The Ealing Jazz Festival is just one of numerous festival that have taken/are taking place in London this summer. It may not be the best known of the capitals festivals, but its probably one of the most chilled, small scale and cheapest (they let you take your own booze in).
The Ealing Jazz festival hits 29 years of age this year (2013) and as per usual spanned 5 days from, July 24th to 28th. The festival takes place in Warpole park, which is easily accessible from Ealing Broadway underground station (Central and District lines). The cost of entry varies depending on the day with weekend entry obviously being that bit more expensive.
The Ealing Jazz Festival set up
The festival is pretty small scale, but that’s part of its charm. The grounds house just two tents, one for classic jazz, the other for more improv type performances. In between lie’s a huge beer tent, an assortment of food and clothing stalls, and lots of green green grass to park your bum on. As mentioned, its a chilled atmosphere perfectly or families or the meeting of friends. Its not one of those festivals where you wont be able to hear yourself think, let alone the person next to you. And its definitely not one of those festivals where mosh-pits and circle-pits will spring up. If you’re looking for a rave or metal gig this is not the place.
What if I don’t like Jazz?
Whilst the Ealing Jazz Festival is music orientated, there is still plenty for you to enjoy even if Jazz doesn’t feature heavily on your ipod. Warpole park is pretty scenic, and if the weather is good you can spend you evening watching the sun go down whilst lying out on the grass. Within the festival grounds there are plenty of market stalls selling all sorts of crafts. The most interesting of which was the ‘Photo in a bubble’ stand. Have your photo taken whilst you stand in a giant bubble, its just pure genius!
Outside the festival ground (readmission is allowed) there is a small fair and an abundance of ice cream vans for those with a sweet tooth. Ealing town centre has plenty of pubs and shops too but I’d save those for another day.
Taking booze in with you
Unlike most London festivals, where you’re not even allow to take a bottle of water in with you and are therefore forced to spend a small fortune on food and drink once inside, the Ealing Jazz festival allows up to 4 cans of alcohol per person to be taken through the gates upon entry. I’m not saying that you should attend the festival to get utterly smashed, but this option to have a drink in the park at high street prices is more than welcome rather than forking out anything up to £5 per pint like at other festivals in town. You’re also allowed to take food in, but upon my visit I chose to buy a rather nice, if not a little mild, curry from one of the many food stalls operating.
Would I go again?
Would I go again? – yes. In fact this was my 3rd year at the Ealing Jazz festival. In terms of the 2013 event, all in all I spent a very pleasant Friday evening at the Jazz festival catching up with a few friends I made volunteering in Sri Lanka. We agreed it probably wouldn’t top the list of our ‘must do’ festival lists for 2014, but that if we were all free again next year we’d have no worries splashing out a few quid to meet up again in Warpole park and enjoy another evening of cider and Jazz … or Blues or Beer for that matter. Ealing council usually puts on an array of festivals each summer. It might be a bit early to start planning for 2014 now, but this link might be worth keeping an eye on – http://www.ealingsummerfestivals.com/