Local Competitive Music Festivals

Most, if not all, of the Festivals referenced here will be Members of the British and International Federation of Festivals whose Festivals’give the opportunity for amateurs to form an appreciation of artistic standards; to perform before a different type of audience; to participate in workshops and masterclasses; to be assessed, encouraged and inspired by active Professional Adjudicators they would not meet in any other way’.

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The Category Local Competitive Music Festivals is a subset of Music Competitions and Awards. Look at that broader Category to find a List of the Titles of all of the Local Competitive Music Festivals which have so far been described in this Directory. Clicking on a Title will link you to the Festival's Full Record.


In contrast, the following Local Competitive Music Festivals do not (currently) have Records in 'Open Concerts and Recitals'. Here, clicking on a Title of interest should link you to a relevant external Website (or Facebook Page):

- Ballyclare Music Festival

- Camborne Music Festival

- Heaton Mersey Youth Festival

- Kirriemuir Festival of Music and Song


! Local Competitive Music Festivals KEY
VISITS (to the Website)24
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)56

‘Aberdeen’s oldest and original music, drama and dance Festival began life in 1909 and is still very much alive today ... The Festival adopts the motto of Sir Henry Walford Davies “Not to gain a prize or defeat a rival but to pace one another on the road to excellence”. The Festival is run entirely by volunteers and relies on entry fees, fundraising and sponsorship to continue to offer performance opportunities to musicians, singers and actors from the North East and beyond. The Festival takes place each year in the first week of June, in halls throughout the city. The Festival is not just for the performers. All events are open to the public and audiences are warmly welcomed.’

* Aberdeen & NE of Scotland Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)230
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)315

'Annual event comprising of competitive and non-competitive classes in Piano, Strings, Woodwind and Ensemble sections. We hold a Primary Schools Day including school ensembles, recorder solos, as well as duet and group classes.' Held Early February.

* Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians
VISITS (to the Website)221
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)418

‘Caters for all ages, abilities and instruments. We regularly receive comments that this is a really friendly and informative festival; to those of you who may be new to it, its “difference” means that after every performance, in whatever category, an adjudicator of the highest calibre will give instant comments and helpful advice. Audiences appreciate hearing these assessments immediately instead of having to wait until the end of the class, and performers really enjoy the chance to work on their pieces with an experienced adjudicator.‘ Held Late April.

* Abingdon Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)283
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)532

'The Festival provides a platform for amateur performances with an educational element provided by professional adjudicators. Our Vision is to encourage and provide a conduit through public performances for young children to express themselves through music, speech and drama and to showcase and nurture this talent in the performing arts. We still believe in the ideal that the youth of today are talented in the arts and will always have something to offer. This talent is in all of us, and if, as a Society, we can nurture even a small amount of that talent, then we are making a difference. It is this difference that keeps us working so hard to make the Festival what it is.' Held Early May.


* Alderley Edge Festival
VISITS (to the Website)377
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)443

'The Festival's objectives are to promote excellence in the performing arts at all levels and to encourage the participation of the people of Rushmoor, of all ages and abilities.' Pianoforte Competition held Early May.

* Aldershot & Farnborough Festival of Music and Art
VISITS (to the Website)209
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)513

‘Launched in 1981 with the support of the Rotary Club of Littlehampton and has gone on to showcase outstanding young talent every year, giving those young people the opportunity to gain valuable performance experience and receive feedback from experienced musicians. In its early days, the festival had just 30 youngsters taking part but now the festival has grown and attracts entrants to around 40 classes every year.’ Held Late October.

* Arun Young Musicians' Festival
VISITS (to the Website)150
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)248

‘An annual festival held in Ayr, celebrating music, dance and speech and drama through participation in competitive and non-competitive events.’ Held Mid March

* Ayrshire Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)241
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)549

'The Festival takes place during February and March in the new Braid Arts Centre in Ballymena which has modern facilities for most major performing arts. The Festival provides a wide opportunity for performers at all stages of music, speech, drama and dance. There are two Gala Nights : the Instrumental Festival Night on the first Saturday evening of the Music weeks and the Vocal and Prizewinners Gala on the last Saturday evening.'

* Ballymena Festival of Music Speech and Dance
VISITS (to the Website)219
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)582

‘This is an annual youth Music and Drama Festival supported by the Co-perative Group and run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Held Mid June.

* Barnsley Youth Music & Drama Festival
VISITS (to the Website)218
Also indexedThe Co-operative Youth Music and Drama Festival
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)267

Held Early March. 'We are consistently commended on being a friendly festival with a strong emphasis on fun and all-round participation! We’d love to see entrants of all ages and abilities taking part this coming year, and we endeavor to see smiles, creativity and enjoyment from all involved.'

* Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)240
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)408

‘One of the largest amateur competitive performing arts festivals in the south-east of England. There are around 450 classes in Music, Dancing and Speech & Drama, with specialist adjudicators in all sections. As well as certificates and medals there are over 200 cups and trophies to be won. A “Musician of the Year” competition is held on the final Sunday, and the Festival acts as a qualifying heat for the All-England Dance Competition.’ Music Section held During November.

