The Liberation Music Festival will mostly remain a combination of open-air and online events, but on 14 June the organisers are moving to the new Les Quennevais School for a concert involving some of the Island’s best local performers.
To comply with the latest guidance, they still have to limit numbers, as well as dealing with the ordinary challenges of putting on such a concert, as James Mews, the chairman of organisers Music in Action, explained.
‘The lead-in time for a concert of this nature is usually nine months,’ he said, ‘and we’ve organised it in two. We think it will sell out in record time. We have a number of tickets on sale now, and if all goes well – we await guidance from the Jersey government – we will sell out to capacity if permitted. We are also potentially restricted as to what catering we will be able to offer and are keeping that under review.’
Monday 14 June is the date when the Island is set to enter the last phase of its reconnection strategy, with the permitting of large gatherings and events. On the programme for the event, described as the opportunity to celebrate emerging from lockdown, are performers including the Jersey Chamber Orchestra, Premier Brass, Bella Voce, Georgi Mottram’s Jazz Trio, Retro Gramophone and Little Black Dress.
In the first half of the evening the chamber orchestra will perform popular classics, including Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, Elgar’s Nimrod from Enigma Variations and the slow movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, which was used in the soundtrack of the film The King’s Speech.
If some of the finer details are still written in pencil rather than in ink, it gives the concert a degree of spontaneity not unsuited to the current circumstances.
Mr Mews said: ‘Les Quennevais School has a new and fabulous concert hall with bang up-to-date technology. It’s highly impressive and we think the Jersey audience will find it intriguing to discover a brand-new venue on the Island, a week before its official opening.
‘We are enormously grateful to our little group of dedicated volunteers for helping us get this year’s festival off the ground – we couldn’t have managed it without them.
This year’s festival programme includes a number of events in open-air settings, including an event this Sunday at St Ouen’s Manor and a range of online performances by professional musicians. They include performances by guitarist Morgan Szymanski, pianist Nathan Williamson, mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean with pianist Joseph Havlat, violinist Harriet Mackenzie and the lutenist Andrew Maginley. Tickets for all performances are available via the festival website www.musicjersey.com/liberation-festival.
However, there is something special associated with live music that Mr Mews said he hoped would be evident again on 14 June at Les Quennevais School.
‘Our Liberation@Home provision has been a brilliant outlet, ensuring that people still have access to great music from the comfort of their own living room. However, nothing beats the thrill and collective experience of live music, its mood-enhancing properties and the visceral emotional journey it offers to audience members, and we are delighted at the prospect of being able to offer that to Jersey at the earliest opportunity after lockdown is lifted,’ he said.