Valefest & Guild of Students Statement

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Valefest is an important event in the yearly event programme delivered for students at the University of Birmingham. Happening in June, it forms part of the end of exam celebrations and brings together students to begin an exciting summer period of activities.

2024 marks the 20th year of Valefest, providing an opportunity to take stock and reflect as well as look forward.

There is no doubt about Valefest’s contribution to the vibrant community at Birmingham raising over £200,000 for charity, giving a platform for student groups and acts to perform, and providing valuable skills and experience for former committee members. But like many similar events, Valefest has faced many obstacles in recent years, resulting in the cancellation of the 2023 festival.

Since then, the Valefest Student Group Committee has explored a number of options to secure Valefest's future and ensure the continuation of its legacy. These options have all proved challenging if the committee and group try to do this alone.

This is a deeply important event to students, and to the current Valefest student group members, so it’s time to think and act differently to protect what we know students love.

The decision has therefore been taken to transfer the responsibility for the delivery and financial management of the event to the Guild of Students for the years ahead. This follows extensive discussions between the Guild of Students and the Valefest Student Group Committee over the last few months. As a consequence a Valefest Charter has been agreed, which means the values and aims of the Student Group will  be retained; this includes students leading the choice of artists and acts to perform at the festival, volunteering opportunities within the event management operation continuing, and a focus on fundraising before and during the event, for charities decided by students.

The mutual goal of the committee and the Guild is to make Valefest as good as it can possibly be and to do it in a way that is sustainable, while continuing to reflect its historical student values, spirit and ethos. All involved will be working hard to make the transition as smooth as possible and to ensure knowledge is transferred that will help facilitate the growth of the festival in the future. The event will now become part of the annual calendar of Guild of Students events, with the 2024 event marking another change, the inauguration of UoB Xtra. Valefest will kick off this year’s month of activities.

Does this mean Valefest 2024 will be different? Put simply, Yes. But in the main any changes you see will be in response to student feedback. Valefest’s commitments such as supporting student and local artists, raising money for charity, and offering a range of opportunities for students to get involved all remain. And none of these things will be lost because of this change. Valefest simply wouldn’t be the same festival without the elements that make up its heart!

Thank you for supporting Valefest all these years. Valefest simply wouldn’t have existed without you, whether you’re an alumni, friend, or follower.

We are now busy working away preparing for Valefest 2024, which will take place on Saturday 1st June. We’ll be releasing more information in the weeks and months ahead so make sure to put the date in your diary and watch this space for further Valefest 2024 updates!



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