Vibrant Rye is the place to be

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A four day jazz festival brought globally renowned artists to the town and had people grooving in the street over the bank holiday weekend.

Even Monday’s monsoon could not put a damper on the festival.

It was satisfying to peruse the leisure pages of national newspapers on Saturday and read articles urging people to head to Rye over the weekend.

Credit must go to organiser Ian Bowden who, faced with scepticism when he first raised the idea of a jazz festival in Rye, pushed ahead and made it work. The festival is now in its third year and feels well established.

Festivals such as this and the up and coming Rye Arts Festival can give places a strong association in the way that Glyndebourne is associated with opera and Brecon with jazz.

Coupled with all the attention Rye has been attracting from the Mapp and Lucia filming and the Monuments Men film it helps profile Rye as a vibrant centre for the arts.

And those still craving a festival atmosphere need not look far with the Rye Maritime Festival set to bring more colour and noise to the town on Sunday.

Rye certainly feels like the place to be at this moment in time.