Rules & Regulations

Festival-wide rules

1. All entries to the 2024 Festival should be made via the online Play and Perform system. A link to this is available on the festival website Entries to the festival can be made from 1st January 2024 until the 28th February 2024.

2. Classes are open to amateurs only unless otherwise stated. For this purpose an amateur is one who does not earn his/her living from practising in the discipline in which he/she has entered.

3. Where there are age limits age must be reckoned to the 1st May 2024. The age of the eldest competitor in Duets/Trios/Quartets/Groups determines the correct class. All age limits must be strictly adhered to.

4. Only in the case of the withdrawal of a Class will the fee be refunded.

5. Competitors should expect to receive by 8th April, via email from Play and Perform, a form giving the Date, Venue and approximate Time of the classes entered. Performers are required to print the form(s), enter the information requested, and to give the completed form to the Adjudicator’s Steward at the time of performance.

6. Adjudication. Marks will not be awarded. Performers will be placed in one of five categories:

‘O’ Outstanding: artistically and technically.
‘H’ Honours: with commendable artistic and technical control.
‘M*’ Merit *: A commendable performance.
‘M’ Merit: A creditable performance in terms of general preparation.
‘P’ Performer: More preparation needed.

‘O’ or ‘H’ are necessary to qualify for an award.

7. All awards will normally be presented at the end of the Adjudication. Individual certificates will be issued to groups up to a maximum of 4 performers. Only 1 certificate will be issued to larger ensembles and choirs.

8. Cups and trophies awarded remain the property of the Festival and must be returned to the Trophies Secretary, by 1st March the following year. If cups or trophies are mislaid, the Festival expects these to be replaced by the entry form signatory at no cost to the Festival.

9. The Adjudicator’s decision is final. Any dispute or complaint connected with the Festival must be referred to the appropriate Class Secretary in writing, within 30 days of the date of the Festival Concert (see Rule 25) and a decision or response, as appropriate, will be made by the Committee.

If a complaint is unresolved the Chairman’s decision is final.

10. Any performance may be curtailed at the discretion of the Adjudicator. Time limits must not be exceeded.

11. Set pieces in the Syllabus may not be offered as Own Choice pieces in any other class, and no item may be performed in more than one class.

12. No Beginner is allowed to enter a Beginner’s Class for a second year.

13. The Instrumental Graded Classes, competitors may not enter more than one grade. A Grade 8 class cannot be entered if more than a year has elapsed after achieving Grade 8.

14. Deleted

15. 24 hours’ notice should be given for withdrawal from a class so that Adjudicators are not kept waiting.

If the Edition of a piece is stated on the entry, it must be used.

17. Unless performance from memory is preferred, all performers must play from printed music or a copy authorised by the publisher.

18. In all cases of Own Choice, a hard copy of the piece selected must be provided for the adjudicator at the time of performance.

Competitors who choose to play pieces set by the Examining Boards (e.g. ABRSM) may not choose those pieces marked ‘Reprinted by permission, for use only in connection with the Examinations of the Royal Schools of Music’ (or any similar wording), unless written permission is obtained from the publisher. The Board does not hold the Copyright or Performing Rights for such pieces.

Photocopying music is illegal unless written permission of the publisher is produced at the Festival. The only exception to this rule is as follows: The Music Publishers’ Association ‘Code of Practice on Photocopying’ makes some allowance to the Festival movement where volumes are concerned only. The relevant paragraph of the code is given here:

The Music Publishers’ Association Code of Practice on Photocopying Copyright works makes the following concession: When an OWN CHOICE work is selected from a publication containing several works (i.e. an Album or Volume) and which is not published separately, ONE PHOTOCOPY may be made FOR THE USE OF THE ADJUDICATOR at the Festival provided that the competitor has already purchased his or her own printed copy and the photocopy made is retained and destroyed by the Administrator of the Festival after the event. This permission specifically DOES NOT apply to works set by the Festival, but only to OWN CHOICE selections. This permission DOES NOT apply to copies for an accompanist or the performer who should always have a printed copy. Competitors breaching these Rules do so at their own risk.

A copy of the piece(s) selected should be provided for the adjudicator by the performer.

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) encourages respect for copyright licences. A CLA licence allows copying from most books, periodicals and journals published in the UK. Please note it does not include music. Festivals may copy as many items as they wish, the number is unlimited, but under the standard license they can make up to 9 copies of each item. Further information on the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) can be found on

20. Whilst the Festival cannot accept responsibility for instruments or personal property brought to the Festival, please contact the appropriate secretary if you need assistance.

21. Photography is prohibited during Festival performances and adjudication. We have an official photographer, who with consent from either parent, guardian or teacher, may take photographs of performers under the age of 19 for possible use in the local press, festival syllabus & programme for the following year, or our website and social media. Permission is sought via response to a Yes/No question during the process of submitting entries.

If photographs are not used for these purposes, they may be used for our archives.

21a. Sound recording and video recording are prohibited during Festival performances and adjudication. Festival staff will be at liberty to ask any person not complying with rule 21 or 21a to leave the venue. Mobile phones must be turned off whilst on the Festival premises and at the Festival concert.

22. No Backing Tracks for accompaniment are permitted except when specifically stated otherwise.

23. Coaching from the audience is not permitted during a performance.

24. Any breach of Festival Regulations, intentional or unintentional, may result in disqualification.

The Festival Concert will take place on Wednesday 22nd May 2024 in the Harlequin Theatre, Warwick Quadrant, Redhill. Competitors, not necessarily prize-winners, may be invited by the Chairman to perform in the Concert, subject to the planning of a balanced programme and the recommendation of the Adjudicator and the Festival Committee. The invitation to perform will be given by the Chairman after the Festival has ended.

26. This Festival Committee is committed to implementing policies designed to promote equality of opportunity, to secure fair participation for any under-represented group and to reject absolutely unlawful discrimination of any kind.