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A carnival performer dressed in a colourful rose costume during Alice in Spring on Bournemouth high street.

Alice in Spring returns to town centre for third year running


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BA (Hons) Events Management students from Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) brought back the popular town centre weekend festival Alice in Spring for a third year.

After its well-received second event last year, and its Halloween edition in October, Alice in Spring’s third run took place across Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May.

“A key focus we try to have each year for Alice in Spring is sustainability,” explains Annabelle Bonnar from Bournemouth Film School at AUB. “This year we managed to amplify our impact by using the new ‘TRACE by isla’ impact software, which measures the environmental impact of the event as it generates a report of insights that we can use in the evaluation of the event and can help us improve future efforts.

“Community and togetherness are also main focuses, as the values of the festival are about providing free family fun for anyone in Bournemouth or the surrounding communities. We like to offer a range of activities throughout the festival with many free workshops and performances so that anyone from any background can get involved.”

While the community can always expect something new and fresh from Alice in Spring each year, the event also brought back favourites from previous years, such as local children’s entertainer Jamie Jambo and Caribbean percussionist Jorge Eversley.

They also collaborated with Clare Salandy and Mahogany Carnival Designs on the event’s carnival procession.

This is the third year Alice in Spring has graced Bournemouth town centre. Annabelle attributes the festival’s enduring popularity to the AUB students’ hard work.

“Alice in Spring is such a joyful and entertaining project to be a part of and I think without all the students’ hard work and passion for events management, [the festival] wouldn’t be half as successful as it is. So much love and care go into the festival from both the students and the teams involved, making sure it doesn’t feel repetitive and that there’s something for everyone.

Annabelle also explains that Alice in Spring is one of the most important aspects of the BA (Hons) Events Management course. Not only for the hands-on experience the students gain, but also “that sense of pride and ownership once the event comes to life.”

“Whether it be our first-years who are just at the beginning of their academic careers, flexing their creativity and budding passion for events, or our third-years, who’ve spent their entire university life leading to this moment, and are now able to show what exactly they are capable of.

“Alice in Spring provides an environment for an insane amount of personal growth for our third-year students – you really see their confidence blossom as they become independent of the course. We’ve given them the tools they need to be successful and now is their ultimate opportunity to show it before graduation."

A collaborative effort, Alice in Spring brought together students on a wide range of AUB courses alongside those studying BA (Hons) Events Management. Students on BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance, Illustration, Graphic Design, Dance, Photography and Film Production all took part in bringing the festival to life.

Following its launch in 2022, Alice in Spring was named Best Live Event at the prestigious Association for Events Management Education Awards.

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