College students stage big arts festival

Hannah Clements, operating the lighting during rehearsals

Hannah Clements, operating the lighting during rehearsals

First published in Abingdon Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

COLLEGE students in Abingdon are staging their own outdoor arts festival.

Teenagers from Abingdon and Witney College have planned every detail of next Saturday’s Radar Festival – from booking acts to organising security.

With 14 live acts including comedians, dancers, metal bands, and acoustic musicians, they are hoping to sell 350 tickets.

About 100 students have been working on the project which is part of a new Level Two Diploma in live events the college has run since January.

Hannah Clements, 19, one of the live events students, said: “This is the first time that anything like this has happened at a college, it’s a big leap but it looks like it’s going to be incredible.

“There’s such a wide range of acts and talent; the set list looks amazing. Everyone’s been so dedicated and worked so hard.

“I can’t wait – all we can hope for now is a big audience to share it with.”

Business students are organising ‘front of house’ such as booking acts, ticket sales and managing budgets.

Performing arts students will be on stage and music technology students are also involved in the preparations.

There will also be a number of stalls selling handmade crafts created by students.

Teachers gave the students a £10,000 budget to invest in equipment and staging, but they expect to make much of that back through the event.

If it proves a success more festivals could follow.

Business student Rebecca Tame, 18, who is student manager of the enterprise, said: “We are getting a great real-life experience from this and completing some of our coursework units too.

“The college is giving us money to stage the festival, but we have a target income to generate as well.”

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Paul Batten, the live events course leader and event manager, said: “It’s a really exciting opportunity for young people to get in at the grassroots of putting on a festival.”

Hannah James, head of the Oxfordshire Creative Academy at the college, added: “I’m really excited. We are pioneering this student-run festival and hope we can run it every year.

“We have so much home grown talent.

“The best learning takes place when it is put in a real life situation.

“The pressure is really on for the students to make this a successful event.

“Please do buy tickets and support them – it will be a great day out for all the family.”

The festival takes place at the college’s Abingdon campus in Wootton Road from 2-8pm next Saturday. Tickets (£5 for adults, £2.50 for under-16s) are available at wegottickets.com.

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