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Worcestershire jazz festival creator walks away after 'being sacked'
10:00am Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
THE creator of Upton Jazz Festival says he has been left with no choice but to step away from the event.
Alan Buckley has been the driving force behind the festival since he founded it in Upton-upon-Severn 28 years ago.
During that time he has built it up to become what is now the premier classical and traditional jazz festival in Europe, attracting thousands of fans every year.
But he will no longer be involved after the festival’s council of management chose to appoint a successor to take charge of its 29th year.
Having organised more than 45 festivals in total, Mr Buckley says he has effectively “had the sack” after he was told services would no longer be required at future events and the disappointment means he will be completely retiring from simiar events.
He said: “I have done about 46 or 47 festivals all told throughout the Mid-lands and the musicians have all been happy.
“I have a very good reputation and everybody has been paid.
“I am finished with them. It’s just sad the way it has gone.”
A spokesman for the festival said discussions with Mr Buckley about the possibility of appointing his successor first took place in November last year and that he had declined to apply for the role when the tendering process took place last month.
In a statement posted on the festival’s website, Mr Buckley was thanked for his contribution to the event.
“The festival has to move forward, with a sustainable long term plan to retain its traditional roots and loyal following; and at the same time refresh our content and offering so that new audiences can be attracted,” it said.
A spokesman for the festival told your Worcester News: “We can understand Alan’s disappointment, but we must plan for the next five to 10 years, and the festival must evolve in order to survive.”
Former managing director of the Bude Jazz Festival, Rachel Hayward, has been appointed as music director and David Harrison as chairman for the 2014 event, which will run from Friday to Sunday, June 27 to 29.
This year’s festival, which ran from June 28 to 30, moved from Fish Meadow back into the town centre.