My name is Nigel Price and I'm a jazz guitar player who has played at Swanage Jazz Festival many times. This year, when I heard the festival was coming to a close after 28 years I just couldn't stand to hear it and offered to take over the directorship. My offer has been accepted and I am making it my mission to see that this great festival continues. I have no personal links with Swanage. I am here because I will not let another festival, another celebration of humanity, die on my watch without trying to do something about it.
It has became apparent that, due to unavoidable VAT impositions on ticket sales, the festival has to either expand, contract or disappear. The festival has come as far as it can go within the constraints of the VAT limit and as a result the visiting musicians have been soaking up the declining wages whilst the audience has been cheerfully doing without adequate standards of comfort and hospitality. I say we make it bigger and better.
Let's make the tenting fabulous. Let's make the audiences comfortable. Let's ensure that the visiting musicians are paid properly. Let's give all these visitors to the beautiful town of Swanage a welcome to be proud of!
Visit the website at https://www.swanagejazzfestival.co.uk
So why do we need funds now?
Quite simply, there is currently not enough money in the festival fund for 2018 to even get the thing going, let alone expand enough to negate the unavoidable VAT bill. The audience will be playing their part by soaking up much of the cost through increased ticket prices but this can only go so far. We need to find enough on top of that to make the festival run on a full tank of gas, rather than on empty as is now the case.
Together, we can all make this happen through this 'crowd funding' infrastructure.
On top of attracting the top jazz musicians from the UK and further afield this festival brings a massive financial boost to the town, somewhere in the region of half a million pounds over the weekend (yes - really!) and if we all band together, share the load, each of us making a small donation then we can ensure that this important event on the Swanage calendar can continue far and away into the future. Not only that but with the proposed increase in capacity there will in turn be an increase to revenue for the town.
If you are a hotelier, a restauranteur or any local business who stands to gain financially from the influx to Swanage of more than a thousand people then I would humbly suggest that it's time to recognise that a gesture and a donation, no matter how small, toward this campaign NOW is nothing short of an investment for your future.
Make no mistake. If we can't make this Kickstarter campaign a success THERE WILL BE NO 2018 FESTIVAL.
I vow to source all supporting business to the festival from the local area.
Let's do this!
Thank you for you help.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge that faces the proposed expansion is accommodation. The festival goers will be encouraged to utilise some of the 'out of town' options and I am already in talks with campsites that can provide hard standing structures as well as pitches for caravans. Our audience are, ahem, generally older and not so keen on canvas...
I have no doubt that 2018, like every year before, will see the hotels within Swanage inundated for the festival.
- (35 days)