Bristol JAM: What does it all mean?

Friday signifies the beginning of our brand spanking new festival of improvised performance – Bristol JAM. So, in honour of that fact I have decided to put the word ‘JAM’ into a dictionary so that we can properly define the word. First things first, however; any reference to JAM being a fruit based preserve are way off the mark. It is not our intention to spread the festival on toast, or keep it in a big jar in my Grandmother’s pantry with an elastic band round the top so forget about that.JAM: (Verb). To press, squeeze, or wedge tightly between bodies or surfaces, so that motion or extrication is made difficult or impossible. To fill tightly; cram: He jammed the suitcase with clothing. –  This makes sense. The festival is literally stuffed to the rafters with exciting and innovative performances.JAM (Verb). Nautical. to head (a sailing ship) as nearly as possible into the wind without putting it in stays or putting it wholly aback. – Sums up an essence of a voyage into the unknown. This is Britain’s first festival of improvised performance – so the Great Ship ‘Bristol Old Vic’ is sailing into unchartered waters.JAM: (Verb). To fill or block up by crowding; pack or obstruct: Crowds jammed the doors. – This is where YOU come in. We need support. And lots of it. JAM (Verb). To put or place in position with a violent gesture (often fol. by on): He jammed his hat on and stalked out of the room. – This is what I’ll be doing if I don’t see enough support.JAM (Verb). to play (a piece) in a freely improvised, swinging way; jazz up: to jam both standard tunes and the classics. – This sums up the ethos. The festival is about playing. We want the Bristol Old Vic to be a kind of sandbox for creative sorts to muck around in with freedom to explore and invent.


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