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The Festival on The Close

As part of the school's flagship biannual Festival on The Close, over 600 children from partner schools and colleges joined Rugby School children in a range of performance workshops and performances from Stomping with the cast of Stomp to playing with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Over 4 days in June, Rugby School opens its doors to hundreds of children and adults each day during the festival with over 100 individual workshops and dozens of student and professional performances. For more details please go to the festival website here.


To provide world-class bespoke opportunities for young people to engage with arts, craft, science and sport in a range of hands-on practical workshops and performances in a festival of creativity and culture. See our website for full details here.


The project is led by Artistic Director Dr Tim Coker who has been developing the model for the festival in independent schools, working with their local communities, for the past four years. 


The resources are based around performance spaces indoor and outdoor as well as hired stages, sound systems and other festival logistics. The school is taken over by the festival and normal lessons are suspended with visitors welcome all day to join the workshop and performance programme. Teaching staff delievr workshops as well as visitng professionals ranging from ITV sports commentator Mark Pugatch to the RSC.


Life-changing and enhancing opportunities to engage with arts and creativity where otherwise such opportunities may not exist. To inspire new generations of artists and audiences, regardless of background and thus sustaining and nurturing our creative industries and the diversity that is required for them to flourish in our society.

Pupil Involvement

Every Rugby School pupils is involved. Around 800 pupils took part in 2017. Over 600 visiting school children joined Rugby pupils. Ages ranged from 13-18.


On-going, biannual.