By Maddy Raven, Film & TV Editor
FUZE had a fantastic year this year; fundraising for Second Step, a local Bristol mental health awareness charity. They're the largest student fashion, music and dance show in the country, and they're just getting started!
I sat down to talk to third-year theatre student, Pippa Adamthwaite-Cook, this year’s managing director of FUZE, to see where they’re headed this year and how you can get involved.
Previously, Pippa was the head of events for Hiatt-Baker’s JCR, and organised their end of year ball in 2019. She’s also the company director of PC Productions, which took Beauty is Pain to the Edinburgh Fringe last year and made national headlines. Pippa works as a radio presenter for Burst Radio, and as a freelance broadcast assistant.
FUZE is the UK’s largest student-run music, fashion and dance show in the country run for the aid of charities in the Bristol region. This year FUZE is embarking on a brand-new venture by collaborating with two charities, the names of which are to be announced on their social media soon.
Since its inception in 2003, the organisation has partnered with a range of corporations and brands to provide sponsorship for the annual show. These have included EY, KPMG, Candy Kittens, Coca Cola, Propercorn and Red Bull. Whilst the annual show is the highlight of the year, FUZE is more than just an annual event.
Throughout the year, FUZE engages with both the student and local community, running fundraising events, editorial shoots and workshops to further fund and support their show and the community. FUZE has evolved into one of the biggest and most successful events in the Bristol student calendar. Run solely by students from both Bristol University and the University of West England (UWE), the team creates the opportunity to showcase an incredible array of talents across dance, music and fashion.
The fashion show is in March, but throughout the year there are charity events: club nights, dance workshops, open mic sessions. FUZE aims to engage the student community and fundraise for charities which are important within the Bristol area.
This year, Pippa and commercial director Alexandra Hurst want to take FUZE on a commercial route in order to engage the student community more. They’re launching their own website on 1 July, and they’re tweaking their brand; the aim is to be as professional as possible, engaging with professional partners and sponsors.
This year, FUZE sets out to artistically respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrating freedom of expression and to raise as much money as possible while promoting their core values of diversity and inclusivity.
The vision is vibrant and expressive; a non-conformist music, fashion and dance show that seamlessly fuses together these elements to create a truly breath-taking performance, allowing the audience to escape into a reality that recognises powerful and diverse performers.
FUZE also takes on sponsors, whether that be many or one large company, which provides money to pay for the venue, and up-front production costs. In return, FUZE promote their brand: in 2017, they delivered 50,000 printed materials on behalf of their sponsors. It’s a good opportunity for brands to have exposure to the student audience.
FUZE will be holding casting calls for models, but this year, the team want to stress that you don’t have to be a conventional model type. They want to promote the diversity of the student population, so everyone is welcome.
They’ll also be casting for dancers and singers towards the end of September and in early October. But, if that’s not your thing and you have any ideas or want to help with organisation, get in touch! If you’re looking for professional experience, it’s a great way to get it. FUZE can provide you with valuable understandings of marketing and PR.
Pippa herself went to see FUZE in 2019 and was completely blown away: she loves music, dance and fashion, and studies theatre at Bristol. She loved every second of her time as marketing director and learned so much. Her experience from that has led her to applying for and becoming managing director. She wants to grow the organisation, and is delighted that she will hopefully be able to pass it on to someone as passionate as her when the time comes.
Follow them on social media, and keep your eyes peeled for their website launch in July. And, most importantly, get involved! Their charity work is very important and people from all walks of life are welcome.
Featured: @alicesuttonphotography, Jessica Li