Newbury Spring Festival


How To Be a Critic

Register To Be a Critic

The Competition Prize

Edward Seckerson
2017 Reviews
2016 Reviews
2015 Reviews
2014 Reviews
2013 Reviews
2012 Reviews



Be a Young Festival Critic - Free tickets in return for a review!


The Newbury Spring Festival is looking for reviewers to cover events from its programme of world class music staged in some amazing venues around Berkshire. Anyone between the ages of 15 and 30 with a passion for live music or journalism can come along to this year’s Festival.


This exciting scheme enables young people, who have a passion for the arts and writing, to explore new experiences while building their writing skills and enhancing their CV's and university applications. It’s easy to be a Young Festival Critic - You choose the events to see, the Festival gives you free tickets, you experience the event then tell us what you thought. At the end of the Festival, professional judges from the media and music world will select 3 winners to be awarded cash prizes. The 2 runners up will receive £50 each and the winning writer will get £100!


Join the Young Festival Critics today…We challenge you to try something new!


“I have never experienced a show like this before but, I am now a true believer that opportunities like this are a once in a lifetime and would advise anyone with a chance to be part of it to get involved.” Mark, 23


“It is great that schemes like Newbury’s Young Festival Critics are giving a platform to budding young arts enthusiasts with something to say.” Edward Seckerson, Chief Classical Music Critic, The Independent


How to be a Critic


If you'd like to sign up - please contact Jan Ferrer:


We will send you a comprehensive guide to writing a review but here's the key information you need to know:

How to Critique – it’s easy…

The results


Competiton Prizes


There are three prizes for the best an most well written reviews.

£100 top prize and 2 x £50 for the runners up.


Edward Seckerson

Chief Classical Music Critic, The Independent


"Criticism is still so misunderstood. Is it good or bad, the best or the worst, we critics are asked - and no matter how many times we care to explain that things are rarely black or white and it's the shades of grey in between that make something interesting or not the most sensational quotes will always make their way on to the hoardings and the well written, well balanced, review will more as not be put to one side.


For me the opinion has always mattered less than the way in which it is expressed and in an age where the most outspoken among us don't always feel it is necessary to substantiate their views in any thoughtful, meaningful, way it's great that schemes like Newbury's Young Festival Critics are giving a platform to budding young arts enthusiasts with something to say.


Sharing the experience of a play, a film, a concert, or piece of art or literature is what it is all about. The best critics make us feel part of that experience whether or not we were there ourselves. I like to think that doing so is an art in itself."