Questions over future of jazz festival

Clare Teal at the Budleigh Jazz Festival.

Clare Teal at the Budleigh Jazz Festival. - Credit: Archant

The future of Budleigh Jazz Festival could be in doubt after its organiser announced he was stepping down from the role.

The festival was held at the weekend for the seventh time, the sixth independently of the town’s music festival, and saw top acts performing to completely full houses at the Public Hall over three nights.

However, organiser Tony Dealler has now decided to retire, meaning someone else must come forward to take it on if the event is to continue.

The threat to the festival prompted an impassioned plea from the stage from top UK jazz star Clare Teal, who headlined the final night, for it not to be lost.

Tony said: “I have been doing it for seven years, and will shortly be 80, which are two very good reasons for my stepping down.

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“It’s a seven or eight months’ job organising it, and it becomes a bit of a handful, so I think if somebody else is sitting there doing nothing, why not let them have a go?

“I am perfectly prepared to help out in an advisory capacity, but it’s about time somebody else picked up the baton.”

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Refering to Clare Teal’s plea, he added: “She said ‘Don’t let this fall down, it must continue’. I agree with that plea, but it’s easier said than done.”

Tony thanked his helpers, his sponsors, and the audience for their support, and Cameron Baker and Chris Sennett of Stage Engage who provided stage lighting and mixed the sound.

The festival is a registered charity and supports local schools with instruments and the Devon Jazz Youth Orchestra.

Anyone who might be interested in taking over is asked to contact Tony by calling 01395 446524 or emailing

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