Wigan Jazz Festival on the move

Peter Fletcher and Ian Darrington in The Village on the Green
Peter Fletcher and Ian Darrington in The Village on the Green

All that jazz will be heard in a different part of town as one of the biggest events on Wigan’s cultural calendar is on the move.

The Wigan International Jazz Festival is heading to The Village on the Green in Aspull after a decade at Robin Park Sports Centre.

The Music Continuum, the company behind the celebration of swinging sounds, said it was said to bring its association with Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (IHL) and the Loire Drive venue to an end.

However, it said the new venue will have more of a music club-type feel and also be easier to fill, which it is hoped will boost atmosphere.

Ian Darrington MBE, the festival’s co-founder, said: “We have had 10 excellent years at Robin Park and staged some of the biggest concerts in the festival’s history.

“Each year we turned the venue into one of the most impressive on the international festival circuit.

“Our research, including feedback from audience members from far and wide, has shown us without doubt that the jazz scene is changing fast and in order to respond to the needs of the audience and the artists and to provide for a healthy future for the festival we have to follow the trends.”

Between 200 and 300 people will be accomodated in the main room at Aspull, depending on which layout organisers choose.

A smaller second room will hold more intimate late-night sets.

The search for a new venue was not easy, with The Music Continuum saying it faced a lack of arts locations locally and high costs.

Preparations are already well under way for the 2019 festival, which will take place between July 11 and 14, with a number of high-profile artists already booked in to visit Wigan.

Ticket sales are expected to start in the new year at the festival’s online box office.