About the Watford Festival

The Watford Festival was established over 70 years ago and has grown from strength to strength to become one of the largest and most respected in the UK. It aims to encourage people of all ages to perform in the areas of Music, Speech and Drama by providing an opportunity to perform before an adjudicator and an audience.

The Festival is held in February and March every year. It is a competitive festival and there are classes for both children and adults available. Classes are divided into the following sections:

ChoralVocalPianoforteStringsWoodwind & Brass, Carnatic and Speech & Drama.

Please note that the Pianoforte section is now full! Please contact the section leader if you need more information.

The Festival receives many hundreds of entries every year, involving hundreds of participants. It offers a unique opportunity for these participants to experience performing in front of an audience and to receive expert advice and encouragement.

Read our FAQ for more information about entering for the Festival.

You can download a booklet containing the Speech & Drama set poems here.

Charges at Festival Venues

Apart from the entry fees paid to register online entries, we also charge for admission to Festival venues, payable by credit or debit card or in cash (card preferred). The following table shows the charges for the 2024 Festival.

Type of chargeAmountMore information
Day Ticket £5 The charge is per person and is for watching performances, just like one pays to go into a theatre. Competitors, children and full-time students are exempted from this charge. A Day Ticket is valid for one day for all Sections of the Festival.
Season Ticket £12  Like a Day Ticket, but valid for all days and all Sections apart from any Finales. It's worth getting a Season Ticket if you will be attending a Festival venue for three or more separate days.
Programme charge £5  A printed programme, which gives dates and times of all classes in all Sections and has the name of every competitor.
It is with great sorrow that The Watford Festival learnt of the passing of David Oliver, former Chairman of the Festival and organiser of the Watford International Piano Competition, recently (more information here).