* Beckenham Festival
VISITS (to the Website)199
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)271

‘Founded in 1921 and provides a showcase for the wealth of talent in the amateur performing arts in Bedfordshire and the surrounding area. The Festival offers a wide range of classes for all ages covering most musical genres including Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz and Asian music, as well as many varied Speech and Drama classes including Verse Speaking, Acting, Mime and Improvisation. It features categories for school groups, Special School groups, orchestras, wind bands, junior and senior choirs and group creative performance ... The Festival takes place ... during the first week of March each year.‘

* Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama
VISITS (to the Website)199
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)204

‘We provide a platform for amateur performance in Music, Speech and Drama ... We look forward to welcoming over a thousand young (and not so young!) performers, who will have the unique opportunity to showcase their talents, grow in confidence and learn from both adjudicators and their peers ... We enjoy the talents of performers from all over Northern Ireland, welcoming entries from local nursery, primary and secondary level schools along with those from private teachers, theatre schools and just those who love the challenge to try something new. So please find out more and come join us... you'll be very welcome!’ Held Early March.


* Belfast Musical Festival
VISITS (to the Website)157
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)224

'First held in 1937 ... In 2008, the Festival became a specialist piano only competition. It has been based in a variety of locations over the years, but for 2017 we will relocate to a fantastic new venue in The Performing Arts Centre at King Edward’s Schools in Edgbaston, Birmingham where our open classes will be held in Ruddock Hall, one of the finest concert halls in the UK, which is equipped with a Steinway Model D grand piano.' Held Mid October.

* Birmingham Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)353
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)215

'In addition to adult competitors, the Festival includes classes for juniors 18 years and under in all three disciplines and is still run by a voluntary committee and the faithful band of stewards who give their time each year to help supervise the halls and organise the performers in their appropriate classes. We are always looking for new helpers, as each year goes by we all get a little older! If you would like to help please contact the Secretary ...' Music Section held Mid June.

* Blackburn Festival of Speech, Music and Dance
VISITS (to the Website)186
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)416

‘The Festival has been held every year since 1988 and is one of more than 300 Festivals held in the UK every year. Some Festivals offer classes in music, speech and drama and dance. “Blackheath Music Festival” has always been a music-only Festival. Our adjudicators are all specialists in their subject - piano, singing and strings - and are nationally recognised musicians.’ Held Mid May.

* Blackheath Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)210
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)389

‘To celebrate excellence and promote community participation in the performing arts by presenting an annual festival, enhanced by competition and professional adjudication ... All sessions of all parts of the festival are open to the general public to come and support your friends, or just to sit back and enjoy hundreds of performances across a huge range of performing arts ... And, of course, there's the Celebration Concert which is held at the Pavilion Theatre Bournemouth.‘  Held Mid - Late June.

* Bournemouth Music Competitions Festival
VISITS (to the Website)502
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)3228

‘From small beginnings in 2013, Bowdon Festival has grown into a major arts event in Trafford and North Cheshire. We are a registered charity and are run entirely by volunteers. Our principal activity is Bowdon Youth Festival, held on the first weekend of February each year.’

* Bowdon Youth Festival
VISITS (to the Website)255
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)435

‘Following extended discussion, Lancashire Contests have opted to amalgamate three contests and focus efforts into further development of a single contest. The annual Fleetwood Open, and Northern Open Contests will not be staged for the foreseeable future. Scarce financial support and sponsorship together with the increasing cost of suitable venues has made it difficult to secure the long-term viability of three separate contests. Decreasing numbers of bands participating in these contests adversely affects sustainable budgeting. The lack of volunteers to assist with the organisation of the events is an unjustifiable burden upon the small group of long-standing individuals who have for many years, given their time and work freely to continue the tradition of band contests in the North West.‘

* Brass at the Guild
VISITS (to the Website)174
Also indexedLancashire Contests
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)211

‘Probablly the best brass band entertainment contest in the world! ... A top quality day of brass band presentation featuring many of the finest bands in the land ... Multimedia screens feature the action as it happens with close up images of the players in the heat of determined competition ... The Brass in Concert Championship was originally conceived as a one-off event to mark the Queens Silver Jubilee and the opening of a new factory in Darlington in 1977 ... It is still thriving and has become widely recognised as the leading brass band entertainment contest in the world attracting the very best bands from all corners of the UK and in recent times from other brass banding nations.’ Held Mid November in Gateshead.

* Brass in Concert Championship
VISITS (to the Website)84
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)128

‘Our festival is an annual event featuring a wide range of musical instrument and vocal classes, competitive and some non-competitive. It is open to all ages from as young as 4 through to adults, from all walks of life and educational background. The Festival provides entrants with the opportunity to perform before an audience. The classes are judged by professional Adjudicators who will provide verbal and written assessments to help the entrants further develop their talents. The festival is held in various Bristol venues during the 3-4 weeks prior to the end of the Spring Term. The Bristol Eisteddfod Association is run by volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It is a non-profit making Registered Charity and is always grateful for financial support and sponsorship to ensure its future.’

