Q. How do I enter the festival?

A. Entry is easy. Firstly look through the syllabus and decide which classes you wish to enter, then fill in the online entry form with your contact details and which classes you wish to enter and pay using PayPal.

contact@northamptonfestival.org.uk    is the email address should you have any queries.

Alternatively, you could download the entry form or use the form from the paper syllabus and send a paper copy together with your entry fee to the entries secretary (details of where to send the entry are available elsewhere on the website). No entry will be accepted unless accompanied by the entry fee.  Late entries will not be accepted.


Q Do I have to have an accompanist?
A. If the piece you have chosen to play normally has accompaniment then yes, you should have an accompanist. Unaccompanied pieces may be performed if appropriate for your class.


Q. What if I can’t find my own accompanist?
A. Simply answer yes to the question “is the official accompanist required” on the entry form, then make sure that you send your accompaniment to the music co-ordinator by two weeks before the start of the festival and one of our team of professional accompanists will be there to play for you. Please try to send an original copy for the accompanist to play from, as photocopies can often be difficult for page turning and often fall off the music stand!


Q. My piece is quite complex, will I be able to practise with the official accompanist beforehand?
A. Contact details for all our accompanists will be available in the festival programme and on this website, rehearsals may be arranged by contacting them direct. You will have to pay them a fee for your rehearsal, although no fee is required for your festival performance.


Q. What if at the time of entry, I haven’t decided what to perform?
A.  It is preferable to fill in this part of the entry form with what you intend to perform so it can then be published in the festival programme but if you do not know then write “to be announced” and then announce what you are playing on the day. Do make sure that your performance does not exceed that stated time limit.


Q. If I don’t attend my festival appointment will I get my money back ?
A. Normally, no.  Entry fees can only be refunded in exceptional circumstances.


Q. What happens if I am the only entrant in my chosen category?
A.  In this situation you will be given the option of withdrawing and receiving a refund of your entry fee. We hope, however, that you will still perform.


Q. What is the point of the festival ?
A.  Well, the answer lies in the name, “Festival of the Performing Arts”. The festival provides a performance opportunity for you to show off your talents and skills and receive some expert comment and help from one of our team of professional adjudicators. Most importantly, it gives you the chance to hear others perform.


Q. Why do I have to give a copy of my “own choice” to the adjudicator?
A.  The adjudicator may not know what you are performing in detail and a copy of your music or text will help them see what you are playing or speaking as you do it.  This will  enable them to make specific references to sections of you piece in their adjudication. Photocopies may be used on the condition that they are handed to the adjudicator’s steward immediately before your class begins and destroyed after your performance. Your copy may be collected from the adjudicator’s desk at the end of the class or thereafter from the festival office.


Q. Will I get a certificate?
A.  From 2015, all entrants will receive a certificate of participation and the adjudicator may decide, if they feel it is appropriate, to make awards to the most outstanding performances. All certificates and awards will be available for collection after each class and thereafter, from the festival office.


Q. What should I do if I have entered two different classes and my appointment times clash?
A.  We will make every effort to avoid this happening but if you contact us before the start of the festival, we will try to re-schedule your performance times so that you can attend both classes.

Q. When will I know when and where I am performing?
A. In the festival syllabus you will find a provisional timetable of when different disciplines are most likely to be. Specific times will be published in the festival programme, which will be available approximately one month before the start of the festival.  It may be viewed on line or by purchasing a paper copy from St Giles Music, St Giles Terrace, Northampton.

Q. Can I attend the festival even if I am not performing?
A. Yes, most definitely! A vital part of any performance is the audience. All classes will be open to the public and tickets will be available from our stewards on the door at each class or you may want to purchase a ticket ( £1 for a day ticket  and £3 for a weekly ticket)   that will allow you to attend as many classes as you like for the whole festival.

Q. How can I help the festival?
A. There are many ways in which you could support the work of the festival which are detailed elsewhere on this website.  We look forward to your support!

Q. If my chosen category has a set piece or text, do I have to perform that and not a choice of my own?
A.  You must perform the prescribed text or piece for that category. All set pieces have been expertly chosen to challenge you and allow you to show off your talent. You may learn a lot to help hone your own skills by listening to other performers doing the same thing.

Q. What if I just want to perform without being judged competitively?
A. If you look through the festival syllabus you will find “non-competitive classes”. The adjudicator will offer helpful advice on ways to improve you skills but will not judge you in competition with the other entrants.

Q. Is the festival only for children?
A. Most definitely not! You will find in the syllabus classes in almost every discipline for competitors of all ages. If you are beyond school age then you will find “open” classes, for competitors of any age.

Q. Can I perform something I have composed myself?
A.  Certainly, as long as it conforms to the class requirements, although you may prefer to enter one of the composer classes. Look in the syllabus for details.

Q. Can I make suggestions on how I think my festival performance might have been better?
A. Certainly, either speak to one of the festival committee or email us after the festival with your ideas and suggestions. We are always trying to improve the festival and make your experience as positive as possible and we will consider any suggestions you may offer. Our aim is to make the festival , primarily, a celebration of performance. Any awards that are made are an added bonus to your participation.

Q. Can I only enter my age category?
A. You can enter any category you wish provided that you are within the stated age group, but bear in mind that a category above your age would probably mean a higher standard of difficulty and performance level.

Q. What does year 11 and under mean?
A.  Festival classes are organised by school year group rather than age, so year 6 and under would mean any child either in or below their final year at primary school. Year 8 would mean second year at secondary school, year 11 would be GCSE year and sixth formers would normally fall into the “open” categories.

Q. Do I have to live in, or close to Northampton to enter?
A. No. Wherever you live in the country, you are eligible and most welcome to enter. Details of all festivals affiliated to The British and International Federation of Festivals may be found on their website:   http://www.federationoffestivals.org.uk/festivals-a-z/

Q. Can I perform in the festival concert?
A. Performers from both the music and speech and drama sections of the festival will be selected by recommendation from the adjudicators, stewards or a committee member and we will try to compile a varied and balanced programme reflecting the variety of ages and categories. You will be approached either during or immediately after the festival. If you are not chosen then please do attend the concert as an audience member. Details of the time and venue will appear on the web site shortly after the festival.

Q. Who are the “adjudicators”?
A. Almost all of the adjudicators are registered with and trained by the British and International Federation of Festivals. They are mostly category specific, so if you are a singer you will be adjudicated by a singer. All our adjudicators bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the festival so that you get the very best comment and advice. Biographical details of this year’s adjudicators may be found elsewhere on the web site, nearer to the start of the festival.