The British and International Federation of Festivals: South-East Region Meeting

The Dulwich Music Festival joined The British and International Federation of Festivals  (BIFF) as full members in 2016. For nearly 100 years, the Federation has been supporting community festivals to provide local opportunities for young performers. BIFF support almost 300 festivals across the UK & Ireland and beyond, including Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Malta, Singapore, Spain and Sri Lanka. Some festivals have a wide range of music, speech and dance classes, whilst others are more specialist. Festivals offer an educational platform for performance, the opportunity to hear the work of others and the chance to receive feedback from a professional adjudicator.

Yesterday, I attended my first regional meeting where I met fellow festival organisers from the South-East. This was a great opportunity for socialising and also to find out how other festivals have performed over the last year and what plans are upcoming for the remainder of the year. Claire Lloyd from the Federation discussed the implications of new Child Performing Licensing laws that are coming into effect across the UK. I summarised our piano and harpsichord events that have already taken place this year at Clementi House, the Horniman Museum and Handel House, plus the annual Piano Festival in South London this Sunday with Federation adjudicator James Kirby. The final event for this year will be an event funded by Southwark Council where we invite local pianists of all ages and abilities to come and try the harpsichord. This event is called Hands on Harpsichord.

One point I will consider changing for future festivals is the inclusion of repertoire in the printed programme. The festival has previously included this information, but due to the amount of admin time this time, plus the copious amends we would receive from performers, we have decided to drop this feature. It may be something we will reinstate for future events!

Thank you to adjudicator Nancy Litten for the sketch!

Festivals in attendance:

Maidstone Music Festival

Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival

Reigate and Redhill Music and Drama Festival

Rochester and North Kent Music and Drama Festival

Hastings Musical Festival

East Grinstead Music and Arts Festival

Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival

Norah Sande Award

Springboard – Brighton and Hove Youth Performing Arts Festival

Sussex Festival of Performing Arts

Horsham Performers Platform

Worthing Music and Arts Festival

Orpington Festival of Dance

Adjudicators in Attendance:

Nancy Litten

George Logan