High notes as Jazz festival is named tourism award winner

High notes as Jazz festival is named tourism award winner

The popular series of Tunbridge Wells music nights won silver in Tourism Event / Festival of the Year category of the Beautiful South Tourism Awards.

Julian Leefe-Griffiths, Managing Director of The Tunbridge Wells Hotel and the event organiser, picked up the accolade at the Grand Hotel in Brighton on Wednesday [December 5].

“We are really pleased and very proud of five to six years of hard work to make it the event that it is,” he told the Times.

Around 1,500 to 2,000 people pack into The Pantiles every Thursday from May to late September for the live music.

Mr Leefe-Griffiths took charge of the events six years ago after a previous incarnation of Jazz on The Pantiles was forced to stop after 21 years.

Alongside fellow organiser Lionel Shell, Mr Leefe-Griffiths has kept refining the line-up of bands and musicians, trying to bring back popular acts.

He continued: “It is the first one we have won and we are really pleased to be recognised.

“We were beaten to gold by Leeds Castle who have a massive budget. We are a free event.”

Mr Leefe-Griffiths thanked Mr Shell as well as the event’s sponsors. Business group Royal Tunbridge Wells Together nominated them for the award.

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