Join us for an open day in Brighton. Book your place here

WaterBear | The College of Music are giving you an amazing and unique chance to support the one and only, hugely successful...YONAKA. This show will be happening on Wednesday 15th September in celebration of WaterBear’s Freshers week.

Now we’ve already given 2 huge opportunities to support some amazing bands, so we’re doing it again. YONAKA will be performing an acoustic intimate set and will be selecting the winning band themselves, so if you’d like your music to be heard by these incredible musicians and the chance to support them, please follow the steps below

How to apply?

Terms and conditions

WaterBear | The College of Music are giving you an amazing and unique chance to support the amazing math rock sensations, Orchards. This show will be happening on Tuesday 14th September in celebrations of WaterBear’s Freshers week.

Orchards will be selecting the winning band themselves, so if you’d like your music to be heard by these incredible musicians and the chance to support them, please follow the steps below

How to apply?

Terms and conditions

WaterBear | The College of Music are excited to announce the launch of The WaterBear Songwriting Factory 2021.

This coming 22nd and 23rd July, WaterBear will be holding a 2 day songwriting camp in the heart of Brighton at our seafront venue and studio facilities. In this camp you will be writing, arranging and networking with fellow songwriters, guided by some of the most successful writers in the UK including Sacha Skarbeck (James Blunt, Adele, Miley Cyrus), Chris Leonard (James Bay, Ed Sheeran, McFly), and Hannah Boulton (Bledig, Frogleap).

In addition, you will be performing your original material with a live house band, MD’d by Dale Davis (Amy Winehouse), in front of an audience at the end of the 2 days. Not only is this available for musicians at WaterBear, but The WaterBear Songwriting Factory will have 2 special slots reserved for anyone who doesn’t currently study with WaterBear.

If you’re a songwriter and interested in applying to be a part of this free, 2 day exclusive camp, then please follow the below instructions.

How to apply:

Please email [email protected] with the following information;

• In 100-200 words, please provide a short paragraph telling us why attending The WaterBear Song writing Factory would benefit you.

We want you to bring ideas along with you to the camp, so it’s really important that you’re prepared. Please prepare ideas for your tracks (this could be subject matter, song titles, chord charts, drum loops, tempos and feels).

Terms and conditions:

• Applications will close on Friday 18th June

• Please do not apply if you’re unavailable on 22nd and 23rd July 

• A panel of industry professionals will have the final say on successful applications

• If successful, you will receive an email on Friday 25th June

Welcome to our August Round Up of all the latest news from WaterBear HQ. Our focus recently has been on resilience, something truly at the core of our ethos at WaterBear. Afterall, that’s what a ‘Water Bear’ is known for. Being resilient over these last few months has been essential. Not only are we approaching our September reopening with confidence, we’re also hugely excited by all the latest announcements we have in store! We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to ensure our city-wide campuses are COVID-19 secure, creating environments which nurture creativity and excellence. Read on to find out more…

New venues, new locations

No matter the situation, we are dedicated to providing our students with all the tools, resources and facilities they need. So, and to support the local live community, we’ve acquired our very own live music / club venue on Brighton seafront! That means even if it takes a while for the live sector to return to normality, you’ll still have a place to play. The venue will also serve as teaching space and will be a great place to hang out and socialise.

This is also a great opportunity for MA students who might be looking to develop careers within the live industry. Combining an MA project with a functioning music venue has amazing potential for career development. To find out more, please get in touch.

Check it out:

We’ve also got more new premises at 15 Bond Street, situated in the iconic North Laine area of Brighton. Here you’ll find more teaching space and a large open mezzanine area, plus it’s directly above one of the best coffee shops in Brighton. 15 Bond Street really is a creative’s haven.


