About the Watford Festival

The Watford Festival was established over 70 years ago and has grown from strength to strength to become one of the largest and most respected in the UK. It aims to encourage people of all ages to perform in the areas of Music, Speech and Drama by providing an opportunity to perform before an adjudicator and an audience.

The Festival is held in February and March every year. It is a competitive festival and there are classes for both children and adults available. Classes are divided into the following sections:

ChoralVocalPianoforteStringsCarnaticWoodwind & Brass and Speech & Drama.

The Festival receives many hundreds of entries every year, involving at least 2,000 participants. It offers a unique opportunity for these performers to experience performing in front of an audience and to receive expert advice and encouragement.

Entries for the 2018 Festival are now closed. The Festival is now in progress.


Despite the recent unusually cold weather, conditions in Watford and Bushey have not been too bad, and so the scheduled Speech & Drama Section as well as the Strings & Woodwind & Brass Section events have GONE AHEAD. If there is any change to planned events due to severe weather conditions, an update will be posted here. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Note: Despite all the heaters being on, the temperature in the Pump House Theatre can sometimes feel rather chilly! Please be sure to dress appropriately for this.

Speech and Drama winners

Visiting a Festival venue? Please remember to bring cash for admission tickets, refreshments and so on - regrettably, we cannot accept cheques or cards at our venues. Please also make our lives easier by not bringing £20 and £50 notes, as we have only a limited capacity to provide change for these. Thanks for your understanding.