[Festivals Stories] D'Jazz Nevers Festival

28 Dec 2021

D'Jazz Nevers Festival
6 > 13 November 2021
Nevers, France

Jazz and improvised music

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The 34th D'Jazz Nevers Festival which was to take place from 7 to 14 November 2020 was interrupted by the pandemic a few days before its opening, leaving the public and especially the artists in a great disarray! The first decision we made was to postpone at least part of this edition until 1 to 5 June 2021, convinced that, at this time, the conditions for organising concerts would have returned to normal because we could not simply turn the page and organise the 35th edition a year later. On 19 May 2021, we received permission from the French government to organise indoor concerts again but with a reduced level of seats (35%).

Among all the decisions we had to take, the one which we are certainly the most proud of is having made this winning bet, for which everyone - public and artists - is extremely happy. In addition, this special period allowed us to meet and discover other audiences. D'Jazz Nevers presents a festival every year in November but also a season of concerts running from January to June. As all the concerts were cancelled due to the pandemic, we chose to maintain them in order to offer them to younger audiences in schools, colleges and high schools. Not only was this a discovery for many students but our decision was particularly appreciated by the musicians themselves, whose activity was almost reduced to concerts on line at this time and who were often performing without any audience (or very few listeners). This programme aimed at school audiences will be continued, with the ultimate objective of rejuvenating our audience.

Another initiative that we were able to develop during (thanks to) the pandemic, was an artist residency in an establishment for the elderly; a public, so far, not (or little) targeted by D'Jazz Nevers and the Festival. This pandemic has particularly displayed, and often bluntly, the great inequalities and social divisions which exist within our society. Our reflection for future editions of the Festival will be nourished by the awareness of this situation, with the concern to generate greater ownership of our project by all audiences.

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(General Editor: Simon Mundy)