Festival year 1986When starting to plan the festival, basic jazz was selected as the artistic main frame. Due to the accident in Tshernobyl some American musicians (such as Manhattan Transfer and Wynton Marsalis) decided to cancel their appearances in Pori - people were afraid of terrorism and possible nuclear radiation.
In 1986 the festival started on July 5th and ended on July 13th. During the festival Jazz Street and the Café Jazz claimed their places as official concert venues. Among the artists performing at the festival were names such as Kirk Lightsey, Proyecto Cuba, Slim Gaillard, John Mayall and Lionel Hampton.
Pori Jazz 86 was about to end as a financial loss because the weather didn't favor the festival during the second weekend and ticket sales went down. Budget had been constucted with expectation of some 40000 tickets sold and although the organizers thought that they might be able to sell 50000 tickets, only 30000 were sold.