Savannah Jazz Festival goes virtual for another year

Savannah Jazz Festival

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – For the second year in a row, the Savannah Jazz Festival is going virtual.

Amid record COVID-19 infections, the city is pulling all permits for public events through Sept. 30, Mayor Van Johnson announced Tuesday.

The show will still go on, with performances from Sept. 23 through 26, divided into five separate shows. But instead of Forsyth Park, the festival will take place at Savannah Station.

“We were prepared for this eventuality. You know, we were hoping for best and planning for the worst,” said Paula Fogarty, the director of the Savannah Jazz Festival.

Just like last year, the plan is to safely stream all 16 performances live. Jazz lovers can keep an eye on the festival’s website for updates.

Organizers also plan to offer a limited number of tickets for the following shows:

  • Sept. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sept. 25 from 3 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.
  • Sept. 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sept. 26 from 2 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Sept. 26 from 5:30 p.m. 10 p.m.

The festival will also raffle tickets through a lottery system, similar to last year’s event.

Several other organizations are now scrambling to make changes to upcoming events. Johnson acknowledged the inconvenience but said he’s taking these measures “as deliberate intermediary steps in lieu of more restrictive steps.”

Fogarty says the lack of the festival’s usual large crowd means refunding money to vendors and more.

I would say that the biggest impact is going to be the city of Savannah itself,” she said. “Our festival generates over $1.5 million of revenue for the city of Savannah, so the city really stands to lose the most.”

WSAV is a proud sponsor of the festival. Follow wsav.com/savannahjazzfestival for future updates on the event.

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