I am a marketing and communications consultant and freelance writer. Living on the Gold Coast in Australia. Check out my website www.sarahsays.com.au or follow on Twitter @WENGoldCoast
Don't miss this great free event
The last time I went to one of the Broadbeach Alliance Festivals was back in May for the Blues on Broadbeach Festival. It was pouring down with rain on the Friday that I went, and even though I still had an amazing time, it dampened the atmosphere somewhat. So this afternoon, a glorious 24 degrees (I am from UK, anything over 20 is a heat wave for me), I was super excited to head to the Broadbeach Jazz Festival and see what was on offer, this time with the sun shining.
There is nothing like listening to live music in the sun, with friends and having a drink or few. Except perhaps for all of the above, but for free. The Broadbeach Jazz festival is just that. It is a totally free community event that has 11 stages hosting a variety of local and international performers (about 34 acts in total) throughout this weekend closing late on Sunday evening.
Each act plays a number of different times and venues throughout the weekend, so you are sure to see a real variety of music and catch the act you want to see.
There is a mix of stages dotted around central Broadbeach with the largest outdoor stages being the Main Stage in Broadbeach Mall which has a huge covered seating area, The Surf Parade Stages and The Oracle Boulevard Stage – these all have loads of bars and restaurants surrounding them so you can grab a drink or a meal and sit back and listen to what's on.
Then there are lots of smaller venue stages too, which offer a more intimate affair. - Popular venues such as Sofitel, TC's, Alto Bar and Jupiter's playing host throughout the weekend to many of the acts.
The festival has something for everyone – classic jazz for the enthusiasts with the occasional pop tune given a jazzy twist for the newbies. Plus you can get as involved as you want, head to one of the more intimate venues for a real jazz flavour or stay on the outskirts and enjoy the buzz of soft jazz in the air.
I saw The Gentlemen Swing Club featuring Frank Bennett at Sofitel who were great – a very smooth swing-jazz sound and definitely worth seeing. I also saw The Dave Bentley Trio at Wave Corner, then Suavito and Grupo Raices (amazing) at the main stage and the Louise Denson Group featuring Ingrid James at The Oracle stage.
I think my favourite was The Louise Denson Group and this was largely due to the location - sat outside the Bavarian Bier Café along Oracle Boulevard sipping sparkling wine with a friend, with cool Jazz in the background to me is just bliss.
I love the atmosphere that festivals bring whether large-scale Glastonbury types or small boutique festivals like this. It doesn't really matter, I really enjoy the sense of community they bring, how they draw people together and unite them in a love of music.
The festival was just getting started tonight, but it already has a great buzz about it - I cannot wait to go back tomorrow. Saturday and Sunday the music starts from early on (10am Sat and 9.30 am Sunday) so there will be plenty to see and do, there is continuous music throughout the day so you can head to Broadbeach, take a picnic, go to the beach, playground or BBQ and catch some music when you feel.
I think free events like this are really important, it give people a chance to meet new people, explore what's going on locally, gives businesses a boost and offers people something different to do, for free.
This is an annual event and I will certainly be going next year. It was loads of fun, well run and a really friendly atmosphere. Plus the music is excellent.
Check the website for full list of acts and when they are playing. Don't miss out.