The Gurtenfestival and the Openair St. Gallen were canceled this week. The organizers of the Greenfield Festival announced beforehand that they are taking another forced break. But not so in Basel. Urs Blindenbacher and his team are sticking to the Offbeat Jazz Festival, despite all the uncertainty. It is the 31st edition of the festival. Blindenbacher says giving up was never an option.
“We’re going on and enriching the cultural city of Basel,” says Urs Blindenbacher. The first concert is scheduled to take place on April 24th. There was already a postponement. Blindenbacher and his team are now hoping for easing. The scope is secondary, the main thing is that cultural events are allowed to take place. “We were able to save 18 out of 30 concerts last year,” says the festival director. In order to meet the challenges, replacement dates have been set for all concerts this year.
For the good of culture
It is also planned to halve the audience if necessary. “It’s not financially worthwhile, but we want to enrich the city culturally again,” says Urs Blindenbacher. There have been no more concerts since autumn 2020. The city is empty in the evening, extinct. The director of the festival and his team want to change that, at least in part. In the worst case, holding the Offbeat Jazz Festival via stream is not an option, because streaming destroys live culture.
Streaming is promoting the ban on live culture and that cannot be supported. “We want live culture,” says Urs Blindenbacher. If things go well, jazz friends will get their money’s worth from the end of April. Erika Stucky or Fatoumata Diawara & Band will perform. The full program of the Offbeat Jazz Festival can be found here.