* Bristol Festival of Music, Speech & Drama
VISITS (to the Website)192
Also indexedBristol Eisteddfod Association
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)368

Founded 1928: ‘The early records show a strong interest in Piano, Strings and Singing but in recent years there has been a marked increase in the entries for Woodwind Instruments, including Recorders. These changes reflect the greater variety of instrumental teaching in schools today. It is one of the few Festivals in the country to include Harp classes ... This year [2019] we are hoping to include an Organ section for the first time’. Held in March.


* Bromley (Kent) Festival of Music and Speech
VISITS (to the Website)62
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)95

'You will be performing in bright modern classrooms or lecture theatres with raked seating. Our accompanists use digital pianos. The piano provided for performance is a well-maintained Bösendorfer Grand.' Music Section held Mid March.

* Burnley Festival of Speech, Music & Stage Dance
VISITS (to the Website)150
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)348

'Held in March each year. It has classes that are open to all age groups.'

* Burton on Trent Competitive Vocal Festival
VISITS (to the Website)138
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)383

‘We are a Festival celebrating amateur music and drama performing, with opportunities for children, young people and adults to perform in both a competitive and non-competitive supportive environment and benefit from feedback.’ Held Mid May.

* Buxton Music Speech and Drama Festival
VISITS (to the Website)201
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)555

'Begun in 1934 its main aim was to encourage music making. That's still our aim. With over 120 classes, we hope it will provide an incentive for musicians of all abilities to:- * share their music with other musicians of similar talents and musical interests; * receive advice & encouragement from very experienced professional musicians.' Held Mid March.


* Cambridge Competitive Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)194
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)284

'Supports music activities for young people in Cambridgeshire. It runs the annual Cambridge Young Composer of the Year Competition, providing a platform for talented young composers ... We are delighted to announce [2017] that the Cambridge Young Composer of the Year competition has now become part of a wider initiative – extending opportunities for young composers across East Anglia. The Cambridge Young Composer of the Year competition is being opened up to young people in both Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. A new competition – the Snape Young Composer of the Year – will be open to young people in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.'

* Cambridge Youth Music
VISITS (to the Website)138
Also indexedCambridge Young Composer of the Year Competition | Snape Young Composer of the Year | East Anglian Young Composer
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)381

Established 1896: 'Brings together performers from all ages and abilities and from all over Cumbria, and beyond. The Festival is set up to encourage and support performers to display their talents and skills in front of a professional Adjudicator and a welcoming audience'. Held Mid March.


* Carlisle & District Music and Drama Festival
VISITS (to the Website)205
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)406

'Amateur festivals have been active for over a century in our local communities and increasing leisure time and better educational opportunities are producing many talented amateur musicians, speakers and actors. Preparing for and performing at a festival involves young people in group activity and individual achievement. They gain a deeper appreciation of their repertoire and of the work of others. Each performer receives an adjudication from an expert in the genre entered. The inspiration gained from skilled adjudicators raises standards in amateur work throughout the country and all performers should leave with a sense of achievement.'  Held Late April - Early May.

* Carrickfergus Musical Festival Association
VISITS (to the Website)194
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)446

‘Provides an opportunity for young musicians to prepare either a piece of their own choice or a set piece for performance. They then perform it in front of other performers and visitors to the festival as well as a professional adjudicator. This gives them vital experience and confidence. The adjudicator will give marks to the performances enabling the best performance to secure the trophy for that class but at the same time will give each performer a constructive criticism with help on how the performance might be improved. We have been told by many of our entrants and the adjudicators that we are one of the friendliest festivals they attend, with many of our competitors returning year after year.’ Held Mid October.

* Chadsmoor, Hednesford & District Competitive Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)149
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)557

'The Festival was first held in 1926, the year of the General Strike, which hardly augured well for its future! The hope was then expressed “that in time it would become one of the greatest musical events in this part of England” – could they have imagined that the two day event would achieve its present pre-eminence and still be growing eighty years later?' Held Early May.


* Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts
VISITS (to the Website)251
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)400

'We look forward to receiving your entries, whether it will be your first time at Chesham Arts Festival or whether you have been before ...'. Held February.


* Chesham Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)149
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)402

‘The Chester Festivals warmly welcome entrants for their Speech & Drama and Music events. Everyone has the benefit of performing in a supportive environment with positive feedback from our teams of expert adjudicators. It’s a great way to improve your performing skills and confidence. There are many classes for a wide range of styles, standards and ages, for both solo and groups. Meet other performers, learn from each other and take the chance to visit the great city of Chester.’ Held Mid May.


* Chester Competitive Festival of Performing Arts
VISITS (to the Website)356
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)2041

‘Each year, the Chichester Festival for Music, Dance and Speech provides an opportunity for many hundreds of young people to perform in public and benefit from advice and encouragement from acknowledged experts in their field. Running the Festival is a complex, demanding task and fortunately we have a committed, enthusiastic and capable team of volunteers, but we always need more help. Perhaps you could become part of our team. It needn’t be a major commitment on your part, just a little of your time ...’ Held February - March.

