Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch and Mark Hewetson of Bout Time are excited about Bundaberg getting the 2011 Australian Jazz convention.
Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch and Mark Hewetson of Bout Time are excited about Bundaberg getting the 2011 Australian Jazz convention. Rob Barich

Convention set to jazz up the city

A LITTLE bit of the New Orleans vibe will be felt in Bundaberg next year when the city hosts the 66th annual Australian Jazz Convention.

Street parades and performances in the city’s parks and workshops will all be part of the action as 600 jazz enthusiasts and performers descend on Bundaberg for six days.

Potential visitors are already looking for accommodation almost two years out from the event.

“It’s going to be huge,” Bundaberg Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said.

The event brings together musicians and jazz performers from all over Australia, as well as international guests.

The city won the right to host the convention after Bundaberg Regional Council events development officer Karen Richters gave a bid presentation to the steering committee and to members at the annual general meeting.

A vote was taken and Bundaberg won the convention for 2011.

The Australian Jazz Convention is the longest running convention of its type in the world, and the biggest in Australia.

It has been held annually for the past 64 years from December 26 to January 1, and was last hosted by Melbourne.

This year the event will be held in Orange, NSW.

Cr Pyefinch said people who came to Bundaberg for the six-day program would probably stay for a week.

“This will be great for the city’s economic development,” she said.

“The people attending will be looking for accommodation, shopping, entertainment and places to eat.”

Cr Pyefinch said the presentation to the convention committee identified a number of places where performances could be held, including the Civic Centre, the supper room, parks and St Andrew’s Church for the gospel music element.

Convention performers traditionally put on a street parade.

“It’s an interesting time of year to hold it because it starts on Boxing Day, and experience has shown most people arrive for the convention on Christmas Eve,” she said.

“We will need to ensure restaurants in town are aware there will be people looking for places to eat.”

Cr Pyefinch said the event would take a lot of organising, and the council was keen to see which local groups might be interested in helping.



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