Hopes still high for Melbourne jazz festival

Wayne Shorter performs at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival in 2016, when international travel was possible.

Music fans and musicians, along with all those involved in live music, have been holding out for the return of in-the-flesh concerts. We have felt despair as our hopes gradually faded with the Delta variant lifting numbers of infections and prolonging lockdown restrictions.

We await details, but the Melbourne International Jazz Festival is working to ensure the festival can proceed this year. Big Sunday has been postponed until 2022 and will take place on October 15 next year.

Here is the text – many may have already seen it – posted on the festival website:

“Following advice from the Victorian Government on the state’s roadmap out of lockdown, it is now clear that our Festival won’t be able to proceed as planned in October.

“But all is not lost!

“In anticipation of the recent Government announcement, we have been busy working behind the scenes to ensure our 2021 Festival can still go ahead this year. We’ll be back with a full program of live, in-person events.

“The safety of Festival staff, artists and audiences is and has always been our first priority and the decision to postpone has been made with the aim of allowing as many people as possible to safely participate in and experience MIJF performances and events. The live experience is so important to this artform and we want to give our audience the chance to see the artists they love – live and on stage.

“We’ll be making a full program announcement in the coming weeks – so stay tuned!”

Let’s hope as much as possible of this year’s festival can proceed once vaccination levels permit the opening up of live music venues.

Roger Mitchell

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