Under The Town: Live In August

August 31 saw the third year of Under The Town: Live in August, a festival organised by young people for young people in the magnificent Baronial Hall at the Winter Gardens. This year’s festival included live music from ten bands, including headliner Karima Francis, as well as fashion shows, dance, art, stalls and lots more.

Clancy managed to catch up with some of the festival organisers of this years UTT to find out what it takes to put a festival like this together:

Clancy: What’s you’re involvement in this years UTT?
Kirsty Mah: I’ve been involved in the previous festivals whist working towards my Arts Award. This year I’m been asked to come on board as a Festival Mentor and share some of my experiences with the new organisers. Its been a lot of fun being a part of things this year.
Clancy: I noticed you were performing earlier too?
Kirsty Mah: Yes, it was my first ever gig!
Clancy: Congratulations! You did a brilliant job!
Kirsty:  It was really nerve-wracking! I’m self taught and have only been playing a few years.
Clancy: Can you share with me your influences?
Kirsty: Paramour, You Me At Six and The Arctic Monkeys.


Georgia Scarles, 12, is the youngest member of the UTT team and was incredibly excited to be a part of the festival:
Clancy: So, what’s been your involvement?
Georgia: I’m working towards my Bronze Arts Award and I’m here to volunteer as a helper, doing general things like looking after people,  manning the front desk and helping on the front door.
Clancy: What’s been your best bit?
Georgia: I just love the whole buzz! We’ve sold lots of tickets and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. I’ve loved doing the fashion workshop with Angie Hulme from Me & You.

Clancy managed to catch up with Conner Kiernan, 16 and working toward his Gold Bronze Award, following the fashion shows.
Clancy: What’s been you’re role in the festival, Conner and how is it going so far?
Conner: I’m the Fashion Manager for UTT. Its been brilliant seeing everything come together on the say. I’ve put the two fashion shows together, the 1st one was Crafty Cloths and the 2nd show featured tee-shirts that I’ve designed and are on sale here today on one of the stalls. I’ve enjoyed modelling in the shows too.
Clancy: What’s been challenging?
Conner: Meeting the deadlines! I think I’ve lost a lot of hair today!
Clancy: Will you be getting involved again?
Conner: Definitely, next year I hope to be a Festival Mentor.
Clancy: Biggest fashion influence?
Conner: Alexander McQueen.


Kerry Vasiliou, Education Officer at Grundy Art Gallery, has had the overall job of supporting the festival organisers in ensuring that Under The Town is a success. I caught Kerry very briefly:
Clancy: What’s your role in the Festival?
Kerry: I am here to supervise the young people whilst they organise a major event for their Arts Award.
Clancy: Any highlights from today?
Kerry: For me, the 2nd fashion show was amazing: the marriage of the Zebra and the Unicorn choreographed by Conner was brilliant. I’m really looking forward to seeing Karima Francis later.
Clancy: Any messages you would like to share about UTT?
Kerry: We have some more events planned so please like our Facebook page to keep up to date.

Lastly, Amber Naden, 16, shared her involvement in this years UTT.
Clancy: What’s you’re role?
Amber: I’m the Marketing Manager. This this the 3rd festival I’ve been involved in.
Clancy: What are you looking forward to?
Amber: I can’t wait to see Karima Francis play later. She is brilliant.
Clancy: Any challenges?
Amber: This is the first time I’ve spoken in public. I’m very nervous but its been a huge confidence boost.
Clancy: What else have you got in the pipeline?
Amber: In the autumn we are organising a Film Festival and a Dance Festival. Very exciting.

The young organisers are working with Kerry Vasiliou towards their Arts Award: a national qualification which supports young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. Young people aged 11-25 can achieve an Arts Award at levels Bronze, Silver and Gold.
This Arts Award programme is managed by Grundy Art Gallery.

Images courtesy of Linzi Cason Photography.

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