How the festival focuses on including young people and children
The Marsden Jazz Festival prides itself on its efforts to include children and young people meaningfully in the festival and many volunteers who have participated in the 25 portraits project have commented on how well the festival focuses on getting young people involved, as musicians, volunteers and as audience members:
‘The other thing the festival has in spades is the focus on families. It was nice to see the parents bringing the kids down and having a laugh. There seems to be much more opportunity for school and junior bands to play at Marsden than at other festivals.’
This portrait asked two groups of young people to comment on their experience, both of living in Marsden, and of the festival. Firstly, here are some of the comments from young people who make up the Colne Valley Skate Project, aged from 13 -18 and from Marsden Scout group, aged from 10 to 14.
The first theme they identified was a pleasure and pride about the outdoor landscape of Marsden.
‘One of the best things about growing up in Marsden is the views. Gypsy Falls is a great place to hangout. It’s a waterfall that people like to jump off of in summer. Mind you, that’s when we have a summer. I think it’s been proven that Marsden gets 50% more rain than Huddersfield, because of the hills. ‘
‘There are some good places to hang out. The churchyard is good, the stairs are great for practising skate tricks. We also like to go camping up Wessenden. Sometimes in small groups and sometimes with what seems like everyone in Marsden! We also like to go swimming in Sparth. It’s not that cold because it‘s not running water.’
‘It’s good that we’ve got a skate spot at the old goods yard but it will be better if we can get some proper facilities. We do go biking – around the mills, on the canal to Slaithwaite. It would be good if there were better mountain bike tracks around Marsden. ‘
“There’s a lot to do outdoors. Playing football, playing on the moors, whittling and bushcraft. It’s fun and there are always sheep”
“There’s a lot of sports you can do without even leaving the village- tennis, cricket and football”
“The scenery is great. It’s much better than it would be to live in a city”
“When I open my window and look out, I can see the whole of Marsden around me and it’s beautiful”
“Eastergate pebble beach is a great place to go to swim and play”
They commented on changes in the village, during their lifetimes:
“Marsden does have reasonable shops. Owt for Nowt is a favourite amongst our age kids. The chippy and takeaways are good too. Marsden is definitely good for food.”
“The shops have definitely improved since we’ve been growing up. There is a lot of variety and when there is a festival on, like jazz or Cuckoo Day, it feels really busy and fun and exciting. There has been quite a lot of filming here too. Watching the last zombie film being shot was funny!”
“There seems to be a lot of movies filmed in Marsden like “Walk like a panther”. It’s quite cool to watch the filming but sometimes annoyingly busy. It’s great when you can show off in the cinema though.“
They commented on feeling a part of the village:
“Sometimes we feel like we get bad press, like we get the blame for things. We do get involved in village stuff. We are trying to raise money for a skate park and we have done coffee mornings, worked with Friends of Marsden Park and events at the Mechanics Hall.”
And finally, on the jazz festival:
The jazz festival weekend is … interesting! There is definitely some weird music! It’s great to see different stuff in the outdoor venues and taking part in the duck race in the hope of winning a cash prize.
“MJF is LOUD and there are loads of crazy people dancing all over the place. The parade is fun and there is load of variety- music, food, stalls and dancing”
“MJF is a really safe place to be. Even though it gets really crowded, everyone is there to have a good time and that shows.”