Plug pulled on popular Blackpool festival

Members of The Wyre Levee Stompers perform
Members of The Wyre Levee Stompers perform
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Blackpool’s Jazz and Blues Festival in 2018 has been scrapped.

But organiser Stephen Pierre has promised smaller fringe music events in St John’s Square to keep supporting its chosen charities.

Stephen Pierre

Stephen Pierre

The festival was due to be held in the Winter Gardens over the weekend of July 21/22 next summer.

But in a letter to The Gazette, Mr Pierre said he had been forced to cancel it due to a “number of factors”.

He said: “Regretfully it is no longer practical for myself and the team of volunteers to present a large scale annual weekend jazz and blues festival event.

“However the team of musicians and volunteers will endeavour to present a few smaller fringe style music events in St John’s Square between May and September to support both Trinity Hospice and Streetlife Trust.

“Those summer dates will be confirmed in due course.

“I am wholly grateful to The Winter Gardens team for their co-operation shown in staging the four music events I have presented since August 2015. The support shown from The Winter Gardens, Blackpool BID and Visit Blackpool has been duly noted and appreciated.”

Mr Pierre, who questioned why the event had been overlooked for regional award nominations, added: “The town desperately needs to raise its cultural profile to attract new generations of visitors and invite a wider demographic.

“It requires joined up co-operative thinking to achieve commercial investment sponsorships to stage live music events that will meet those presented in any major city on a European level.

“My personal thanks to all those who have supported the festivals in any capacity.”

‘Proud of what we achieved’

Mr Pierre said: “The positive legacy of The Blackpool Jazz & Blues Festivals 2015/16/17 is the £12,620.97 raised for Trinity Hospice and the happiness the high standard of music gave to the people.

“Our loyalty is to support The Hospice through music and we will continue to do that when we can.

“I’m proud of what was achieved essentially on a shoestring budget to support my birth town of Blackpool.

“I do hope in the future Blackpool is able to attract more music promoters and art curators and importantly they are welcomed and treated respectfully.”