Most people who have been to the Festival seem to agree that Swanage is the perfect place for a summer weekend of jazz. If you haven’t been before, we think you’ll find the mix of a weekend of top class jazz with a relaxed seaside setting irresistible. This is a very beautiful part of the country, with stunning coastal and hill scenery and charming villages.
The Jazz festival is run on a non-profit-making basis by a group of fans, who continue to promote the event after two decades because we love the music and enjoy the experience. We’ve grown from a small and rather shaky start to our present size, selling a thousand tickets for each of the three days. We get a small amount of sponsorship, from some local businesses and from the PRS Foundation for New Music. But over ninety per cent of our income comes from what the fans spend on tickets and the bars.
All of our venues are accessible by wheel chair. We are very definitely a child-friendly festival – we are pleased to admit children under sixteen free with a responsible adult, and we offer discounts of fifty per cent to school and college students.
See the gallery page for images of the festival.
A Word About Purbeck
Many of you will have been to the Festival before, in fact quite a few of you many times before. But for those who are visiting for the first time, and for those of you who haven’t yet ventured outside the ambit of the Festival, can we suggest that it’s worth spending a day or two extra here and taking in some of the beautiful countryside and coastal scenery of Purbeck.
If you feel energetic you could stroll up from the north end of the beach and over Ballard Down, past Old Harry Rocks to Studland, visit the little Saxon/Norman church and have a pint in the Bankes Arms with its own microbrewery attached. If you are still feeling energetic, take a walk on the amazing beach towards Shell Bay. Then catch no.50 open top bus back to Swanage – it gives you a very different angle on the scenery from travelling by car.
Another enjoyable way to see the countryside is to take the steam train to Corfe from Swanage Station. Corfe is certainly worth a couple of hours of your time, with the castle, the Square and some great pubs.
Finally, going east on the Jurassic Coast, along the Priests Way, or on a bus from the Station, you pass through still-active quarries to the village of Worth Matravers, with one of the best pubs in Britain, the Square and Compass. A mile walk to the coast brings you to Seacombe and Winspit, disused quarries cut into the cliffs, great for bathing or exploring.
The Tourist Information Centre in the White House, Shore Road, can provide information, guides, maps etc.
Useful local sites are: