with other festivals by sharing information and contacts with suppliers that operate a greener low carbon policy. Potentially work with the same suppliers (depending on each festivals site requirements) to use marquee structures, toilets, food traders to reduced carbon footprint, however, this is dependent on dates and schedules working!? Pool resources to purchase (or obtain funding as a group) to purchase eco-friendly reusable plastic cups for bars at festivals – these could be bulk purchased and generically branded.
The Sidmouth International Jazz & Blues Festival returns in 2024 between Thursday 23 – Monday 27 May. We hope to see you there! To find out more, please visit www.sidmouthjazz.com.