Cork Jazz Festival organizers hope it continues this weekend despite alarming rise in Covid cases

CORK Jazz organizers expect the event to unfold despite an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past fifteen weeks.

The festival is scheduled to open on Friday evening (October 22), with Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney indicating that they expect the event to take place.

Festival organizers will consult on the government’s new Covid-19 control measures – but these are expected to revolve around an extension of vaccination certificates, booster vaccines, face masks and protective measures. social distancing.

“We are aware that further announcements regarding the restrictions must be made,” said a spokesperson for the festival.

“The health and safety of the public remains our top priority. “

The Taoiseach said he hoped to attend the event if he returned to Ireland in time after an EU meeting.

“I was invited to the opening ceremony – if I come back from Brussels. But you can celebrate jazz in so many ways, you know.”

Mr Coveney said he expected the event to take place but declined to comment on new Covid-19 control measures that will be adopted from tomorrow by Cabinet.

“I’m not going to make any predictions,” he said.

Vaccination certificates are now expected to be extended for use in indoor locations, potentially until Christmas – and a strict enforcement policy will be enacted, with each certificate verified against a photographic identification.

The Taoiseach said an expanded booster vaccination program will also be rolled out over the winter.

The 43rd Cork Jazz Festival is expected to be the first full-scale festival in Ireland since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in February / March 2020.

New York hip hop legend Mos Def will head the event, which will hopefully pave the way for other major Irish music and cultural events to return after the pandemic closes.

The festival, worth € 45m to Cork’s economy at large, was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Founded in 1978, Cork Jazz is one of Ireland’s oldest annual music events.

The event, which is set to take place October 22-25, will also feature stars such as Matthew Halsall, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Mick Flannery, Susan O’Neill, Mack Fleetwood, DJ Jenny Greene, King Kong Company and Kit Downes. .

Diageo’s Director of Partnerships Rory Sheridan said it was very exciting to see Cork Jazz return.

“Ireland is teeming with some of the most talented and creative musicians, artists and performers, but for the past 18 months they haven’t had a stage, pub, venue or stadium,” he said .

“We all missed the buzz of the crowd and the beat of the drum, so we are delighted to welcome The Guinness once again. Cork Jazz Festival, providing a platform for musicians to perform and welcoming thousands of people to Cork to enjoy the festival atmosphere we have all been looking forward to returning to.

“This will be the first major festival in Ireland since the pandemic to take place, which is a milestone not only for musicians and the events industry which has been one of the hardest hit industries, but also for festival-goers who were expecting some good news. “

Willie J. Johnson

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