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:

ChoralVocalPianoforteStringsWoodwind & Brass, Carnatic and Speech & Drama.

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

Read our FAQ for more information about entering for the Festival.

Charges at Festival Venues

Apart from the entry fees paid to register online entries, we also charge for admission to Festival venues, payable by credit or debit card or in cash (card preferred). The following table shows the charges for the 2024 Festival.

Type of chargeAmountMore information
Day Ticket £5 The charge is per person and is for watching performances, just like one pays to go into a theatre. Competitors, children and full-time students are exempted from this charge. A Day Ticket is valid for one day for all Sections of the Festival.
Season Ticket £12  Like a Day Ticket, but valid for all days and all Sections apart from any Finales. It's worth getting a Season Ticket if you will be attending a Festival venue for three or more separate days.
Programme charge £5  A printed programme, which gives dates and times of all classes in all Sections and has the name of every competitor (other than competitors who compete in groups).

It is with great sadness that the Watford Festival announces the sudden passing of Dan Collins.

Dan was the Speech & Drama Section Head. He took over this role in 2021 when the section was in dire need of volunteers and at risk of not being held. He was instrumental in successfully organising the Speech & Drama Section of the Festival for the last two years. He was a warm, fun and likeable personality who brought a lot of energy and commitment to everything that he did. He will be greatly missed by the Watford Festival Committee and all those who knew and worked with him.

We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, who also helped at the Speech & Drama Section events, and are deeply thinking of them at this time.