THE founder of a popular music festival says its wide but unique appeal is responsible for its success.

Love Supreme Jazz Festival, held at Glynde Place, Lewes, celebrates its fifth year this weekend with performances from high-profile acts such as The Jacksons, Herbie Hancock and George Benson.

The event aims to mix pure jazz with more mainstream music that has “jazz in its DNA” according to Ciro Romano, who established Love Supreme in 2013. He added that it was essential that the festival was “inclusive” to all music fans.

He said: “The key to programming something like Love Supreme is that it is not elitist.

“I think sometimes jazz is thought of as elitist. I think the reason for its success is that we’ve made it non–scary.”

Together the People, another major music festival held in Preston Park, Brighton, was cancelled earlier this year but Mr Romano said its demise was not a cautionary tale.

“I don’t think you can really compare them.

“We operate within our own little bubble; nobody’s doing what we’re doing.

“I’ve been to Together the People and it was great but there are other festivals that are doing what they are doing.”

Love Supreme has a track record of attracting well-known names, having previously hosted Van Morrison, Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry and Chic.

Despite this, Mr Romano said it was not in the festival’s ethos to “spend hundreds of thousands on headliners”.

When he founded the festival Mr Romano said there was a “gap in the market” for a weekend camping festival based around jazz.

On the eve of its fifth edition, he admitted it was a “risk” to launch such an event.

He said: “Was I convinced? No.

“There was a gap in the market, but that doesn’t mean filling that gap would make it successful or that people would want to come.”

The founder said Love Supreme was a “quote unquote music festival”, adding: “Compared to other festivals, we have a lot of people watching music at 1pm.

“Having music from midday is very unusual.”

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