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Information and advice for performers at the Festival of Performing Arts

​This information is aimed at participants of the festival. If you want to attend the festival as a spectator, view the festival visitor details instead.

Date and time of your performance

We'll email the programme to you which lists the date and time of your performance as soon as it's available.

In the meantime, you can view the provisional performance dates which lists the dates we expect each class to play but doesn't include times.

What to expect on the day of your performance

On the day of your performance:

  1. You'll need to arrive for the start of your session time. This is because the running orders often change or are moved around and you may miss your opportunity to perform if you're not there.
  2. When you arrive, fill out a performance information sheet which should be laid out on display at the venue.
  3. Hand your completed information sheet along with copies of your music, script, speech, stage plans or backing track to the adjudicator's steward.
  4. You'll then be showed to your room where you'll have the option to warm up or practice if you'd like to.
  5. Someone will then come to get you when it's your time to perform.
  6. After you've played, please sit and watch the remaining performers in your group.
  7. Once everyone in your class has finished performing, the adjudicators will give you your feedback and will hand out the certificates and awards if there are any.
  8. When you've received your feedback and certificate, don't forget to collect your music and anything else you handed to the steward before you leave.

Hints and tips for performing

  • Remember you don't need to perform for the whole time allocated but you may be disqualified if you go over the maximum time allowed.
  • Don't forget to bring a copy of your music or speech for the adjudicator.
  • Please take your time and don't feel rushed to begin performing. You may announce the title of your performance if you'd like.
  • It's a good idea to stay to watch the other performers in your class after you've played. You may learn from watching others and listening to the feedback given by the adjudicators.
  • Entrants, parents and teachers should help to ensure young people have a good experience by making sure that they are ready and suitably prepared for their public performance.
  • Please contact us using the details on this page if you've any questions or difficulties, no matter how small the question. It's better to have your queries answered so you can enjoy your festival experience.
  • Finally, enjoy your performance and don't forget to collect your music, certificate and adjudication notes before you leave.

Advice on using an accompanist

  • Decide if you need an accompanist and book them early - ideally before the closing date.
  • It is recommended all participants provide their own accompanist wherever possible. We cannot organise your accompanist for you but we do have a list of names of accompanists who may be able to help.
  • Ensure you have a copy of your music for your accompanist and allow time for them to study it before your first rehearsal. You cannot perform well without practice and rehearsals, please do not expect your accompanist to do so.
  • You are responsible for rehearsal arrangements and all fees.
  • Accompanists do have other commitments. They'll need notice to book rehearsals and to ensure they are available for the appropriate session at the festival.
  • If you decide to cancel your entry, please inform your accompanist as soon as possible.
  • In the event you do not inform your accompanist that you have withdrawn from your class and they arrive to accompany you, you may be charged a fee for their time.

Rules and regulations for the festival

Your entry into the festival is deemed as acceptance of the following rules and regulations.

Child protection rules and regulations

  • Parents, carers or guardians must ensure any child below the age of 18 is supervised by a responsible adult.
  • Group leaders, teachers, school staff and parents are responsible for the safety and welfare of the children in their charge.
  • If you've any concerns about the safety of a child during the festival, please contact us using the contact details on this page or speak to a member of Music Service staff in person as soon as possible.
  • Public areas such as toilets, refreshment areas, practice rooms and outside areas won't be supervised by us. Parents, guardians and carers should ensure the responsible adult with their child is aware of this and make arrangements accordingly.
  • We hire a number of volunteers who ensure the smooth running of the festival.
  • There will be a First Aider present at all times. However, if you're a large group, please bring a first aider with you if possible.
  • We have a detailed Child Protection Policy which is available on request.

Photography rules and regulations

  • We take photographs of all the performers which will be available for FREE on our Facebook. View Rochdale Music Service on Facebook.
  • The local press is invited to the festival and they may also take some photographs of performers.
  • If you do not wish for you or your child to be photographed, please contact us using the contact details on this page.
  • No flash photography is permitted during a performance. This is to ensure performers aren't distracted.
  • If you want to take photographs or videos at the festival, you're only allowed to take them of your own children.
  • If your photos or videos include other performers, please ensure you don't publish them on any social media without the permission and consent of everyone in the picture or video.
  • Please take note of announcements on the day. If there are any performances where photos aren't allowed, we'll announce this at the beginning of each performance.

General rules and regulations

  • The festival is provided by Rochdale Music Service. It consists of numerous classes, both competitive and non-competitive.
  • The classes are open to all and are offered according to school year.
  • A performer may enter only the classes which are relevant to the year they are in at school. The age limits for each class will be strictly enforced. The age in the classes refers to the school year the performer attends school in, not their actual age.
  • The final date by which entries must be received is Sunday, 29 December 2019. Entries submitted after this date may not be accepted.
  • The Festival Organiser reserves the right to divide any class into suitable groups and, if appropriate, alterations will be made in any section.
  • Entries will be acknowledged by email, if an address is given.
  • The Festival Organiser will be the sole interpreter of the rules should any doubt arise as to their application or meaning. Any complaints, comments or observations should be sent to The Head of Service, Rochdale Music Service within eight days of the session concerned.
  • The Festival Organiser is responsible for the detailed arrangement of the classes, which may vary from the provisional programme outlined in the Syllabus.
  • Photocopies of music or scripts may be used, providing you or your teacher is in receipt of the original.
  • Performers will forfeit the right to enter a class if not present and ready to perform when called.
  • Failure to observe any of the special conditions pertaining to each class will disqualify performers and bar them from receiving any award in that class. 
  • Performers may not use scripts in the Choral Speaking, Drama, and Individual Prepared Talk. However, notes may be used and prompting is acceptable in the Drama Classes.
  • All performers in any school group must attend the school on the starting date of the festival.
  • Performers can only enter once in a solo class of any section, except for percussion and guitar. For percussion, we'll accept a solo entry in both the tuned percussion class and the untuned percussion class. For guitar, we'll accept a solo entry in both the electric guitar class and the acoustic guitar class.
  • All entrants must hand a copy of their music, script or piece to the Adjudicators Steward before the start of the class, including a stage plan where necessary.
  • The Festival reserves the right to refuse entry or exclude from the festival any entrant whose behaviour or supporter’s behaviour or language is deemed to be unacceptable.


01706 926756

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

Rochdale Music Service
Floor 2 Rochdale Town Hall
The Esplanade
Rochdale OL16 1AB