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Test Fest music festival works with local college

It’s in the Bag Cancer Support has been working with Bridgwater & Taunton College’s creative arts department on an extra special project. Test Fest is a music festival which focuses on raising awareness of testicular cancer. Music festivals throughout the UK have wonderful large letter displays which have become a focus of those events.

Event organisers Sue and Bill Brand thought why not have the letters ‘TEST FEST’ at the venue. This would not only be an eye-catching installation but will also help the charity to raise awareness of the festival.

Sue said: “We have lots of illustrators, designers and graphics companies who help us, but this felt like something we could get young artists to explore. So we were thrilled when Bridgwater & Taunton College agreed to work with us, who thought it would be perfect for their work experience.”

Sue and Bill attended the college and pitched the idea to the students and staff. Some students felt a bit hesitant but they understood the brief and keen to take part. Last week a panel of judges including Matt Hill, PR and Marketing Manager at Sheppy’s Cider and Bristol artist Jon Dixon, who is also a patron of the charity, made their choice.

Hannah O’Shea, Course Leader, creative, digital and professional studies at the college, said: “Bridgwater & Taunton College is delighted to be involved with ‘It’s in the Bag’ to work in collaboration with our Level 2 and 3 art and design students.

“This offers them the opportunity to work on a client led brief for their Work Experience week. It is an excellent opportunity to work alongside an organisation that works so hard to raise awareness of such an important topic, while also allowing the students to gain experience of creating design work for a professional client, working to their requirements and time scale, allowing them an initial introduction to working within the creative industries.”

As well as the eight winning letters, an installation of a large pair of underpants – the charity’s logo- was also chosen as a winner. All winners were given complimentary tickets and all the other 50 students who took part were given discount to attend.

Test Fest will be an opportunity to watch bands, eat, drink, catch up with friends and have a good time, while the charity team highlight about the importance of self-checking and sell merchandise with the charity’s messages on them.

The charity volunteers will talk to attendees about what the charity does and how it helps men and their families in the West Country.

Many survivors and their families also attend and catch up with those who have had treatment, just diagnosed and still receiving treatment.

Testicular Cancer is the most common cancer in young men. It’s in the Bag’s aims to support men at diagnosis and during treatment, raise awareness to encourage early detection and celebrate the 98% survival rate from Penzance to Worcester.

The festival is always opened by two bands from Richard Huish College’s music department.

Headliners will be Stereosonics (Stereophonics Tribute) supported by local bands Filta and The Jamestown Brothers. From Plymouth there is The Mayhaps while Patrons Downsy is MC.

The event will take place at Taunton Rugby Club on Saturday, June 17. Tickets are available at:

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