Each year the small town of Brecon, Wales, holds its annual Jazz weekend. Situated an hour outside the Welsh capital of Cardiff, artist from around the world attend the festival. The event started in 1984 when the jazz and blues performer George Melly played in a local pub. Since then big names including Cleo Laine, Courtney Pine and Jools Holland have played alongside the likes of Amy Winehouse, Laura Mvula and Gregory Porter. 2016 saw a focus on a more community-led festival, bringing the weekend back to its roots. The Brecon Jazz Festival is set to make its return in 2018.
An hour away from Cardiff you can reach Brecon by train, coach and bus services. The nearest airport is also Cardiff International Airport or it is easily reachable from the major London airports. The concerts start on the Friday evening, running Saturday and Sunday afternoons and into the evening. Venues include the towns Guildhall, Castle Hotel and Cathedral. Ticket prices are set for individual concerts, or combination packages are available. Unlike many other festivals there are no additional booking fees. Once in Brecon it is easy to find each venue with everything in close proximity.
With some big names appearing over the weekend in previous years, keep a close eye on festival announcements. Many of the popular concerts are likely to sell out, so book online in advance. If you are travelling with under 18s check if venues have any age restrictions. The main highlights are likely to be in the evening but arrive early and you see as much as possible. Support the local talent as well as those from further afield. If you are in the area for longer than just the weekend, Brecon has plenty of jazz on offer all year round enabling you to extend your festival experience.
Choose from a selection of houses, apartments, cottages, Bed and Breakfasts, along with other private rentals in Brecon itself or nearby. If you are staying in Cardiff, then you can arrive at the festival via public transport. Check out our accommodation in Brecon.
Enjoy the peaceful town, the Brecon Beacons National Park and take a walk along the Brecon Canal. Cardiff is less than an hour away so take a day out and explore Cardiff Castle, relax in Cardiff Bay or visit the National Museum or Arts Centre.
Find out more on the Brecon Jazz Festival, Brecon Jazz Weekend and other concerts, including a list of musicians from previous festivals, the (Kind of) Blue Plaque in honour of Miles Davis, ticket information and links to several Brecon jazz websites by visiting here.
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