* Chichester Festival for Music, Dance and Speech
VISITS (to the Website)181
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)184

'Held during March each year in the Oxfordshire market town of Chipping Norton ... The Festival is non-competitive and adjudicated by professionals; there are classes in music and drama for all ages, individuals and groups ranging from piano, voice, and composition through to verse-speaking ... The participatory classes are accompanied by a series of professional concerts ...'

* Chipping Norton Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)195
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)435

Founded 1914: ‘A charity run by volunteers who work hard to ensure children from across the city and neighbouring areas have an opportunity to take part in a celebration of music, dance and speech and drama. Young performers have fun, gain invaluable performing experience receiving constructive feedback from a professional within their field. We aim to ensure that every performer enjoys a happy festival, has a memorable experience and can’t wait to return next year. The dance festival is held annually in July, with the music, speech and drama festivals following in November.’


* City of Plymouth Festival
VISITS (to the Website)63
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)107

'Gives a platform for performers in all categories; Poetry, Prose and Drama in the Words section and in the Music section we have classes for Piano, Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Voice.' Held Mid June.


* Cleethorpes Festival of Music and Words
VISITS (to the Website)171
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)339

‘The Festival of Music takes place in March and the Festival of Dance is in June. They provide a platform for aspiring amateur musicians and dancers to perform on the stages at Colchester Institute in a supportive atmosphere with high quality feedback from professional adjudicators. The Festival is open to all styles of music and dance and is open to all ages. Every entrant receives a written adjudication sheet and certificate as well as verbal feedback from the adjudicator at the end of the class. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded in every class.‘


* Colchester Rotary Festival of Music and Dance
VISITS (to the Website)76
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)179

‘The Festival takes place over 3 weeks during February each year. From small beginnings, it now attracts 3000+ performances from across the East Midlands regions ... The Festival has become known as “The Friendly Festival”, a title we are very proud of. We are insistent that our competitors are made to feel welcome and at ease. For many of them, it is their first taste of competition, and we want it to be a memorable day.‘

* Colsterworth Festival of Performing Arts
VISITS (to the Website)109
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)199

‘Provides a platform for many talented amateur musicians and verse speakers of all ages and abilities. It gives the stimulus of preparing for a public occasion and an opportunity to listen and learn from the performances of others. As important is the constructive criticism, help and advice given by experienced adjudicators, which helps the competitors improve their respective skills. The Festival is held in March each year. In Festival week classes run from 9.30am to 9.30pm, with morning, afternoon and evening sessions ... A gala concert takes place at the end of the week, on the Saturday at 7pm, celebrating the highlights of the week’s performances.‘


* Cornwall Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)186
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)227

‘Cottingham Methodist Church welcomes performers, teachers and audience to the ... Annual Musical Festival. The Festival is run to give performers an opportunity to perform in a friendly environment, for them to receive constructive criticism and to give us all an opportunity to enjoy their performance. We recognise the hard work they do along with the dedication of teachers and supporters.’ Held Late January.


* Cottingham Methodist Church Musical Festival
VISITS (to the Website)45
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)67

Sections include: Choirs and Singing; Woodwind Brass; Strings; Pianoforte. Held Early March.


* Coulsdon & Purley Festival
VISITS (to the Website)90
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)380

‘Open to all to perform in Western Music, South Asian Music, Dance, South Asian Dance and Speech and Drama. It is one of the largest performing arts festivals in the country attracting over 1000 performers each year.’ Most Music Sections held Late April - Early May.


* Croydon Performing Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)98
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)484

Founded 1932: ‘We have acquired a reputation as one of the friendliest festivals. Due to the hard work of the small committee, the word has spread amongst adjudicators that we are a festival worth coming to, and we hope we can keep up these standards for many years to come.’ Speech & Music Section held in March.

* Darlington Festival for Performing Arts
VISITS (to the Website)86
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)205

‘A National competition for all singers from the age of 9. Its chief objective is to foster singing, as a legacy to Dr David Clover, Music Adviser 1966-79 ... Once the annual Festival has ended, The City of Sheffield Teachers' Choir is always delighted to invite singers from the Festival to share in its concerts when possible.‘ Held Early February. The Singers’ Platform ’is a recent initiative in the David Clover Festival of Singing and is intended to give the opportunity to singers already studying at Universities and Conservatoires, to postgraduates, and to those being privately tutored, to continue the development of their art with substantial prize money’.

* David Clover Festival of Singing
VISITS (to the Website)121
Also indexedSingers’ Platform
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)219

‘Amateur competitive festival for Dance, Music, Speech and Drama.’ Held Late April - Early May.


* Derby Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)154
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)211

'We provide the opportunity to perform your chosen performing art before an audience and a highly skilled and experienced Adjudicator. Most classes may be entered competitively, but non-competitive entries are welcomed too. Many classes have trophies for the winners.'


* Devon Performing Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)148
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)317

‘The aim of the Don Valley Festival is to offer a platform for performance, the opportunity to hear the work of others and the chance to receive feedback from a professional adjudicator. The festival was originally called the Mexborough and District Music and Drama Festival and was founded in 1912.’ Held Mid April.

