The organisers of the fourth Liberation Music Festival have hailed the event a great success with more than five thousand people attending, and significant national and international publicity for Jersey.
Islanders and visitors enjoyed a packed programme over the five day event, including concerts featuring star musicians of the classical worlds, top dancers from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, and singers from opera to jazz. Thanks to the sponsorship by UBS, Carey Olsen, HSBC, the Arts Trust, and the Tourism Development Fund there was the possibility to hold many educational opportunities including more than 100 children from Island schools attending the star-studded concert on Liberation Day. The concert featured Alexandra Soumm and Alexander Sitkovetsky on violin, Wu Qian on piano, clarinettist Michael Collins, cellist Guy Johnston, and singer Laura Wright who flew to Jersey having sung in the FA Cup Final and then back to meet the Queen.
The event, held also attracted significant positive coverage for Jersey. A number of important music critics attended for publications that included Musical Opinion magazine, the Daily Telegraph, International Piano Review, and as far afield as New Zealand.
BBC Radio 3, which has up to two million listeners, recorded the festival for the second year running at the Opera House – a move that really places Jersey firmly on the cultural map, according to the festival chairman, James Mews.
‘It’s been a fantastic festival from start to finish. We knew we were fortunate to attract stars of the calibre of Laura Wright, and Anton and Erin, but the response from festival-goers, and the general level of positivity about the whole event has exceeded our expectations. We’ve also been pleased about the number of opportunities we’ve been able to give young people to listen to, learn from and take part in musical events with internationally renowned musicians.’
The Liberation Music Festival celebrates the liberation of Jersey from German occupation in the Second World War through music. Other highlights of the five-day event included a major choir and opera from the Royal Opera House stars at St Thomas’ Church, a Polish themed concert at Mont Orgueil Castle, a musical walk from St Catherine’s breakwater, a performance by Strictly Come Dancing stars Anton and Erin, jazz at Hamptonne Country Life Museum and free tuition from visiting star players at musical masterclasses for Island music students.
The Artistic Director Harriet Mackenzie, said “It’s been incredible how the Festival has developed. This has been an incredible honour and working with so many amazing people, not only the international stars – there couldn’t have been a higher level – but also the team making the Festival happen. It’s amazing to see a community come together like this and to see the Jersey talent shining like a beacon for the island.”