Umbria Jazz Festival

Umbria Jazz Festival 2014

Perugia, Italy
43.114017, 12.390491 (View Map)
10 Days (Fri, 11 Jul 2014 - Sun, 20 Jul 2014)
Ticket Price
€15 - €120
Festival confirmed

The Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy attracts over 200,000 people each year for 10 days of live jazz music performed by critically acclaimed artists from around the world. This coming 2014 festival is rumoured to be the ‘best yet’ and whilst the lineup has not been official announced you can be sure that Italy’s most famous of all jazz festivals will not disappoint.

Now in it’s 41st year, the Umbria Jazz Festival takes place in the streets of the Renaissance hill city of Perugia. Whilst still predominantly a jazz fest, fans will be sure to see a wide plethora of different music genres including artists from rock and roll, world music, Cuban salsa and African tribal music backgrounds.

Many performances take place outdoors (most of which are free to attend) whilst some paid concerts are hosted inside numerous venues (including the main venue, the 4,500-seat Giardini del Frontone) all of which are spotted around the city.


Best of Umbria Jazz Festival (mixed years)

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Teatro Romano

Teatro Romano

The history of Umbria Jazz Festival is quite a unique one. Having celebrated it’s 40th anniversary last year it has been running (almost) every year since it was founded in 1973 and has always been held for the second and third weeks of July.

Roma Piazza Del Popolo

Roma Piazza Del Popolo

As with many festivals this old, it has diversified over the years and melded to accommodate its growing audience.

The festival was initially held in many beautiful locations around Italy, some locations remain the same whilst others have taken a back seat to other, more suitable venues. Past venues have included: Villalago, Piazza IV Novembre in Perugia, the Piazza del Popolo in Todi, the Albornoz Fortress in Spoleto, Romano theater in Gubbio and Piazza San Francesco in Umbertide.

It wasn’t until the 2nd half of the ’90s that the festival has been held in Perugia.

Show More History...

Over the years the Umbria Jazz Festival has hosted many legends of jazz such as Miles DavisDizzy Gillespie and Ornette Coleman amongst the others, joined by famous bluesmen as Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, Eric Clapton and James Brown. The festival has also been host to numerous none-jazz bands including Santana, Sting, Van Morrison, Elton John and Phil Collins to name but a few.

The festival grew at a near exponential rate and became some what of a logistical nightmare during the initial years. In 1976 the left-wing and right-wing extremists riots (commonly known as ‘anni di piombo‘) gave for a darker Italy and in 1977 the festival was cancelled and whilst it went ahead in 1978 it was clear that there were still major problems to overcome, as a result the festival was cancelled only to be revived in 1982. It has been running every year since but with some slight but important changes.

From 1982 the festival organisers (namely Carlo Pagnotta, the festival founder and Artistic Director for the last 40 years) decided to charge for tickets for a number of the ‘big name acts’ whilst still providing numerous free performances.

In 1985 the festival diversified once again and hosted a number of none-jazz headliners including the likes of Elton John, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton.

Arena Santa Giuliana

Arena Santa Giuliana

In 2003 the Arena Santa Giuliana became the main stage for the concerts in order to host the growing crowds of the bigger acts. Numerous other venues are now being used to cater for the smaller crowds and provide a more intimate setting and more authentic jazz sound, these venues include the Teatro del Pavone and the Oratorio Santa Cecilia.

The 2007 edition of the Umbria Festival is one that nobody will ever forget (I hope). It’s the year Jarrett had his famous ‘public meltdown’ on stage, I couldn’t do it justice with words so I’ll let this YouTube video show you:

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Perugia City Map

Perugia City Map

The 2014 Umbria Jazz festival venues are as follows (some are free, mostly the outdoor venues, paid concerts are performed within the inside venues):

  • Arena Santa Giuliana
  • the Pavone theatre
  • Oratorio Santa Cecilia
  • * Piazza IV Novembre
  • * Carducci Gardens
  • Palazzo della Penna

* Piazza IV Novembre and Carducci Gardens host a series of free daily concerts with a wider variety of music genres.

During Umbria Jazz the entire center of Perugia becomes a stage for concerts. Many restaurants, wine bars and pubs host free concerts for their customers. The venues you want to be on the lookout for are as follows:

  • Bottega del vino (Via Sole, 1).
  • Cactus Cafe (via Baldeschi 12/a). Jam sessions every night starting at 11pm.
  • Ristorante La Taverna (Via Streghe, 8).
  • Elfo’s (Via Sant’Agata).
  • Trottamundo (Via della Stella). Literary cafe and wine bar, jam sessions starting at 11pm. Plus “spaghettata” (pasta for everyone) at midnight.
  • Pachamama (via sant’elisabetta, 5). – jam session starting at 11pm.


