MSF | Rules & Policy
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Rules & Policy


General Rules


1. STATUS Entrants must be bona-fide amateurs. For the purposes of this Festival an amateur is defined as someone who does not derive his/her livelihood from the branch of performance, defined by the class title, in which he/she seeks to enter the Festival. In any ensemble, all members must adhere to that principle. This will apply unless it is clearly stated otherwise. The Chairmen reserve the right to decide whether any entrant is qualified to compete under this rule, and to accept or refuse any Entry.



a. Each entry must be on a separate official Entry Form (or Bulk Entry Form in respect of Speech and Drama only, copies of which are obtainable from Entry Secretaries). Forms may be photocopied.

b. Entries, together with the correct fees, should be sent to the appropriate Entry Secretary no later than the date published in syllabus. The Entry Secretaries shall not be held responsible for entries made in wrong classes. Solo entries are not transferable, and fees will be forfeited when entries definitely registered are cancelled.

c. Any competitor withdrawing from the competition should notify the appropriate Entry Secretary or, during the Festival, the Festival Office.

d. In the event of a very large entry, the Entry Secretaries reserve the right to sub-divide any class considered too large for realistic adjudication.


3. COMPETITORS TICKETS, confirming all details, will be sent out at least one week before the Festival. These act as Admissions Tickets (for the Competitor only) for the day. Teachers will be sent a complimentary ticket at the same time, together with a receipt for all monies paid if requested. Earlier acknowledgement will not be sent out unless a stamped addressed envelope is enclosed with the Entry. Competitors should retain their tickets and present them in the Festival Office when collecting Certificates/Mark Sheets.


4. AGE LIMITS are reckoned as published in syllabus, and must be strictly observed.


5. PERFORMANCE ORDER Competitors should perform in the order given in the programme. Any who are missing at the time will be called again at the end of the Class. The organisers will make every effort to avoid individual clashes of venue, provided that sufficient information is supplied on the Entry Form.


6. CERTIFICATES/MARK SHEETS The Adjudicator’s written remarks will be available for all competitors. During Speech & Drama Week the mark sheets, together with any certificate gained, can be collected from the Festival Office shortly after the end of each class. During Music Week certificates and mark sheets will be given out in the competition room at the end of each class, at the discretion of the Adjudicator’s Steward, or otherwise can be collected from the Festival Office. Certificates/Mark Sheets from all sections of the Festival which have not been collected from the Office by the end of the Festival will be retained by the relevant Entry Secretaries until the end of April and can be forwarded on receipt of postage.


7. CHILD PROTECTION The Festival’s Child Protection Policy and approach to Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone is published explicitly in our Syllabus, Programme and Website. By completing and signing the entry form all parents / guardians / carers and teachers of entrants under 18 (or vulnerable adults of any age) confirm that they give (or have obtained) the necessary consents for the entrants to take part in the Festival. Without consent the entry to the Festival cannot be accepted.  Where an entry is made by a child under 18, the entry form must be countersigned by a parent/guardian/responsible adult.



a. Where trophies are awarded to class winners, these are at the discretion of the Adjudicator, provided that an appropriate standard is obtained (generally a mark of 81% in Speech & Drama or category Commended in Music). TROPHIES ARE HELD FOR ONE YEAR ONLY, AND NEVER WON OUTRIGHT, but a special certificate is also awarded to record the success.

NOTE: not all Music classes have trophies, but every class has some token of recognition of best performance. Trophies must be signed for in the Competition Rooms before leaving. Winners should be prepared to take part in any of the Festival Concerts, if requested. All trophies should be included in the holder’s Household Insurance Policy. Trophy holders are responsible for the cost of having their names suitably engraved if they so wish.

b. Trophies should be returned, securely packed to the place specified on the recall label.


9. SPECIAL NEEDS/SAFETY OF PERFORMERS The Festival welcomes entries from candidates who have special needs, but notification of the nature of any condition must be made by letter to the relevant entry secretary before entries are submitted in order that adequate provision may be made. This is particularly important for candidates who require wheelchair access. To be most beneficial to candidates, as full an explanation as possible of the nature of the condition would be appreciated, together with documentary evidence if appropriate. It is necessary for teachers and parents to be aware of their responsibilities in entering any performers with limited physical capabilities or special needs, bearing in mind the limitations imposed by the stage and surrounding environment.


10. COMMUNICATIONS When Festival classes are in progress, competitors and their representatives may not communicate directly with an Adjudicator. Any necessary communication should be made with the Adjudicator’s Steward.


11. COPYRIGHT The Festival is bound by copyright law and cannot allow flash photography, tape or video recording during any performance or adjudication.


