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Carlisle and District Music and Drama Festival

Festival 2020
Monday 9th March - Saturday 14th March

St Cuthbert's Church, Tithe Barn, St George's United Reformed Church

It is with much regret that the Festival Committee has decided to cancel ALL CLASSES on Friday and Saturday, including the Gala Concert. We were hoping to be able to complete the week, but the developing situation in Carlisle has made us feel that we need to act today. It is our intention to hold the remaining classes and perhaps a Gala Concert at some future date.

Please note that this year there will not be a Winners' Competition of Junior and Senior Singers for the Sam Bellingham Memorial Trophy and the Cumberland News Trophy on the Saturday afternoon. Both trophies will be awarded based on the marks in the qualifying classes, and ultimately at the discretion of the Adjudicator. The trophies will be presented during the Gala Concert. 

Schedules and official programme for the 2020 Festival now available!

Programmes are £2 and can be obtained from the Tourist Information Office, Old Town Hall, Carlisle -  and at the venue doors during Festival Week.

Entry to the Festival is £2pp, a ticket is valid all day for all venues. Or you could consider becoming a patron for a minimum subscription of £10 per person. This provides the advantage of free admission to any or all of the sessions, all week, and includes a free programme. 

The Festival is open to amateurs and welcomes performers of all ages in music, speech and drama. Performers are invited to compete in a variety of classes, all described in the Syllabus. 

You are invited to have a look around our website and discover all it has to offer. You can find the Syllabus for the 2020 Festival by following "Syllabus" in the top bar. As you can see, there is a great variety of Classes to compete in. Once you have decided which Classes you'd like to enter for, you can register, enter and pay online for the 2020 Festival. After setting up an account you can view all the classes in the Syllabus, either in one list, per section, or class by class. Once you have decided which class(es) you want to enter, simply follow the instructions on the screen. If you prefer to read the Syllabus on paper and/or send us your entries by post, you will be able to download the Syllabus and Entry Forms from our website. If you are unable to download PDF files, please email us and we will send a Syllabus and Entry Forms out to you. 

Step-by-step instructions for registering and entering online can be found here. PLEASE NOTE that in compliance with data protection legislation (GDPR) all registration details are deleted after a festival. Even if you have registered an account for a previous Festival, you will have to register again to enter for the 2020 Festival. 

By submitting your entry, you agree to adhere to the Festival's Entry Stipulations and General Regulations. We strongly advise you to carefully read them before entering. 

To see a summary of the important changes to the 2020 Syllabus, you can click here

Please see our News section for special announcements and information about our masterclasses. As in previous years, bursaries will be available for Festival participants. Forms can be downloaded from this website or collected from the stewards' desk in St Cuthbert's during the Festival. 

About the Charity

Carlisle and District Music and Drama Festival is a registered Charity (1035713). Established in 1896, it has organised an annual Festival in Carlisle ever since. Traditionally, the Festival takes place around the second week of March, from Monday to Saturday.

The annual Festivals bring together performers from all over Cumbria and beyond. It offers people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to display their talents and skills in music, speech and drama to professional adjudicators and a welcoming audience. Not least, the Festival offers local and regional people a wonderful week of entertainment, with six full days of music, speech and drama worth attending. The week is brought to a close on the Saturday night with a Gala Concert to showcase a selection of outstanding performances, and to award the major trophies and prizes. 

The Charity aims to give every single participant a positive experience, as well as valuable feedback from which they can learn and use to further develop their skills.