Jazz fest makes a comeback

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival is set to return over the Queen's Birthday long weekend.

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival is set to return in winter 2021 after a year’s recess.
Castlemaine Jazz Festival committee member Lyndal McClure and treasurer Caroline Cox told the Express they were thrilled to be bringing a COVID-safe event to the region on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend – June 11, 12 and 13.
The highly anticipated event will be staged across two venues Castlemaine’s historic Theatre Royal and Phee Broadway Theatre and will feature concerts with multiple artists performing traditional, mainstream, modern and big band to enable guests to enjoy various jazz genres across the weekend.
“The festival will feature eight big shows over three days. Each session will run for approximately three hours and feature three bands,” Lyndal said.
The festival will kick off Friday evening with mainstream and modern shows at the Phee and Royal from 7pm. Among the artists to feature will be the Castlemaine Secondary College Band, Harry Coulson’s Blue Dogs and Mount Kujo.
On Saturday there will be 4pm and 8pm shows at the Royal and an 8pm show at the Phee with artists including Big Band Frequency, Old Married Couple and Brooklyn ’86.
Sunday there will be 4pm and 8pm shows at the Theatre and a final 8pm show at the Phee with bands including Caught in the Act, Pippa Wilson with Jazz Notes and Castlemaine’s own Maggie Jackson playing NY Jazz.
The unforgettable weekend will also include an album launch.
Tickets for each show will be sold separately.
“In line with COVID-safe measures we need to know who is in each venue so tickets will be sold separately for each of the shows. We know that in the past people have enjoyed the opportunity to purchase a day or weekend ticket and wander the town and venues catching various shows, but this was the only way we could structure the event and forge ahead in the current climate,” Lyndal said.
Caroline said they had aimed to group together acts in similar genres so festival goers could catch the shows and styles that interested them.
The new structure means they have had to limit the number of bands on the bill.
“Unfortunately we had to turn some artists away but we are thrilled to be welcoming 24 talented acts from across the state,” Lyndal said.
“We have kept our ticket prices down to $30 per show to ensure patrons get great value for money, while supporting our incredible artists after what has been a very difficult 12 months for musicians.”
The festival is still looking for sponsors to support the event. If you would like to contribute contact Jane on 0418 778 480.
Tickets for the 2021 festival went on sale on Saturday. To book visit www.castlemainejazzfestival.com.au or book in person via the Mount Alexander Shire Booking Service at the Castlemaine Market Building.
Those who wish to make a weekend of it and stay in the Castlemaine region can check out accommodation options at www.maldoncastlemaine.com.au