Could Mostly Jazz Festival be moving to Kings Heath?

Posted on Tue, 23 Feb 2021 in: Events and News

Organisers of the Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival are in talks about moving this year's music festival (July 2021) to Highbury Park following concerns that Moseley Park may not have the adequate space required to incorporate social distancing rules.

The team behind the Festival have discussed their plans with the relevant authorities, as well as the Chamberlain Highbury Trust, Highbury Park Friends, Highbury Orchard Community, the beekeepers and The Allotments, and so far have their full support, providing certain guidelines are adhered to and implemented into their plans.

They have recently circulated a letter detailing their plans. Please see below the letter contents:

"Dear Highbury Park User,

There’s a strong chance that social distancing will still be necessary in July 2021. In that scenario Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival would be unable to be held in Moseley Park, so as a contingency we have been discussing the South West corner of Highbury Park as an alternative.

We have been in discussion with the local groups that help care for the Highbury Park, namely Chamberlain Highbury Trust, Highbury Park Friends, Highbury Orchard Community, the beekeepers and The Allotments who have all lent us their qualified support. They have set out some guidelines for us to work through in preparing our plans.

We’ve discussed our plans with the local authorities who are also supportive. We’d like to tell you about our plans, which are in their early stages, about our events in Moseley Park and how we are planning to minimise inconvenience and any nuisance to park users and local residents.

About us

We’ve produced Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul (since 2010) and the Moseley Folk & Arts Festival (since 2006), both of which are held in Moseley Park. Our programming is always bold and ambitious with heavyweight international artists performing alongside the best in UK emergent talent.

Both are very family friendly inclusive events that attract all ages and backgrounds from our local community and they’ve firmly established themselves on Birmingham’s summer calendar. Mostly Jazz was voted best festival 2 years running by the Birmingham Music Awards and Whatson readers voted Moseley Folk Best Midlands Festival in 2016 & 2019 and Best Birmingham Festival in 2017 & 2018.

The majority of our staff, artists, caterers, stall holders and contractors come from the Birmingham area. West Midlands Growth have calculated the annual economic benefit to the local economy as £447,821 for Moseley Folk and £641,029 for Mostly Jazz. We support local charities and food banks including Love Brum, SIFA Fireside and Friends of the Earth.

Our plans

Working carefully with the Chamberlain Highbury Trust and the other local groups we’ve made sure our event would avoid heritage features and sensitive areas of nature conservation value. Our event would be held on the amenity grassland fields in the South West corner of Highbury with our stages facing Northwards.

Noise nuisance concerns

Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul takes place over 9th- 11th July 2021, it opens from 1pm to 10.30pm on the Friday and on 11am -10.30pm on the Saturday and Sunday. Moseley Park is a challenging festival location with residential property backing directly onto the Park. Over the years we’ve worked hard to keep any noise nuisance to a minimum and we strictly adhere to the limits set by Birmingham City Council. We employ the best sound engineers in the region who use speaker arrays that can accurately focus sound within the festival. We also employ an independent sound analyst who monitors sound levels in and around the site to ensure we’re within legal limits.

Highbury is a less challenging site with greater distances to residential properties. At Moseley Park the nearest property is 125m from the front of our main stage. At Highbury the closest sensitive site, Parkview is 275m or Britannic at 575m.

Our monitor speakers which face backwards from the front of the stage are designed for our musicians to hear what the audience can hear but at a much-reduced level. In Moseley Park the nearest properties are 50m from the back of the stage, at Highbury the nearest properties on Westfield Road would be 120m from the back of the stage.

In Moseley Park the closest residents to the event are given goodwill discounted tickets depending how close-by they are. At Highbury we’d offer the same scheme to residents of Westfield Road. Local residents will also be given a number to call during the event weekend if they have any concerns.

Litter concerns

Our litter team start early each morning over the event weekend clearing up from the night before. They cover the event site and would also cover the route into the Park from the Alcester Road and 50 metres either side of the Park entrance. We are committed to recycling and sustainability and our waste is separated and recycled with Birmingham City Council.

Traffic concerns

We encourage our audience to cycle or to catch the bus to the festival. As with Moseley Park we would discourage car use, and suggest for those that insist on driving, to park outside of the immediate area and to catch the bus to the event. We will be developing a comprehensive Traffic Plan in the coming months but initially we realise the need for the pedestrian crossing by the entrance to the Park to be marshalled. We’ll also be providing a marshalled taxi pick up and drop off point safely away from that busy junction. Our traffic marshals will also make sure the junctions of Shutlock Lane, Moor Green Lane and Dads Lane don’t become congested.

If you have any concerns or would like more information please email info@mostlyjazz.co.uk with Highbury as the subject."

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