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Festival and Competition Rules

  1. The Festival is organised by Surrey Music.
  2. The Festival is open to all adult (over 18 years) UK and International amateur choirs.
  3. The Festival will take place from 3rd– 7th September 2020 in churches and venues in Brighton according to the following schedule or as updated on this page:
  • Thursday 3rd September
    • Arrival of choirs
    • Early evening Opening Parade and Welcome Reception for all participating choirs
  • Friday 4thSeptember
    • Choir Competition
    • Daytime Concerts and Performances
    • Participation in Choral Workshops as per schedule
    • Evening Concerts as arranged
    • Optional Outings
    • Free Time as selected
  • Saturday 5thSeptember
    • Choir Competition
    • Daytime Concerts and Performances
    • Participation in Choral Workshop
    • Evening Festival Concerts   
    • Optional Outings
    • Free time as selected
  • Sunday 6thSeptember
    • Opportunity to perform in local churches during morning service
    • Daytime Concerts and Performances
    • Participation in Choral Workshop
    • Evening Grand Finale Concert and Prize-giving ceremony, Concert Hall, Brighton Dome
  • Monday 7thSeptember
    • Departure of choirs
    • Optional Outings
  1. Choirs with singers 18 years and over may take part in the following Festival categories:
  • Competitive: Mixed Choirs Adults - minimum 20 singers
  • Competitive: Male and Female Choirs Adults - minimum 16 singers
  • Competitive: LGBTQ+ Choirs – minimum 16 singers
  • Competitive: Chamber Choirs - 12-24 singers
  • Non-competitive: choir takes part in Festival Concert and additional concerts or performances as per the schedule

Competition Rules

  1. The Festival Competition is open to amateur choirs only, however this does not apply to the Conductors or Musical Directors.
  2. Each choir may take part in a maximum of two competition categories (separate registration and additional registration fee applicable for second category)
  3. Each competing choir must prepare a programme consisting of three songs of their choice, with a total performance time of 15 minutes. This time includes walking on/off stage and breaks between the songs (the actual singing time will be around 12 minutes).
  4. At least one song must be sung a cappella. The other two may be sung with any kind of accompaniment or a cappella.
  5. Choirs competing in two different categories are not allowed to sing the same work in the two different categories.
  6. A piano or electronic keyboard will be available at the competition venue. All other instruments must be provided by the participating choir. No additional time will be allowed to set up instruments. A sound system for recorded backing tracks will be available.
  7. Each choir's competition repertoire must be advised to the Festival Organisers by 1st May 2020. Choirs must sing their repertoire in the order as advised to the Festival Organisers. If changing key/pitch it must be written on scores or the jury must be informed about that personally just before competition performance.
  8. Each choir’s performance will be judged by at least three distinguished professionals in the field of choral music.
  9. The Jury will evaluate: intonation, voice emission, interpretation, diction and general artistic effect.
  10. The decisions of the Jury are final and may not be appealed
  11. The Jury may not award some prizes or may award ex aequo or additional prizes.
  12. In each competition category the following will be awarded:
  • £1000 cash prize to the choir with the highest score (in the case of a tie the Jury will decide which choir to receive prize) and the Festival Gold Medal
  • 90-100 points: Platinum - Prince Regent Award
  • 75-89 points: Gold - Royal Pavilion Award
  • 60-74 points: Silver - Palace Pier Certificate
  • 59 or below: Bronze - Participation Certificate

All Choirs

  1. Choirs will take part in short informal performances in venues and outside spaces around the city and on the seafront and should prepare a 15 minute free programme of of their own music, preferably a cappella or with simple acoustic accompaniment. Piano, electronic keyboard, simple sound equipment and microphone can be requested. 
  2. Each choir is responsible for obtaining the copyrights of music scores used during the performance at the Festival.
  3. Choirs will have the opportunity to take part in free friendship concerts in churches and venues around the city and should prepare a 30 minute programme which can include sacred and secular music.
  4. Choirs may apply to perform at a Sunday morning Church service and if successful, must prepare an appropriate programme of music. 
  5. Interested choirs are asked to submit the completed registration form with all requested attachments and fees by 15th July 2020 online via our website www.brightonifc.com. The non-refundable registration fee of £180 per choir entering the competition (£90 for a secondary competition category) or £100 for a non-competing choir must be paid online via our website. The registration fee will be returned only if a choir does not meet our requirements. For choirs registering before 28th February 2020 there is a 25% discount off the registration fee.
  6. We will advise choirs of their acceptance no later than two weeks after registration.
  7. International choirs are responsible for return travel to the UK and to Brighton. UK choirs are responsible for their return travel to Brighton. Return coach transport to Brighton may be arranged by us on request at an additional cost to the choir.
  8. Tours and excursions are offered to choirs, the cost of which is in addition to the festival package.
  9. Please direct any queries by contacting us here.