Festival as amplifier rather than umbrella? – Emma Webster

The EFG London Jazz Festival is often described as an ‘umbrella’ for events taking place within it. Events take place at venues such as Ronnie Scott’s which operate all year round, with the addition of special events with ‘big name’ artists promoted by Serious, the Festival’s producer, and other special gigs. However, I suggest that rather than an umbrella – a device for sheltering and protecting – the Festival is instead an amplifier of cultural activity. As an amplifier, the Festival increases and intensifies existing activity and in doing so, attracts other media and hence – in the case of radio – literally amplifies the music beyond usual levels of activity. In the case of the London Jazz Festival, this is through media partnerships with BBC Music and Jazz FM, but jazz is also getting more coverage than usual in broadsheets and other media as a result.
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