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Bradford School of Art students take centre stage at North Yorkshire’s famous Deershed Festival

More than 50 School of Art students were lucky enough to experience the wonderful and whacky Deershed Festival last month, as they worked and contributed within various roles across the weekend.

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

Elsewhere at the festival, other students were given more technical, but equally as important roles, such as assisting with the sound for Deershed’s extensive music lineup.

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, alongside Carys, were made up of learners from Bradford College’s Music, Art & Design, Performing Arts, Film and Media Make-Up courses.

Music Lecturer, John Dey, was one of the staff present to witness the skillsets of our students; he had this to say: “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 a real-world experience of a professional festival, allowing them to gain valuable enrichment of seeing well-known artists, such as Gaz Coombes, perform.

Speaking about the value of this enrichment, 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 itself 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 our students to have worked at.

If you’re interested in the opportunities that the Bradford School of Art can offer, like Deershed Festival, please visit for more information and how to join us

Published: 21st August 2023


School Leavers, University, Arts & Media, Hair, Beauty & Barbering, Performing Arts & Music


# Art and Design # Film # Make-Up # Music # Performing Arts

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