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Welcome to the website for Blackburn Festival of Speech, Music and Dance

Miss Dance Master Change of Date

We have had to change the date of our Miss Dance Master heat to May 5 - please contact the Dance Secretary if you had entered for our old date and now can't make it.

News: from our Chair

Dear Festival Friends

Welcome to the syllabus launch of Blackburn Festival of Music, Speech and Dance 2024. Our dates in March, April and May are confirmed and the adjudicators booked. I am writing to let you know of changes and adjustments.

Music Secretaries Suganya Reddy and Suzanne Lowe have introduced three new guitar classes, and Primary, Secondary and Open Choir classes. Our adjudicators are Maria Jagusz, Joanna Garcia and Andrew Sherwood with accompanists Catherine Hall-Smith and Tim Kennedy. High Scoring performers and Section Trophy winners may be invited to perform at a Blackburn Festival Gala Concert on Sunday 24th March 2024 at The Croston Theatre, Westholme School, Blackburn.

Until a few weeks ago, the Speech section of the Festival had no Secretary and was in danger of being cancelled for 2024. Thankfully, Suganya Reddy has volunteered to take on the Speech Secretary admin role in addition to her Music Secretary post. This is very generous and I am sure that you will all support her during the run-up to and throughout the Festival dates. Consequently, a reduced number of classes have been confirmed for 2024 whilst our well-loved and local adjudicator Susan MacKay has chosen the set verse. The adjudicators for 2024 are Christopher Marlow and Jenny Thornton. Changes in Speech, apart from the obviously reduced number of classes, are the introduction of two new Choral Speaking classes; one for Primary and one for Secondary age groups. This is in response to requests from schools and drama groups in the area. Please spread the word and support the Speech section.

Dance 2024 will be held on three weekends in April and May which should give us plenty of hours to fit in the hundreds of entries expected. New to Blackburn this year is the use of the online platform, Festival Connect through which entries and payments for Dance will be made.


BIFF (British and International Federation of Festivals) are introducing new marking schemes for all three disciplines in 2024. The trials and final consultations are almost complete. We will be in touch with the full details when all three areas have been ratified and published.


So, over to you Festival friends. Get those syllabuses downloaded and entries in. 


The final and absolutely last date for entries in Speech and Music is January 13th 2024


The last date for entries in Dance is February 28th 2024


Best wishes

Debbie Northin

Chair of Blackburn Festival

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