New student-run arts festival launches in Edinburgh

Scotland’s first ever student-run arts festival, Edinburgh Student Art Festival (ESAF), will take place in the beginning of February. ESAF will bring together five higher education and further education institutions from across the city, such as the University of Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University, Heriot Watt University and Edinburgh College.

Students can get involved by performing, playing music, exhibiting their art work, giving talks and workshops all on the theme of the arts. Applications for the festival are open until Friday 28 November.

The festival will take place at a number of different fringe venues across the city and will likely be based at Summerhall, although the final venue is still to be confirmed.

ESAF will start on Thursday 5 February and will come to an end on Friday 13 February.

Full day festival programmes will take place over Friday 6 February and the weekend.

During the next 5 days, exhibitions, talks, workshops and evening performances will be on offer for anyone from within the student community willing to participate.

Organisers state that ESAF provides any student with the opportunity to exhibit their talents to the public and that participants do not have to be studying a course associated to the arts.

Brianna Norris, 1st year Chemistry student at the University of Edinburgh said: “I think ESAF is a really good idea that exhibits unrevealed Edinburgh artists. And gives students who don’t study art related courses an opportunity to experience something they would never normally do.”

Edinburgh University Student Association (EUSA) President, Briana Pegado said: “This festival will give all students an opportunity to express themselves, meet like-minded people, get exposed to the art industry and have fun!”

Official statistics of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport report- ed at the beginning of this year that UK creative industries experienced growth of almost 10% during 2012.

The creative industry sector is now worth £71.4 billion per year to the UK economy.

This data provides evidence that the art industry happens to be on a rise and the organisers of ESAF hope that it will contribute to this rise through improv- ing access and showing how everyone can access and enjoy artistic and creative experiences.

Anna McEwan, 1st year Architecture student at the University of Edinburgh said: “I have seen what the art college students can create in ordinary semester time, when they are not expected to do anything extraordinary, so I can imagine that the pieces that they will present during the festival will be simply amazing”.

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