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Please read carefully: 

1. Professionals (i.e. those who earn more than 50% of their living economic income from musical activities in any discipline) are not permitted to compete. Periodically and on a limited individual case basis the Committee will consider entries from professional musicians who wish to perform; if accepted they will receive an adjudication but no marks will be awarded, as the Festival wishes to remain an amateur competition.


2. Final date for entry is 31 July 2024 or earlier if we reach our capacity before then. Early entry is therefore advised to be sure of gaining a place in you chosen classes.

3. All entries must be via the website. 

4. If some classes attract sufficiently large numbers of entries so that they become unwieldy, we reserve the right to split the classes into two parts on some musical basis. In such cases we will treat the classes as distinct from each other and offer separate trophies for each one.

5. Players entering multiple classes should note that where necessary to reduce scheduling clashes, we reserve the right to allocate a particular entry to a different but appropriate class to the one for which it was originally entered. Competitors will be advised of any such changes in advance but no refunds will be made if players subsequently withdraw.

6. Entry under an assumed name is not permissible. Provisional entries without the title of the piece and/or the name of the composer are not permissible.

7. Entry fees are not returnable (but see Rule 22). 

8. An entrant should enter the class appropriate to their age as on the day of the Festival.  Grade limits refer both to the experience of the performer and the music played. An entrant may not perform in more than one age class, and may not perform in more than one grade class during the Festival. 

9. An entrant may not perform more than once in any solo class.  The same piece cannot be offered more than once during the Festival. 

10. The title, composer and duration of all pieces must be clearly stated on entry. No substitutions, additions or omissions can be accepted after the programme has gone to the printers. It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure compliance with this rule.

11. ENTRANTS MUST PROVIDE A COPY OF THEIR MUSIC FOR THE ADJUDICATOR before the class begins, otherwise, at the discretion of the Adjudicator, an adjudication may not be given. 
Music must be marked with name, class and, where appropriate, page reference.  If using photocopies, please ensure that they are firmly stapled together. 

12. UNAUTHORISED COPYING OF MUSIC is an infringement of copyright. If the music is out of print, permission to copy MUST be obtained in writing from the publishers and a copy of the letter forwarded with the music. The Music Publishers’ Association has issued a revised Code of Practice making the concession that an ‘Own Choice’ item taken from a volume of pieces may be copied, but only for the use of the adjudicator. With this exception, no other photocopying of music is permitted. 
If music is required by the performer, we prefer that a printed copy should be used.  If a photocopy is used, there MUST be a printed original copy of the music in the room.
Photocopies for the use of the adjudicator must be totally legible and securely fixed in book form. 
USE OF DOWNLOADED MUSIC: Players may use music legitimately downloaded from any website in the public domain, but not from other websites. It is the player’s responsibility, not the Festival’s, to ensure that downloaded music is legitimate.

13. TIME LIMITS MUST BE STRICTLY ADHERED TO. Entry forms must state the accurate duration of each item. Failure to observe time limits may disqualify an entrant from gaining an award. 
REPEATS: Players should not play repeats in the Associated Board classes (Classes 6 -9), except for DC and DS indications. Repeats may be played in other classes provided that the time limit is not exceeded.

14. The Adjudicator’s decision is final.  

15. Assessment of Performance and Certificates: 
There are seven categories of assessment: 
EXCEPTIONAL (mark 95+):
A superlative performance, displaying exceptional artistic individuality. An astonishingly impressive performance displaying effortless technical control and superlative individuality in its artistry, and profound musical insight.

OUTSTANDING (mark 90 - 94): An impressive performance technically and artistically, displaying spontaneity & clear individuality. A stimulating, imaginative and persuasive performance, showing stylistic flair, interpretative insight, poise and unobtrusive technical command. 
HONOURS (mark 85 - 89): An excellent performance, demonstrating fluent technical and artistic skills with emerging individuality. Assured and expressive, demonstrating a high level of technical security, imagination and stylistic insight and with a real sense of communication and performance, although small blemishes may be present.
COMMENDED (mark 80 – 84): A convincing performance technically & artistically, with increasing stylistic & communication skills. Confident, with clear evidence of tonal and stylistic qualities and a developing awareness of communication and performance, although there may be moments of imprecision.
MERIT (mark 75 – 79): A competent performance, showing some artistic awareness and/or technical ability. Mostly fluent and accurate, with some awareness of tone and style, but requiring a sense of communication and performance. 
PROGRESSING (mark 70 – 74): A performance showing development of technique and/or communication and commitment. A generally secure performance in notes and rhythm at a reasonable tempo but as yet with limited attention to detail, tonal qualities, and style. 
DEVELOPING (mark 65 – 69): A performance demonstrating an awareness of technical skills, requiring more consistency & artistry. An inconsistent performance with an overall need for accuracy and /or continuity and artistic development.


