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October 12, 2017 06:07 PM

Jazzfest Loses A Day And Leader

Some big changes are coming to Jazzfest in the next year. New leadership is only part of the new plans.

We talked to the current Executive Director, Rob Joyce, about the future of the festival.

Jazzfest is cutting back. Next year, the free, outdoor concert series will be Friday and Saturday only. This ends the seven-year stretch with shows on Thursday nights. 

"It seems like a win-win. We can focus some of that money on talent and staging and energy and things for Friday and Saturday, and give up Thursday and hope that everybody understands that it's going to make the event better," said Joyce. 

This past summer, Jazzfest had more than 750 volunteers. Rob Joyce says that's also a big reason the calendar is being cut by a day; to ease up the load on the people who put it all together.

Joyce says vendors shouldn't lose too much from the change.

"They usually make most of their money on Friday and Saturday as well. We plan on talking to them about our decision but it may not make such an impact for them either," said Joyce. 

It's not just the dates that are being trimmed. Joyce has decided to resign his position as Executive Director, after 23 years with the organization. He says he's excited to try new things and will stay around to help out.

He will, however, miss leading the event that became his dream job.

"It's always been my passion to be involved in music, and this is so cool to be able to stand up on the stage and see hundreds of thousands of people coming to your events. There's nothing like that. It makes you smile, so it's pretty cool," said Joyce.

Jazzfest will be July 20 and 21 next summer.

Anyone interested in applying for Joyce's job can visit the Jazz and Blues page.

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