Crowds enjoy festival of student creativity

Monday 17 June 2013

Nearly 2,000 people experienced amazing exhibitions and exciting performances as University of Salford students brought a free festival of creativity to MediaCityUK and Salford Quays.

Running from 12-16 June, the Create at Salford Festival showcased the talents of 800 final year arts and media students, with a huge range of attractions on offer, combining the best in student art and design, performing arts, music, computer gaming, animation, TV news broadcasting and much more.

Festival events took place at the University’s MediaCityUK campus, the MediaCityUK Open Centre and piazza and IWM North, as friends and family, members of the public, creative industry representatives and school and college leavers saw work produced by some of the best creative talent found at any university in the UK.

On Wednesday 12 June family and friends were first to enjoy the Festival, experiencing drama performances, student music and a live radio broadcast from the University’s MediaCityUK radio studio, alongside a wide range of exhibitions and demonstrations.

Hundreds of people from the region’s creative industries came along to a preview evening on Thursday 13 June. On the night, the state-of-the-art Digital Performance Lab at the University’s MediaCityUK building played host to three innovative, short theatre presentations written and performed by students, while guests were also taken on a tour of the building with a difference, as they experienced ‘pop-up’ performances in the unlikeliest of places and got the opportunity to speak to current students about their work. Journalism student TV station Quays News filmed the event and interviewed guests before broadcasting a special news programme on the ground floor video wall, and the evening was rounded off with a stand-up show by comedy practice students at DockBar on the MediaCityUK piazza.

Around 500 sixth formers and college leavers and their parents spoke to Salford students and academics on Friday 14 June’s Discovery Day, having the opportunity to find out more about what it is like to study at the University and see behind the scenes of the state-of-the-art facilities available at its MediaCityUK building.

Over the weekend, the local community enjoyed a huge range of events. At IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, performance students brought to life the stories of three real GI brides, while visitors also enjoyed a 1940s-style swing band concert by music students.

On Sunday 16 June, children and adults alike could record a special Father’s Day message before heading to see a performance of a fairy tale panto with a Salford spin. The Very, Very, Very Sleepy Princess is a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty written, produced and performed by the Scallywags Children’s Theatre Company, a group of second year performance students.

Throughout the Festival visitors could take part in a range of demonstrations, including the chance to play student-created computer games, and enjoy a range of exhibitions showing some of the best work from art and design students, covering visual arts, photography, fashion, graphic and interior design among many other courses.

Professor Allan Walker, Head of the School of Arts & Media, said: “This Festival has launched the new School with a magnificent celebration of the achievements and creative talent of 800 graduating students and established our MediaCityUK campus as a brilliant venue.”

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall commented: “The success of the Create at Salford Festival reflects our commitment to, and significant investment in, arts and media, one of our key areas of strength and an important part of our strategy for the future.”