Story and Photos by Paul Hughes
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
The Stuttgart “Jazz Open” takes place annually in the heart of downtown Stuttgart. And this year, with the event running between Sep 10, and Sep 19, it became one of the first large-scale music events to take place in the city since the start of the COVID pandemic.
Set in seven locations around the Stuttgart center, the largest venue at the Schlossplatz is an impressive site for an outdoor concert. And, on Sept 15, the venue was filled with people, some of whom had waited more than 20 years to see headline act Liam Gallagher – Ex singer of Oasis and of Wonderwall fame – return to Stuttgart.
What started out as a Jazz event in 1994 – where marquee names were notable Jazz musicians such as Paul Scofield and Randy Crawford – the festival morphed into a celebration of all music genres. Gallagher himself acknowledging this fact, when he joked with the rock ‘n’ roll crowd, by asking if they were “enjoying the jazz.”
After last year’s event became a victim of COVID, its 2021 return looked markedly different from previous Jazz Opens, appearing at times like a return to normality, but with a few exceptions. Baden-Württemberg’s current COVID guidance limits the number of attendees to outdoor events to 5000 people – less than half of this facility’s capacity. Masks were mandatory and only tested, recovered or vaccinated people were allowed to enter.
This year Gallagher is among good company in terms of well-known solo artists gracing the stages. Other big acts include; Ben Howard, Amy Macdonald and Katie Melua. The latter played the smaller Altes Schloss stage, one of the more intimate venues of the festival.
The 2022 line up for what is one of Stuttgart’s most important cultural events has already been announced. Next year audiences will have the opportunity to be serenaded by Sting, to Rock out to Van Morrison, or chill to the easy listening of Jamie Cullum in a weeklong event that’s not to be missed.
For more information go to https://www.jazzopen.com/jazzopen-2022.html