12. LOST PROPERTY The Festival cannot accept any responsibility for property left at venues during the Festival. Any lost property will be held at the Festival Office.


13. MODIFICATION OF RULES The Committee reserves the right to qualify or determine any of the rules; to change or supplement the Adjudicators; and to modify any provisional timetable issued, should the need arise.


Health and Safety Policy


The Mid- Somerset Festival takes place annually and is a charitable organisation, run by voluntary personnel, which promotes the performing arts. Creative Writing, Speech & Drama and Music events are based in multiple venues in The City of Bath, Dance is based in one venue in Frome. The Festival recognises its responsibilities as an organisation to ensure (so far as is reasonably practicable) the health and safety of their personnel, performers and any other persons with whom they may have contact.

This will be achieved by:

  • Assessing the risks arising from the events
  • Providing adequate control of the health, safety and welfare risk arising from the events
  • Providing information and instruction for personnel
  • Ensuring all personnel are competent to do their tasks and to give them adequate training
  • Preventing accidents wherever possible and, when they do occur, learning from them

This policy statement and relevant documentation will be reviewed (and where necessary) updated from time to time but at least annually.


Child Safeguarding Policy


Mid-Somerset Festival – Child Protection Policy

The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech work for amateur festivals everywhere to help create thousands of educational performance opportunities for children and young people each year.
The Federation, and our member Festivals, are committed to ensuring safe environments for children and young people and believe that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to recommend best practice which protects them.
This policy applies to our Board of Trustees, paid staff, Adjudicator members, volunteers, students or anyone working on behalf of the Federation and our member Festivals.


We recognise that:
• the welfare of the child/young person is paramount
• all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
• working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.


The purpose of the policy:
• to provide protection for the children and young people who participate in our festivals, including the children of festival members
• to provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm


We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
• valuing them, listening to and respecting them
• adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and safe working practice for staff and volunteers
• recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
• sharing information about child protection and safe working practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
• sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
• providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.


The Federation will review this policy each year in November in line with Safe Network guidance or sooner in light of any changes in legislation or guidance. All changes will be communicated to our member Festivals in time for the start of the new Festival year.PRELIMINARY STATEMENT:



Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone


The Federation and its member Festivals use the following policies and procedures to create Safer Festivals for everyone:

1. A single, definitive Child Protection Policy adopted by all Federation Festivals.

2. One or more designated Festival Safeguarding Officers (FSO) appointed for each Federation Festival. Name: Rosemarie Johnson  Phone:

3. Best practice advice in the form of Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection leaflets, with support and training for all Festival staff and volunteers. Including clear reporting procedures for anyone with a concern about a child.

4. Appropriate recruitment and induction procedures for all new Festival staff and volunteers responsible for providing safe environments for everyone attending / performing at a Federation Festival.

5. All Festival personnel wear an official badge. All teachers/parents/guardians /carers are asked to report all incidents of any nature to anyone wearing a badge. All reported incidents will be handled in accordance with the Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection best practice advice. In addition we will ensure the availability of a quiet area / room where concerns can be expressed in private.

6. For the duration of a Festival all teachers/parents/guardians/carers are responsible for the continuous care and supervision of their own children/pupils. If they are unable to attend personally, they must delegate their responsibilities to an identified adult and ensure that their children/pupils are aware of the identity and name of the person responsible for their care. This includes supervision throughout all Festival venues, practice and changing areas that may be provided. Single sex changing facilities will be provided where necessary. The Festival cannot take responsibility for any property left unattended.

7. No unauthorised photography, audio or video recording of children and young people is allowed at our Festivals. Where parents/guardians/carers do not wish photos to be taken at all, then the responsible adult attending should ensure that their child is not included in official photos.

8. Some children and vulnerable adults may have specific needs in order to take part. If this is the case we ask the responsible teachers/parents/guardians/carers to contact the relevant Entry Secretary at the time of entry. The Festival actively seeks wherever possible to meet these needs, but must know beforehand in order to prepare support – or to advise that help cannot be provided on this occasion.

9. The Festival’s Child Protection Policy and approach to Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone is published explicitly in our Syllabus, Programme and Website. By completing and signing the entry form all parents / guardians / carers and teachers of entrants under 18 (or vulnerable adults of any age) confirm that they give (or have obtained) the necessary consents for the entrants to take part in the Festival. Without consent the entry to the Festival cannot be accepted.



The Festival organisers will constantly review their policy, revising and enhancing it as necessary. In doing this they will look to The British & International Federation of Festivals for support and that body, in turn will look to other agencies for good practice, most notably the NSPCC and Arts Council of England policy guidelines.