mjf 2020, our 25th anniversary festival, had been planned for 21-25 May. Due to increasing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to  cancel the physical festival on 23 March, just 10 days after it was launched.

Undeterred, we quickly decided to stage an online festival in its place.

mjf 2020: jazz unlocked was a bold, defiant statement of mjf’s 25th anniversary and provided audiences and artists with a high quality, diverse and distinctive engagement experience during the height of the UK COVID-19 lockdown period.

It was produced and streamed in partnership with Jazz North and United We Stream, and in addition to a wealth of specially-created content, pioneered some of the first staged live jazz ensemble performances in the UK since lockdown restrictions began.

The headlines

Programming our first online festival

We wanted to ensure that while still having the opportunity to celebrate our 25th anniversary online, mjf 2020: jazz unlocked should reflect our ambitions for high quality and diversity and supporting commissioned work, northern artists and talent development.

Our online programme featured:

Read our full report on mjf2020: Jazz Unlocked here: mjf2020 Jazz Unlocked final report