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On this page you will find our Mission Statement about our goals for the Festival; our Privacy Policy; and our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.

Mission Statement

We are Blackburn Festival of Speech, Music and Dance, founded in 1945, with the first festival being held in 1946. We  celebrated our 75th anniversary in 2020 and look forward to another 75 years. With this in mind, we have refreshed our mission statement.










Blackburn Festival is affiliated to BIFF

(British and International Federation of Festivals)


“To enable participation in the Performing Arts”




Blackburn Festival gives the opportunity for amateurs to form an appreciation of artistic standards; to perform in a state of the art venue, before a different type of audience; to participate in workshops and master classes; to be assessed, encouraged and inspired by active professional adjudicators they would not meet in any other way.


Every skill gained in preparing for and giving a performance is a valuable skill which will be used at job interviews, in the workplace, in leisure activities and interpersonal relationships throughout life.


Our Festival is entirely organised and run by volunteers, not just the Festival Committee, but also those who give up their weekends throughout the Festival days to ensure our performers have a good experience. Few realise the enormous amount of detailed planning which lies behind the Festival itself. Anyone who can take responsibility for organising a particular element of Blackburn Festival is most welcome.


Adjudicators educate and inspire greater appreciation of the work being performed both for the performer and the audience alike. We employ only BIFF affiliated adjudicators to ensure high standards are maintained just as the founders of Blackburn Festival intended over 75 years ago.

The Aims of Blackburn Festival



To celebrate and enjoy the performance of Speech, Music and Dance shown by all who take part in our festival;



To encourage and nurture all participants regardless of ability or background to ensure that they enjoy a warm and welcoming experience to help them grow in self confidence;



To highlight excellence and celebrate achievement by organising a public Festival to which professional adjudicators bring expertise, guidance and an educational aspect to the performers and audience;


To develop long lasting relationships with our greatly appreciated Patrons, Sponsors, Teachers, Schools, the Local Community and Friends of the Festival;


To continue in the footsteps of committees since 1945 to ensure that Blackburn Festival endures for many more years.

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Blackburn Festival Privacy Policy

We are Blackburn Festival of Speech, Music and Dance, Registered Charity No 222789, and affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals.


We may collect personal data such as, your name, address, date of birth, telephone number and email address when you contact us to be put on our mailing/emailing list, submit an entry or are a volunteer, friend or sponsor of our Festival.


We collect information in order to process and manage your entry, keep you updated about our events, send you syllabuses and timetables, process applications to join us as a volunteer, friend or sponsor, process donations, and respond to general enquires or complaints.


We will use your data only to manage your festival involvement with us. We will not share information with anyone else, except for HMRC for the purpose of reclaiming any Gift Aid donations. We do not use cookies on our website and will not use your information for any marketing purposes.


We will retain your information, securely, for two years after the last contact with you or until you ask us to remove it. You have the right to have your data deleted at any time.

You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you at any time. If you do so, or have any other queries about your privacy, please contact the General Secretary:

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Blackburn Festival of Speech, Music and Dance: Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy



Full name of Organisation: Blackburn Festival of Speech, Music and Dance



Chair: Deborah Northin

Vice Chair: Neill Oldham

Treasurer: Neill Oldham

General Secretary: Anne Collingridge


Westholme Croston Theatre, Blackburn.

The safety of children and members of other vulnerable groups is paramount and all, without exception, have the right to protection from abuse. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously, responded to swiftly and appropriately and all the trustees/organisers/staff volunteers of the Festival have a responsibility to report concerns.

Purpose and Function of the Organisation:

The festival provides a platform for amateur performers combined with an educational element from professional musicians/dancers/speakers.

The Festival Environment:

The Blackburn Festival is held in the Westholme Croston Theatre and the School and is run by volunteers. There are stewards on all doors to provide a safe environment for children attending the Festival and they are available to help when required. There is always more than one Steward in a room at any one time. The Festival is also a registered Charity.

It is the policy of our festival to inform and involve parents/guardians/carers and teachers in partnership in order to ensure, as far as it is reasonably practicable, a safe environment at our festival.

To Whom does this Policy Apply:

This policy relates to children under the age of 18 years and members of vulnerable groups of any age whose needs are identified to the festival organisers by parents, guardians, carers and teachers prior to their arrival at the festival. This should be done by contacting the address or telephone number at the foot of this document. Our festival actively seeks, wherever possible, to meet these needs, but must know beforehand in order to prepare support, or let you know we are unable to help.

Festival Personnel:

All personnel connected with the Blackburn Festival are volunteers, whose details are held by the committee.

This policy will be sent to all Festival volunteers before the start of the Festival to make them aware of the need to safeguard the children who are performing. Every helper is identified by a badge stating their position, and any queries can be answered by them or by a member of the committee. All jobs are reviewed to see if an enhanced disclosure from the DBS is required.

There is a private area where any concern may be expressed and every problem will be taken seriously, documented and dated.

Preparation for Attendance at the Festival:

All parents/guardians/and teachers should be aware of their responsibilities at the Festival.

This policy will be placed on the website, and a printed copy will be displayed on the Festival noticeboard. The supporting documents from BIFF used to formulate this policy will be available to download from the Festival website, and printed copies will be available on site on request.


All participants will be encouraged by the section secretaries to familiarise themselves with the policy before attending the Festival.

Where parents/guardians/carers are not personally attending with their children, this policy requires them to be satisfied that their children will be accompanied to the festival and adequately supervised by responsible adults acting on their behalf.

Performance and Changing Areas:

Children at the Dance Festival will have appropriate female, male and family changing facilities and the performers will be directed accordingly. The Festival volunteers are not responsible for these or any other public areas.

Photographs, Videotapes and Press Photography:

No photography of any kind is allowed at the Festival during performances in the Theatres. Still personal photographs are allowed in the public areas. Press photography may be permitted of trophy winners, at the discretion of the Festival committee and parents. This is stipulated in the syllabus and on notices around the halls.

The Legislation and Guidance that Supports This Policy:
The Children Act 1989; The Police Act 1997; The Data Protection Act 1998; The Human Rights Act 1998; The Protection of Children Act 1999; The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000; The Children Act 2004; The Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Policy Review

The organisers will constantly review their policy, improving and enhancing it as necessary. In doing this they will contact the British Federation of Festivals who will look to other agencies for good practice, most notably the NSPCC and Arts Council of England for guidance.

All queries to the General Secretary, (01772 321415)

The following downloadable documents from BIFF have been used in the formulation of this policy.


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