* Don Valley Festival
VISITS (to the Website)116
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)233

‘Aims to provide a friendly and relaxing environment where competitors can share their interests with others. The Festival is for everyone from the very young to the older person to feel a sense of achievement in his or her area of learning ... Each competitor or group will receive constructive comments, and advice on how the performance may be improved from an experienced Federation adjudicator. This will be invaluable when preparing for examinations and future festivals, and will give vital experience and confidence in facing challenges in life ... At present the Festival has over 300 classes. Trophies are awarded for most of these and are retained for a year. Certificates are given to competitors who are placed first, second and third ... We would love more entries in Strings, Guitars, Keyboard, Brass, Orchestras and Choirs.’ Held during March.


* Dudley Festival of Music, Drama & Dance
VISITS (to the Website)95
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)327

'Runs several events throughout the year for piano, fortepiano and harpsichord at various London venues. The festival was established in 2012 ... Starting as a small annual event at Dulwich College, the festival has expanded each year to include more instruments and venues. The not-for-profit festival is run entirely by volunteers. If you would like to get involved, do please get in touch ...'

* Dulwich Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)159
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)320

'Established in 1921 and from small beginnings it has developed into the flourishing festival it is today.A Music week takes place in the first week of March each year followed by a Verse Speaking and Drama week. Well over a thousand young people from across the community participate annually, performing as individuals, groups and in the increasingly popular section for choirs. An experienced team of local volunteers is responsible for planning and organising the Festival which has become an important annual event in the Dungannon area.'

* Dungannon Music and Drama Festival
VISITS (to the Website)249
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)279

'An annual competitive event for performers of all ages. It takes place during April and May of each year at a range of venues in the London Borough of Ealing.'


* Ealing Festival of Music, Dance, Speech and Drama
VISITS (to the Website)215
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)383

'The Festival movement was established in the 1870s at a time of major educational development and by 1904 no fewer than 60 festivals had been formed. A Federation of Festivals was established in 1920, which has since developed into the British and International Federation of Festivals with over 300 affiliations in the UK alone ... In November 1966 it was decided in that a Competitive Music and Arts Festival should be held in East Grinstead. The inaugural Festival took place in June and July 1968 and incorporated Piano, Choral, Instrumental, Drama and Dancing ...' Held Early April (Singing).

* East Grinstead Music & Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)166
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)309

‘A competitive festival held annually at the Winter Gardens in Eastbourne, and was originally founded in 1961.’  Mid February.


* Eastbourne Music & Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)269
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)398
Forthcoming Concerts and Recitals

‘We run an annual festival which provides an opportunity for amateur musicians of all ages to perform their pieces in a friendly environment and, along with other performers of a similar ability, receive constructive feedback and advice from a specialist adjudicator. Our programme of competitive and non-competitive classes allows performers of all abilities to take part. There are classes in a wide range of classical and traditional instruments, or combinations of instruments, as well as for singers, choirs, orchestras and bands.’ Held Early March.


* Edinburgh Competition Festival
VISITS (to the Website)220
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)296
Forthcoming Concerts and Recitals

'Whitby’s increasingly popular festival of music and the spoken word, consisting of the Festival held each year in March, which culminates in the Concert Band Competition and Boyes Gala Concert, and the National Choir Day in April.'

* Eskdale Festival of the Arts
VISITS (to the Website)171
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)543

Fareham Music Festival (like the other 300+ Festivals affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance & Speech) is a charitable organisation run entirely by volunteers. The Federation is dedicated to providing a platform for people of all ages interested in the performing arts. We organise a weekend of music-making in Fareham with the benefit of constructive criticism from experienced adjudicators. Despite its competitive nature, we pride ourselves on creating a friendly atmosphere for all our visitors.’ Held Early May.

* Fareham Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)96
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)220

'We welcome participants of all ages and abilities, giving them the opportunity to perform in superb conditions and to receive guidance in both non-competitive and competitive classes from our four professional adjudicators.' Held Mid November.

* Farnham Competitive Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)195
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)348

‘Whether you are a young musician - in a school group or part of a community music ensemble, an adult musician, a teacher, a parent, an audience supporter or a willing donor, Fife Festival of Music has something for you!​ Founded in 1981, the Festival exists to support and develop music making in the community across Fife. The Festival holds three main events during the year - in    January/FebruaryMay, and November. The first of those is the largest and busiest event of the year with two weeks of vibrant music making, both competitive and non-competitive, ranging from instrumental, through vocal to choral, with solo, duet, ensemble and large group classes available ...’


* Fife Festival of Music
VISITS (to the Website)41
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)79

‘The Festival is a series of competitions for AMATEUR vocalists, choirs and instrumentalists as well as verse speakers, trainees in reading for performance, acting, mime and improvisation. We want to make our Festival attractive to all and to make the "set pieces" appropriate and more exciting to individuals, to be more 21st century, and to encourage participation.’ Held Late November.

* Fleetwood Music & Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)56
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)173

'The syllabus has been chosen by a group of local musicians and includes classes for a wide variety of skills. Our name, the Galloway Music Festival, illustrates the main area from which entries are received ... Members of the public are most welcome to attend all events during the festival, both daytime and evening sessions; admission to all events except the Festival Concert is FREE.' Held Early March.


