Schools Commission

Each year, our Schools Commission offers children and young people from three local schools the chance to create a brand-new piece, which will be performed in Bath Abbey to open Party in the City.

This year, the magic of the Festival has transformed children from St Andrews, Bathwick St Mary and St Stephens Primary Schools into Festival Spirits. See the children mischievously disrupt and take over a traditional song recital. They will join soprano Elizabeth Karani to become characters from past and future festivals, inspired by material from the festival archives. Working with composer Richard Barnard and artist Edwina Bridgeman, the children will create a performance and installation piece celebrating 70 years of the festival.

You can see and hear what children created in previous years here:

In 2017, composer Richard Barnard and artist Edwina Bridgeman worked with children from  Selwoood Academy, Threeways  School and Westfield Primary School to create Wild Voices, which explored the architecture of Abbey through the eyes of wild creatures. You can hear what they created here:

Credits: Wild Voices – Conductor: Richard Barnard, Violin: Marian Givens, Cello: Alison Gillies, Horn: Dave Ransom, Piano: Helen Reid

In 2016, we worked with internationally acclaimed beatboxer Shlomo, who taught pupils to beatbox and inspired imaginative stories and songs that were woven together in an incredibly powerful show. Watch them sing:

Family Arts Day

Our annual opportunity for families to get creative and have a go and different art forms in a relaxed informal environment. Here’s what’s happening this year:

Make music and try a kaleidoscope of instruments with Sarah Moody, storyteller Polly Tisdall will welcome you to our story tent and artist Claire Loder will bring a wonder of jumble so you can make a your creative ideas come alive. Have a go at our ever-popular musical treasure hunt and listen to bright young performers on the bandstand. You might even see a dance performance appear between the trees. More info here.

Speak Out

Last year, we worked with the egg’s Creative Learning team to curate and produce an event for LGBTQ+ young people linked to a play the egg had programmed: Happily Ever After. The young people were invited to attend the play and post show discussion, then following this we hosted performances by LGBTQ+ writers and performers. The performers: Jasmine Gardosi, Tom Denbigh and Emile Clarke performed poetry and talked about their experiences. Afterwards the performers and audience had an opportunity to chat informally over a slice of rainbow cake. The event created an important space for the young people to interact with positive role models from the arts and to share their experiences and ideas.

Building on this event, we have programmed another Spoken Word event in collaboration with Apples and Snakes that celebrates queer voices. Find out more and book tickets. Alongside this we are working with Off the Record’s LGBT+ group, delivering a linked workshop and supporting the young people to access the event.


We have selected some of the fantastic artists and authors performing at the Festival to do special events at your school. From a musical assembly from a string quartet to a talk from a national journalist, we have plenty on offer to inspire your pupils. Get in touch to find out more.