Teens wil take to mic for festival

Matthew SparkesTeenagers will be taking over the mic during the Norfolk and Norwich Festival as they bid to become the next generation of presenters and music journalists.Matthew Sparkes

Teenagers will be taking over the mic during the Norfolk and Norwich Festival as they bid to become the next generation of presenters and music journalists.

The 25 young students will attend shows and events as a freelance journalist would for the 16 days that the festival runs, taking photos, video and audio reviews.

The scheme from Future Projects, the organisation behind the city's independent radio station Future Radio, is designed to help people who have not flourished in standard education learn media and music skills.

Will Wilson, project coordinator at Future, said the scheme was aimed at 'hard-to-reach' young people.

He said: 'It can mean anything from someone who's dyslexic to someone who doesn't like to come to school or someone who's not in employment.

'They can come here and build up their CV and hopefully get employment through it. The idea is the young people are given skills to work in the media. We give them access to everything here so that they can take the next positive step in life.

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'This is pretty much what Future is all about.'

The project already has strong partnerships in place with the Hewett and Sprowston High Schools and is keen to expand into Costessey and Earlham in the near future.

Students on the national diploma media course at Norwich City College will also join the young reviewers to get a taste of life as freelance writers and broadcasters.

Dalton Biggs, 18, is one of the people taking part in the project.

He studies three days a week towards a performing musician course at Future and hopes to turn his band, Red Secret, into a full-time career.

He left Oriel High School in Gorleston, where he lives, almost three years ago and has been out of work since despite sending out 500 job applications.

'It's pretty cool, you get to learn instruments all day and record," he said.

He has chosen to review Die Roten Punkte and Eva Meyer-Keller during the festival, although he had not heard the acts before, because he thought they sounded interesting.

'We're learning one step at a time. It's interesting and fun,' he said.

People of all ages and from all backgrounds can also have a go at reviewing the festival by uploading their own pictures and videos online.

NNFLive is a scheme being run throughout the 16-day event to get the public involved and will allow people to send their own work to the festival website.

To upload footage or pictures of this year's Festival people simply need to have a free YouTube or Flickr account.

You can upload your images and videos by visiting www.youtube.com/group/nnfestivallive or www.flickr.com/groups/1379764@N24/