SIXTH form entrepreneurs struck a chord with judges after planning a music festival in just a day.
Taking a Dominic Cummings theme to their marketing, Barnard Castle School students had their sights set on success when they pitched their ideas for a musical extravaganza for 2,000 people with the winners naming their festival ‘The Barnard Castle Eye Test Fest.’
The annual industry day sees sixth formers split into teams before receiving their planning brief, which this year surrounded the music industry.
Organised for the 10th year running by business and computing teacher Nick Connor, the event is designed to encourage entrepreneurial zeal and business acumen giving students a taste of working on an industry project.
“We try to make it as real as possible with business mentors and a panel of experts feeding back on their creative ideas,” Mr Connor said. “It is not easy, and the students are under a lot of pressure time-wise to be creative and to problem solve. They come away having learned a great deal about working in a team and some are inspired to go on to take business degrees.”
Students were mentored by musician Andy Yeadon, family activity co-ordinator at Barnard Castle’s TCR Hub Sarah Gent, marketing and communications manager of Roman Showers Sophie Stanwick and former Sage operations manager and festival organiser Esme Flounders.
Ms Flounders said: “My team really were natural-born entrepreneurs, driven, slick, professional, focused and organised. I can imagine every one of them doing well. They are a mark of the type of young people Barnard Castle School turns out.”
The students worked on all aspects of organising a music festival including booking bands and artistes, planning security and toilet provision, organising lighting and staging, making TV and radio adverts, creating a social media campaign and working out profits and costs. They also developed the concept of festival showers and phone charging stations.
They then pitched their ideas Apprentice-style to a panel of industry experts including the managing director of Newton Aycliffe-based Roman Showers David Osborne, festival and concert organiser Jon Connor and the celebrated saxophonist Mick Donnelly.
The judges praised the students for their ideas, organisation and execution, all performed in a short space of time.
Winning captains James Gilliam and Matthew Osborne, both 18, of Darlington, were delighted with their team’s performance.
“It was hard work and everyone put their hearts and souls into it, but it paid off,” said James who is planning to read law and criminology at Leeds.
Matthew, who will read applied entrepreneurship and innovation management at Cardiff, added: “It has certainly given me a variety of new skills which will help me in future.”