The ‘Mumbles Music Mile Festival’ originally started out as the ‘Mumbles Mostly Jazz and Blues Festival’ in 2010. It changed its name a year later and is now sadly no longer, despite the best efforts of eager locals and business people.
Set in the picturesque Mumbles area of Swansea, festival goers enjoyed spectacular views across The Gower Peninsula and Swansea Bay and some of the best grassroots jazz and blues of the modern era.
The festival’s mission was to “establish a reputation for presenting a programme of internationally acclaimed musicians as well as local artists”.
Whilst the festival did not enjoy a great number of years, the short time that they did go ahead proved that Swansea could indeed bring jazz music to the masses.
The festival was set up to showcase the finest in jazz and blues artists from around the UK and overseas and bring to life the wonderful atmosphere of The Mumbles.
Live music stages were set up across the festival area and a host of pubs, bars and restaurants jumped onboard to get into the carnival spirit. From open-air concert performances to intimate jazz dinner and dances, there was something for everyone at this great jazz and blues festival.
We loved the fact that the festival attracted everyone from die-hard music fans to those keen to learn a little but more about these genres of music.
Those who had never swayed to a jazz tune before found themselves lapping up new music and jazz fans could close their eyes and dream they were in New York.
As well as high-quality music there were great food stalls, beer gardens and live events stages set up throughout the area to keep festival-goers fed and watered.
Whether it was local beers or regional delicacies and food from around the region, festival goers were spoilt for choice with delicious offerings.
Locals businesses did a roaring trade and the festival was a definite boost for all concerned, with over 2000 people visiting the area over a four day period.
It helped that the area is a hot spots for tourists during the summer due to its fine beaches, great water sports and plenty of nature walks to keep festival goers entertained in-between gigs.
Festival organisers Terry Scales and David Townsend Jones made it their mission to book high quality acts that gave the festival a unique boutique feel, that was intimate and relaxing for its guests.
Highlights of the 2011 festival included guitar virtuoso Gary Potter with the Dave Cottle Trio, Barrelhouse, No Obligation, Felix Subway, Kelly’s Angels, Brian Breeze Rhythm & Blues with Ray ‘Taff’ Williams. The list goes on and there were equally big names the year before.
Not to be outdone by professional musicians, locals and festival goers often embraced the spirit of the festival by picking up an instrument and joining in or never being shy about joining in with the singing.
The Mumbles Music Mile Festival was sponsored by Admiral for six years but rising production costs and overheads meant that the festival could not continue, with sponsorship finally being pulled and the festival unable to secure adequate financial backing.
Relying heavily in volunteer support in its last year, the festival went out with a bang and was packed full of the spirit of the village.
The Mumbles is still home to a four day festival of music, art and literature to fill the void of the jazz and blues festival, but it is not quite the same as our beloved Mumbles Music Festival that will always have a place in our hearts.