School tunes up for fundraising festival

School council member Joey Laird, 10, is one of the pupils looking foward to next month’s Battstock

School council member Joey Laird, 10, is one of the pupils looking foward to next month’s Battstock

First published in Education Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by

A WITNEY primary school will be transformed into a music festival next month for the annual Battstock festival.

It is the third year the Batt Primary School, in Marlborough Lane, has hosted the event and organisers hope some 600 people will attend. The event raises thousands of pounds for the school – previous events have paid for new playground and classroom equipment.

This year’s event, on Saturday, July 7, will feature Navacross and The Lights and Oxfordshire artists Jess Hall, Phousa and The Quiet Men.

There will also be food, stalls, a bar run by festival sponsor Wychwood Brewery, workshops and a one-man performance of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

Organiser Adrian Phillips said: “The festival has grown in size and this year we have got two stages for the first time, a main stage and an acoustic stage.

“What we have tried to do evolve it to be a family event and this year there’s lots more happening for children.

“Even if you’re not that into the music, there will be absolutely stacks going on to keep you entertained.”

Mr Phillips, whose daughter Daisy, 11, attends the school, hopes this year’s event will double the amount raised in previous years.

He added: “I have worked in the past on the Wychwood Festival and I thought it would be quite cool to have a music festival at the school.

“You might not think a school is a good place to have a festival but the playing fields have an arboretum of trees and the main stage sits between these.

“It’s a really beautiful little space to have a small intimate music festival."

Headteacher Chris Payne said: “This year we’re making it a bigger and better event, with more stalls and entertainment for the children to enjoy.

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“It brings the community together and it is something different for the school and community to enjoy. Not many schools have this sort of thing going on.”

Money raised from the event this year will go towards a £150,000 facelift for the school’s entrance and reception area. The project will also create rooms for special needs lessons and meetings. Building work started last week.

Mr Payne added: “The festival means we can afford to do different things, beyond the basics, in terms of giving the children more opportunities.

“It helps us to produce a more rounded individual and enables the children to enjoy their education more by having better facilities.”

He said he could not wait for the festival, adding: “It’s good fun and there’s always a lovely atmosphere. It should be a great day.”

  • Tickets cost £7 for adults, £3 for under-16s and £15 for a family of two adults and two under-16s. They are available from Rapture Entertainment in the Woolgate Centre in Witney or click on the link to book online.

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