Low tempo JazzFest

On hold: The Queenstown Jazz Orchestra perform at the 2017 JazzFest

A scaled-back JazzFest is on the cards again this year – but next year could see a new arts and music festival taking its place.

After four decades, the Queenstown festival was downgraded last year to allow organisers to step back and consider its future.

JazzFest Trust member Luke Baldock says this year the trust will likely support a small range of jazz events over Labour Weekend again.

That’s an interim measure while they consider a wider arts and music festival, a pilot of which Baldock hopes will be ready for next year. He sees it as a collaborative “umbrella” event, covering everything from film and animation to music and “ideas”.

Part of the challenge with JazzFest is how to make it both financially viable, and relevant. Getting a wider group of stakeholders is also key.

“At the moment it’s run by a fairly small group of volunteers, it’s been a struggle in the last few years.”