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Backstage Reading Festival experience for creative English Language student – University of Reading

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Backstage Reading Festival experience for creative English Language student

Release Date 22 August 2019

George Lawrence

An English Language graduate from the University of Reading will get a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Reading Festival after being selected to be part of a unique initiative.

George Lawrence will get a backstage pass as he takes on a communications internship with organisers Festival Republic, thanks to a partnership with the university.

He will also be tasked with producing an artistic or creative response to the festival using skills from their degree. The chosen students will tell their experience any way they want to, from artwork to a piece of creative writing. George plans to focus on the people who attend Reading Festival, speaking to them about their own experience and examining the language they use to do so.

Their projects, produced using the skills they have learnt on their course, will be submitted after the festival and exhibited a future date at the University of Reading.

“As a recent graduate I’m looking forward to putting the skills learnt through my degree to the test at the festival" - George Lawrence

George, who graduated this year, said: “I feel very lucky to have been chosen to take part in such an amazing experience, it’s a chance to bring my University of Reading journey full circle, as it was at this very festival three years ago, sat in a very un-waterproof tent, that I found out I would be coming to Reading to study.

“As a recent graduate I’m looking forward to putting the skills learnt through my degree to the test at the festival, in such a dynamic environment, alongside some of the most renowned musicians in the world.”

Reading Festival hosts huge music and comedy acts from 23-25 August. The internship will allow George to get closer to the action than other fans as he becomes part of the festival’s official communications team, as well as access to the exclusive backstage area where he can mingle with the bands and VIP guests.

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 Republic has allowed a team of students to work backstage and produce their own original content on all aspects of festival life, from festival fashion trends to food stall reviews.

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.”

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