2021 has been another difficult year for us all, including the Festival movement. Many festivals have had to cancel classes and competitors have been disappointed that they have not been able to share their talents with others. As we were unable to hold the Festival at Dudley College the committee decided to deliver a smaller online festival. This was a great success with 399 entries. A big “thank you”  to all who participated.

The Dudley Festival Committee has decided to go ahead with plans for Festival 2022. It is difficult to know what the situation concerning Covid -19 will be next year and we will only do this if we are sure that it is safe to do so. Additional precautions, applicable at the time, will be taken. If this is not possible a virtual festival will be considered.

Dudley Festival is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals. The Committee is always seeking ways of developing talent and to provide an opportunity for competitors of all ages and abilities to perform in front of an audience. Each competitor or group will receive constructive comments, and advice on how the performance may be improved from an experienced Federation adjudicator. This will be invaluable when preparing for examinations and future festivals, and will give vital experience and confidence in facing challenges in life.

Trophies are awarded in most classes and are retained for a year. Certificates are given to competitors who are placed first, second and third. A first place medal is given to the winners in classes where the specified age limit is up to 18 years.

Please take time to browse, and we look forward to receiving your entries for our range of classes.

Dudley Festival does not receive sponsorship or grants from Societies or Companies and has to generate its own income from entry fees, admission fees, the sale of programmes and a small income from advertising. Although the cost of organising a festival increases each year, we are pleased to announce that we have been able to retain the fees charged in 2021.

Some years ago there was a Friends group which helped to raise money towards the costs incurred, but this has now disbanded. If anyone feels they could form a new Friends group for this purpose please contact the Chairman.

The Festival is very grateful for the support it receives from local people and organizations. The members of the Rotary Club of Dudley have helped in many ways over the years, and without this we would be struggling to continue. For a Festival of our size we do need lots of help, especially on Festival Days. We need adjudicators’ stewards, door stewards, file collectors and office staff in order to provide sufficient cover and to ensure the safety of all who attend.

We have a small team of volunteers with great commitment, so if you are able to spare some time to help with one of the many jobs, before and on the day, please get in touch with us.

The Festival is for everyone, regardless of age or experience, so if you enjoy the Arts, please come and join us either as a competitor or as a supporter. Our plans might change but we look forward to welcoming back many familiar faces in 2022 and to meeting new ones. We can assure you that you will all be very welcome.

Mary Burns