Celebrating Talent
Performing Arts Competition Since 1908

2024 COMPETITION: Entries for 2024 Competition are now closed

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General Rules

General Rules and Regulations

  1. Please examine the General Rules and Regulations carefully. All performers should also study the particular requirements of each subject and class for which they wish to enter. Regulations must be observed. Infringement of any rule of the Festival will result in disqualification.
  2. The Festival is intended mainly for Amateurs, who are defined for this purpose as persons who do not derive their livelihood from the branch of performance, defined by the class title, 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.
  3. Dates given in the Syllabus are provisional. The final timetable and details of class times will be decided once all entries have been received. This will be available online in January. 
  4. No competitor may compete more than once in any class, unless stated in the Syllabus. Please check individual Sections for variations.
  5. No substitution of one name for another in the programme is permitted except in duet or trio classes, or at the discretion of the Section Secretary. Any performer whose name does not appear in the correct class in the programme will not be allowed to perform without a special permit from the Festival Office.
  6. Important - Please Note - A competitor's age will be reckoned as on the 31st August of the previous year.
  7. No competitor may enter a class reserved for older persons. Occasionally, in the Silver or Gold Medal classes and in duets, duos and duologues, performers may legitimately enter a class although they are younger than the minimum age. Please check individual Sections for variations.
  8. Past Prize winners in any Medal Class are not eligible to compete in the same class again. If a Solo Challenge Cup is won three years in succession, they are also entitled to claim a miniature cup. See section rules for any exceptions.
  9. We aim to be inclusive and will make every effort to accommodate particular needs of competitors. Please let us know if you require wheelchair access.
  10. In the Instrumental and Speech sections no 'own choice' piece may be chosen from test pieces set in the current syllabus. A competitor may not present any 'own choice' piece with which they have won a 1st place in the Hastings Festival in the past three years, except in Dancing classes, when a piece may be danced when it has been awarded a 1st place in previous years. No competitor may offer the same piece in more than one class, except Medal dancing classes. Please see separate Sections for variations to this rule.
  11. 'Own Choice' copies of words and music (not applicable to dancing) must be handed in to the steward when requested. Please collect your music after the adjudication.
  12. For 'Own Choice' pieces in any discipline, suitability must be considered with regard to age group. 'Adult' or offensive material is not acceptable and Adjudicators will be advised to take this into account when marking. They will also have the authority to stop any performance at their discretion, which would lead to disqualification of the competitor(s).
  13. In all classes with a time limit, any extra time taken will be penalised. Details of penalties vary in each Section and are available from the relevant Section Secretary.
  14. Important - Please Note - Entries should be made using the online application process. All entries must be made and the correct entry fees paid before the closing date. Anyone experiencing difficulties or who is unable to make entries online should contact the relevant Section Secretary for assistance. Entry fees are not returnable unless the entry is rejected by the Festival. Accompanists will be provided with a free pass on the day.
  15. Late entries may only be accepted after the closing date at the discretion of the Section Secretaries. A penalty fee will be charged (double the original entry fee). The General Secretary reserves the right to accept or reject any entry and cannot guarantee late entries will be included in the programme.
  16. All entrants (or their parents/teachers) must read the conditions of entry carefully together with our Child Protection, Safeguarding and Photography Policies.
  17. All withdrawals should be notified to the Festival Office as soon as the information is known to assist with timetabling of classes. Entry fees are not refundable.
  18. Punctuality is essential for all classes. All competitors must be prepared to arrive at the beginning of the session so that classes may run smoothly and to time. The General Secretary reserves the right to alter times and to combine or cancel classes for operational reasons.
  19. Communication with the Adjudicator by any unauthorised person before, during or after any class is not permitted. Enquiries during the competition should be addressed to the Section Secretary present whose decision is final.
  20. The Adjudicator will take into account a competitor's dress, their overall demeanour, the manner in which they approach the stage and the way in which they announce their performance (if appropriate) as well as the technical content of the performance. The Adjudicator's decision is final.
  21. The Adjudicator shall have full power to withhold any award in any class. The number of marks required before an award can be made is as follows: Gold Medal 90 For Cash Award 87 Silver Medal, Dancing 87 Other Disciplines 85 Bronze Medal 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 the Dancing Classes, marks given in Medal Classes do not count towards Aggregate Awards. Class Trophies require a winning mark of 85 if they are to be presented.
  22. Certificates and Adjudicators' notes will be distributed by the Section Secretary as soon as possible after the finish of the class, except in the dancing section where they will be available from the Festival Office or from the Festival Desk in the Lower Foyer. They may be posted by arrangement and on payment of a small fee. All unclaimed certificates and mark sheets will be disposed of one month after the end of the Festival.
  23. Most Medals, Trophies and Aggregate Cups will be presented by the Adjudicator during the Festival where possible. Those not awarded during the Festival will be presented at a separate ceremony. Winners are responsible for engraving and returning their Trophies by the end of January before the next Festival. They should be handed in to the Festival Office at the White Rock Theatre, or at the Theatre Box Office if the Festival Office is not open. Returned trophies must be clearly labelled with the name and address of the winners. It is important to return trophies on time to enable them to be prepared for presentation. Late return may affect future winners.
  24. The Festival Finale is held at the end of the Festival. A selection of outstanding items seen during the Festival is presented during this concert. Performances are chosen to give a balanced and entertaining programme and reflect all aspects of the Festival. It is not possible to invite all winners to participate. Aggregate trophies not given during the Festival will be presented at a separate Trophy Ceremony earlier in the day of the Finale concert
  25. The taking of photographs or use of any audio or video recording equipment, including mobile phones, is strictly prohibited within the auditoriums of the White Rock Theatre as it may breach child safeguarding guidelines and disturb the performers.
  26. Copyright. Recording, photography and making videos of performances is forbidden under copyright law and may lead to prosecution. 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. 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 accepts these entries on the basis that the appropriate copyright permission has been sought. Performers or teachers with queries on how to obtain permission for performance items should contact Festivals House on 01625 428297 before making their entries.
  27. All enquiries or complaints should be made immediately after the competition to the relevant Section Secretary in the Hall. If you are not satisfied that your complaint has been dealt with, it will be referred to the General Secretary. Written complaints may be sent to General Secretary, Festival Office, White Rock Theatre, Hastings TN34 1JX or by email to info@hastingsmf.org.uk

Entry to the 2024 Festival

Entries for 2024 Festival are now closed