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Unique Reading Festival experience for creative students – University of Reading

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Unique Reading Festival experience for creative students

Release Date 21 August 2019

This year's Reading Festival student team


A team of students from the University of Reading will get a Reading Festival experience like no other as they apply their creative talents to work at the festival.

Five students will get backstage passes to work as interns alongside organisers Festival Republic thanks to a partnership with the University. The internships will allow them to get closer to the action than other fans, mingle with artists and VIP guests backstage, and see first-hand how Britain’s original and best music festival is staged.

Working alongside leading artistic experts at the University, the students will also produce a creative project inspired by their festival experience, using the skills and knowledge from their courses. An additional three students who submitted eye-catching creative proposals will also attend the three-day festival with the University to work on their projects.

Professor Roberta Gilchrist, Research Dean for Heritage & Creativity at the University of Reading, said: “Reading Festival is a major part of Reading’s cultural identity, so it’s a major coup to be able to offer our students a unique experience of this iconic event. Arts & Humanities degrees teach students to think critically and to articulate and communicate their thoughts creatively. This is a valuable opportunity for our students to demonstrate skills that will equip them for the rapidly changing workplace.

“We have been impressed with the range of creative ideas submitted in applications by our students, and it will be exciting to see how they apply what they have learned on their courses to their internships and projects.”

"This is a valuable opportunity for our students to demonstrate skills that will equip them for the rapidly changing workplace" - Professor Roberta Gilchrist, Research Dean for Heritage and Creativity, University of Reading

Sophie Murray (Spanish & English Language), Chimma Ezekiel (Film, Theatre & Television), Thom Robin (History), George Lawrence (English Language) and Katie Lawman (English Literature) have been chosen as the five intern students.

They will get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the UK’s most famous festivals, which hosts huge music and comedy acts from 23-25 August. They will produce content for Festival Republic’s official website and social media, as well as gaining an insight into the operations and staging of the festival.

Robin Smith (Typography), Joke Amusan (Art & English Literature) and Tom Ashton (Ancient History) will attend the weekend with the University to deliver their creative projects.

Creative project proposals submitted by the students include eco-friendly tapestries representing how artists convey messages on stage; explorations of diversity and culture among festival crowds; written pieces telling the stories of fans and staff; and an investigation of what links today’s festivals with those of ancient times.

The students will be supported in producing their projects by University staff and academics. The final projects will be exhibited at the University later this year.

The experience of all the students will be documented on the University of Reading’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts throughout the weekend.

The University of Reading has taken a team of students to Reading Festival every year for the last five years. In 2015 the University partnered with Kerrang magazine to allow students the chance to interview bands and write reviews, following this up with a similar initiative with NME magazine the following year.

Since 2017, a partnership with Festival Republichas allowed a team of students to work backstage and produce their own take on all aspects of festival life, from festival fashion to tasty tips on the best food.


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