All that jazz to carry on, says festival boss

Ian Darrington, founder of Wigan Jazz Club
Ian Darrington, founder of Wigan Jazz Club

The director of one of Wigan’s biggest cultural events has promised it has an exciting future, despite an urgent sponsorship appeal.

Wigan International Jazz Festival (WIJF) reported a spike in social media interest after last week calling on the borough’s businesses to step up and support the event.

Festival organisers said the headlining appearance of Jools Holland this summer will pay for this year’s music bash and the one next year.

However, the huge cuts to local authority and public-sector budgets in recent years mean the festival will be relying on support from the borough and further afield to ensure its long-term future.

WIJF is holding a way forward event at Wigan Cricket Club next week to meet potential sponsors and the organisers say they are heartened by the first couple of days since the appeal was launched.

Festival director Ian Darrington said: “There has certainly been increased activity on Twitter and I spoke to a local company which said it would do its best to support the festival.

“There’s a good feeling about it, and it’s very important for Wigan’s community and culture to secure its long-term future.

“The cuts have been so drastic it has become essential to work with local businesses. We have excellent working relationships with Wigan Council and Inspiring healthy lifestyles and we want to build on what we have with excellent companies in Wigan.

“We’re thinking positively and we’ve got a good future. We just have to work harder to eke it out. We’re not looking for huge amounts of money, if a number of companies give something it all helps.”

The jazz festival’s event The Way Forward is at Wigan Cricket Club on Monday, February 27 from 7.30pm. To find out more about sponsoring, email info@leisuretecuk.com