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Royal Blood scholarship

We are thrilled to welcome award-winning duo Royal Blood into the fold as  WaterBear patrons. And to celebrate this partnership, we’re giving away the first ever Royal Blood Scholarship award, the recipient of which will have all of their course tuition fees paid. The scholarship applies to all current and incoming BA (Hons) students, who are studying on-site in Brighton or online. Scholarship applications are open until the end of August so if you are still considering joining us, now is the perfect time to apply.

For details of how to apply for the Royal Blood Scholarship and all Ts and Cs click here

Rabea joins WaterBear

We love innovative & forward-thinking musicians – and that is exactly why Rabea Massaad is a fantastic fit for WaterBear. Not only is he an insane guitarist, he’s a titan of YouTube and a real champion of the DIY music ethic. Students will be seeing more of Rabea from September, producing lesson content and getting involved with masterclasses and events. And it’s not only Rabea joining the team. Our tutor roster is always growing with amazing people, keen to share their skills and knowledge.

Here’s Rabea to tell you more…

WaterBear MA news

Our Master’s course, the 1-year MA Music Entrepreneur, just keeps getting better! The opening of our new venue will allow all WaterBear MA students to gain invaluable experience in a real-world setting – fantastic for anyone looking to gain skills in venue and events management. Alongside this we've also launched our Production Lab, these will be optional weekly music production workshops, again available to all MA students. These workshops will offer in-depth content from our highly experienced audio production team.

And if all this wasn't enough, there’s now a tuition fee loan available of up to £11,222, meaning you can access an additional £1272 on top of your course fees for any kit, software or gear you may need. Find out more about the course here.

So you can see we’re confident this September at WaterBear is going to be epic! Our incredible, diverse and talented students and tutors bring the college to life and we can’t wait to open our doors. If you’re interested in being part of WaterBear or finding out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re ready – hope you are too!

WaterBear | The College of Music was buzzing with excitement as it played host to a sell-out Sofar Sounds live show on Wed June 19th. The exclusive event at WaterBear H.Q in Brighton featured a line-up of some of the UK's finest emerging artists including: Bledig, Bee & Jack Rabbit and Ebony Grace.

Sofar Sounds is the largest music promoter in the world and they host in excess of 500 gigs per month in more than 300 cities world-wide. Previous artists who have performed at Sofar shows include Hozier, Leon Bridges, Emeli Sandé, Wolf Alice, Bastille, and Lianne La Havas.

Sofar Sounds was started in London in March 2009 by Rafe Offer, Rocky Start, and Dave Alexander who were "annoyed by typically noisy and boisterous popular concert venues". As a consequence, they decided to put on their own gig in Alexander's North London flat and invited eight friends over to listen to him play music in his living room. For the second gig in London, more people showed up. Soon after, Sofar expanded to Paris, New York City, and other cities, arriving in Los Angeles in early 2011.

Typically, three artists perform at each Sofar gig with no opener and no headliner. Performers apply to be considered via a form on the Sofar website. Musicians of all genres as well as spoken word poets, comedians and even dancers may apply. Local Sofar Sounds lead ambassadors / bookers and their review committees and music scouts curate the evenings.

Make sure to check the artists who performed by following the links below:


Bledig cook up a stew of muscular prog hop/jazz grooves, dark piano tones, dirty synths and soaring vocals. Drawing influence from acts like Portishead, Esbjorn Svensson Trio and late Talk Talk, Bledig have stirred a mix of cinematic ambience and head-bopping attitude.

Bee & Jack Rabbit

"Their music and lyrics manage to conjure images and thoughts much grander than the sum of their parts, with the kind of introspective nobility that could serve as the soundtrack to your life flashing before your eyes during your final moments". - Jimmy Volts, XYZ magazine

Ebony Grace

Taking influence from the likes of Tori Amos and Kate Bush; this is alt-pop at its finest.




It's nearly time for this seaside city to once again host Europe's largest new music festival, The Great Escape. Whether you're a Great Escape veteran or this is your very first escape, it is impossible to see all of the 400+ artists. To help guide your escape we've curated a list of our must see acts, with links to Brighton, performing at this years Official Great Escape Festival.

