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Wednesday 9 July 2014

Blissfields music festival 'the best yet'

Southampton Solent University students past and present helped make this year’s Blissfields music festival in Winchester the best yet.

Over 30 students from TV Production, Event Management and Popular Music courses produced a daily newspaper, filmed interviews with bands, liaised with artists, worked on the sound and helped out as part of the backstage crew.

Festival owner Paul Bliss said: “I’m totally blown away by the work the students have done. The newspaper was a fantastic addition to the Blissfields experience. It is always a pleasure to work with Solent’s students. They’re hard working and highly professional; which is why so many Solent graduates still work with us.”

For more than seven years, Solent has been helping out at Blissfields which this year had 4,000 visitors to the three day event from the 3-5 July.

First year BA (Hons) Popular Music Journalism student Jodie-Mae Finch who also worked at this year’s Glastonbury Festival helping to run the Twitter feed and contributing to the Glastonbury Press newspaper – said: “In less than a year I’ve worked at Glastonbury, been on the editorial team for Blissfields Best, started writing for Kerrang, been on the editorial team for two successful websites, interviewed countless brilliant bands, and learnt so much about the industry… and there’s still two years to go!”

Solent also collaborated with Winchester’s Peter Symonds College where two of their students, Ruby Tansey-Thomas and Harriet Taylor (both from Romsey) helped distribute the newspapers and even interviewed some of the bands for the films.

Professor of Music Industries Martin James who co-ordinated Solent’s involvement at Blissfields said: “Working closely with employers like Blissfields enables students to use the skills they’ve learned in a real life situation. The teams throughout the site this year really rose to the challenge and showed just how professional and focussed our students really are.”

Staff and students took the opportunity to catch up with graduates working at the festival including DJ Mitch Stevens aka ‘Cholombian’, a 2013 graduate in Popular Music Journalism and Music Promotion who is signed to Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best record label.

This year’s Blissfields headliners were 2 Many DJs, Sleigh Bells and Dub Pistols, previous acts have included Bastille, Mumford and Sons, Tricky and Super Furry Animals.

BA (Hons) Popular Music Journalism graduate Carl Gwynne who is now working as the technical support manager for the festival said: “Without the visionary course and the employability emphasis at Solent I would never have realized that there was a career for me in festivals. But here I am, working and loving what I do.”