Useful Information for Competitors, Parents and Teachers
While the Regulations give comprehensively detailed information about the rules governing the running of the Festival, you may find it useful to look at the following rules of thumb, following which will hopefully make your Festival experience even more enjoyable.
We've provided some suggestions which might be helpful for competitors, their parents and their teachers.
Make sure that if your class requires a script, you bring one with you. Sometimes your teacher may arrange to be there and bring your script with them, but ideally you should have your own copy, in case your teacher is delayed in traffic or can't come on a particular day.
Sometimes, scripts that you use during practice can get dog-eared and very hard to read because of highlighting, crossings out, or handwritten changes to wording from the original. This makes the adjudicator's job even harder, and they only have a limited amount of time to mark the entries and compose feedback to help you improve. So please have a printed copy of the script which is easy to read and in good condition, which you can hand in for the adjudicator's use.
After the class, make sure you collect your certificate and mark sheet! All entrants receive a certificate and a mark sheet with comments made by the adjudicator on your performance.
Make sure you have the appropriate dress / costume for the class in which you will be performing.
Relax, and remember that the important thing is to have fun.
Musicians: In all 'Own Choice' classes, copies of the pieces chosen must be provided for the adjudicator at the time of the competition. Competitors must recognise that failing to do so will result in the entry being classified as non-competitive.
Before the entries are sent in to the Festival, ensure your teacher is aware of any timetable constraints which will prevent your child from participating on particular days or at particular times.
Before the Festival starts, teachers (and parents who enter their children for the Festival themselves) are sent a copy of the timetable. Please read this carefully and make sure that your and your child will be able to take part at the relevant times. If your child's teacher entered them for the Festival, ask them for a copy of the timetable if they don't provide one to you.
Please don't ask for last-minute changes to the running order, as this can be very difficult to accommodate.
The timetable will show the names of your children as they are held in our system, and certificates and mark sheets will have these names exactly as shown in the timetable. If there are any spelling mistakes or the names are not correct in some other way (e.g. missing a middle name), please inform your teacher or the section secretary as soon as possible. Although we do issue corrections for certificates, it's better to get it right first time as this avoids delays and unnecessary wastage.
Make sure you arrive in good time for each class. Ideally, you should aim to be at the venue around 15 minutes before the start of a class.
If for any reason you are a little late, don't worry - your child can usually be accommodated at the end of the class.
Be sure to be considerate in your parking - we know that parking space is limited at some times at some venues, but make sure you don't block any entrances or exits! You may find it useful to check the Watford FC and Saracens match schedules, as traffic and parking problems are exacerbated on match days.
Check which classes require scripts (usually, those which are not using set pieces), and ensure that either you, your child or your child's teacher has a script in good condition which can be handed in at the beginning of the class for use by the adjudicator.
Sometimes the competitors can get a little excited, and understandably so - but please help us to make sure that competitors on stage get the best possible atmosphere for performing by doing your bit to keep the noise down.
Don't use cameras or mobile phones to take pictures during a class, as this can distract competitors even if flash isn't used.
Before you leave the venue, check that your child has received a certificate and mark sheet for each class in which they performed.
When you receive the timetable for your entries, please ensure that the spelling of all entrants' names is correct, and if necessary, double-check with the entrants or their parents. Please ensure that parents receive their copies of the timetable in good time so that they can make arrangements to come to the classes.
Double check that children have been entered for the correct class and inform the section secretary if you notice any mistakes.
Provide scripts to your entrants which are ideally not photocopies but printed on ordinary A4 paper.
Encourage your entrants or their parents to bring their own scripts with them to the class.
If you are organising large groups, Festival organisers will do their best to make things work smoothly for you, but please remember that Festival helpers will not be able to stand in for your own assistants from the school! Make sure you've got enough people to manage your groups.