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About the festival

Magnetic South Elephant - Purple

We warmly welcome you to the ever-evolving creative process that is Magnetic South

Magnetic South is LSBU’s festival of music and arts, produced by BA Arts and Festival Management staff and students and presenting a diverse range of performances by some of the foremost artists working in South London, Greater London and beyond.

About 2016's festival

The inaugural Magnetic South festival took place on 14-15 April, 2016.

For 2016, as well as a selection of LSBU’s own creative talent, we were delighted to welcome a number of special new collaborations - notably a duo between LSBU Creative Writing alumna, Dorothy Lehane, and international composer and pianist, Matthew Bourne.

Magnetic South 2016 saw the premiere of a new partnership between choreographer, Florence Peake, and electronic musician, Jo Thomas. It also brought the extension of the existing Corey Mwamba (vibes) and Rachel Musson (sax) duo to a trio involving double bassist Gus Garside.

We were privileged to host some of London’s finest underground dance music acts, including DJ sets from Brixton’s dubbed-out R&B enigma, Cooly G, and East London’s haunted electronics duo, Raime - not to mention reggae-fuelled party-starters, Soul Jazz Sound System.

Student involvement

Six students on LSBU's BA Arts and Festival Management course, across the second and third years of study, formed the festival organisational group. This team consisted of: Artist Liaison Officers, Emilie Mendy, Ramona Nocera and Hannah Wallis; Marketing Officer, Alice Proudlock-John; Technical Facilities Officer, Evie Oko-Buckley; and Evaluation Officer, Andrea Bortolotto.

In her role as Artist Liaison Officer, Emilie Mendy commented: "This unique opportunity requires me to make a call out for artists and follow up with auditions. The next steps are to provide face-to-face communication and coordination to respond to technical or subject matter between the Magnetic South Festival steering group and the artists, during preparation until their programmed performances."

Working with Magnetic South has given me first-hand experience liaising with some of London’s most exciting artists. The attention to detail and communication skills developed here will stand me in good stead when managing similar high-quality events after I graduate.

Emilie Mendy, BA Arts and Festival Management, Magnetic South Artist Liaison Officer

Andrea Bortolotto similarly enjoyed his tasks as Evaluation Officer: "I look at the different aspects of the event’s organisation such as planning, production and post-production phases. Evaluating along with strategic planning is crucial in events management, as it allows us to foresee threats and mistakes before they eventually occur."

Being part of this team will give me the opportunity to learn critical transferable skills which will allow me to progress in my future arts management career.

Andrea Bortolotto, BA Arts and Festival Management, Magnetic South Evaluation Officer

The students worked tirelessly and with ingenuity in collaboration with festival artists and stakeholders to produce a unique occasion of which the University, South London and the city at large could be proud.

The history

It has been almost two years since BA Arts and Festival Management Course Director, Pauline Muir, began developing the concept of the festival. At the beginning of the 2015 academic year, Pauline convened a steering committee of colleagues: Jonathan Banatvala, Peter Hadfield, Philip Sanderson, and more recently colleagues in the LSBU communications team. Together they guided Executive Producer, Kyle McCallum, towards the realisation of the inaugural Magnetic South.

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