Birgitta Layton

Birgitta Layton

Modified & Updated: 24 Jan 2024


If you’re a lover of jazz music, then you’ve probably heard of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. This exceptional festival, known for its incredible lineup and vibrant atmosphere, has become a must-attend event for jazz enthusiasts from all over the world. Held in the picturesque town of Cheltenham in England, the festival attracts both seasoned musicians and emerging talents, making it a hub for artistic excellence.

In this article, we’re going to delve into 20 fascinating facts about the Cheltenham Jazz Festival that will give you a deeper understanding of its rich history, iconic performances, and the impact it has had on the jazz community. From the festival’s humble beginnings to its evolution into one of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world, get ready to uncover some exciting insights about this incredible musical celebration.

Table of Contents

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival is one of the UK’s top jazz festivals.

With its rich history and incredible lineup of world-class musicians, the festival has become a major highlight in the jazz calendar.

It takes place annually in Cheltenham, a picturesque town in Gloucestershire, England.

The festival brings together jazz enthusiasts from all over the world to experience the vibrant music scene in this charming location.

The first Cheltenham Jazz Festival was held in 1996.

Since then, it has grown in popularity and size, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

The festival spans over six days, usually taking place in May.

During this time, the town of Cheltenham comes alive with the sounds of jazz resonating through its streets, parks, and concert venues.

The festival showcases a diverse range of jazz genres, including traditional jazz, fusion, Latin jazz, and contemporary styles.

There is something for everyone, whether you are a seasoned jazz aficionado or a newcomer to the genre.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival attracts renowned artists from around the globe.

You can expect to see performances by internationally acclaimed musicians, emerging talents, and local jazz acts.

In addition to live performances, the festival offers workshops, masterclasses, and educational programs.

This provides a unique opportunity for aspiring musicians and jazz enthusiasts to learn from the best in the industry.

The festival features a mix of indoor and outdoor venues.

From intimate jazz clubs to large outdoor stages, the festival offers a variety of settings to enjoy the music.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival is known for its lively and vibrant atmosphere.

The festival-goers are passionate about jazz and create a buzzing energy throughout the event.

The festival collaborates with local businesses and organizations to promote the town’s cultural heritage.

Through partnerships and sponsorships, the festival contributes to the cultural and economic growth of Cheltenham.

Over the years, the festival has hosted legendary jazz musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, and Diana Krall.

These iconic performances have left a lasting impact on both the festival and the jazz community as a whole.

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival boasts a dedicated following of jazz enthusiasts who return year after year.

They create a sense of community and camaraderie, adding to the unique experience of the festival.

The festival also embraces other art forms, with film screenings, visual art exhibitions, and spoken word performances.

These interdisciplinary collaborations add depth and diversity to the overall festival experience.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival has a strong commitment to showcasing emerging talent.

It provides a platform for up-and-coming jazz musicians to gain exposure and reach new audiences.

The festival is known for its programming diversity, offering something for all ages and musical tastes.

From family-friendly events to late-night jam sessions, there is a wide range of options to suit every festival-goer.

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival has received numerous awards and accolades over the years.

Its reputation as a world-class jazz event continues to grow, cementing its status as a must-attend festival.

The festival attracts visitors from across the UK and beyond.

Its international appeal brings a multicultural and inclusive vibe to the festival atmosphere.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival offers opportunities for local musicians to showcase their talent.

It celebrates the rich jazz heritage of the region while also promoting new voices in the genre.

The festival promotes a sense of exploration and experimentation within jazz music.

It encourages artists to push boundaries and embrace innovative approaches to their craft.

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival is a cultural highlight not just for Cheltenham but for the entire jazz community.

Its ability to bring people together through the power of music is what makes it a truly remarkable event.


In conclusion, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival is a must-attend event for jazz enthusiasts and music lovers alike. With its rich history, talented lineup of artists, and vibrant atmosphere, the festival offers a unique and unforgettable experience. From world-class performances to intimate jam sessions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or simply looking for a weekend filled with fantastic music, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival is definitely worth checking out. So mark your calendars and get ready to immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of jazz at this incredible event.


1. When is the Cheltenham Jazz Festival held?

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival is typically held in the month of May. The exact dates may vary from year to year, so it’s important to check the festival’s official website for the latest updates.

2. Where is the festival located?

The festival takes place in Cheltenham, a vibrant spa town located in Gloucestershire, England. The main hub of the festival is the Cheltenham Town Hall, but events and performances can be found at various venues throughout the town.

3. How can I purchase tickets for the festival?

You can purchase tickets for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival through the festival’s official website. The website provides detailed information on ticket prices, packages, and availability.

4. Are there age restrictions for attending the festival?

No, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival is a family-friendly event, and people of all ages are welcome to attend. However, some venues and performances may have specific age restrictions, so it’s advisable to check the festival’s website or contact the organizers for more information.

5. Are there any accommodation options available near the festival?

Cheltenham offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and self-catering apartments. It’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance, as the festival attracts a large number of visitors.

6. Can I bring my own food and drinks to the festival?

Outside food and drinks are not permitted inside the festival venues. However, there are food stalls and bars available on-site where you can purchase refreshments.

7. Is the festival accessible to individuals with disabilities?

Yes, the festival aims to be inclusive and accessible to all attendees. The venues are equipped with accessible facilities, and there is dedicated staff available to assist individuals with disabilities. It’s recommended to contact the festival organizers in advance to discuss any specific requirements.

8. What other activities can I enjoy during the festival?

In addition to the live performances, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival offers a range of workshops, masterclasses, and educational events. These provide opportunities to engage with artists, learn about jazz history, and even try your hand at playing an instrument.

9. Is photography allowed during the performances?

Photography is generally not allowed during the performances, as it can be distracting to both the artists and the audience. However, some designated areas or specific performances may allow photography without flash. It’s best to check with the festival staff or refer to the guidelines provided.

10. Are there any COVID-19 precautions in place?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival may have certain safety measures in place, such as social distancing, mask requirements, and capacity restrictions. It’s important to stay updated on the latest guidelines and comply with any requirements set by the festival organizers or local authorities.