Second city jazz? No contest

A few things about a never-ending debate.

Manchester is a city of 530,000 inhabitants.

The Westside BID in Birmingham represents mainly one street, the admittedly lively Broad Street.

Manchester Jazz Festival (July 28th-August 6th) is described as “the most adventurous jazz festival in Europe” and receives enhanced Arts Council funding until 2022 as a National Portfolio Organisation.

The Westside Jazz Festival is only one part of the Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Jazz Festival (July 14th-23rd) which receives no Arts Council funding.

The Manchester Jazz Festival offers this year 100 performances all round the city, an impressive total of 100 hours of live music over ten days.

The Westside Jazz Festival can offer only 63 performances, but not bad for one street and amounting to approximately 120 hours of live music.

Everything seems better if it is free and Manchester Jazz Festival can offer 26 free gigs. For the others you have to pay a minimum of £5, up to £29.70 – but at least you get an afternoon tea thrown in for this price.

In the Westside Jazz Festival 59 of the 63 gigs are free, including the more popular evening gigs.

Manchester Jazz Festival is on the ball when it comes to showing great jazz films, no fewer than three at HOME, one of the venues.

In Broad Street, Around the World, Festival Hub for the Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Jazz Festival, shows a film related to jazz every single afternoon. You can watch ten movies over the festival while enjoying a 25% reduction on food and drink prices on production of a festival programme.

No worries about looking after your children if you go to Manchester Jazz Festival which offers a creative workshop for young children (from one to eight) so everyone can enjoy the festival.

Ah!There the Westsiders are caught out, but not to worry! A short stroll along the canal brings you to the Mailbox, one of the Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Festival’s main venues for a whole string of music, film, photography, sketching and dance workshops for all ages.

Total cost to the customer:

Manchester: 100 events £947.70. Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell: 214 events £166.50. Westside: 63 events £60.00

33rd Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Jazz Festival, July 14th-23rd. For more details call 0121 454 7020 or visit