Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Brecon jazz festival is back on

Louise Marshall singing at last year's festival
Louise Marshall performed at the festival's 25th anniversary in 2008

The Brecon jazz festival, which was to have been postponed this year, is going ahead after all.

Brecon mayor Martin Weale, who is working with three groups to stage the event, said the town could not afford to lose it in 2009.

Venues have been booked for three days in August, although the festival is expected to be on a smaller scale.

The Arts Council of Wales, which is supposed to be overseeing its future, postponed it until 2010 two weeks ago.

At the time, arts council chief executive Nick Capaldi said that to organise a successful event in just six months was "too big a hurdle to leap".

Celtic Spirit, which has been shortlisted to stage the event in 2010, Theatr Brycheiniog and Porthcawl Jazz Festival also said a festival would go ahead.

We cannot afford not to hold the festival
Martin Weale, Brecon mayor

"These parties reached a joint agreement that they would work together to provide a jazz festival in Brecon town centre over the second weekend of August this year," said Mr Weale.

"To this end, Theatr Brycheiniog, The Guildhall and the Market Hall in Brecon have been booked for 7, 8 and 9 August.

"We cannot afford not to hold the festival. Its financial footprint is worth 4m and with the economic climate the way it is we cannot afford to lose that sort of money."

Mr Weale said acts had already been booked for the festival, but the event is expected to be on a slightly smaller scale this year.

He added that he was confident of financial support from Powys council and the arts council.

Jazz performers in 2007

But Dai Smith, chairman of the Arts Council of Wales, said it was still committed to a "high quality international jazz festival in 2010".

David Alston, arts council arts director added: "It is the Arts Council of Wales's intention to ensure that our public funds are used for a fully fledged and successful international festival in 2010 and one which thereby can be secured into the future."

Powys council board member for regeneration Wynne Jones said: "I will be happy to discuss possible grant funding that we could provide with organisers.

Rescue bids

"The festival has been an important international event in the past and any break in its running could have been damaging."

Two weeks ago the arts council shortlisted Hay Festival and a partnership between Celtic Spirit Group and international music events company ESIP to run Brecon jazz in 2010.

Brecon's Theatr Brycheiniog and Porthcawl Jazz Festival were withdrawn from the bidding process.

The jazz festival, held every August, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008.

But it ran into financial difficulties after poor weather hit ticket sales.

The Brecon Jazz Festival company went into liquidation on 9 January. The arts council said it would oversee the event's future a few days before.

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SEE ALSO
Gap year for Brecon jazz festival
03 Feb 09 |  Mid Wales
Decision on jazz festival future
30 Jan 09 |  Mid Wales
Arts council oversees jazz bids
08 Jan 09 |  Mid Wales
Brecon jazz goes into liquidation
09 Jan 09 |  Mid Wales

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