Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival fans will have to wait a little longer for the event's return to the local entertainment scene.
Organisers announced Friday that the event, which was originally scheduled to be held virtually from January 28 to 30, has been rescheduled to March 4 to 6, 2021.
This is in part due to COVID-19 concerns which prevented some international artistes from participating in the festival based on the necessity to observe the attending protocols in the cities that they reside, in particular California, said the organisers in a press release.
The restrictions and their concerns for safety would prevent the artistes from being able to deliver their performances for the January date, the release added, noting that the Jamaica Jazz and Blues is not the first event to be recently affected by the COVID-19 restrictions as the 2021 Grammys, originally scheduled for January 31, was also postponed to March.
Jamaica Jazz and Blues Producer Adrian Allen remarked, “All things considered we believe that this is the best option for all concerned. Just a day ago we were advised by an international artiste, almost on the point of confirmation, that he would not be able to do the performance within the required dates, due to the California COVID-19 restrictions. This was a big disappointment to us and in trying to replace him realised that the other performers we could target were subject to the same issues. We decided that it was best to postpone the event,” he explained.
Allen is resolute in his decision to maintain what he said was the winning Jazz and Blues formula and the new dates provides an opportunity to fulfil that mandate, he explained.
“The festival has always presented a mix of International and local performers and we did not wish to change that formula. As a responsible festival we have to be concerned about the health and safety of the artists," Allen said.
"The extra time will allow them more flexibility to ensure their safety. It will also allow us more time to produce the most magical virtual presentation of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival. All local and Caribbean acts are confirmed and ready to go and we will be announcing them in the weeks ahead," Allen added.
In the meantime, Marcia McDonnough, Co-Producer of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, noted that the organisers have discussed the new dates with sponsors and all are in agreement with the change to March.
“With the extended timeline we will be able to engage a much larger audience in our pre-event promotions which automatically increases the potential audience for the show. An added advantage is that this will give additional exposure to the brands thus increasing the sponsors’ return on investment in the festival and this of course is one of the major objectives or our marketing campaign," McDonnough said.
Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival organisers announced last month that the event was making a return after a four-year hiatus.
The event, which is renowned for its rich music and cultural offerings, is now licensed to Allen of Steady Image in partnership with McDonnough of Touchstone Productions, both original members of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues team, with years of experience in various aspects of event production.