* Galloway Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)146
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)277

‘An annual festival featuring over 7,000 amateur performers ... Bands, orchestras, choirs, ensembles and hundreds of soloists perform and are appraised by a team of leading professional adjudicators ... Events include: Choral Evening, Band Nights and schools’ music days. Come and enjoy the performances, and compare your views with the adjudicator’s assessment! All sessions are open to the public and halls may be entered at any time appropriate to the performance in progress.’ Held Early - Mid March.


* Glasgow Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)110
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)203

‘We are one of the largest and most comprehensive festivals in the South East, and regularly welcome more than 2000 entries each year. We pride ourselves on offering classes to cater for most performers’ interests and talents. Classes include Music, Dance, Choirs, Speech and Drama and Musical Theatre.’ Held February - March.

* Godalming Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)310
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)222

'Music, speech and drama'. Formerly the Gorleston St Andrew's Festival. Held Mid MarchALERT At Review, Website was inaccessible; Linked to Facebook Page as alternative.

* Gorleston Competitive Festival
VISITS (to the Website)196
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)695

‘Founded in 1949, by a small group of local volunteers who wished to help and encourage Gosport residents, particularly young people, to gain confidence and aspiration from musical performance ... Entirely non-sponsored the Festival has grown from strength to strength over the years and now attracts entries from across the South of well over 2000 annually. Dance Schools, Choirs, Barbers Shops are encouraged. Always a “grass roots” event the Gosport Music Festival has welcomed many entrants with exceptional standard of performance who have gone on to achieve national acclaim and TV fame.' Held Mid NovemberALERT No forthcoming Festival found at Review.

* Gosport Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)272
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)357

'Annual event in which musicians in the town can perform in a friendly environment but in competition with their peers and in front of an expert adjudicator. Ages range from earliest school-age to senior citizens. Classes for all types of instrument and vocal style are normally offered and performers may be soloists, ensembles, orchestras or choirs.' Held Mid March.

* Grantham Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)186
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)418

‘The Sunderland University Big Band is a community big band who rehearse regularly within the university. Band members range from school leavers through to current students and alumni of the university. As well as regular weekly rehearsals the band also host quarterly workshops open to musicians of all ages ... This is an ideal opportunity to work with some of the North East's greatest jazz musicians. As well as regular gigs the Band also host the North East's most successful big band competition and festival.’ Held Early March.


* Great North Big Band Jazz Festival
VISITS (to the Website)98
Also indexedSunderland University Big Band
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)292

‘The object of the Festival is to advance the education of the public in the arts, and in particular the arts of Music, Speech and Drama in all their branches. The Festival is an Educational Trust, as started by the Harrogate Town Council as it then was, aiming to improve and enhance the performing skills of musical, singing and speech and drama students. To this end, a wide variety of classes is held encompassing solo performers, duets and groups both large and small, in all of the arts of Music, Speech and Drama.’ Held During March.

* Harrogate Competitive Festival for Music, Speech and Drama
VISITS (to the Website)237
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)460

'One of the biggest and most prestigious in the country Hastings Music Festival is a registered charity, and as such its two main focuses are the providing of excellent performance opportunities for all ages with adjudication of specialists in their field, and also the awarding annually of grants to young performers as they continue into further studies in College/Conservatoire in their chosen discipline ... The Festival takes place annually during more than three weeks of March.'

* Hastings Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)354
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)322

ALERT ’We regret to inform you that the Committee have taken the decision to wind up the Hatfield & District Music Festival. This course of action has not been taken without a great deal of thought and is solely due to the lack of necessary volunteers able to manage and administer the Festival. Thanks to those who offered their assistance, but unfortunately it was not enough.‘

* Hatfield & District Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)139
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)345

‘An annual competitive festival providing performance opportunities for children and adults ... It has sections for Instrumental and Vocal classes for all ages, and Speech and Drama classes for children ... The Festival is held each year to coincide with the Schools’ February half-term holiday week.‘

* Hazel Grove Musical Festival
VISITS (to the Website)114
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)230

‘The Henley Youth Festival is a totally individual event and as far as we know there is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the country! It is a means of celebrating the talents and achievements of young people in our area and to give them experiences across a wide range of activities that they may not otherwise encounter. We support and promote the performing and visual arts, have some great team and individual sports events and also nurture other skills through workshops and competitions. The first Henley Youth Festival took place in 1994 and now well over 1,500 young people, ranging from under 5’s to 18 year olds, take part each year in about 35 different events and activities. The Festival itself takes place over a couple of weeks every March and many participants are busy preparing well in advance!‘

* Henley Youth Festival
VISITS (to the Website)237
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)187

Mission Statement  ‘To promote work to the general good of the Community, to advance education and to develop work in connection with the arts. To give a platform for participants to perform their art form and to receive a professional adjudication.’ Held Late MarchALERT ’A HEREFORDSHIRE tradition familiar to many who grew up in the county is set to come to an end in its eighty-fifth year ... ‘ [Ledbury Reporter 26 March 2019]


* Herefordshire Performing Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)106
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)206

‘Where else could you find handbells competing with bagpipes? Choirs performing both classical and comic songs in quick succession? Versatile musicians leaping from one instrument to another, or displays of multi-discipline expertise? At our Festival of Music you may be surprised, excited, moved or entertained by the enormous diversity of instruments and musical styles, and by the talents of every age group.’ Held Early March.

