Partner country and showcases to remain the same, but postponed until 2021
Hans Peter Schneider, Managing Director of M3B GmbH, the parent company of MESSE BREMEN, explains why it has unfortunately proved necessary to make this decision: “jazzahead! exists in order to promote international meetings and the exchange of ideas, but this is unfortunately not possible during the coronavirus pandemic, and that includes the end of April. We very much regret being obliged to cancel, but the preservation of health is the over-riding priority.” The largest jazz trade fair in the world, originally planned to take place from Thursday 23 April to Sunday 26 April 2020, in halls 6 and 7 of MESSE BREMEN, as well as all the events of the accompanying festival from Friday 17 April until Sunday 26 April 2020, are therefore being postponed to 2021, from Thursday to Sunday, 29 April to 2 May for the trade fair.
The organizers had first tried to ascertain whether it might be possible to move the jazz trade fair and the accompanying culture festival into the summer months. “But together with our partners, we have now decided to postpone jazzahead! until next year,” says Sybille Kornitschky, who runs jazzahead! on behalf of MESSE BREMEN. Canada as partner country has already committed for 2021. The bands selected for this year’s showcase concerts will also be maintained for the showcases in 2021.
Rochelle Hum of the Canada Council for the Arts, speaking on behalf of all the Canadian partners commented: “While we are saddened by the cancellation of the 2020 edition of jazzahead!, we understand the importance of this change in plans for the health of artists, delegates and audiences. In the months ahead, we believe that music—and the arts more broadly—will have an integral role to play in our shared healing. For this reason, we have committed to supporting a Canada focus at the 2021 edition of jazzahead! Our ongoing collaboration with jazzahead! marks an important example of how countries can come together in these challenging times to foster our collective wellbeing.”
Double anniversary missed
In 2020 jazzahead! would have marked its fifteenth anniversary, and this would also be the tenth time that a festival dedicated to the culture of the partner country accompanied the trade fair. Canada is the first country from overseas to be chosen as a partner. The organizers had been expecting over 3,000 industry participants plus exhibitors from 64 nations for the trade fair, with the accompanying festival, including the CLUBNIGHT, attracting an additional audience of around 15,000 people.