Help Bring Marsden Jazz Festival back in 2021

by Marsden Jazz Festival in Marsden, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 26th July 2021 we successfully raised £13,760 ( + est. £2432.00 Gift Aid ) with 256 supporters in 21 days

Covid-19 forced the first cancellation of MJF in 29 years. Now, you can help bring back a safe & spectacular Marsden Jazz Festival in 2021.

by Marsden Jazz Festival in Marsden, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Wow! We can't BELIEVE it. Thank you so much, each and every one of you, for helping us to reach our initial £10,000 target. We're over the moon.

But what now?

There's still so much uncertainty about the future of live music in general and for Marsden Jazz Festival specifically.

We've created a plan and a budget to bring you a festival that's safe, spectacular and memorable- but we know from experience that unexpected things happen, and new opportunities emerge. And in the wake of Covid-19 things are even more unpredictable than ever.

Every penny you donate over and above our initial minimum target of £10,000 will enable us to bring you an event that relaunches MJF in style after our enforced year off.

And as well as this year's event, your extra support will help safeguard the future of Marsden Jazz Festival beyond 2021 giving us security as we begin to plan the 30th edition for October 2022.

Thank you for helping us pass our minimum target: please keep pledging to keep the music alive in Marsden in 2021 - and for long into the future.

With your help we can bring Marsden Jazz Festival back this October - together.


“I miss the beautiful setting, exploring the village and sampling the local treats, the festival atmosphere, seeing friends & meeting new people, discovering incredible music - and having fun!”

Marsden Jazz Festival is a massive part of village life, a major event in Yorkshire’s cultural calendar and one of the UK’s most diverse and longest running jazz festivals. Over 28 editions we've presented around 3,000 hours of live music (most of it for free) to over 140,000 attendees - it’s no wonder that you missed us in 2020 and can't wait for MJF to return.

But the waiting may soon be over.

We have a plan to bring Marsden Jazz Festival back - and you can help make it happen by supporting our Crowdfunder today.

The impact of Covid-19 on Marsden Jazz Festival

The pandemic completely stopped Marsden Jazz Festival in its tracks - and very nearly saw us off for good. With heavy hearts we were forced to cancel the 29th edition of the festival, the first time since 1992 that the streets of Marsden weren’t lit up with music, dancing, laughter and friendship.

And you told us that you were just as sad and as worried as us about the future of the festival.

But in true Yorkshire-fashion, we tightened our belts, stripped our team down to the bare essentials and worked hard at keeping MJF alive in your hearts and minds with our digital programme. Thanks to Arts Council England/DCMS we lived to fight another day and can now realistically look forward to bringing Marsden Jazz Festival back this autumn - but we need your help to do it.

How we’ll bring Marsden Jazz Festival back

Earlier this year, just as it felt the world was opening up again, we committed to a new ‘no matter what’ model for the festival. We didn’t want to leave you without your beloved MJF for another year - and feared that if we didn’t do it in 2021 we might never recover.

So, what does our ‘no matter what’ Marsden Jazz Festival look like, we hear you ask?

When we asked what we could do to improve the Festival you said:

“Nothing! I love it and can't wait for it to be able to happen again!”

We took on board your brilliant ideas and requests and made our plan. It looks like this:

  • We’re making the festival simpler on the principle that ‘simpler is safer’
  • Most live music will move outdoors, including a new Peel Street Main Stage 
  • Any indoor gigs will be in large spaces to allow for social distancing
  • Loads of Covid-19 safety measures, including sanitation, limits on audience numbers and social distancing
  • Making MJF even more accessible for jazz-lovers with disabilities
  • An even more diverse programme, working in partnership with Black Lives in Music and Jazz re:freshed

We’re balancing our excitement and positivity with caution, and know that there’s still some uncertainty.

Covid-19 restrictions aren’t being removed as quickly as we’d expected and you’d be surprised that a simpler, safer MJF costs a lot more than the standard festival. We’ve asked Arts Council England to support our comeback but we won’t know their decision until early August.

One thing we do know is this: that we can’t do it without YOU, our loyal fans and audiences.

How YOU can be part of this

1625059946_yellowspots-cropped_(1).jpgWe know times have been tough for everyone during Covid-19, so we didn’t ask anything of you in 2020 other than to sit back and enjoy our online broadcasts. But now it’s time for you to play your part to help fill the streets of Marsden with the excitement, buzz and sense of togetherness that only our festival can conjure up.

Marsden Jazz Festival isn’t just any old jazz festival. It’s YOUR jazz festival - run by the people for the people.

So supporting our Crowdfunding is the perfect way for you to have your say on if - and how - MJF returns this autumn.

We need to raise a minimum of £10,000 to supplement our Arts Council England grant (fingers crossed please everyone!) and deliver the safe and spectacular Festival we’re all dreaming of. The more we can raise, the better the Festival will be.

Every gift, whether £5 or £5,000, will help prevent another MJF-free year.

Imagine how great you'll feel to know you were part of the team that made this happen. But don't take our word for it; here's MJF legend Dennis Rollins MBE to explain why he's helping bring the Festival back in 2021:

Image showing the Crowdfunder exclusive window sticker, enamel pin badge and t-shirt, all with the slogan 'I hlped bring back Marsden Jazz Festival in 2021' with the MJF sheep logo.While supporting MJF will definitely make you as happy as Dennis, that's not all we can offer. To show how much we appreciate your support we’ve created some fantastic perks for you. Take a look at our menu of rewards (on the right or below if you're on your phone).

