Thanks to a 10-year long partnership between Splendour organisers, DHP Family, and a leading provider of creative and entertainment industries education, Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, hundreds of students have worked alongside professional crews to produce, stage and film East Midlands’ biggest and best outdoor festival.
From the aspiring artists who join the line-up on the Confetti stage, to the talented students working behind the scenes, the festival provides invaluable experience in the live music and entertainment industry to create the next generation of backstage superstars and on-stage performers.
Established in 1994, Confetti has close to 30 years of industry expertise and contacts across production technologies and performance within live events, TV, film, music, games and esports. Part of Confetti Media Group, Confetti takes an entrepreneurial approach to education, with its Nottingham-based campus home to a unique suite of commercial businesses that support the student learning experience. Acquired by the award-winning Nottingham Trent University in 2015, its mantra is ‘Do It For Real’, which means Confetti students don’t just learn their subjects, they live them.
Confetti Media Group Founder and Chief Executive, Craig Chettle MBE explains:“As a former musician, sound engineer and producer, I’d worked with some of the biggest artists in some of the best studios and music venues around the world. But back then, nowhere really existed that provided structured education and training to help people enter the industry. So, we created Confetti.”
Splendour Festival began in 2008 with the line-up consisting of Kate Nash, Paolo Nutini, Ocean Colour Scene and Rufus Wainwright. Those acts paved the way for an event that has become renowned for bringing international talent to Nottingham. Last year, Splendour returned bigger and better after a brief hiatus. The two-day weekender became one of the busiest years on record for the event, with more than 20,000 people enjoying the sunshine and music at Wollaton Park. Splendour’s 15th birthday edition – another two-day event – looks to raise the stakes once more, with some of the biggest acts ever, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Madness, set to top the bill.
Confetti became a main sponsor of Splendour Festival back in 2012, complete with its own ‘Confetti stage’. Every year since then, Confetti’s students – studying on courses like BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology and BSc (Hons) Event Production – have made the festival their classroom. Learners work behind the scenes crewing the Confetti and Courtyard stages. Confetti education and technical teams oversee student involvement and are heavily involved in the planning, logistics and event production each year.
In 2019, five student acts also took to the Confetti stage for the first time, performing to audiences of thousands. The trend continues to this day, with five more ‘Confetti artists’ lined up for this weekend’s event, including Cam Mannix, Luna and the Lime Slices, Ellie Stainsby, Airport Dad, and COURTNEY.
The Confetti partnership has also extended to Notts TV, an affiliated channel who has become Splendour’s TV broadcast partner. Each year Notts TV works with Confetti students to capture audience engagement and backstage artist interviews for their annual Splendour Festival specials.
To date 435 Confetti students have taken part in the festival, amounting to 6079 ‘Do It For Real’ hours of live industry experience. Speaking on the value of the partnership and the impact of Confetti’s involvement over the years, Anton Lockwood, Director of Live at DHP Family said:
“We’re very pleased to be celebrating 10 years of our partnership with Confetti. Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of working with some incredibly talented musicians from the Institute who have performed across our stages, as well as hundreds of brilliant students who have been able to gain hands-on behind-the-scenes experience in event production and supported our festival.
“Their hard work and passion have been fantastic over the years and we’re proud to have provided opportunities for young people in our city to showcase their talents and learn about the industry. Here’s to a decade of collaboration and empowering the next generation of event professionals!”
BAFTA award-winning actress Vicky McClure is also part of this weekend’s line-up. Fresh off the back of receiving an MBE for services to drama and music, she’ll return with Our Dementia Choir for another moving performance. A close friend of Splendour and Confetti, she added:
“I have such a strong affinity with Wollaton Park and I’ve been coming to Splendour for years. The festival has a beautiful atmosphere and it was amazing to perform there last year with Our Dementia Choir. The stage is lively, vibrant and young, and it’s exactly what we need to help show how powerful music is for those living with dementia and seeing them live well with it. It really feels like the audience has your back – we honestly can’t wait to do it again.
“Splendour wouldn’t be what it is without all of the wonderful people working behind the scenes, stewarding, crewing and documenting the event, and Confetti plays a huge part in that. I am very proud to be a Confetti ambassador, so much creativity in Nottingham comes from there, and the Confetti stage is a great way to discover new artists. Sometimes it’s their first big gig and it’s great that Splendour and Confetti provide them that opportunity.”
Fast approaching its own 30-year milestone, Confetti has a busy year ahead. This September, Confetti and NTU will deliver pioneering creative education aligned to the entertainment industries at a new purpose-designed industry centre in Whitechapel, East London. Reflecting the course offer in Nottingham, the student experience will be underpinned by a proven curriculum, world-class learning opportunities, and extensive industry connections. Visit the Confetti website to find out more about this exciting new development.