Make sure to check out the WaterBear stage at St. Nicholas Church, Dyke Road, Brighton. It's a free entry event. Sign up here.

Komedia Studio Bar  2:15am Friday 10th May

Debut album HiiDE is out on the 5th of July.
For fans of FKA Twigs, Grimes and James Blake.

Under management from Brighton label / promoters Love Thy Neighbour and signed to Death Waltz Originals, Babii burst onto the scene with her infectious debut single PHANTOM back in November 2018. Blending electronica, hushed vocals, with boundary pushing pop sensibilities, Babii has been championed by The 405, Fresh on the Net and The Line of Best Fit. After a run of hotly tipped SXSW shows Babii's debut Great Escape show is one not to miss.

Ellie Ford

Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church. 8:20pm Friday 10th May (Free Entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Unitarian Church 7:30pm Saturday 11th May

New Album: Light Repeated is out on 10th of May.
For fans of Joanna Newsom, Aldous Harding and Angel Olsen.

Harpist and songwriter Ellie Ford has become an icon of the Brighton music scene. Her debut album The Other Sun with it's orchestral folk arrangements and sultry vocals was the soundtrack to many Brighton cafe's and has received praise  from BBC 6. Ford and her five piece band are preparing to launch their follow up, Light Repeated, recored in frankfurt with German studio / label Lotte Lindenberg. Dark orchestral folk at it's finest.

Ak Patterson

Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church 5:30pm Friday (Free entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Fabrica 9:15pm Friday

For fans of Bjork, Alt-J and Laura Marling.

AK Patterson has been dubbed ‘a woman possessed’, disappearing to a place of fierce enchantment when she sings. After releasing their debut single, Shadows, produced by Charlie Andrew (Alt-J) this Brighton based alt folk trio have seen a meteoritic rise, with stadium support slots with Alt-J and their own sell out headline UK tours.


Where?:Northlane Brewhouse. 9:30pm Thursday, 9th May Alternative Escape

For fans of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Stevie Wonder and Jamie Lidell.

Jazz neo-soul outfit have been delighting audiences with shows at the prestigious London Jazz Cafe and Love Supreme festival. Bringing their infectious groves and Stevie Wonder influenced keys, tied together by the smooth vocals of lead singer James Berkley.

Bobbie Johnson

Where?: The Arch. 6:15pm Friday, 9th May.

For fans of Kendrick Lamar, OutKast, FKA Twigs and Queen Latifah.

Brighton producer and rapper Bobbie Johnson combines hip hop, grime, garage, and glitch to form an amalgamation of sounds that showcase her conscious thought and social commentary. They have supported Children of Zeus, The Pharcyde and Roots Manuva as well as touring with Rag ’n’ Bone Man.

Michael Baker

Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church 7.20pm Friday, 10th May (Free entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Marine Room (Harbour Hotel) 9:15pm Saturday, 11th May.

For fans of Bon Iver, Villagers and Father John Misty.

Brighton based Anglo-French singer songwriter Michael Baker is  backed by  a 6 piece band of multi-instrumentalists who provide soaring harmonies and stunning soundscapes to his intricate folk songs. His debut album ‘Dust & Bone’( released in November 2016) was produced by Dan Brown (Massive Attack) and received praise from The Independent, Mahogany, Tom Robinson and Clash.

Michael’s 2nd album ‘Salt’ is due 3rd quarter 2019, produced by Oliver Baldwin (Aldous Harding / First Aid Kit).

Cousin Kula

Where?: The Hope and Ruin 10:00pm Friday, 9th May.

For fans of MGMT, Syd Arthur and Jouis.

Now based in Bristol Psych-pop 6 piece Cousin Kula are a live act like no other. Interweaving synths, break beats, effected vocals and hook laden melodies all come together in one exhilarating package. The best live act we saw at last years TGE. Championed by NME, Line of best Fit, Clash, Fresh on the Net.

