The Joy of Jazz is South Africa’s oldest jazz festival. They have been operating and entertaining audiences for twenty uninterrupted years. This year they celebrated their 21st Birthday by hosting the 2018 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. Celebrating the occasion, the line-up consisted of top local and international acts. Their task is no easy one as hosting a festival like this requires consistent standards and naturally the perfect venue too.

The Sandton Convention Centre (SCC) has been the home of the Joy of Jazz for the past four years, offering a different appeal to its previous venue in Newtown. Shaun Bird, the General Manager of the Convention Centre believes that that the venue allows the festival to expand and to offer jazz lovers the experience that only an indoor venue of this size can provide.

“A central location, unrivalled quality and the opportunity to simultaneously host the artists on five custom stages, each one designed and constructed to showcase the amazing talents on display, makes Sandton Convention Centre un-paralleled in South Africa.” He says.

A festival of this size then requires ‘un-paralleled’ staging. Though most of the sound and lighting is brought in, the COO of Tmusicman and festival producer, Sipho Dlamini commented that since hosting the event at the Sandton Convention Centre audience numbers have been growing over the last four years.

The Joy of Jazz has its own dynamic compared to the type of brief the convention centre normally receives, moving away from using individual spaces, to integrating the one event into the entire building. “The unique structure of Sandton Convention Centre allows the events to be structured to make the best possible use of the space, over and above the vertical footprint, with well-planned and thought out access and controls, suite to both logistical requirements, and the need for a safe a secure environment, meeting the highest international standards in both regards”, Shaun commented.

The unconventional layout also adds to the musicians experience. “They love the space and the lifestyle which we present. For musicians it allows them to network and meet their fans under the same roof, remember they tour most of the time, so when they finish their performance they get to watch other performances together with the crowds.” Sipho said

This model and experience has been successful thus far, as the Joy of Jazz continues into its 22ndyear, the festival is hoping to obtain record numbers, reaching capacity in 2019.