General Regulations

  1. Closing date for all entries is January 20th, 2024.
  2. This is an Amateur Festival.  An amateur is defined as "a person who does not receive a significant proportion of their income from the performance of the subject in which they wish to compete".
  3. The Committee reserves the right to refuse any entry.
  4. All competitors must be ready to take their places on the platform at the appointed time, or they may be disqualified.
  5. For all classes with age limits, the age shall be reckoned as on the first day of the Festival. 
  6. The Committee reserves the right to withhold an award - either certificate or trophy - if, in the opinion of the adjudicator, a satisfactory standard has not been reached.
  7. Copyright Compliance - A full explanation of the Federation of Festivals’ Copyright Compliance can be found on our website, but these points listed below are essential information.
    - All competitors must purchase their own original copy of the piece which they are to perform. A legible photocopy of "own choice" piece is allowed for use by the Adjudicator marked "Adjudicator copy. Destroy after use". 
    - All Dramatic items (prose and poetry) must be announced with the title and author, and be completed within the time limit. To qualify for copyright indemnity, the performer must not change words or gender.
    - We are unable to allow video or audio recordings of performances.
  8. The use of backing tracks, in any form, is not allowed, except in classes 691, 693, 696, 701, 705.
  9. The prescribed editions of music must be used by all competitors.
  10. "Open Class" means any age.
  11. You may now delay your decision to use an Official Accompanist until after the timetable (NOT the programme) is published; for further information regarding Official Accompanists, please see below or the Music Festival website, under the ‘People’ tab.
  12. Time limits stipulated for test pieces MUST be observed.  The Adjudicator may penalise a performer who exceeds the time limit.
  13. Should any cause for complaint arise, any protest arising therefrom should be made in writing to the appropriate Festival Coordinator immediately.
  14. We wish to bring to your attention that children must at all times be in the charge of their parent, teacher or guardian. The Festival is not able to take responsibility for their safety. Please see our Child Protection Policy and Safer Festivals for Everyone information, included in this Syllabus.
  15. If there are any special circumstances that you wish to make known to the Festival Adjudicator, please bring a letter on the day.
  16. You are advised that entry information may be published in our Festival Programme. Under the provisions of the BOPA the Festival is legally required to hold, we are obliged to share information about competitors under the age of 18 and resident in Cumbria, with Cumberland County Council, at their request. Furthermore, you are advised that entrants have a duty to give or obtain the necessary consents for the competitors (when aged under 18) to take part in the Festival; for competitors resident in Cumbria this includes consent for absence from school, if aged 16yrs and under. 


  1. Covid-19 Our Risk Assessment will continue to address Covid-19, our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of all those involved and taking part. We anticipate being able to hold all classes in the Syllabus this year.
  2. CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES: JANUARY 20th, 2024 We regret no entries can be accepted after this date. Wherever possible, entries should be submitted online, via our website; completed entry forms may also be sent to the appropriate Coordinator. 
  3. VENUES FOR 2024 We will be using St Cuthbert’s Church, The Tithe Barn and St George's United Reformed Church, Carlisle. There is wheelchair access (using a ramp) to all venues. Stewards are available to help, if needed.

    You may wish to use an official accompanist if you do not have your own pianist for your performance. Use of an official accompanist is free, but please note the following: 

    - requesting an official accompanist can ONLY be done by post and MUST be accompanied by the sheet music. Requests without music will not be honoured. 

    -good sheet music copies, in the version and key you require, can be sent to Lyn Young, 34 Holmehead Way, Carlisle CA2 6AJ 

    - all music must be labelled with the participant’s name, and the class number for which it is to be used. You may also wish to add an approximate metronome marking. 

    - music must arrive at the above address no later than 7 days after the timetable is published. The timetable is the brief sheet listing classes, days and times; this is NOT the full detailed programme which will be on sale later. Music arriving later than 7 days after publication of the timetable will not be accepted. 

    -photocopies may be sent, but it is your responsibility to ensure copyright laws are obeyed.  You CANNOT request the services of an accompanist without submitting your music at the same time.

    - do not request the services of the Official Accompanist unless you are certain you are going to use them. You may request a rehearsal with your allotted accompanist, but this will be at their convenience and they reserve the right to charge a fee for their time.  Accompanists can expend considerable time learning music and would rather not spend this time on pieces which are not required.

    -for more information, please refer to the guidance on our website, here.

  5. GALA CONCERT A selection of winners of the major trophies, plus other performances of note, will perform in a GALA CONCERT to be held in St Cuthbert's Church, 6.30pm on Saturday, March 16th 2024. The major trophies will be presented at this concert.
  6. MASTERCLASSES – VOCAL MASTERCLASS, MASTERCLASS FOR VIOLINISTS / VIOLISTS AND ALSO “UNDERSTANDING AND PERFORMING SHAKESPEARE”  May we draw your attention to the masterclasses that are being offered on Saturday, February 3rd, 2024.  Application forms and further information can be found in the Syllabus and in this website.

  7. ADULT VOCAL CLASSES All Adult Vocal Classes (260 - 281) will take place on Saturday, 16th March, 2023.
  8. IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN GENERAL REGULATIONS  Cumberland Council has stipulated that to take place, our Festival requires a BOPA (Body of Persons Approval), as a result of which the Committee has had to adapt entry procedures. We ask your attention for the addition to our General Regulations (above) under point 16. 

    Furthermore, in order to satisfy Cumberland Council that we are acting responsibly, with due regard for the wellbeing of competitors, please complete the fitness to perform statement on the Entry Form.  We are also obliged to record the number of participants from each school.  If you do not wish the school attended by the entrant to be noted in the programme, please tick the appropriate box on the entry form.

  9. GROUP NUMBERS  Schools need to confirm group numbers to the Recording Officer on the day of the performance.


    THE JOHN LISHMAN MEMORIAL TROPHY (Awarded for an outstanding performance in the Junior Acting Classes)

    THE JOAN WALTON MEMORIAL TROPHIES will be awarded for Class 3b and Class 32


    All duet/trio classes require only one entry and payment, with both/all names in one performance box

  12. CLASS 242

    Class 242 requires an Art Song and not a song from an opera or musical.