THE sweet sound of jazz is helping to boost the hospitality sector and attract music-lovers from across the globe into making the kingdom a must-visit destination, according to tourism chiefs.
The third edition of the Bahrain International Jazz Fest on November 1 is growing its reputation and international stature with this year’s event headlined by 10-time Grammy-nominated platinum-selling icons of the genre, Spyro Gyra.
Dr Ali Follad, tourism advisor to the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority (BTEA), said: “This event, even though it’s quite young, helps puts the Kingdom of Bahrain on the map. We are very happy to see it grow internationally and attract big names.
“Just like Formula One and the new underwater diving park attracts a lot of attention, similarly, we would like to see the jazz festival become another iconic event that Bahrain is known for.
“We want to see more events like this, where players in the private sector come together to turn an impressive community concept into a reality - supported, where needed, by the BTEA and other stakeholders.”
The family-friendly event will be held at the Royal Golf Club, Riffa Views. Doors open from 11am until 11pm and, alongside the music, there will be interactive children’s tents, food trucks, corporate hospitality areas, activation zones and all-day markets. This year the festival will have a second community stage for up-and-coming acts based in Bahrain.
To help promote the event on the international stage and to attract jazz-lovers to the island, BTEA is marketing this year’s festival through its seven offices in India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
And it’s not the only big hitter pushing the event forward. Ali Murtaza, director of business development, tourism and leisure at the Economic Development Board (EDB), added: “We at the EDB consider ‘events’ a major sector with potential for Bahrain.
“The kingdom attracts more than 12.7 million visitors from across the world and there is great potential to host many day events here. Accordingly, we look forward to working with the BTEA and other stakeholders to help attract investment into the tourism and events sectors as part of our extensive strategy of enhancing our offerings.”
The organisers of the festival are delighted to be receiving the backing after witnessing the jazz festival grow in popularity each year. It now attracts the attention of big names acts and their management companies wanting to be a part of the musical adventure.
Jude D’Souza, festival principal and managing partner of Clockwork Professional Services, co-founded the event with his business partner Paul Gindra and BMMI events manager, Michael Goodger.
“We’re especially proud to have the backing of the BTEA and EDB who share our vision for making this exciting initiative an annual driver for tourism in the kingdom and also a contributor to the promotion of local musical talent in Bahrain,” said Mr D’Souza.
The team thanked their numerous corporate partners for their support in making the event happen, in particular BNP Paribas and The BNP Paribas Foundation which invests in jazz.
Last year’s show attracted 5,000 people and more are likely this time round. Mr Gindra added: “We’re working hard to create a unique jazz experience that the whole family can enjoy. It has become a must-attend event in Bahrain.”
Following a series of mini-concerts at major malls across the kingdom, The 2019 festival programme will also feature one week of free jazz concerts from October 24 – 30 in different restaurants and hotels leading up to the open-air festival on November 1.
The festival tickets are priced at BD21 for adults and BD10.500 for juniors with free admission for children aged six and under. Further details about the event, its attractions and activities can be found by visiting www.bahrainjazzfest.com or on the Facebook page (Bahrain Jazz Fest).