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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Festival stops street jazz music
Jazz band in Brecon street
Out of time - music in the streets was a tradition of Brecon Jazz
There will be no street music at this year's Brecon Jazz Festival as organisers move to improve safety and cut back on policing costs.

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.

Marching and busking bands, usually reserved for the streets, will perform at nearby Watton Field instead.

Some town centre roads are usually closed to allow free jazz bands to entertain the public.

Over the years this has attracted huge crowds, but organisers said it had led to concerns about people congregating just to drink.

The policing bill was a significant factor, but this is not just about money
Festival spokesman

A festival spokesman said: "This is a trial and we'll make a decision about street music again next year.

"It's a change of focus and we'll be opening up the Bulwark and high street to traffic."

He added: "The policing bill was a significant factor, but this is not just about money.

"The police said it would make their job easier if there was not a mass of people in the town centre, in effect, just to drink."

Top left and clockwise: Courtney Pine, Stan Tracey,  Benny Golson and Gwyneth Herbert
Coming to Brecon - Pine, Tracey, Herbert and Golson

Chief Inspector Andy Twigger, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said for the last two years the force had charged the festival for extra officers in the street music area.

He added: "This year the festival management approached us with a view to changing the nature of the event.

"Crime and disorder during the event has fallen over the past few years, mainly through the gradual re-designing of the town centre activities. These latest changes will further contribute to that aim."

Veteran pianist

Brecon Jazz Festival will pay its respects to the hurricane-hit city of New Orleans this summer.

The programme will include music in tribute to the jazz city, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Stars confirmed for 11-13 August event include veteran pianist Stan Tracey, Courtney Pine, Chico Freeman and Benny Golson.

More than 70,000 people are expected in the Powys town for the 23rd annual weekend event.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
"Of the 70,000 visitors who pour into the town, many never pay to see a concert"



SEE ALSO:
Star line-up to play New Orleans
16 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
French boost for New Orleans jazz
03 Nov 05 |  Entertainment


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