Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

Hay secures future of Brecon jazz

Art Theman
Art Theman playing at Brecon jazz last year

Officials behind one of Europe's top literary events have been chosen to run Brecon jazz festival.

Hay Festival will take control in 2010 after the company running Brecon jazz ran into financial difficulties when poor weather hit ticket sales.

The Arts Council of Wales, which was overseeing the festival's future, said Hay put forward an "exciting and compelling vision for the future".

Peter Florence of Hay Festival said he was "thrilled" to take it on.

Brecon jazz festival was to have been postponed this year, but last month a group decided to stage an event in August because it was felt the town could not afford to lose it in 2009.

Hay Festival also intends to run some jazz events in Brecon this year, but it is unclear if they are in conjunction or separate from what is already planned in August.

We're thrilled to be able to take this on, and look forward to celebrating the extraordinary wealth of local and international jazz in Wales
Peter Florence, Hay Festival

Mr Florence said: "We will be running jazz events in Brecon this summer, leading up to relaunching the festival in August 2010.

"We're thrilled to be able to take this on, and look forward to celebrating the extraordinary wealth of local and international jazz in Wales."

Arts council chairman Dai Smith said the Hay Festival put forward an "exciting and compelling vision for the future".

He added: "We've consistently argued that Brecon deserves a high quality festival that can stand proud as one of Wales's signature cultural events.

"Hay's imaginative artistic ideas and their blue chip reputation for international festival management have convinced us that they are the right organisation to take Brecon Jazz Festival to new creative heights."

Arts council chief executive Nick Capaldi said staging some jazz events this year was a "real added bonus".

He added: "We're acutely aware of the festival's contribution to the local economy in Brecon, and we know that the doubts we raised about mounting a festival this year caused widespread concern.

"Hay Festival has persuaded us that an exciting programme of activity is possible, and we're happy to back their judgement."

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
Brecon jazz festival is back on
18 Feb 09 |  Mid Wales
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

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