As a small arts charity, we don't have tons of cash for lavish rewards. Instead, we're offering some exclusive, limited edition merchandise and unique experiences so you can get up close and feel really involved in this October’s Festival.

What we’ll do with your money

It’s quite simple. Your money will be instrumental in bringing Marsden Jazz Festival back with a bang this October. As long as we are successful in securing Arts Council England funding, all gifts through our Crowdfunder will help cover the costs of our re-imagined post-COVID-19 Festival.

All money pledged will go directly towards:

  • Bringing the very best world-class musical talent to Marsden
  • New events and activities
  • Creating our new outdoor Main Stage
  • Providing opportunities for new, diverse, under-represented and young artists

If for any reason, we can’t deliver the festival in the way we’re planning we’ll use your generously donated money to make sure we keep our promise to bring great live jazz back to Marsden in 2021 in some form.

About Marsden Jazz Festival

Marsden Jazz Festival is a community-focused event with a global outlook that’s been running since 1992. We exist to provide an inclusive and accessible platform for world-class jazz performance & participation. We play a vital role in the cultural life of the South Pennines and the economic regeneration of a former textile-industry village.


Our festival pushes the boundaries, featuring traditional bands alongside cutting-edge sounds, encouraging people to expand their knowledge & appreciation of jazz. If you've been, you'll know there's nowhere quite like Marsden Jazz Festival. As one of you said: 

"The most amazing, innovative, inclusive music festival set in the stunning Pennine landscape" - audience member, 2018 

We programme artists from diverse backgrounds, including youth groups, amateurs, emerging talent & world-renowned artists. At MJF there's something for everyone: from families to the 'jazz-curious' and connoisseurs.

1624893395__q2a1765.jpgBy working together — combining our creativity, passion and energy with your love of live music, belief in the power of community and financial support — we know we can do this. And that we’ll be out, dancing in the streets of Marsden together once more this October.

Thank you SO much for your support.

Best wishes to you , stay safe and see you in October!

Barney (Artistic Director), Charlotte (Marketing Manager), Rich (Chair) and all the MJF Team


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£75 or more

22 of 50 claimed

Limited Edition MJF Crowdfunder 2021 t-shirt

You often tell us that you'd like a Festival t-shirt. Now here's your chance to own one. And not any ol' t-shirt but a one-off design ONLY available to supporters of our Crowdfunder, bearing the message 'I Helped Bring MJF Back in 2021'. We've included a picture to whet your appetite. There'll be a maximum of 100 of these made, so don't miss out on being part of the in-crowd. You'll also get a sticker, badge and Hall of Fame thank you.

£5 or more

Your name in the 'I Brought MJF back' Hall of Fame

Every single one of you that supports with a gift of £5 or more will have your name printed in a special double-page spread in the 2021 Marsden Jazz Festival souvenir programme. You'll also get a lovely shout out on our website to show the world just how generous the MJF-crowd is.

£10 or more

14 of 150 claimed

Exclusive 'I Helped Bring MJF Back' window sticker

We've created a special, one-off limited edition 'I Helped Bring MJF Back in 2021' window sticker that you can proudly display on your car, caravan, campervan — or even your front window — to tell everyone that you were part of the team that made the triumphant return of MJF possible. There's an image of it over there on the left - take a look. How good would that look in your window? You'll also get your name in the Hall of Fame.

£25 or more

39 of 100 claimed

'I Helped Bring MJF Back in 2021' metal pin badge

Who doesn't love a pin badge? And this one is extra special. A limited edition, high quality metal pin badge with enamel 'sheep-face' design. There's an image of this one too. Wear yours at this year's Festival on your lapel or cap - and give a knowing nod to others doing the same. Support at £25 and we'll throw in the window sticker and Hall of Fame reward too.

£150 or more

3 of 16 claimed

Be a festival DJ plus MJF goodie-bag

Ever fancied deejaying between bands at MJF, sharing your cool jazz selections with the festival crowd? Pledge £150 and you'll be invited to compile a 10 track playlist of your favourite jazz to play between artists on Peel Street Stage or St Bartholomews. And that's not all: we'll also give you a t-shirt, pin badge, sticker AND your name in the 2021 programme. There are only 16 'DJ' slots up for grabs, so get a wriggle on!

£250 or more

2 of 10 claimed

VIP preview of Chronotope installation + extras

At this year's Festival, we're planning a spectacular audio-visual installation based on our Chronotope series of films. Pledge £250, and you'll be invited to join MJF Director Barney Stevenson and a selection of the Chronotope artists for a guided sneak preview for 2. And that's not all: you'll also get 2 tickets to gig of your choice, the t-shirt, a pin badge, window sticker AND your name in the Hall of Fame.

£500 or more

2 of 4 claimed

MJF 2021 Weekend 'Golden Ticket' & goodie-bag

It's not just Willy Wonka who makes Golden Tickets you know! When you support us at this level, you'll be presented with one of only four Saturday & Sunday Passes which will grant you and a friend full access to ALL paid-for events during the weekend. And because you're so special, we'll fill a bag with a t-shirt, enamel pin and sticker, a Festival CD - AND put your names in the programme. How does that sound?

£1,000 or more

1 of 2 claimed

The Whole Shebang

Be one of only 2 people to support us at this top level and you'll be lavishly rewarded. You'll have your names in the programme, get the sticker/badge/t-shirt/CD combo, create a playlist for the primetime Saturday night slot, join us at the VIP sneak preview of the Chronotope installation, get a Festival poster signed by all this year's artists and - AND! - receive a Golden Ticket for 2 giving access to ALL ticketed gigs across the 3 days.

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.