Festival Regulations and Guide Lines

1. Mindful of the Duty of Care that the Festival organisers have, especially to all children, Young Persons and Vulnerable Adults attending the Festival, the Colchester Rotary Club and the Festival Committee operate a Protection Policy, as recommended by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and the Festival Federation.

2. It is necessary for Teachers, Parents and Guardians to be aware of their responsibilities in entering any performers with limited physical capabilities or special needs, bearing in mind the limitations imposed by the stage and surrounding environment. It is also necessary for the Teacher, etc., to pass on to the adjudicator via the Programme Coordinator, any such information that could impact on the adjudicator’s work.

3. The Colchester Rotary Festival of Music and Dance is a competitive Festival. All entrants will be awarded grades. 1st 2nd and 3rd in each class will receive special certificates; small classes will receive only 1st and 2nd place certificates. A place certificate may not be awarded if there is only one entrant in the class. Please be aware that, when there are a number of small classes, performers may be required to perform in sequence, as a consolidated group. They will still get individual adjudication within their own class. Those placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in individual, duet, trio or quartet classes will be awarded medals with a single medal awarded to larger groups. For larger groups additional medals can be purchased at the front desk, as can ribbons for the medals.

4. A separate entry must be made online for each participant/group. It is possible to enter multiple entries from one school/teacher.  The personal data supplied on the form will only be used in connection with the Festival.  The entry fee is non refundable.

5. Please read carefully the regulations governing the Festival and note that any entrant exceeding the time limit will receive adjudication but no marking. Also any entrant failing to provide a copy of their music may have marks deducted. Any notes accompanying each section should also be read with care.

6. We provide an official accompanist for the Music Festival and, should he be required, details can be found on the website. Accompaniment in most Instrumental or Voice Classes must be live.  There are some classes where the use of recorded accompaniment (backing tracks) is permitted.  The recording must be provided on an audio CD or an MP3 player with headphone socket.  The playback equipment will be provided by the Festival.

7. Certificates will be awarded at the end of each class. Trophies will be presented at the Dance Gala. Awards and Trophies for Music will be presented at the end of the appropriate class. Mark sheets and Music for Instrumental and Vocal Classes should be collected from the Stewards Desk after the close of each Class.

8. The Festival Organisers do not accept any responsibility for loss of, or damage to, entrants’ instruments or property.

9. The exact title and timing of each own choice piece must be included on the entry form for Music; failure to do so is likely to result in an entry being rejected.

10. For reasons of personal protection and copyright, recording, videoing or photography are not permitted in enclosed premises; press photography will be permitted by the organisers, unless parents or guardians specifically request for this not to happen. Rotary Club of Colchester will have present a photographer from the Club. Photos will be accessible via our Facebook page or on the Website unless parents/guardians specifically ask for this not to happen.

11. The Festival is under legal obligation to supply to the Performing Rights Society details of all items performed at the Festival, so co-operation of Teachers and entrants in sending information at the correct time is essential.

12. ELIGIBILTY -The Festival is for amateur performers. For the purpose of this Festival, an amateur is considered to be a person whose main source of income is not made from music or dance performances, (although he or she may receive occasional fees and ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses), or teaching in these disciplines. This restriction does not apply to an entrant’s Conductor or Accompanist. Students over 18 who attend vocational colleges are eligible to participate.

13. AGE – Where age is specified for a particular Class, this will be reckoned as the closing date for entry of 30th March 2019. The age of a duet or group is reckoned as the age of the oldest member.

14. COPYRIGHT – The Festival does not accept any responsibility for infringement by an entrant of copyright. The Music Publishers Association has issued a Code of Practice on Copyright, under which a concession has been made for the copying of own choice pieces from volumes only for the adjudicator. After performance these copies will be retained by the Festival and immediately destroyed, unless copyright is specifically held by the entrant. In the case of any performance using music from a show in current production, the performance itself can be carried out without need for copyright permission provided it is as a concert item, i.e. without costume or movement. Teachers or performers with queries on how to obtain copyright permission for performance items should telephone Festival House (Tel 01625 428297) or email info@federationoffestivals.org.uk before putting in an entry.


(i) All entrants in a Class should be present at least 15 minutes before the start of the Class, and book in at the Steward’s Desk;

(ii) The order of performance will be as per the order in the programme;

(iii) All Classes are ‘Own Choice’, except dance improvisation;

(iv) A range of musical equipment include music stands, amplifiers and vocal microphones will be provided.  See the Music Syllabus for details.

(v) The adjudicator has discretion to recall an entrant at the end of a Class to perform a second time, to re-assess the adjudication and report;

(vi) All Instrumental and Voice entrants must supply a copy of their music for the adjudicator, and bring it with them on the day;

(vii) Any entrant unable to perform during their Class for a valid reason, may at the discretion of the Adjudicator, receive an adjudication, but no placing.


It is the duty of every Rotarian to safeguard to the best of their ability, the welfare and prevent the assault, physical, sexual or emotional abuse and neglect of all children, the elderly, persons with disability or otherwise vulnerable persons with whom they come into contact during their Rotary duties.

1         The Festival Committee, as a committee of the Rotary Club of Colchester, operates a Protection Policy for all involved in the Festival.  The policy accords with those of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and the Federation.  This Policy particularly affects the attitude towards and the care of Children, Young Persons and Vulnerable Adults – all collectively referred to as “Protected Persons.”

2         All parents, guardians, carers or teachers must sign the application form to confirm that they accept this policy.  Entry to the competition will, therefore, be an acceptance by parents, guardians, carers and teachers that the policy is acceptable to them.

3         There will be a Chief Steward, who will be readily identifiable.  In the event of the absence of the Chief Steward, the Festival Chairman or the Compere will appoint a deputy.  All stewards will be under the direction of the Chief Steward and all will display identity badges.

4         All performing areas will be supervised.

5         Practice facilities will be provided and Parents, Guardians, Carers or Teachers will need to accompany Protected Persons when using these facilities.

6         No photography or video recording will be permitted on the enclosed premises other than by the press or the Rotary Photographer, unless by prior permission.

7         Any complaints in relation to the organising or conduct at the Festival should be reported to the Chief Steward or appointed deputy.


Adjudicators are all registered with the Federation and are recruited from outside of the Colchester region.

Every entrant will be given written individual comments and a certificate showing the marks and grade achieved. These will be presented at the end of each Class. 

The Festival is competitive, and the adjudicator’s decision is final, with regard to marks, grading, and trophies and awards. Adjudicators will comment on the general standard of performance and marks will be given within one of the following grades:

Outstanding or 90+ An exceptional performance, technically and artistically.
Distinction or 87 – 89 An excellent performance, technically and artistically.
Commended or 84 – 86 A convincing performance, technically and artistically.
Merit or 81 – 83 A capable performance showing some artistic appreciation and/or technical ability.
Moderate or 78 – 80 A performance showing development of technique and/or communication.
Fair or 75 – 77 A performance limited in its communication.