Many of the venues for this years festival are hosted in bars and restaurants, food is plentiful. The larger venues have some dedicated food stands but are also in the center of the city so food venues all around.

Lineup & Schedule

The lineup for the 2014 Umbria Jazz Festival has been partially released (as of 19th March ’14). Make sure to sign-up to our email notifications and get emailed as and when new artists are announced.

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A table showing the dates, times, line-up, programme and performance info for the Umbria Jazz Festival 2014.
Performing Artists
Start Time
July 11, 2014- The Daptone Super Soul Revue
- Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
- Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires
- Antibalas
- The Sugarman 3
9:00PMArena Santa Giuliana
July 12, 2014TBCArena Santa Giuliana
July 13, 2014TBCArena Santa Giuliana
9:00PMArena Santa Giuliana
July 15, 2014- GALACTIC
9:00PMArena Santa Giuliana
9:00PMArena Santa Giuliana
July 17 2014- VOLCAN
9:00PMArena Santa Giuliana
July 18, 2014- NATALIE COLE
9:00PMArena Santa Giuliana
July 19, 2014
9:30PMArena Santa Giuliana
July 20, 2014TBCArena Santa Giuliana

what do you think of this years lineup?

2013 lineup: Keith Jarrett Trio (a good review of his performance and behaviour at the show) and the following acts with associated prices:

ArtistsDateConcert LocationPrice Range
DIANA KRALLJuly 5Santa Giuliana€ 18 – 50
JAN GARBAREK GROUPJuly 6Santa Giuliana€ 15 – 30
JARRETT – PEACOCK – DeJOHNETTEJuly 7Santa Giuliana€ 35 – 120
JONH LEGENDJuly 8Santa Giuliana€ 40
July 9Santa Giuliana€ 20 – 50
July 10Santa Giuliana€ 15 – 35
WYNTON MARSALIS & JALCOJuly 11Santa Giuliana€ 15 – 35
HANCOCK – COREA DUOJuly 12Santa Giuliana€ 25 – 80
STEFANO BOLLANIJuly 13Santa Giuliana€ 20 – 60
July 14Santa Giuliana€ 15 – 45

Headline artists appearing in 2012 included Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas. Newcomers inlclude Melody Gardot, while Italian jazz is represented by Enrico Rava and Stefano Bollani.

If you’ve heard any rumors of who might be playing or headlining then please leave them in the comments below (also in the tabbed section).

Please help secure the future of this event by sharing on your social media channels. It only takes 2 seconds and with your support we can increase exposure of the event, boost ticket sales, attract more festival-goers and organize better festivals for the future. We need your support, if you can, please help. Thank you.


The prices for Umbria Jazz Festival 2014 tickets vary from FREE – €120 depending on what type of ticket you buy for which show. Tickets for the Umbria Jazz Fest are not yet available for sale (expected mid April 2014).

Some information people might find of use:

In 2013 the main arena, which holds over 5,000 for music, appeared about 75 percent full. Chairs had not been set up on the outer sides of the front section, leaving open spaces. Seats there were 120 Euros. But the two sections farther back, where seats were 75 and 35 Euros, appeared close to full capacity. – Jazz Times

Flights & Transportation

Map of Rome Leonardo Airport

Map of Rome Leonardo Airport

The nearest international airport to Perugia, Italy is the Perugia San Francesco d’Assisi – Umbria International Airport (PEG / LIRZ). This airport is 21 km from the center of Perugia, Italy. Alternatively you have the popular Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) (approximately 200km south).

Other airports that are close to Perugia:

AirportIata codeDistance (km)Distance (miles)
Perugia / San Egidio AirportPEG10,36,4
Ancona / Falconara AirportAOI96,760,1
Rimini / Miramare – Federico Fellini International AirportRMI102,763,8
Firenze / Peretola AirportFLR123,276,6
Forlì AirportFRL123,276,6
Leonardo Da Vinci (Fiumicino) International AirportFCO146,090,7
Ciampino AirportCIA147,191,4
Pescara International AirportPSR164,9102,5
Pisa / San Giusto – Galileo Galilei International AirportPSA173,5107,8
Marina Di Campo AirportEBA179,5111,5

Currently 35 airlines fly into Rome Fiumicino airport:

Lufthansa (Cheapest)
Swiss (2nd Cheapest)
British Airways (3rd Cheapest)
Aer Lingus
Blue Air
Air France
Air Europa
Croatia Airlines
Brussels Airlines
Air Berlin
Bulgaria Air
Turkish Airlines
Pegasus Airlines
Transaero Airlines
TAP Portugal
Aegean Airlines
Darwin Airline
Vueling Airlines
Austrian Airlines

To get the best flight deals I would use SkyScanner‘s official search widget below.

To get to the city from the airport you have a number of options available to you:


Taxi’s covering this distance would be very expensive (€250+) so I would recommend either hiring a car or preferably getting a bus to Perugia from the airport (more info below).

Show Bus, Taxi and Car Rental Info...

Local Bus Info

Daily bus connections from Roma Fiumicino Airport (International Departure Terminal “C”) and Perugia (P.le Partigiani).

If you take the Sulga bus ( from Rome airport (Fiumicino), or any other bus, you’ll arrive at Piazza Partigiani, the bus station.You might as well avail yourself of the timetable before you arrive. The airport cycles through periods of chaos and indifference but information is never very easy to obtain.

To find the Sulga bus stop, take the escalator from the arrivals terminal toward the train station. You go under the road and then up again. As you arrive at ground level you should see to your left a series of bus parking spaces. The Sulga bus for Perugia waits here (it says SULGA on the side, go figure) and tickets can be bought on board.

The oneway bus fare Rome Airport-Perugia or vice versa is €21. Return fares work out cheaper but are only valid for one month.Cross the street, go a little to your left, and follow everyone else up the scale mobili (escalators) and stairways through the bowels of the former Papal fortress, the Rocca Paolina.You’ll end up at Piazza Italia – follow the directions above to the Tourist Info. -

From Monday to Saturday:

Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 12.30 Perugia hrs. 16.15
Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 14.30 Perugia hrs. 28.15
Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 17.00 Perugia hrs. 20.45


Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 12.30 Perugia hrs. 16.15
Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 16.30 Perugia hrs. 20.15

Daily bus connections from Perugia (P.le Partigiani) to Fiumicino Airport in Rome (International Departure Terminal “B”):

From Monday to Saturday:

Perugia hrs. 06.30 Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 10.10
Perugia hrs. 08.00 Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 11.10
Perugia hrs. 09.00 Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 12.10


Perugia hrs. 07.30 Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 10.40
Perugia hrs. 08.30 Roma Fiumicino Airport hrs. 11.40

Car Rental

A number of major car rental companies operate direct from the airport including Hertz, Sixt, Europcar & Avis

Some good all-round travel info from the airport can be found on Slow Travel here.

Hotels & Accommodation

5 Star Luxury at Brufani Palace

5 Star Luxury at Brufani Palace

I would recommend checking Perugia hotel reviews on TripAdvisor prior to placing any booking. Alternatively, why don’t you try something different and rent someones apartment during the festival period at AirBnB?! Click here for a free £15 credit towards your first booking!

The cheapest accommodation options I could find in and around Perugia during the festival period (Mid July) are shown below (Click HERE for a complete list):

*** Hotel prices rise exponentially as you get closer to the festival dates. Book early to avoid disappointment. ***

Hotels Combined

If you are on a super shoe-string budget then search HostelWorld and get a bed in Perugia for as little as €17.00! - (Private rooms $21.75+)

Note that there is NO TENT CAMPING at the Perugia Jazz Festival. However, if you were interested in camping you could check out campsites in Perugia.


We currently have not been able to interview anybody at the Umbria Jazz Festival, if you work for the festival and would like to answer a few questions for this section of your listing, please contact me so that we can get something arranged, thank you.

If you require any further information on this festival or would like to leave a message for others then please use the comments section below.

NB. You also find photo gallerieslive festival newstransport information in the tabbed section below. All festival listings are changing continuously, check back regularly.

Additional Resources

Post last updated by Paul Thomson on April 30, 2014
6-Day Weather forecast for Perugia, Italy (43.114017,12.390491):
25 Apr '15
26 Apr '15
27 Apr '15
28 Apr '15
29 Apr '15
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM CEST on April 24, 2015
It is forcast to be Mostly Cloudy at 7:00 PM CEST on April 25, 2015
Mostly Cloudy
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM CEST on April 26, 2015
Partly Cloudy
It is forcast to be Rain at 7:00 PM CEST on April 27, 2015
It is forcast to be Rain at 7:00 PM CEST on April 28, 2015
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM CEST on April 29, 2015
Partly Cloudy
Heart of Festival
Train Station
Bus Station
Subway Station

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