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Jazz festival bizarre question.


Hi all, I'm thinking of attending the Canary Wharf jazz (free) festival which is on 17th - 19th August however I can only do so if I can take me kids along.

Now there's 2 things that spring to mind here that may prevent me from attending, A) is a festival lime this a place for 2 young but we'll behavioued children and B) would it be fair on others people attending as I'm always mindful of my children becoming an annoyance to others as no matter how well behaved they are they can't be silent for any length of time?

Although I am keen to expose them to good music as my boy aged 6 is already attending recorder and choir class of his own choosing.

So has anyone been to this event or can give me an idea of wether a jazz festival is a suitable place for children,

Rgds, Lee.


Well-Known Member
I don't know this particular festival and they do vary in style and facilities as well as the audience they attract.

A fortnight ago I went to the Swanage Jazz festival and was struck by the audience profile - at 50 I felt like one of the youngest there and I guess that the average age was pushing 70 ! I don't remember seeing any young children present, but at least it was at a seaside resort with plenty of other attractions in easy reach. Great music in several venues across the town.

I was also struck by the sight of several people in the audience who weren't concentrating exclusively on the jazz performances. A few were talking, I must have seen five or more people reading newspapers, several doing crosswords and one reading '50 Shades of Grey' ! I suppose that they were mainly long-suffering other halves of jazz fans, but it did seem a bit bizarre, and a bit rude to the performers.

I know that at the age of 6 my children would not have lasted long at a jazz festival, and that would have affected my enjoyment. But all kids are different and it's good to expose them to a range of cultural events. I would check to see what style of jazz will be played and what else is going on outside the performance venues.

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Young Col

Well-Known Member
It's a difficult one Lee,as you know your own family best.
The pros are that it's in Canada Square park, so open air, and free, so presumably pretty informal. Might not matter if there's a bit of chat and movement. Could be a good experience.
Cons, that if the audience is serious they won't like much movement during numbers. Or, however well behaved, yours may not follow what's going on and get bored - and distract you from concentrating.

My sons were well behaved but I wouldn't have taken them , even though one was very musical and went on to do music at uni. Best I ever got was them to was in their teens to Stephane Grapelli's 80th birthday concert at the Barbican (it was my birthday too so they had no real choice!) But's that my family, not yours.

Another option is to mix a couple of visits to the festival with some other activities. The Museum of London at Docklands (nearby) is brilliant and free (check opening times). The underground shopping precinct is fun to see its size first time and there are usually some visiting sailing or other vessels, views of the 02 arena, the cable car crossing......


Rhys, thanks for that very thoughtful reply and makes a lot of sense.

Young Cold, some really good ideas there, I wasn't aware there was a museum! Now I do! And the cable car would go down well.

Thanks for the reply gents, may well just make it possible.

Rgds Lee.


ex Landrover Nut
Lee, depends on your kids, but when mine were at that age I wouldn't have taken them to something that long. Had enough trouble with 30-60 minute concerts even when the older kids were performing. And once they get bored they spoil it for you and the guys around you. Also tends to put the kids off if you make them sit still and quiet through something they don't like.
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