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Students are helping to deliver a successful Cheltenham Literature Festival

As thousands enjoy another memorable The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, more than 80 University of Gloucestershire students are playing a starring role in delivering a successful event.

Students from a range of subject areas, including Music Business, Journalism, Photography, Illustration, Creative Writing, English Literature, and Events Management, are gaining real-world experience in a variety of technical and creative roles working with industry professionals.

Student George Patel said: “I worked at The Wilson managing an event for the Cheltenham Literature FestivaI. I found the speakers and content very informative and really enjoyed being part of a community-based event.

“It was great to work in an entirely different context that was outside of my comfort zone, and to succeed in an entirely new professional environment.”

For the second year running at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Music Business and Sound and Music Production students have managed ‘Lit Crawl’, a free programme taking visitors around a host of Cheltenham venues featuring comedy, open mic sessions and performances.

Student Chloe Fear said: “Working at this year’s Lit Crawl was so fun and rewarding. It was great to chat with audience and work with the team on this event.

“The feedback from the crowd and the artists was amazing, I loved getting to network and I can’t wait to work on Cheltenham Jazz Festival next year.”

Students, coordinated by recent University Digital Media graduate Nigel Hughes, are supporting the production of an award-winning project with performances filmed and broadcast live in 360 degrees on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.

a crowd of people sat down on chairs in a bookshop waiting for an event to start
Student Jamie Fox ran an event at Hatchards book shop as part of the Lit Crawl at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

The 360-degree project, which promotes inclusivity by enabling people to experience the festival without attending live, was such a big success at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival that Nigel was named the winner of the Production Futures Festival Production Newcomer of the Year Award 2023.

Creative Writing and English Literature students are involved in activities in VOICEBOX! – a creative space including short talks, comedy and music – by leading reading sessions entitled ‘Journeys Through Books’ and ‘A World of Difference’, while Events Management  students are delivering workshops in the Den and the StoryShack.

Events Management and International Hospitality and Tourism Management students are attending the festival and connecting with hospitality venues in Cheltenham to explore the impact on business of an international culture event.

Creating engaging content

Students on the MA in Communications, PR and Media are creating engaging content from the festival for the course’s social media channels, and attending the ‘Power of the Outsider’ event where the most senior Black adviser in Boris Johnson’s government, Samuel Kasumu, talks about his experience in Downing Street.

Students on the MA in Communications, PR and Media with Samuel Kasumu at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

Andrew Lansley, Senior Lecturer in Music Business at the University and Innovation Manager at Cheltenham Festivals, said: “The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival provides our students with another fantastic opportunity to gain outstanding real-world experience alongside industry professionals that enhances their CV and boosts their graduate career opportunities.

“The University is proud to see so many of our students from a wide range of different courses actively taking part and making important contributions to the festival.

“The Cheltenham Festivals team welcomes the enthusiasm, drive and talent of the students, who are fully embedded into the team’s operations and are right at the forefront of delivering another successful event.”

Main image: Cheltenham Literature Festival Lit Crawl programmer Ellie Petrie briefing a team of students who will event manage the entire event