The jazz festival rocked Rye


Once again the Rye International Jazz Festival got the town buzzing. After much anticipation and after months of hard work and planning the festival had arrived, much to the delight of the crowds who descended on the town en masse. For many, this August bank holiday musical extravaganza has become an annual pilgrimage.

Rye is generally busy during the summer months but much to the delight of the organisers (and local businesses) those numbers were swelled last weekend as music lovers from all over the UK and abroad arrived to witness the fabulous and diverse array of artists performing in venues all over town.

The atmosphere was infectious; at every turn there were smiling faces and those who felt like “getting into the groove” did just that, dancing, laughing, eating, drinking and generally having a great time.

The headline concerts attracted a lot of interest. The acoustics in St Mary’s carry the sound so well, a great venue and the perfect backdrop for such musical talent. For those who wanted jazz al fresco there was plenty to entertain them outdoors and much of it free!

Setting up the staging and lighting, accommodating the artists, coordinating the marketing and generating the required sponsorship were just some of the tasks facing “Team Rye Jazz” but once again, they pulled it off.

Many Rye businesses supported the festival and most prospered over the weekend with bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants taking full advantage of the increased numbers of visitors. Hotels, guest houses and holiday lets were in great demand, carparks were full to capacity and whilst some locals might have had a temporary inconvenience with road closures the festival went without incident, testimony to the planning and forward thinking of the organisers.

The Music Well was the festival’s chosen charity, run by an incredible group of people who, through music therapy, make people’s lives happier and better.

Walking through town today it’s as if the Jazz festival had never been: life has returned to normal.

Rye International Jazz Festival 2023

A huge thank you to Ian Bowden and his intrepid team who work tirelessly to produce this professional, fun-packed weekend of music food and laughter. It is the TOPS.


Rye International Jazz Festival 2023

The following speak louder than words.

More photos to be found at


Image Credits: Kt bruce , Arabella Ansar .

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