Music fans have been urged to back Marsden Jazz Festival or risk losing it in the future.

The plea for people to support the event in its 30th year between October 6 and 9 comes after it was revealed the festival is self-funded through ticket sales for the first time this year after financial pressure on Arts Council England – which had supported the festival since 2008 -meant it couldn’t help them this year.

It’s a brilliant event that shines a light not only on Marsden and the Colne Valley but also helps to cement Huddersfield’s reputation as a place where people can listen to phenomenal music.

Marsden Jazz Festival also brings a lot of people into the area and is a major boost to the local economy but it needs to know the support is there, not just now but well into the future as well.

The way to do it is for people to buy full festival or day passes for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday to show their support for some incredible live music. Half have already been snapped up and people are urged to get theirs as soon as possible – it’s best not to leave it until the last minute. Full festival passes cost £85 in advance, saving £13 and means people can attend all nine main gigs in the imposing St Bartholomew’s Church in Marsden.

Saxophonist Xhosa Cole at St Bartholomew’s Church in Marsden as part of Marsden Jazz Festival 2021. Photo by Elizabeth Baker

If people buy the full weekend pass in advance it works out at just £9.44 per gig, under 30s go half-price and youngsters under 17 pay just £1 per day.

People can buy tickets for individual performances if they prefer. Alternatively, a day pass for Saturday’s gigs is £42, a day pass for Sunday is £36 and a ticket for Friday night’s gigs is £26. All these prices are if the passes are bought in advance.

Artistic director Barney Stevenson said: “You can make a big difference to the future of Marsden Jazz Festival in 2023 and beyond by investing in tickets this year. We are confident people will enjoy our superb programme of nine gigs in St Bartholomew’s Church and their purchase will have an impact that lasts beyond this festival.”

A pre-festival event on the Thursday evening featuring Poet Laureate Simon Armitage to raise money for St Bartholomew’s and the jazz festival has sold out. Simon grew up in the village.

The heart of Marsden Jazz Festival is the spacious and acoustically stunning St Bartholomew’s Church which is being transformed into a world-class venue with a specially built stage and bar. Alongside St Bartholomew’s there will also be a ‘global culinary adventure’ called Street Food Alley and the Market in the Park a short walk away will tempt audiences with food and gifts in between the music.

The festival line-up includes award-winning international acts including Gary Crosby, Ruby Wood, Emma Rawicz, Arun Ghosh and Robert Mitchell. 

Emma Rawicz, Parliamentary Jazz Newcomer of the year 2022

Jazz bassist and band leader Gary Crosby suffered a stroke in 2018 and, as part of his rehabilitation, focussed on a back-to-basics approach to jazz and blues with his new trio, exploring the link between jazz standards and the great American songbook through the music of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and more. The trio will be joined by special guest Zoe Gilby, Parliamentary Awards Jazz Vocalist of the Year 2019.

Soulful vocalist Ruby Wood hails from Huddersfield and has achieved global success as the frontwoman of the Submotion Orchestra. She is in demand by musicians and producers such as Bonobo, Nubiyan Twist, The Sugar Sisters, Alfa Mist, Linden Jay and Jordan Rakei.

Emma Rawicz is an award-winning saxophonist and composer who is making waves in the UK music scene, regularly plays major London jazz venues and is influenced by a range of music from modern jazz and fusion to folk and soul.

Clarinettist and composer Arun Ghosh will present a spiritual jazz reimagining of St Francis of Assisi’s mystical and sublime prayer The Canticle of the Sun performed by a contemporary eight-piece ensemble.

Robert Mitchell is one of the most significant voices in British jazz. A pianist, composer, improviser, writer and poet, he and his band will perform music from their new album of powerful songs of protest, love and peace, blending electronic, jazz, R n’ B, spoken word, film and folk influences to create a unique sound.

To buy tickets and browse the festival programme go to

 * Written by former Huddersfield Examiner Head of Content ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting.