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Bradford Students Take Centre Stage at North Yorkshire Festival

A female student drummer performs in a tent at the Deershed festival.

More than 50 Bradford School of Art students were lucky enough to experience the bustling Deershed Festival this year, as they worked in specialist roles across the weekend.

A specially assigned Bradford School of Art tent featured on the festival’s programme and acted as a hub of all things creative for talented students. The tent saw various music and theatre performances, as well as popular face painting and hair braiding.

Elsewhere at the festival, other students were given technical roles, such as assisting with the sound for Deershed’s extensive music line-up.

The Bradford School of Art goes from strength to strength after achieving a 100% pass rate for all Level 3 learners last week, including Creative Art & Design, Performing Arts, and Media & Communications.

Carys Marshall, a Music for the Creative Industries student, was lucky enough to experience the weekend. She said:

“As someone who has always wanted to experience a music festival, but not had the means to do so, it was a very exciting but nerve-wracking experience. I’m thankful that the Bradford School of Art work so hard to give us opportunities, to not only go at little cost, but also gain valuable work experience.

“I think it was successful. I helped with sound engineering and a little bit of stage management, and it was the first time I’d ever done this in a professional setting. I’ve learnt a lot from this experience and will be proud to put it onto my CV.

“We drew in a great crowd, which made me proud, and it’s given me a huge sense of personal achievement to accomplish a successful set. I’m sure the other students feel the same.”

The group of students in attendance included learners from Bradford College’s Music, Art & Design, Performing Arts, Film and Media Make-Up courses. Music Lecturer, John Dey, was one of the attending staff who oversaw the students. He said:

“It was full on, and they worked hard and really well all day. It was really successful, and I think because we offered a free or cheaper alternative to other parts of the festival, we were very popular and the quality of what the students were doing wasn’t any less than what was going on elsewhere.

“We had a decent spot within the festival and the students who got involved got a lot out of it. We heard people in other tents saying people should go check out the Bradford School of Art tent because there’s some good stuff going on in there.”

As part of the trip to Deershed, students were also able to attend other areas of the festival to take in the wide range of acts and activities taking place. This provided them with real-world experience of a professional festival, and allowed them to see well-known artists, such as Gaz Coombes, perform.

John added:

“With it being at the end of the year, students can put into practice the content they’ve learnt throughout the academic year in a different environment. It was great to be able to stand by and watch that happen.

“Every year things change with what we can offer but wherever possible we [Bradford School of Art] will give opportunities to go and do something external. You learn here in the School of Art but wherever we can we’ll let students take those skills and put them into practice. Hopefully this means students are well equipped to go and succeed.”

Deershed is a three-day festival described as a ‘wonderland of creativity’, set in the scenic village of Topcliffe near Thirsk. The annual event was established in 2010 and attracts over 10,000 people every year, making it an ideal location for creative students to gain work experience.

Find out more about what Bradford School of Art has to offer or enrol from this week.

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