The 2021 Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts.
The government’s lockdown arrangements make it unlikely that we will be able to stage the Festival as planned (4th May to 15th May).  As soon as we have any more  information, it will be shown here.

The Closing Date for entries is
28th February

Please note, IF the Festival is cancelled due to Covid-19, ALL entry fees will be fully refunded – so you can make your entries in full confidence and leave the rest to us!

To view the 2021 Syllabus, click here.


Festival Friends Secretary
We have a vacancy for this position.  So, if you would like to join the team, please let one of us know.

Festival Friends make an important contribution through their long-term support.  We now need someone to encourage the number of Festival Friends to grow – someone who has that knack of encouraging membership and who can keep in touch with Friends and stimulate their interest in our Festival.


Since 1926 this wonderful event has given people of all ages an opportunity to perform in a great venue, express themselves creatively, and show off their talents.

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Preparing for a CovidSafe Festival

We are planning and preparing to put in place all necessary measures so that the 2021 Festival can take place with as little risk as possible to the wellbeing of performers, their teachers and supporters, adjudicators, and all our stewards and other helpers.

We have consulted with the Town Hall staff and here are the measures we believe are likely to be in place at the Town Hall.

Personal protection

  • Face coverings will be worn at all times within the Town Hall except by the performers when performing and adjudicators when delivering their adjudications.
  • Hand sanitisers will be available in every room.
  • Plastic screens and head visors will be used to shield on duty stewards.


  • Entry into the Town Hall will only be allowed via the front door and Foyer and everyone must leave by the rear door. The entry queue will be outside the Foyer and 2m separation will be enforced.
  • Everyone entering the Town Hall must provide their contact details, either verbally, or by using the NHS ‘track and trace’ QR code system.
  • To avoid ‘pinch points’ as much as possible, a one-way system will be used within the Town Hall and each performance room will have a ‘Entry Door’ and an ‘Exit Door’.
  • To avoid queuing and crowding in the Town Hall Foyer, our ‘welcome desk’ will be cashless and paperless – with a card reader system to collect entry payments.
  • No programmes will be on sale – all class information will be on-line.
  • All corridors will kept clear at all times (chairs and benches will be removed) and dancers will not be allowed to warm up inside the building.
  • The number of people allowed at any time into each performance room, including the café, will be monitored and limited.
  • The layout of each performance room will be set up to ensure adequate separation between performers, the adjudicator’s table, and the audience.
  • Most regrettably, all classes for choirs, groups, trios and duets, as well as classes for wind and brass instruments, have now been cancelled for 2021. 
  • Notices will be posted throughout the Town Hall as reminders that distancing is important and anyone not following the rules may be required to leave the Town Hall.

The Piano

  • The piano keys, and the piano stool will be touched and handled by performers and accompanists. We will ensure that effective cleaning is carried out for each new pianist and allow for sufficient time for this to take place between performances.
  • Page turners must be a person within the pianist’s personal bubble.

Costume changing

  • We will reserve the entire upper floors of the Town Hall, during Dance days, as changing areas. Dancers will be urged to arrive ready to dance without costume-changing, wherever possible.

Recorded music

  • We will adopt a safe method (using gloves and hand sanitiser) for the handling of recorded music media.

Certificates and Cups

  • In order to avoid queuing after each class, we are considering sending performers’ certificates by post or email.
  • For the same reason we will be reducing the number of cups awarded, especially for those classes with few performers.

Anyone interested in becoming involved with running the Festival is most welcome to contact us.  In particular, we are looking for someone to lead our fund-raising effort in the role of Festival Development Executive.  This is a senior level role which will help to guide the organisation’s direction for the next few years.  Do make contact if you feel that you would like to join our team.  It’s so worthwhile – we do make a difference to the young people who perform.

If you would like to know more about helping to run the Festival, contact Brian Harding (Hon Secretary) by email: brianharding17@btinternet.com, or call 07850 153183.