A film photo from the latest Upgrade Yourself Festival. A panel of people sit on stage discussing  something. Two people are holding mics. There is a crowd watching on.

Upgrade Yourself 2022 – Year in Review

15 Dec 2022

In 2022, Upgrade Yourself at Somerset House saw thousands of young creatives interact with our programme, with opportunities to meet industry professionals, likeminded individuals and take away invaluable advice for navigating a career in the creative sector.  Here's a look back at an incredible year...

Upgrade Yourself Festival powered by Squarespace 

On 10 and 11 June, we welcomed over 400 young people to Somerset House for our first-ever sold-out Upgrade Yourself Festival powered by Squarespace. Joining us for the special occasion were guest speakers such as Bola Sol, Montana Hall (Run The Check) and Habiba Katsha (HuffPost), with Squarespace helping our young creatives build their online brand with an intro to easily building a Squarespace website.

Upgrade Yourself Live with Remi Burgz

We welcomed ‘the local energy provider’, BBC 1Xtra/BBC3 presenter and DJ Remi Burgz. Remi brought incredible energy to kick off the series, giving us a deep dive into the ins and outs of working in radio and presenting. You can watch the session below.

Upgrade Yourself Live with Alicai Harley

Alicai Harley joined us in July for another Upgrade Yourself Live. Born in Jamaica but raised in south London, Alicai has been submerged within a culture of music for as long as she can remember. Here, Alicai shared her journey and inspirations (shout out to Buju Banton, Lady Saw and Beyoncé), from open mic nights to the success of her 2017 single Gold and beyond.

Upgrade Yourself Live with Ashley Verse

In August we were joined by renowned capturer of the UK music scene; Ashley Verse. Ashley Verse is a photographer of Jamaican & Bajan heritage, based in London. With years of creative exploration and dedication, Ashley Verse has become a celebrated and respected name in the UK Music scene, and here he shares his pearls of wisdom.

Upgrade Yourself Live with Charles Jeffrey and Claire Moore

September saw Somerset House Studios resident and world-renowned fashion designer Charles Jeffrey join us for Upgrade Yourself Live, alongside his good friend and collaborator, hair stylist Claire Moore. Charles and Claire shared their experiences carving out careers in the fashion industry, working collaboratively on projects and highlighted the importance of reciprocal relationships, as well as how best to research.

Take II of Upgrade Yourself Festival powered by Squarespace

Upgrade Yourself Festival powered by Squarespace returned in November when we opened our doors to young creatives once more. On the line-up were comedian Kae Kurd, content creator Kyron Hamilton, Polyester Zine and many more, with expertise from across the creative and cultural sectors on offer.  

Upgrade Yourself Live with Saul Nash

Last month, choreographer, dancer and designer Saul Nash joined us for our final Upgrade Yourself Live of the year. Also a Somerset House Studios resident, Saul’s unique combination of expertise around choreography and fashion design enabled a deep dive into spinning many plates in creative industry, as well as making space for your craft. 

With thanks to our Supporters

Upgrade Yourself Festival is powered by Squarespace and supported by Warburg Pincus, The Kusuma Trust, Eranda Rothschild Foundation, The Mbili Charitable Trust, D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Nadezda Foundation & The John Thaw Foundation.

Warburg Pincus provides additional support for the Upgrade Yourself programme.