Published on 10/06/2024
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DJ Simz onstage at Astonbury 2024
DJ Simz onstage at Astonbury 2024
  • Astonbury 2024 on 7 and 8 June was the second edition of Aston University Students’ Union’s rebooted annual festival
  • Artists performing included Omah Lay, DJ Simz, Kaylee Golding, Gok Wan and the Live Wires
  • Day two also included a family fun day with face painting, bhangra workshops and a roving magician.

Aston University students, staff, alumni and members of the community enjoyed a summer celebration at the second edition of its rebooted annual summer festival, Astonbury, held on 7 and 8 June 2024 on the Aston University campus in central Birmingham.

Day one, open to students, staff and alumni, began with a celebration of home-grown talent at Aston University. The music society, the cheerleading team and the award-winning bhangra team all performed on the main stage, along with student dance performances. Professor Anthony Hilton, executive dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences, also took to the decks in his alter ego DJ Ant for a set of house music. There were also performances from bands The Howlers and The Live Wires.

The evening headliners were DJ Simz, a London-based house, rap and desi DJ, and Gok Wan, fashion advisor and cookery show presenter-turned-DJ.

Day two began with a family-friendly fun day including funfair stalls, facepainting and hair braiding, bhangra workshops, village fete stalls and STEM activities organised by Aston University staff and students.

Brunchincity provided a guided painting session in the Student Union building, Normando the Magician roamed the site performing magic feats and tricks for onlookers, and the local fire brigade were on site.

Musical entertainment came from request band What Do You Fancy, DJ Bhavz, DJ Trim with an Ibiza chillout set, and acoustic artist Claire Johnston. Multiple street food vendors catered for every appetite.

The second part of the day billed as ‘The Big Show’ culminated in the headline set from Nigerian afrobeats star Omah Lay, who has released two EPs and a studio album and collaborated with the likes of Justin Bieber and Wizkid. Festival goers also enjoyed performances from BBC Radio 1 Extra DJ Kaylee Golding, Punjabi R&B DJ Jaz Dhami, R&B DJ Jordss, and garage and house DJ Bekefi.

Astonbury was organised by the Students’ Union with support from Aston University.

Atul Rana, Aston University Students' Union president, said:

“We have had a fantastic time organising Astonbury 2024. This year’s festival is bigger and better than ever, thanks to the incredible collaboration between students and staff. We had a diverse lineup that promised something for everyone! A special thank you to the student volunteers for all the support they have provided. I’m excited to see what the Students’ Union will achieve next year as I hand over the presidency to Juan Carlos Garcia Belza.”

Professor Aleks Subic, Aston University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive said:

“I am immensely proud of our Aston Students’ Union and the way that they have delivered this fantastic community event in partnership with the University. This is a great celebration of the whole Aston community involving our students, staff and partners, and a compelling example of our inclusive ethos. We have brought our people together, delivering to our students and staff an amazing event that they can be proud of and which reflects the true culture of collegiality that exists at Aston.”

Joseph, a graduate from Aston University’s master’s programme in entrepreneurship, said:

“It’s been a beautiful day out! I’m loving the food and I’m really enjoying the music.”

Jane Norton, an Aston University staff member, said:

“I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I am. I had every intention of going home about two hours ago! My highlight was Anthony Hilton. He was playing lots of songs from my youth!”

The previous Astonbury in 2023 attracted 2,000 revellers and included performances by rapper B Young, DJ Simz and RuPaul's Drag Race UK contestant Ginny Lemon.

Notes to editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming the Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Helen Tunnicliffe, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7827 090240 or email: h.tunnicliffe@aston.ac.uk.

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