Jazz festival given tune up

NEW TICKET BOOTH: Volunteers, Tom Telford Alan Richardson and Grant Humphries. Picture: LEON GEORGIOU.

GENERATIONS in Jazz has endured a two-year hiatus but work continues behind the scenes in anticipation of the major festival’s 2022 return.

Event coordinator Karyn Roberts said the Generations in Jazz board had used the two-year break – a result of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions – to reflect, plan and improve on the event.

“Whilst the past two years have been challenging as we navigated the ever-changing rules of the pandemic, it has provided us time to reflect and take a closer look at the event, exploring areas for improvement to ensure it continues to meet, and aim to surpass, school and audience expectations,” she said.

In particular, the board has focused on improving onsite logistics and band member comfort, using the construction skills of a group of volunteers – affectionately known as the “band of merry men”.

These volunteers, largely retired men from Mount Gambier, have converted shipping containers into modern warm-up spaces – ensuring band participants have a comfortable, warm and soundproof location to practice before going onstage to perform.

One of the larger containers has also been repurposed to provide onsite storage.

The shipping containers were donated by Australian businessman Lindsay Fox, with K&S Freighters transporting the containers to the festival’s OB Flat site.

Work has also started on a new stand-alone ticket office near the main car park, neighbouring the Big Top tent.

The ticket office will help fast-track public ticket purchases and free up administration space for event organisers.

More importantly, the relocation of the ticket booth will help disperse crowds and improve social distancing.

“We are extremely grateful for the dedicated efforts of our hardworking site volunteers, coordinated by Greg Muller, who are assisting us to take our event to the next level,” Ms Roberts said.

“They generously spare hundreds of hours working behind the scenes throughout the year, rain, hail or shine, to ensure our event infrastructure is ready to cater for the thousands of participants who will flood through the gates next May.

“Without these people, events like Generations in Jazz simply would not occur. It takes a huge community effort and we thank each and every one of them for their generous support.”

Generations in Jazz is set to return to Mount Gambier on May 6-8 2022.

Visit www.generationsinjazz.com.au to learn more about the 2022 event.