By John Stevenson

As fears around COVID-19 affect public gatherings large and small, around the globe, one of the UK’s most important jazz festivals has been cancelled.

The annual Cheltenham Jazz Festival which was slated this year to take place from May 5th to 10th has been called off due to the pandemic.

The organisers of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival made the following public statement earlier in the week:

“It is with deep regret that Cheltenham Festivals has taken the decision to cancel this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival. The safety of our Festival-goers, artists, staff, volunteers, partners and the wider community is our priority, in relation to COVID-19.”

“Our charity was born in 1945 during the second world war as a response from the creative community to a global crisis. Since this time, we have brought the very best artists, writers and scientists to Cheltenham; created unique experiences and a year round outreach programme to engage everyone with science and the arts. We are determined to secure our work for the future with the help of all those who have been so generous to support our Festivals over the years.”

Ali Mawle Director of Learning and Public Engagement said:

“When this crisis subsides, we are going to need culture more than ever to lift the spirits, foster community and galvanise creativity. We ask supporters to help us safeguard the future of Cheltenham Festivals so we can continue to play our part locally, nationally and internationally. We are brimming with ideas of how to bring world-class culture to Cheltenham in the months to come.”

This year’s festival was to have headlined an impressive line-up of jazz talent including Gregory Porter, Gary Bartz, Makaya McCraven, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Imelda May, and sensational Malian duo Amadou & Mariam.