After intensive efforts to deliver a festival this year, CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival
producers Marc Iacona and John Nugent announced today that despite holding onto hope that a socially distanced festival could take place this year at a more spacious location, it will not be viable from either a business or health safety perspective due to necessary NY State health guidelines and capacity restrictions.
“We are disappointed to announce that the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival 19th Edition will be postponed to June 17 to 25, 2022. We will be back next year and are committed to making every effort to move forward in downtown Rochester and also explore expanding the Festival with programming at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT),” said Iacona and Nugent.
“My heart is heavy,” said Nugent, Producer, and Artistic Director. “All of our colleagues, with whom we block book much of the amazing talent we present, postponed their festivals months ago. We did not want to throw in the towel but we are now left with no viable alternatives. As we tried to plan, we faced a plethora of logistical barriers including capacity limits, border closures, artists reluctant to travel, limited availability of talent to book, visas for international artists now invalid, and more. We fully realize that the loss of live music has created a huge void in our lives and it has been career-ending for many musicians, but we will bring RIJF back next year with the high level of superior artistry our patrons have come to expect, and in an environment that will be inspiring and uplifting.”
As Iacona and Nugent said in February, their ability to present a festival would be dependent on New York’s public health guidelines being favorable for travel and large gatherings.
We felt that we would have the highest chance of presenting the event if we held it at a larger more spacious setting, and therefore arranged to move the festival this year to RIT and at later dates July 30 to August 7, to give people more time to be vaccinated. In following ongoing NY State guidelines, no matter what we tried to produce, there would be capacity restrictions placed on the Festival, making it economically unfeasible for us to deliver the level of event that our patrons have grown to love and support.
“Planning during a pandemic for an event of this scope that draws people from all over the world has been a challenge beyond anything we have ever encountered,” said Iacona, Festival Producer and Executive Director.“ As the landscape has continued to evolve we have discussed myriad configurations such as fewer days and all outdoor shows, but it has become clear that we cannot deliver the product that people expect from us musically or logistically with capacity restrictions. We could not wait any longer to make a decision and we needed to make it based on what we know now, with the facts at hand, and not what we hope it will be in three months. We are exceedingly grateful to our loyal patrons, sponsors, venues, vendors, volunteers, and Monroe County and the City of Rochester for standing with us during this long process, and to RIT, who was ready to welcome us to its campus.” Tickets Club Passes for the 2022 Festival will go on sale in October.
More Information Festival updates will be provided on RochesterJazz.com, in the Festival’s email newsletters, and on social media. FAQs have also been posted at RochesterJazz.com and will be updated as needed.
The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is one of the world’s leading jazz festivals. Held annually in Rochester, NY, the nine-day Festival draws more than 200,000 music fans and presents more than 1750 artists from around the world in 320+ shows at 20+ venues. The Festival is produced by RIJF, LLC, a privately held company owned by John Nugent and Marc Iacona.