MSF | The Festival
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The Festival


The Mid Somerset Festival was founded in 1902 and has been running continuously ever since – even two World Wars couldn’t stop it – making it one of the oldest festivals in the country.


In the early days it toured the market towns of mid-Somerset, but as it increased in size and scope it eventually settled in the beautiful city of Bath in 1952. It now runs for a full fortnight each March with classes in Creative Writing, Speech & Drama,  Music and Musical Theatre. There are two free events to enjoy during the fortnight. A Speech & Drama Concert and the Classical Music Evening.


The original title was ‘The Mid-Somerset Competitive Festival’, but in recognition of the fact that some simply want to perform for pleasure, the title has been amended and an increasing number of workshops and non-competitive classes have been introduced over recent years. Links with local schools are important and many of the classes have been devised with the National Curriculum in mind. In 2009 the Festival  provided an opportunity for dancers to take part, with their own event first held in Frome but following three successful years it was transferred to Writhlington School at Radstock in 2012. In this way the Festival aims to provide something for everyone. Full details of all the classes for the main Festival are to be found in the syllabus, which is available from September – just click on ‘Syllabus and Entry Forms’.


Classes are held in the city centre, using a variety of venues, all of which are within easy walking distance of each other and the Festival Office.  We are privileged to have access to some of the most prestigious venues in the city. For more details of the venues and their exact locations, click on ‘Venues’ .


The Festival is a registered charity and is administered entirely by volunteers. New faces are always welcome , so if you have some time to spare in March and would like to be involved behind the scenes, click on Supporting Us for information on how to become a Steward, Members or Friend of the Festival. Also on this link you’ll find details of how to become a Friend of the Festival – staging the Festival costs in excess of £50,000 each year, with significant expenditure on the hiring of venues and employment of professional adjudicators. The income generated from entry fees and ticket and programme fees is insufficient to cover costs and so the Festival relies on the support of its sponsors and Friends and other generous donors.


All participants are assured of a very warm welcome and are invited to share, enjoy and learn from the experiences afforded by the Festival.


federation This Festival is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech.