Seven years of SMILEfest: a case study in innovation, collaboration and enterprise

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Abstract

The SMILE Festival was first held in 2009 as a single afternoon of guest speakers. Since 2011 it has included live music concerts and club nights, a music industries conference, and a range of special events and challenges which not only engage with the music industries, but with the broader media and entertainment industries . The organisation and management of the festival has to a large extent become embedded within the assessed curriculum of a range of units and courses, where it is driven by students and staff working together. Each year, the festival responds to the ideas of the students involved in the core activities of the festival (BA Hons Music Promotion and BA Hons Popular Music Journalism), plus suggestions from students studying on other courses. This allows the festival to innovate, grow, and address the needs and interests of the students, whilst also providing a platform for students to promote their music, media and other projects. The festival has forged collaborative partnerships with a number of courses at the University, as well as with Southampton?s network of local venues and promoters, which has enabled it to expand year-on-year and gain wider recognition around the country as the only predominantly student-led city-centre festival at a University. This presentation will chart the development of the festival to show how it has expanded and innovated through collaboration with various parties, and how a festival of this kind can be managed through the active participation of students through both assessed and non-assessed real-world learning and work experience. It is a prime example of teaching innovation in practice, with students engaging in both research and enterprise activities and helping to direct and shape their own learning and enterprise experiences through participation and interaction with the wider festival.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th Solent Learning and Teaching Community Conference, 31 March 2015, Southampton Solent University.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

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