FAQs on 2021 Festival

February 11, 2021

2021 CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival 19th Edition



Will this year’s festival go on?

In an effort to do everything possible to deliver a festival this summer, Marc Iacona and John Nugent, producers of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, announced on February  11 that this year’s Festival‘s is being planned for July 30 to August 7, 2021 at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Our plans are dependent on New York’s public health guidelines being favorable for travel and large gatherings. A final decision will be made in spring.

Why is the Festival moving to a different location this year?

We have reached a critical junction as we explore how to potentially present a festival, secure programming and put together the plethora of logistic arrangements. We don’t know what the future will bring. We do know that the Festival cannot go on, as usual, this year and that the way we work and how we live have changed. Everyone’s collective health is our top priority.  So if we are able to deliver a festival this year, we must adapt. If public health guidelines do allow us to proceed this summer, we will need a footprint that will provide for more distancing to protect people’s health and ease people’s concerns.  The risk of having to postpone again is greater in a tighter footprint so making the decision now to move to a more spacious area will give us the time we need to plan, more control over venues, and the ability to accommodate more distancing.

Why RIT?

The RIT campus has many advantages that will help us meet anticipated health guidelines during this pandemic:

  • Ample flexible space for distancing.
  • A wide array of venue options.
  • More than $8.2 million in campus upgrades to create an environment that is safe and clean during the pandemic including the installation of more than 3,000 air purification units throughout the campus, thousands of touch-free towel and hand sanitizer dispensers, and hundreds of sheets of polycarbonate barriers.
  • Plenty of space for parking.
  • It is located just 6 miles and less than 15 minutes from downtown Rochester.
  • Experience dealing with large crowds drawing tens of thousands of people a day.
  • RIT has successfully navigated public health safety during this pandemic for large numbers of students, faculty, staff, and the public with a less than one-tenth of one percent COVID-19 positivity rate.

Why are the dates of the festival moving?

There are several reasons.

  • Moving to late July and early August, which is six weeks later than our original dates in June, allows more time for people to get vaccinations.
  • It gives us the additional time we need to plan. Typically by this time of the year we have our lineup almost complete, many headliner tickets have already been put on sale, and a range of key logistics are in place. With the pandemic uncertainty, we have been unable to accomplish these key processes.
  • This time slot will allow us optimal use of RIT’s space since it will be in-between semesters.

Will the Festival return to downtown?

As we have learned throughout the uncertainty of this pandemic, no one knows what the future will bring so we can’t make any long-term decisions now. We are proud to have launched this festival in downtown Rochester and take immense pride in what we have done to bring people from around the world to the city’s center for 18 years. We are grateful to the City of Rochester for its support during this year’s transition. As we have done from the start, every decision made is in the best interest of the festival’s viability, the integrity of our mission to present the highest quality presentation of creative improvised music and experience for patrons, and to continue to build the region’s reputation as a major music and cultural arts destination.

When will the lineup be announced?

If it looks positive that we will be able to deliver a festival in late July/ early August, we will announce a revised lineup this spring. We are already working with managers and their artists who had been originally been booked for our 19th edition last year in June and we will honor as many of those agreements as possible. We don’t know at this time what the situation will be for travel to from other countries to the U.S. or within the U.S. We will provide updates as we learn more from public health and government officials.

When will you announce the venues?

Pending a final decision that we can move forward, we will announce venues at RIT when we announce the lineup this spring. 

How will parking work?

As we start our planning for this new location, parking is one of the many logistical details that we will be discussing and finalizing. All those details will be announced in ample time prior to the festival so that people can plan.

Where will the Ticket Shop be and when will it open?

This is also one of the many logistics details we will announce following the lineup announcement in spring.  Stay tuned!

When will Club Passes go on sale and will the prices be the same as announced for the original 19th edition in June 2020?  

As soon as we confirm that we can proceed with our plans for a festival this summer we will announce when Club Pass sales will resume. Prices will remain the same as they were in 2020. 

Are my headliner tickets still good for the new dates?

No, the two headliner shows booked for June, Spyro Gyra (June 22) and Puss N Boots (June 18), will be canceled and refunds for the full face value of the tickets will be mailed to all ticket holders within 30 days.

  • An email has been sent to all ticket-holders with this information.
  • If you did not receive an email, you chose to opt-out of receiving our emails or your email address has changed.
  • If you have a new email address please sign up for our emails here.
  • If your USPS mailing address has changed, please email us immediately at info@rochesterjazz.com and let us know your new mailing address.
  • If your USPS mailing address has changed and you do not have email, please call the office at 585-454-2060 and leave a message with your name and new mailing address.

I received a credit for headliner tickets purchased for shows that were canceled. May I request a refund for those credits?

Yes, you may request a refund. Please send us an email to info@rochesterjazz.com with your name and address and we will mail you a check.

I have a Club Pass but will not be able to use it in July and August.  Can I get a refund?

No. If you cannot use your Pass this year, it is sharable and you may choose to transfer it to someone else. Or you may use your Pass at the Festival in 2022 or 2023.

If you have any other questions that we have not answered here, please email us at info@rochesterjazz.com. We will post responses to this page.

Updated February 11, 2021