* Highbridge Festival of the Arts
VISITS (to the Website)218
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)387

‘The Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival has developed into one of Scotland’s major cultural festivals, and takes place annually in Oban, Scotland. The event has developed to include new special events and competitions, and the festival now offers over 1100 participants 125 competition classes in eleven disciplines including piping, accordion, fiddle, clarsach, piano, recorder, singing, woodwind & brass, highland dancing and choreography.’ Held Early May.

* Highlands & Islands Music & Dance Festival
VISITS (to the Website)134
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)234

‘A competition for instrumentalists and singers, small vocal and instrumental ensembles and choirs.’ Held Mid October.

* Holmfirth Musical Festival
VISITS (to the Website)60
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)130

Founded 1948: ‘A competitive festival for amateurs of all ages. There are classes for Piano, Vocal, Instrumental, Irish Traditional, Choral and Music Theatre ... Supported by Ards and North Down Borough Council’. Held Mid November.

* Holywood Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)93
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)212

‘Every summer in the lovely seaside town of Hornsea, East Yorkshire ... All are welcome to visit the festival and listen to performers throughout its duration, and tickets are available at the door in any of the venues ... The festival is open to performers and groups of all ages and skill levels.’ Held Early July.

* Hornsea Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)95
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)339

'Provides opportunities for amateur musicians and singers of all ages to perform in a friendly environment and to receive feedback and advice from distinguished professional musicians. The emphasis of HPP is on education and performance rather than competition so there are no trophies but all performers receive a certificate for participating.' Held Mid June.

* Horsham Performers Platform
VISITS (to the Website)129
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)318

'Competitive festival with classes for all ages and all abilities ... The primary aim of the Festival is to encourage the study and performance of the arts. This is done by giving the opportunity for public performance of a prepared piece by an entrant and providing constructive criticism in a competitive but friendly atmosphere' Held Late October.

* Hounslow Festival of Music, Speech & Dance
VISITS (to the Website)157
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)289

‘Susannah Sunderland (nee Sykes) was a famous soprano soloist, born in Brighouse, near Huddersfield, in 1819. Her natural talent for singing was noticed by local blacksmith Luke Settle, himself a singer, who first trained her voice, and she subsequently was taught by other respected local amateur musicians ... She retired from the concert platform aged only 45, whilst still in her prime. She celebrated her Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1888 and this was the occasion of a special concert at which she was presented with a glowing testimonial in illuminated script (unfortunately now lost) ... With the money raised from the Golden Wedding concert, a committee of distinguished local men decided to start a Vocal Solo Competition to be held in Huddersfield and named as a tribute to this great Yorkshire soprano. It was initially for singers but later expanded to include pianists alternating annually with violinists.‘ Held Mid February.

* Huddersfield Mrs Sunderland Festival
VISITS (to the Website)211
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)382

‘The annual Music Festival starts on the last week of January and runs for a fortnight culminating in a Grand Concert on the final Saturday evening featuring a selection of the highlights from the two weeks.'

* Inverclyde Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)173
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)377

'The Inverness Music Festival and the Highlights concerts are organised and run by the Inverness Festival Association. Inverness Music Festival is a competitive music festival open to all ages and abilities. Performers are adjudicated on their performance.' Held Late February.

* Inverness Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)160
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)340

'Established to advance, promote and encourage generally, and by means of the Competition Festival Movement in particular, the study and practice of the arts of Music, Dancing, Elocution, Literature and Acting in all their branches. The IWMDDF provides a platform for amateur performance combined with an educational element from professional musicians, dancers and speakers. The competition is run over three weeks every March with around 400 classes attracting around 2000 entries.'

* Isle of Wight Music Dance & Drama Festival
VISITS (to the Website)216
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)384

'The four day Eisteddfod takes place in March where you will hear many fine performances in a pleasing atmosphere throughout the various venues. Events such as a four day Eisteddfod do not just come about, careful planning has to be done and much of the year seems to be taken up with it; but our committee is dedicated to the Eisteddfod cause.' ALERT ‘Following our EGM tonight [29 August 2018], Kettering & District Eisteddfod  sadly is to close ... Many factors affected our decision. These included s decreasing number of entrants, the increasing burden of new legislation, and an aging committee.’

* Kettering & District Eisteddfod
VISITS (to the Website)176
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)400

‘Started in 1906 and, apart from the years between 1940 and 1943, has been held annually ever since. It has always been a competitive Festival and became hugely successful, especially during the 1950's & The Festival of Britain, the 1960's, 70's and 80's. It grew in entry numbers to become one of the largest in the country. Each of the Sections - Piano, Vocal and Choral, Instrumental, Verse and Drama, Schools' Dance needed a whole week of performance and adjudication sessions, each, using every morning, afternoon and evening. In 2007, entry numbers dropped considerably in the Piano, Instrumental & Vocal section, for a variety of reasons,but we managed to keep going, and now, with the input of a group of young, enthusiastic instrumental teachers, it is gradually returning to its former self.’ Held March.