Participation certificates will be awarded to all competitors entering  Class 1.  

Festival Certificates will also be awarded to the winner plus 2nd and 3rd placed competitors in each class (if applicable).  

Only class winners awarded a certificate will be eligible to receive a trophy. Only entrants receiving a mark of 85 or over will be eligible to receive a trophy. Second and third place certificates will only be awarded to classes with 6 or more participants. 

16. Where a trophy is awarded it must be signed for by, or on behalf of, the winner, thereby agreeing to undertake its safe keeping and return to the Festival when requested. Any damage to a trophy must be made good by the person signing for the trophy at his/her personal expense, replacing it with an equivalent trophy (including appropriate engraving) if necessary.  Information concerning the return of trophies will be sent to trophy-holders in August. 

17. No recordings, either audio or video, may be made in competition rooms. 

18. Photographs may not be taken without prior authority.

19. Uncollected certificates, Adjudicator’s Reports and music will only be sent upon application to the Festival Chairman (name and address below). A stamped, addressed envelope must accompany the request. 

20. All complaints should be sent by email to

21. The Committee reserves the right to: 
(a) refuse entries; 
(b) cancel any class before the programme is printed and refund the fees; 
(c) decide any matter not provided for by these rules. 

22. All entries are non-refundable except in special circumstances.

23. From time to time it is possible that an adjudicator may also be the teacher of somebody wishing to enter the Festival. Whilst we do not wish to deter the students of adjudicators from entering the Festival, we do not believe that it is appropriate for a teacher to adjudicate one of his or her own students in a competition. Players entering the Festival who are students of one of our selected adjudicators should note on entry that:
(a) The Festival will endeavour to ensure that no class is adjudicated by the teacher of one of its entrants by allocating that class to another adjudicator.
(b) If that is not practical, the player’s performance will be rescheduled to another eligible class for the piece with a different adjudicator.
(c) If neither option above is possible, the player will be permitted to perform in the class with the teacher as adjudicator. For whatever reason this may occur, in such circumstances the player will receive adjudication but no mark will be awarded to the performance. For this purpose, occasional and irregular lessons with one of our adjudicators, or a short course at a Summer School, do not count as a teacher/student relationship and hence do not invalidate an entry by a performer or the awarding of a mark.

24. The Birmingham Music Festival committee cannot be held liable for  errors in entries booked online.  

25.  Entries by people under 18 will not be accepted.



The Birmingham Music Festival needs to collect and use certain information about individuals in order to successfully run the Festival. 

We use the information you give to use when you enter in order to schedule the Birmingham Music Festival, communicate with you via email to give you information about the Festival you have entered and information regarding future Festivals.   You have the opportunity to opt into this when you enter the Festival.


The Birmingham Music Festival ensures that personal information is treated lawfully and correctly. To this end, the Birmingham Music Festival fully endorses and adheres to the eight principles of data protection as detailed in the General Data Protection Regulation. 

Information collected is processed fairly and lawfully; is used only for specific and lawful purposes; is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive; is kept for no longer than necessary; is processed in accordance with the rights of the individuals; is kept secure and is not transferred to countries that do not offer adequate data protection. Access to information is strictly limited. 

Information will not be given to third parties.

Any requests to access information held by the Festival must be made in writing to the Chairman (see Rule 20) and will be dealt with promptly by the Data Protection Officer.  

Please note that by paying online you will be paying through a secure payment portal provided by Ecwid (click here for website). Birmingham Music Festival cannot be held liable for the actions or operations of third party providers.

For more information please see our Privacy Policy by clicking HERE.

To remove yourself from our contact database, please unsubscribe by clicking HERE >>


In accordance with current Child Protection guidelines children under the age of 18 years will not be admitted to the Festival unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult.

Parents, teachers and others who are responsible for entering minors to the Festival are advised that it could be a stressful experience for a minor to rehearse for and then play in several classes at a single festival.


This is especially the case in open classes where players have normally reached at minimum the higher examination grades, and some are experienced festival performers.

The use of cameras, video or any type of recording equipment, including mobile phones, is prohibited. 

A copy of the Festival's Child Protection Policy may be found here.

Festival 2024

Child protection1
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