Friday, 3 June 2016

George Chapman’s Role in ValeFest: “An Enterprising Mission”

Little do people know, the annual festival began in 2004 as a 24 hour charity football contest, which has now developed into a fantastic array of music, food, workshops, cinema, comedy and performance all combining to celebrate the welcome end of the dreaded exam season. The number of people attending has increased over the years, and it has become a much more music-focused, ticketed, professional affair.

I spoke to George Chapman, Medical student and Chair of ValeFest Committee, about his involvement in ValeFest.

With the festival stronger than ever on its 12th birthday, the event has already sold over 3000 tickets, so it’s looking like it will be a huge success thanks to the student volunteers involved!

ValeFest 2015 Main Stage
Why did you want to get involved in this project?

“In freshers week, after drinking myself silly, I decided I wanted to get involved in something worthwhile. I have always loved music and I have been in bands in the past. I thought what better way to spend my time than by combining something I love, music, with something that helps other people out, via the charity. The more I’ve got involved with it, the more I’ve loved it. I’ve caught the ValeFest bug, as all 40 of us have! We’re all incredibly passionate and we may or may not be failing our degrees because we love ValeFest so much…”

George spoke about how he has been keen to continue his involvement in the festival due to his love of the organisation, and because the big day is such a driver.

"When you see it all come together, that is more than enough motivation to get involved the following year”

George and Co-Chair Aoife Connaughton chair all the whole committee meetings, alongside Jack McLeod as treasurer and Tom Belcourt-Weir as secretary. The Committee liaises with the Guild, the Vale, and the University to make sure that the finished product on the 4th June is consistent with what each of these parties hopes for. The event has also had Smirnoff and Red Bull get involved in past years, similarly this year with Santander.

George Chapman playing at the 
New Street Records Album
Launch Party in 2015

Would you say ValeFest has given you life skills that you can use after University?

“Absolutely. The immediate skills are things like knowing how to run a festival, booking stages, finding artists. It’s a people affair – you work with so many people and learn so many different perspectives. So the biggest skill I’ve learnt is communication with people on all levels. It’s actually been quite a humbling experience, there’s a lot I’ve had to learn that I had no idea about before. I’ve had to put all cards on the table sometimes to get the most out of a situation and learn new things.”

“I’d been scribbling on little bits of paper and stapling those together and then I eventually worked out that a diary would probably be more useful… so yeah organisation is key. That is definitely something I’ve learnt this year as well.”
“I do really recommend ValeFest as an enterprising mission. Everything we do is enterprising. Every decision is made with enterprise.”
So if you’re keen on getting involved in something that is for a good cause with tonnes of fun along the way, ValeFest is the ideal enterprising mission for you.

The event will be on the 4th June on the University’s beautiful Vale, and here’s to George and his colleagues for creating something wonderful!

Amelia Lowe
Student PR Team

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