Tuesday 2 May
Cardiff-based events and media group Orchard have been revealed as the new operator of the Brecon Jazz Festival.
The decision was made following a rigorous search process – which began in December – by the Arts Council of Wales and Powys County Council after the Hay Festival organsation announced that they were stepping down after two years in charge. Orchard, who are also behind the Slam Dunk Wales and Access All Eirias events, were chosen due to their proposed “exciting and compelling programme with distinctive ideas for the future,” according to the Arts Council.
“Brecon Jazz is a heritage brand with a worldwide reputation. We are fans as well as music promoters and event managers, and so this is a real thrill to have the opportunity to be part of,” said Orchard Director Pablo Janczur.
He continued: “We are thrilled to be able to take this on and look forward to celebrating the extraordinary wealth of local and international jazz in Wales.”
Those leading the search said the goal was to “identify a promoter with the artistic and business credentials and the entrepreneurial flair to deliver a successful Brecon Jazz Festival.”
Arts Council of Wales Arts Director David Alston,said: “Orchard is a Wales based event company who conveyed to us both their capacity and enthusiasm to run the event.
“We were impressed by the dynamism of their ideas, their headline ambitions and their respect for Brecon Jazz’s longstanding reputation.”
Over the years, Brecon Jazz has encountered a number of financial difficulties. In 2008, organisers behind neighbors Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts took the reins after the company formally behind the festival ceased trading following substantial losses. Despite it’s uncertainty, Brecon Jazz has remained a staple figure on the festival circuit, with past performers include Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse and Sonny Rollins.
Orchard are set to receive a commitment for funding this year’s festival – to take place in August - and will submit further plans for the 2013 festival in the autumn.