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Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2006, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Complaints after street jazz ban
The Adamant Parade Band
The parade bands marched elsewhere in the town this year
Some visitors criticised the atmosphere at the Brecon Jazz Festival over the weekend after musicians were barred from playing in the centre of the town.

The 23rd annual event was hailed as a success by organisers, despite the break with tradition which followed concerns about drunkenness.

Organisers said a few of the 70,000 visitors had complained the event had lost some of its atmosphere.

But they said other people had welcomed the new "shift in focus".

Spokesman Tim Powell said the ban on town centre musicians was a trial, and the festival would look at the effect of the decision not to have a live music stage.

In past years jazz musicians played in the town centre, but this year they were banned
It's gone. Nothing in the main streets except a lot of very disappointed and disgruntled people with nothing to do and nowhere to go
Brecon jazz visitor E Jones

"We did have feedback about the atmosphere, but some people said they felt more comfortable with the new shift in focus.

"If people have been coming to the festival for 20 years they would have noticed a difference.

"But it's unfair to say we didn't have any street music because we had marching and samba bands in other areas of Brecon."

Mr Powell said all 10 festival venues were "packed all weekend".

Dyfed-Powys Police Inspector Martin Tavener said: "This year we have been able to avoid large build-ups of people in the town centre, and we have had a relatively quiet weekend.

"Once again we have been able to work effectively with Brecon jazz to create a safe and pleasant environment for the towns people and the many thousands of visitors to the area."

Bill doubled

Top left and clockwise: Courtney Pine, Stan Tracey,  Benny Golson and Gwyneth Herbert
The 2006 line-up included Pine, Tracey, Herbert and Golson

Organisers said there was a "strong focus" on the piano this year, including shows by veteran British pianist Stan Tracey, who turns 80 this year.

The programme, which began on Friday, also paid tribute to American jazz city New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina last year.

Other stars included Courtney Pine, Chico Freeman and Benny Golson.

In June, organisers said there had been concerns about drunkenness in the streets and they wanted to make the event safer.

Dyfed-Powys Police had also warned that a bill for extra town centre officers this year would double to 20,000.




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