The 2021 Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts
will be held in the Town Hall

from 4th May to 15th May
(Coronavirus permitting)

The on-line entry system is now open! 

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!

The Closing Date for entries is 1st February 2021

To view the 2021 Syllabus, click here.


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.

At the moment it is too early to be certain what those measures will be.  However, here are some of the issues we are now considering.  The list is likely to develop and change as we take account of official guidelines and discuss arrangements with Town Hall staff.  If you have any concerns or suggestions on how we can best stage a CovidSafe Festival, please do contact us.

Personal protection

  • Face coverings must 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 e very room.
  • Plastic screens and head visors will be used to shield stewards on duty around the Town Hall from arriving performers and visitors.


  • The number of people allowed at any time into each performance room, including the café, will be monitored and limited.
  • Entry into the Town Hall will only be allowed via the front door and Foyer and everyone must leave by the rear door.
  • 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 – with a card reader system to collect payment for entry and programmes.
  • The layout of each performance room will be set up to ensure adequate separation between performers (especially singers and brass players), the adjudicator’s table, and the audience.
  • The members of choirs and instrumental ensembles must be adequately spaced apart and, so that sufficient time is allowed to set out the stage between classes, we must have accurate numbers, in advance, and will organise the class times appropriately.
  • 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

  • A lot of space will be needed to allow dancers to change between classes and, for this reason, we will reserve the entire upper floors of the Town Hall, during Dance days, as changing areas.

Recorded music

  • We will adopt a safe method (using gloves and hand sanitiser) for the handling of recorded music media.
                            dated 28th October 2020


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.