Disappointed at York

We just came back from an excellent weekend with friends at a farm near York.  Trail bike riding, 4wd’ing, too much food, campfire at night, chillaxing in Parkerville.

But one thing that was disappointing was the York Jazz Festival.  We popped into York on Saturday to see what was happening and hopefully catch one or two artists.  Our family are keen jazz fans, but the other 2 families not so, and plus we had a total of 5 kids towing along with us.   So, we thought, maybe the Idea of North would be palatable for everyone.

First stop was the Town Hall.  Where we found that we had to buy a full day pass – no individual session tickets.  6 adults for a Saturday pass = 6 x $99 = ~$600.  Whoa…  that’s a lot to watch one artist.  OK.  Let’s kill that plan.

So, let’s walk around York and see what’s happening.  After all, it’s meant to be a “street festival experience”. 

There were the markets – tucked away from the main street, smaller than expected and not very happening.

There was… well that was it.  One trad jazz band playing in some restaurant courtyard.  1 busker on the street, not even playing jazz.  Some dude under a blanket blaring really good dixie and swing jazz from a collectables/2nd hand shop right up the street. 

I was disappointed.  I’m sure the performing artists were top notch.  But wandering around York, you wouldn’t even know that there was a town/street jazz festival on.  Maybe it’s more happening at night?  Maybe my expectations were totally wrong.

Why isn’t the main street closed down with a street party/festival atmosphere?  I heard there used to even be go-kart races down the main strip.  Maybe it’s not meant to be a street/town festival anymore.

Why aren’t there individual session tickets for casual visitors?  What if you’re a family going to York for a day outing and maybe want to watch only 1 or 2 artists?  Or if you’re not really into Jazz but want to have a taste?

Why isn’t there a street stage with free concerts?  Maybe with young school bands or local Perth artists?  That will draw families to go to York, who then may buy tickets to see some artists, or if they want to see 3 or more sessions, buy a full day pass.  I would have thought I could walk down the main street and encounter a couple of bands along the way.

Why weren’t there more local Perth artists?  Or even school bands?  There used to be many school bands playing on Sunday morning.  And I know there are MANY children learning jazz instruments in Perth.  Why aren’t they going to the York Jazz Festival?

Why are the markets tucked away behind buildings and not on the street itself?  Make the main street the market!

Maybe I’m comparing the price with Big Day Out ($140), Summadayze ($136), Future Music Festival ($136), Southbound ($140 for one day), West Coast Blues’n’Roots Festival ($119).

Maybe I’m confusing York Jazz Festival with my visions of a York Festival or York Street Festival. 

Maybe the organisers are trying to run it like a rock, indie or pop music festival.  I’m no expert in running and organising music festivals… but from walking down the street, York just didn’t seem to be happening..  something’s gotta change. 

Maybe I should stop ranting now…

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One thought on “Disappointed at York”

  1. You are right. I’m sure the performing artists were top notch. But wandering around York, you wouldn’t even know that there was a town/street jazz festival on. Maybe it’s more happening at night? Maybe my expectations were totally wrong.

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