About Liberation Festival

The twelfth Liberation International Music Festival in this the 75 th Anniversary year of Liberation in the Channel Islands from the German Occupation. Once again it features a variety of internationally acclaimed artists, performing music in incredible settings on the beautiful island of Jersey. This year though as we mark Liberation 75 and the end of the second world war it is an opportunity to share the stories and remember those islanders who lived through the occupation.

Liberation – the theme explored

The history of Jersey's Liberation Day is well known to all. In June 1944, the Normandy landings marked the initiation of 'Operation Overlord', the invasion of northwest Europe by the Allied forces. On 8th May, the front page of the Jersey Evening Post carried news of the Allies' victory in Europe, and crowds began to gather to hear the announcement that would declare their liberation.

At 15:00 Winston Churchill crackled onto the airwaves to give, perhaps, the most famous speech of his esteemed oratory career. The Prime Minister's words announced the end to the war in Europe and amidst great cheers across the Island, he confirmed to an elated Jersey that their liberation was finally to become a reality."Our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today" - (Winston Churchill, 15:00, May 8th, 1945)" - (Winston Churchill, 15:00, May 8th, 1945)

All around the Island flags and decorations sprang up and celebrations continued into the night. On 9th May HMS Bulldog and Beagle arrived in Jersey anchored in St Aubin's Bay and at 14:00 the German Island Commander signed the surrender documents.

During the course of this conflict, thousands of islanders were evacuated to the United Kingdom, several thousand islanders were shipped to internment camps in Germany by the Fuhrer angered by the removal of Germans from Syria, refugees from Spain, and captured prisoners from Russia, Poland and France were forced to work in the channel islands to build the dramatic fortifications.

We reflect on the plight of refugees and immigrants in conflict as well as hopin to capture some of the sense of excitement felt by all on those days through the performance of wonderful music performed by some very special artists. We feel particularly fortunate to be able to reveal some of the splendour of Jersey through the unique historical heritage. Stunning music in spectacular settings promises to liberate our souls and provide amazing experiences while reflecting on our fortune and freedom.

Previous Festival Feature - 2010

Previous Festival Feature - 2011