Please examine these rules and regulations carefully and study the particular requirements of each subject and class you wish to enter.

If any rule or regulation of the Festival is infringed disqualification will result.

The All England Dance Syllabus age limits and timings have been changed and ours have been altered to comply, please check your entries carefully. This applies to the Dancing Section only.

The Festival is intended mainly for Amateurs, who are defined as ‘persons who do not derive their livelihood from the branch of performance in which they seek to enter the Festival. In any ensemble, all members must adhere to this principle. Anyone else is deemed Professional and may only enter OPEN classes.

1.        All entries must be on Official Entry Forms and should be sent in with the correct entry fee to reach the Section Secretary before the closing date on the front cover. After this date late entries MAY be accepted at the discretion of the General Secretary at double the entry fee. The Festival reserves the right to accept or reject any entry. Late entries will not be in the Programme. Entry tickets are sent to all entrants for the day(s) on which they are performing.

2.        Please read the Entry Form very carefully, every year Entry Forms are returned through illegibility or error.

3.        Past prize winners in any Medal Class are not eligible to compete in the same class again. If a solo Challenge Cup is won 3 years in succession the winner is entitled to claim a miniature cup.

4.        No competitor may enter a class reserved for older persons. A competitor's age is reckoned as their age on the 1st March of the year of the Festival, except the Dancing Section where it is reckoned as their age on the 1st September prior to the Festival. Occasionally, in Silver or Gold Medal classes and in Duets, Duos and Duologues, performers may legitimately enter a class although younger than the minimum age. Please check individual sections for variations.

5.        No competitor may compete more than once in any class, unless stated in the Syllabus, check individual sections for variations.

6.        Substitution of one name for another in the programme is not permitted except at the discretion of the Section Secretary. Any entrant whose name does not appear in the correct class will not be allowed to perform without a special permit from the office.

7.        Punctuality is essential for ALL classes. Competitors must be prepared to arrive at the beginning of the session to enable classes to run smoothly. The right to alter times and or cancel classes is reserved.

8.        In Instrumental and Speech sections no ‘own choice’ piece may be selected from test pieces in the current Syllabus. A competitor may not present any ‘own choice’ piece with which they have won a 1st place in the Hastings Musical Festival in the last 3 years, except in Dancing classes.
No competitor may offer the same piece in more than one class, except Medal dancing classes. See separate sections for variations. ‘Own choice’ copies (except dancing), must be handed in to the Steward when requested. Please collect your copies after the adjudication.

9.        In all classes with a time limit, any extra time taken will be penalised.

10.      Most Medals and Trophies will be presented by the adjudicator during the Festival at the end of the class, aggregate cups will be presented before the Festival Gala Concert commences. Certificates and Adjudicator’s notes will be distributed by the Section Secretary as soon as possible after the end of the class, except in the Dancing section, where they will be available from the Festival Office. They may be posted by arrangement and on payment of a small fee to cover postage and stationery. All unclaimed certificates and marks sheets will be disposed of one month after the end of the Festival.
Winners are responsible for engraving and returning their Trophies by January 28th, they should be handed in to the White Rock Office, clearly labelled with the name and address of the winner. Remember, late return jeopardises presentation.

11.      The Adjudicator shall have full power to withhold any award in any class.
The number of marks required before an award can be made are as follows:
Gold Medal                                      90
Silver Medal, Dancing                     87
Other disciplines                              85
Bronze                                              85
A ‘First’ award in any other class    80

Certificates will be awarded as follows:

Performance Certificate      75 – 80
A performance showing development of technique and/or communication.

Merit Certificate                  81 – 83
A capable performance showing some artistic appreciation and/or technical ability.

Special Merit Certificate     84 – 86
A convincing performance technically and artistically.

Honours Certificate            87+
An excellent performance technically and artistically, with 90+ denoting an exceptional performance.

For an Aggregate Trophy it is sufficient for a minimum of 85 to be achieved in only one of the component classes. The adjudicator’s decision is FINAL.

In Dancing marks given in Medal Classes do not count towards Aggregate Awards.

12.      Communication with the Adjudicator by any unauthorised person is not permitted. Any enquiries during the competition should be addressed to the Section Secretary present.

13.     The use of photographic, video or audio equipment is strictly prohibited within the auditoria of the White Rock Theatre, transgression may lead to prosecution.

14.      Copyright.
Photocopies of set pieces are not allowed. Where an ‘own choice’ piece has been taken from an album, a copy may be supplied for the use of the Adjudicator provided that the competitor or accompanist uses an original copy and the photocopy is retained and destroyed by the Festival organisers after the class. There are special rules which apply to each discipline, please refer to the separate sections.

15.      N.B. All performances using music from shows in current production are subject to copyright law. Songs from shows in current production may be sung as a concert item, i.e. with no costume or movement, without need for copyright permission. Where movement or costume is included copyright permission is required and the Festival Committee accepts these entries on the basis that the appropriate copyright permission has been sought and granted. Performers or teachers with queries on how to obtain permission for performance items should contact Festivals House on 01625 428297 before making their entries.

16.      For ‘own choice’ pieces in any discipline, suitability must be considered with regard to the age group. ‘Adult’ or offensive material is not acceptable and Adjudicators have the authority to stop and disqualify any performance they deem to be inappropriate.  

17.      Please study our Safeguarding Policy, which is printed in full in both the Syllabus and Programme. It is intended to conform to the law and is for the protection of your children. Under the Safeguarding Act all chaperones and helpers MUST be over 18 years of age.

18.      It is necessary for teachers and parents to be aware of their responsibilities in entering any performers with limited physical capabilities or special needs, bearing in mind the limitations of the stage and surrounding environment. THERE IS NO WHEELCHAIR ACCESS POSSIBLE TO THE MAIN STAGE. It is also necessary for the teacher or parent to pass onto the Adjudicator, via the officials present, any such information that would impact on the Adjudicator’s work.

19.      A Festival Gala Concert is held on the last Saturday evening of the Festival during which a selection of outstanding items seen during the Festival will be presented. Performances are chosen to present a balanced and entertaining programme that reflects all aspects of the Festival. It is unfortunately not possible to invite all winners to participate.

20.      There is a list of accompanists with telephone numbers at the front of the Syllabus. Please make your own arrangements.

21.      Dates given in the Syllabus are provisional. Please consult the Programme, available early February, from the White Rock Theatre; Hastings Information Centre; B & T Music; Chandlers of Rye; and Second Spin Bexhill. A timetable will be available online during January.

22.      The Festival is registered under the Data Protection Act, but holds personal data only for the purposes of running the Festival.

23.      All enquiries or complaints should be made immediately after the competition to the Section Secretary in the hall.

24.      All withdrawals should be notified to the Festival Office as soon as the information is available.

25.      It is a requirement of the White Rock Theatre Management that any electrical equipment brought onto the premises and intended for use; i.e. keyboards, amps, electric guitar accoutrements: be PAT tested and a certificate confirming this be available for inspection.

26.      The Executive Committee reserve the right to qualify or determine any of these regulations as circumstances require.


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The Hastings Musical Festival Limited 167243 England. Charity Number 261351.

Festival Office opening hours are:
The first Wednesday of the month between 10.30 & 11.30am until September 1st,
after which the office will be open each Wednesday from 10.30am till 12.30pm until the end of March 2017.
The Festival Office, White Rock Theatre, Hastings, TN34 1JX