30 October 2023
By Tom Collins
“Jazz 23 has surpassed all others and that is saying a lot as 22 was amazing. The crowds were up, the spend was up and there was an amazing atmosphere”
Businesses in the city are reporting another electric weekend for the 45th Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, with huge numbers attending, packing out the streets and stages of Cork City and beyond.
The festival delivers approximately 100,000 visitors to Cork City over the 5 days, giving a much-needed local spending boost, which is estimated at €45 million. The past two years in particular have surpassed all previous festivals.
The rain didn’t dampen spirits as jazz revellers attended packed out shows like Macy Gray, Morcheeba. Corinne Bailey Rae, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and jazz greats like Matthew Halsall, Adam Ben Ezra, Gilles Peterson and Kurt Elling. Jazz also spilled onto the streets of the city and Kinsale with The Big Fringe and there were numerous impromptu sets and magic moments, with headline acts surprising fans, much to the delight of those who were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
“We were delighted to build on the success of last year with an extra date added and 40% more shows across the city over the weekend. Most of the events sold out and the feedback has been incredible” said Mark Murphy, festival director, who is working with Guinness to bring the festival on par with the best jazz and music festivals in Europe.
Fiona Collins, chair of the Cork Jazz Festival committee, who organise The Big Fringe, the free programme of music across the city, said, “It was incredible to see so many people in the city, Douglas and Kinsale over the weekend. Thanks to all the musicians who flew in from all over Ireland and abroad, to Guinness and to all the businesses involved, for making it such a great success.”
Kevin Herlihy, President of the Cork Business Association (CBA) and co-owner of the Herlihy Centra Group, said “What a weekend for all businesses in the city. 53,000 visitors coming through our airport and 100,000 flocking into the city is just exceptional and much needed for the business community. Guinness and all the organisers should be very proud of the direction they are bringing the festival in.”
Aaron Mansworth, Managing Director of Trigon Hotels, including The Metropole Hotel, the home of jazz, said “The line-up was exceptional and even the weather didn’t dampen people’s spirits or the electric atmosphere across town”.
Philip Gillivan, from The Shelbourne Bar, one of main pubs on the Music Trail said, “Jazz 23 has surpassed all others and that is saying a lot as 22 was amazing. The crowds were up, the spend was up and there was an amazing atmosphere in The Shelbourne and the VQ for the weekend.”
Not only did the pubs, clubs, hotels and venues benefit, but there was a knock-on effect throughout the city. “It was our best weekend since last Christmas”, said Claire Nash from Nash19.
Guinness Cork Jazz Festival will take place again over the October bank holiday weekend in 2024. Keep an eye on guinnesscorkjazz.com or follow the festival on @GuinnessCorkJazz so you don’t miss out when tickets go on sale next year! The Guinness Cork J