Birmingham jazz festival carries on regardless

Is this the only live music festival in the UK right now?

The annual jazz festival in Birmingham launched on Friday and is continuing every day with dozens of live gigs at venues across the city until 25th October.

Full background and listings for the 36th Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival can be found at

Jim Simpson, festival director, said: “In 36 years, there’s never been anything quite like this! But we were determined to safely launch the jazz festival and now have dozens of gigs for the public to enjoy at venues across the city.”

The jazz festival went ahead thanks to sponsors like Westside BID and a £50,040 from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. Unfortunately it hasn’t all been good news. The latest advice from the UK government for new arrivals from Italy to quarantine for fourteen days means that the Jim Dandies will no longer be able to appear in this year’s festival while closer to home, Lancashire moving to a Very High Alert status means that, for the first time in fourteen years Tipitina won’t be making it down from Leyland for the festival as planned on Sunday 25th. However, replacements have ben found for both acts, who have vowed to return to Birmingham in 2021.

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “The jazz festival is always wonderful to listen to but is even more so this year, when it is quite possibly the only live music festival currently taking place in the whole of the UK right now.

“We’re working with all our partners and venues to make sure that Jim and his team are able to run every single gig safely and according to all restrictions, keeping everyone both safe and happy.”