About Us

The combined festival of speech & language and music has existed for over 90-years and attracts over one thousand competitors each year who come from all parts of the region and beyond.

How Chester Competitive Festival Works

The music event comprises: Vocal, piano, instrumental, choirs, bands plus a small section for composition. Each main section is divided into subsections consisting of competitive classes, some of them open to all comers, others limited by age, by grade or level of performance, or by type of performance (e.g. piano duet, school choir etc.)  Similarly, the speech and language classes are ordered according to class type, competitor age and ability.  There are ‘open’ and own choice classes in each festival.

Individuals can enter as many classes as they like, subject to eligibility. Each section is judged by a professional adjudicator, who provides a written and (time permitting), a verbal assessment of each performance and awards appropriately graded certificates to each performer. Provided a high enough standard of performance is reached, winners receive medals (juniors only) and some classes carry monetary awards and trophies. Normally, winners of are announced at the end of each class.

Festival Rules

The festival rules for each section can be downloaded from this website (they are included also in the syllabus on the Home Page).

The Festivals are run Entirely by Dedicated Volunteers

The people responsible for the festivals invariably have been steeped in their respective love for the performing arts and are keen to keep these events alive and relevant to all who wish to enter. The chairman and vice-chairman are always pleased to hear from people with an interest in promoting musical and drama education, performance and enjoyment who might like to join the executive committee or just to offer support at the festival events.

Festival Dates

The speech & drama festival is held in March each year, on a Saturday.
The music festival is held on a Saturday in either April or May each year, subject to venue availability.