Alex and Nell, the two verge student producers standing in front of wall of plants

Verge Festival: the inside scoop

2 October 2018
Get the low-down on the festival that celebrates student creativity
Live music, night markets and side-splitting comedy gigs – you don’t want to miss this year’s Verge Festival happening on campus from 8 – 12 October. It’s a week of pop-up attractions produced by students, for students.

Meet Alex Bateman and Nell O'Grady – the two powerhouse producers responsible for pulling together this year’s Verge Festival. Both in their third year of a Media and Communications degree, they have confirmed a line-up of events and activities showcasing the unique talent and creativity that exists across the University’s many campuses.

So, what is the Verge Festival? 

Nell: "It’s an arts and culture festival run annually by the University of Sydney Union (USU), and an exciting opportunity for all students to get creative and show off their skills no matter what they study or where they’re from".

Alex: "This year Verge is about bringing art to students. Everyone has a busy schedule, so by essentially transforming Eastern Avenue and the Quad Lawns into an exhibition, we’re making it easy for everyone to get involved and interact with art".

Is there a theme this year?

Nell: "Interconnectivity. Just from speaking to a few friends who study at The Conservatorium of Music and Sydney College of the Arts, they find there’s often a bit of a divide between them and the other campuses. This year we’ve really tried to bring all the communities together by celebrating and integrating the things that make each campus unique".

Alex: "Our focus from the beginning was to bring as many students together from different faculties as possible. The whole idea is to connect all the faculties, campuses, international and domestic students by celebrating and bringing student art to life".

There are a number of stellar student collaborators who helped to make this year’s Verge Festival one of the best yet. Although Jess Wang and Daisy Hingston study on different campuses, they have effortlessly combined their unique creative outlooks to produce the stalls and exhibitions you won’t want to miss.

Jess is an Architecture student in her Honours year and has been busy coordinating a team of students from her faculty to create a art-inspired coffee kiosk installation, which will give students something different to do while they enjoy their all-important morning coffee.

Why is creativity important to you?

Jess: "It makes my daily life more interesting and memorable. We might share similar ideas, but each of us comes from a different perspective, and often that uniqueness isn’t highlighted through conversations. Creativity is highly individualised, and it’s enjoyable to get to know the artist’s view and interpretation of their subject matter".

"Verge Festival is great in this respect as it gives students the opportunity to express themselves, meet similar minded people and see creative works from fellow students".

Daisy Hingston meanwhile, is a Visual Arts student from Sydney College of the Arts, and is part of a group lending their imagination to this year’s night markets. She’ll be in the mix, selling handmade, custom designed t-shirts, tote bags and prints.

Why should students care about Verge Festival?

Daisy: It's an amazing way to promote local art and culture and present it to the university at large, which why this year’s theme interconnectivity is really important".

"It means we’re providing an opportunity for large amounts of people to have interactions with others in a creative space where they can engage, meet and discuss. I’m excited to see how students interact with the stores and pop-up exhibitions, as well as the overall atmosphere of the night markets".

No matter what faculty you’re a part of there’s sure to be something at this year’s Verge Festival to get your creative juices flowing. Take a break from your studies and head over to Eastern Avenue and the Quad Lawns from October 8 – 12 to soak up some of our student’s best creative endeavours. 

A few events you don't want to miss:

8 October: Night Markets on Eastern Avenue 

9 October: Jazz Night at Courtyard Cafe

11 October: Carnival Day on Quadrangle Lawns and Eastern Ave

12 October: Film Screening: Eraserhead at Courtyard Cafe

Check out the full Verge Festival schedule for more.