So, you’ve heard about On the Rocks Festival, one of the largest student-run arts festivals in the UK, and you’re thinking about putting on an event. If you want to find out more, you’re in the right place! The Festival will be taking place 3rd to 12th April 2020 and we want you to get involved and propose your ideas, whether you are a student or a local resident.

Why be a part of On The Rocks Festival?

On the Rocks Festival has built a great reputation over the past years, and being a part of it will bring you together with other like-minded artistic individuals, as well as providing you with a base of experienced committee members who will support you and make sure everything runs smoothly throughout the application process and the Festival itself. Last year we facilitated 32 events.

We will help you publicise through our swanky programmes/posters/flyers and we have a press team that will help spread the word in local publications. We will also be selling tickets for you.

What can I put on?

We welcome any form of creativity and want to encourage as many groups as possible to get involved. We are looking for drama, music, photography, art, dance, film, food and whatever else you can think of! Don’t be scared to approach us with an idea that’s a bit different, we like different and we like original. Alternatively, if you are looking to collaborate with others or another group/society, let us know and we can help you out.

Events in the past have included…  


  • Shakespeare productions on the beach and in the Castle

  • Food writing workshop

  • Puppet shows

  • Art exhibitions in the Bell Pettigrew Museum

  • Film/documentary screenings, including films made by students themselves

  • Performances for children, with children involved!

  • ‘Rescore’ (live performance of a new original soundtrack, performed alongside a screening of the film)

  • Comedy (sketch and stand-up)

  • Music of all kinds by Music is Love: Italian folk artists, rock n’ roll, Music Cafés with local artists and more!

  • Dance performances and trial classes

Getting Started

You’ve formed an idea of what you’d like to do and you’ve decided you would like to apply to be a part of On the Rocks Festival.


All events are self-funded, so before your application is sent in you must make sure you have funding in place. We encourage students to go through societies or sub-committees to help with funding (Mermaids Performing Arts Fund, Music is Love etc.) Each event will also get to keep their profit, however, we charge a £20 fee for all events that charge for entry. 

Unfortunately, we cannot accept every application. Therefore, once the deadline has passed a selection process will take place. We look for original applications with realistic (if ambitious) goals and strong financial backing, as well as a well-balanced programme as a whole. 

We're here to help you through every step of the process.

The committee will be on hand to support you throughout the process, and to link you up with societies that may be interested in supporting your event.

The Application Process

Once you've decided to apply to be a part of On the Rocks Festival, here is what you need to do:

  1. Download and read the On the Rocks 2020 Info Pack

  2. Sign up for and attend Programming Office Hours

  3. Submit your On the Rocks 2020 Application

Event applications for On The Rocks Festival 2020 are open until 13th November, 2019.