Bess Atwell

Where?: Prince Albert. 11:15pm Friday, 9th May.

For fans of Sharon Van Etten, Fleet Foxes and The National.

Two years on from her debut album, the former solo project has evolved into a full band sound soaked in four-part vocal harmony fulfilling Atwell’s desire to create a more dynamic live show, with traces of traditional folk music. Atwell’s latest single ‘Grace’ is the more restrained, intimate successor of her August offering ‘Swimming Pool’, both of which have been playlisted by BBC Radio 6 Music.

Can't afford a wristband? Don't panic, we've got you covered.

There are so many fantastic new bands performing over the weekend of TGE who didn't make the official line up this year. If you haven't got a TGE wristband then here's our top venues with free entry events:

Thursday, 9th May 12.00 – 22.00

Republic of music showcase @ Loading Brighton

11 Lower Promenade, Madiera Drive



Friday, 9th May 14.30 – 22.30

Back in the Woods Promotions + WaterBear | The College of Music
Present Alt Alt Escape @ St Nicholas Church

Dyke Road / Church St, Brighton BN1 3LJ


Saturday, 10th May 15:00-23:30

Fresh Lenins presents ALT ALT ESC. DAY 3.

Idle Hands, 59 Queens Road, BN1 3XD Brighton

Happy Great Escaping everyone, we'll see you on the other side.

Join us for a very special WaterBear Night of Drums event. This is a public event with LIMITED SPACE! Please confirm your place for by emailing us at [email protected] This exclusive event will feature live drum performances from three of the UK’s top drummers and clinicians, including an opportunity for Q+A and to meet the artists. Our guests:

Daisy Palmer

Big hair, big smile and a powerhouse behind the drum kit – that is Daisy Palmer! At the top of the ever-growing female drummer community, Daisy is not only running her own record label (Babylegs Records) and working on multiple original projects, she has also become one of the most in-demand session drummers in London, having worked with the likes of Goldfrapp, MIKA, Rae Morris, Hannah Peel, John Metcalfe, Vaults and many more. For the past year Daisy has toured the globe with UK Pop/Soul queen Paloma Faith, a gig where she can indulge her passion for drumming and electronics. Her masterclass is not to be missed!

Pete Riley

Pete is widely regarded as one of the UK's leading drummers and educators. He’s also known for his twenty-plus-year tenure as both contributor and CD editor for Rhythm magazine. He has authored several successful drum books and was recently nominated in the 'Best Educator' category in Rhythm magazine's online reader's poll. More recently Pete has focused his experience, knowledge and passion for educating drummers to create his own drum backing track website – Total Drum Tracks, a fantastic online resource for drummers wanting to develop and play to music. He’s played with many top artists including Republica, Keith Emerson, Guthrie Govan and recently toured Europe with the famed Corrado Rustici Trio. As the latest recruit to the WaterBear drum faculty, we are proud to welcome Pete on board.

James Purvis

With 11 years’ experience gigging and recording, James is forging his career as an up-coming session drummer. He is currently involved with five different artists, ranging from electronic house music and ambient electronica to folk and trip-hop. James has been working for Roland as a Product Specialist for over 4 years, showcasing his passion for merging vintage acoustic drum sounds with modern electronics.


Live & Loud Drums Night
Date: Mon, 15.04.19
Time: 19:00
Location: The Haunt, Pool Valley, BN1 1NJ

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Tel: +44 (0) 1273 726230
Email: [email protected]

WaterBear Education Ltd, Hanover House,
118 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG, UK  Map

Why We're WaterBear...

- ‘Water bear’ is the common name for a Tardigrade.
- Tardigrades are micro creatures, found everywhere on earth.
- They are the most resilient creatures known.
- They can survive and adapt to their surroundings, even in outer space.
- Their resilience and ability to adapt and survive inspires us in everything we do. We love them.

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