The prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival may be reaching a plateau in terms of the number of visitors it can accommodate at its ticketed events. That brings good news and bad news to any festival. In the case of Montreal, it could bring less oversea tourists.
For international publications, this can mean their accredited journalists being short-changed to attend the annual event. That is based on my recent experience at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal after covering inside concerts for most of the past 15 years on behalf of web publishers in Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
“Do you aim to make the festival even bigger or has it reached a plateau?
I don’t think it can get much bigger. At some point you start to cannibalize yourself.”
(Quoted from Mr. André Ménard, co-founder of the Montreal Jazz Festival and artistic director in “The Montreal International Jazz Festival Looks to the Future” published in the online magazine SPEAKEASY on 9 July 2013 and reproduced in the Wall Street Journal on 15 July, 2013)
Up to a few years ago (before it reached its current plateau), the organizers provided from 8 to 12 comp tickets, on average, for journalists covering a particular edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival at their indoor venues. However, niche publications I represent catering to long-haul tourist travelers from Northeast Asia have been down lately to a meager 4 to 6 comp tickets (if lucky) to cover the recent ten-day event. As a consequence, unless the comp ticket policy gets more accommodating for journalists planning to cover future editions of the Montreal Jazz Festival, foreign music critics and tourism journalists attending those concerts will need to re-align their publishers’ priorities reaching instead the other high-profile Monterey jazz and Newport jazz festivals in North America. Those two represent tourist destinations that continue to thrive for world jazz enthusiasts.
See an English translation of one of my omnibus reviews in a recent year of the Montreal Jazz Festival published in Northeast Asian languages