* Kingston Upon Hull Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)225
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)426

‘Each year performers, with an age range from under 5 to over 80, compete for medals and trophies in a range of classes covering Stage Dancing, Speech & Drama, Piano, Vocal and Classical Instruments. From an initial 5 days of competition in 1932, we now spread over a month, using four different venues culminating with a Final Concert in December and the prestigious Kingston Young Musician Competition in January.’ Held November.

* Kingston-upon-Thames Festival of the Performing Arts
VISITS (to the Website)67
Also indexedKingston Young Musician Competition
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)110

Friends of the Festival Scheme  'Each year the Festival is an excellent means of encouraging and unearthing the vast musical talent found in Larne, its environs, and the East Antrim area. The Executive Committee needs financial support to ensure the continuance of this important event, and to that end the Friends of the Festival Scheme has been introduced. This brings together keen supporters of music who are willing to contribute £10-£40 annually to ensure that Larne Music Festival remains an integral part of the Northern Ireland Festival scene.' Festival held Early April.

* Larne Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)176
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)482

'The Leamington Spa Competitive Festival is a competitive Festival. The aims of the Festival are to help to promote and encourage the study and practice of the Arts of Music, Dance, and Speech and Drama in all their branches.' Held During June.

* Leamington Spa Competitive Festival
VISITS (to the Website)232
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)492

Established in the early 1900s and has been run in amny different venues around and about Leicester: ‘All ages and grades are invited to take part ... Over the years a number of participants have gone on to become professional in their field and, if teaching, have entered their pupils. The Festival is run by volunteers and we are always looking for more people to help, so that, as the years go on the Festival will continue to run’. Held Mid November.

* Leicester Festival of Music and Dramatic Art
VISITS (to the Website)54
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)200

'Offering a variety of masterclasses, workshops and recitals, as well as the competitions which are judged by professional adjudicators.' Held Mid February.

* Leicester MusicFest
VISITS (to the Website)211
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)282

'The object of the Festival shall be to advance the education of the public in the Art, and in particular the Arts of Music, Singing and Drama, by the promoting of annual competitions.' Held During May.


* Leigh-On-Sea Competitive Festival of Music & Drama
VISITS (to the Website)227
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)274

'Our aim is to offer an opportunity for amateur musicians of all ages to gain experience, to perform before an audience of fellow singers and players and to benefit from the advice of adjudicators who are professional musicians - adjudicators who bring a wealth of experience and can be relied upon to offer helpful and constructive comments, including written notes, on each performance.' Held Mid November.

* Lichfield Festival of Music
VISITS (to the Website)134
Also indexedLichfield Competitive Music Festival
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)239

Founded 1936: ‘It was established as a competitive festival to promote and encourage artistic and literary appreciation by providing a platform for amateurs to perform a wide range of different aspects of music and drama. It is not a religious or denominational festival. World class adjudicators were engaged from the outset ... Over the years, many of our performers have become renowned professionals in their field’. Held Mid March.


* Lincoln Music & Drama Festival
VISITS (to the Website)111
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)239

Every summer since 1947 Llangollen has staged one of the world’s most inspirational cultural festivals. Each year around 4,000 performers and as many as 50,000 visitors converge on this beautiful small Welsh town and its International Pavilion; to sing and dance in a unique combination of competition, performance, and international peace and friendship.' Held Early July.

* Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod
VISITS (to the Website)142
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)370

Founded in 1974: ‘The support given to the Festival by schools, teachers, competitors, parents and the general public is greatly appreciated. The committee and members would welcome added support from anyone interested in encouraging the competitors to continue developing their skills in their chosen discipline. Support can be given in many ways, especially by attending the various Festival Sessions throughout the week. Anyone interested in giving additional help should contact a member of the committee.’ Held Mid March.

* Lochaber Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)154
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)454

Held Mid July: ‘A uniquely inspired annual four day performing arts event, including adjudicated concerts, masterclasses with world-class experts and formal performances across London ... It is open to amateur ensembles of all musical and performing arts disciplines, including choral, instrumental ensembles and dance groups ... We use a number of different locations in London for our festival, including prestigious churches, outside spaces and community venues, all based on the needs and requirements of our ensembles.’

* London International Music Festival
VISITS (to the Website)199
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)384

‘Formed in 2018 following the merger of Longwell Green Eisteddfod and Kingswood Eisteddfod. The Performing Arts Festival continues to be a competitive festival for amateur performers of all ages offering classes in Dance, Speech and Drama as well as a variety of music classes including piano, voice and instrumental.‘ Held Late October.

* Longwell Green and Kingswood Performing Arts Festival
VISITS (to the Website)85
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)147

'The Festival provides a wonderful showcase for encouraging young performers in music, dance and drama to perform in public and experience competition in a friendly and creative environment. The participants also have the opportunity to be judged by experienced independent adjudicators. As well as encouraging young people, the festival delights in affording performance opportunities for more mature singers and actors with our Festivals of Choirs and One Act Plays.' Held Late March.

* Lytham St Annes Festival of Performing Arts
VISITS (to the Website)176
VIEWS (of ‘Full’ Record)385

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