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Carlisle and District Music and Drama Festival


Festival 2021
Monday 8th March - Saturday 13th March

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

After much thought, deliberation and consideration of the current information, it is with great regret that the Festival Committee has decided not to run the 2021 Festival.

We understand that many people will be disappointed but felt unanimously that we could not run a Festival that would be the usual joyous celebration of the performing arts that it should be while safeguarding our performers, volunteers and audiences.

We would like to wish all of our loyal supporters a happy, healthy year, and look forward to seeing you in 2022.


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 still see 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. The Syllabus can now be viewed online and/or downloaded for your perusal. Entries will remain closed until it has been officially confirmed that the 2021 Festival may proceed. At that moment, the 2021 Syllabus is activated, and you can register, enter and pay online. 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 2021 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. 

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.