Rules & Policies


Except where otherwise indicated (e.g. that a class is OPEN) only AMATEURS and not professionals may enter the competitions.

A Professional is defined as one who derives, or has derived, the major part of his or her living from performing or teaching the instrument or voice concerned.

Open classes, shown in each section of the syllabus, are open to all candidates whether professional or amateur.

No competitor may take part more than once in the same class, except on a different instrument, or in duet or ensemble classes where a different piece must be performed with a different partner.


Where age limits apply they will be strictly adhered to; such age to be reckoned as at SEPTEMBER 1st preceding the Festival. Proof of age must be provided if requested.


Fees are not returnable. The Committee reserves the right to refuse entry.

Individuals, or members of the same family who enter more than 5 solo classes may claim a 10% reduction of the total entry fee for these classes.



A daily Admission Charge (with concessions) will be made for ALL non-performers attending on each day of the competitions.


Marks will be awarded in ALL sections and entrants placed in one of SIX categories as an indication of their achievement.


90 or higher Outstanding

87 – 89 Distinction

84 -86 Very good

80 – 83 Good

75 – 79 Satisfactory

Up to 74 Participant

Certificates will be awarded for each category.


Trophies and Prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the adjudicator and only where a minimum mark of 87 (Category of Distinction) has been achieved.

In classes where a minimum mark of 87 (Category of Distinction) has been achieved medals will be awarded as follows:-

  • A First Prize gold coloured medal will be awarded to the first placed performer, provided that a minimum mark of 87 (Distinction) has been achieved, with a Second Prize silver coloured medal awarded to the second placed performer, providing there are FOUR or more performers in the class and a minimum mark of 84 (Very Good) has been achieved.
  • In classes with three or fewer performers, a second prize medal will not be awarded unless warranted by exceptional circumstances.
  • Split classes will carry separate medal awards but only one overall trophy, where relevant..

The Piano Bursary may not be won by the same competitor in two consecutive years. Where by reason of this ruling the top qualifier is barred from competing in the final bursary class, the next to qualify in the class will compete instead, provided their total marks are 170 or over in the two classes involved.


Editions: The prescribed editions of music and key, where specified, must be used.

Repeats: No repeats (apart from Da Capo) are to be performed unless specified.

Accompaniment: Where a selected piece has been composed and published with an accompaniment, it must be performed with that accompaniment in order to qualify for adjudication. No recorded accompaniments are permitted.

Own Choice: Title, composer and performance time must be stated on the entry form at the time of entry. Only notated items may be offered unless otherwise specified in Jazz/Improvisation classes. Set pieces in this syllabus may not be offered in Own Choice classes, and no item may be included in more than one class. Any change of piece must be notified to the relevant Section Secretary before the Festival begins. The adjudicator will take into consideration the artistic merit of self-chosen pieces, i.e. whether the standard of music etc. is worthy of the class in which it is to be performed. Where the chosen piece fails to meet the designated criteria for a particular class, the competitor will not be considered for a place amongst the winners and their mark/category may be withheld. In all cases of Own Choice, a copy of the piece selected must be provided for the adjudicator at the time of competing. Please do not send music to the Section Secretary unless requested.


This Festival has entered into an agreement with the Authors’ Licensing & Collection Society. This means that entrants do not have to seek copyright permission for any poetry, prose or solo dramatic items performed to a time limit of 10 minutes. Performers and teachers should know that this will ensure authors are directly reimbursed as a consequence of their works being performed. Duologues and group dramatic activities are not covered by this agreement and copyright for these items must be sought by performers at the time of entry. Solo dramatic items must be announced with title and author at the time of performance to qualify for copyright indemnity and the performer must not change the words or gender of the character.


Photocopies will not be accepted except in the following circumstances: when an Own Choice work is selected from a publication containing several different works and which is not available separately, one copy may be made for the use of the adjudicator provided that the performer has already purchased his/her copy. This copy will be retained and destroyed by the Festival immediately after the event.

This permission specifically does not apply to set pieces, nor for making copies for the use of performers or accompanists, all of whom should always have a printed copy.

It is the performer’s responsibility to observe these rules.


These, where set, will be strictly adhered to. A bell will be rung on expiry of the allotted time and competitors who over-run will be stopped. They will not be considered for a place amongst the winners and their mark/category may be withheld.

It is not acceptable to offer only part of a movement or piece.


Notice of the time of competition will be sent to every competitor at least one week before the Festival. If by then no notice has been received, an immediate enquiry should be sent to the relevant Section Secretary. Alternatively telephone the Festival helpline 07706 100856


On the recommendation of the adjudicators, selected Prizewinners will be invited to perform in the Prizewinners’ Concert. They will be notified after the completion of the competitions in each Section.

Cups and Trophies will normally be presented from the platform at the Prizewinners’ Concert. They cannot be sent through the post or by courier services, if the recipient is unable to collect them at the Concert.


For further information please contact the Trophies’ Secretary.

COMPLAINTS should be made in writing to the Chairman within seven days of the end of the Festival.


The Festival aims to provide a safe environment for everyone who attends the event and we therefore ask that caution is exercised whilst on the premises. Please refer to our Child Protection Policy and Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone information included on the back page of this Syllabus and published on our website:


This policy was approved by the Executive Committee of the Sutton Music Festival on 23 April 2015 and will be reviewed and updated annually by that Committee. It is consistent with the guidance from the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Drama and Speech published in August 2014.

As an organisation working with children and young people we are aware of the risks posed directly or indirectly through the use of images on web sites, social media and promotional publications. Accordingly we have adopted the following principles:

  • the interests and welfare of children taking part in Festival activities is paramount
  • children and their parents/carers/guardians have a right to decide whether their images are taken, and how these may be used
  • children over the age of 11 and their parents/carers/guardians must provide written consent for individual images to be taken and used
  • consent is only meaningful when the Festival ensures that children and their parents/carers/ guardians understand the nature of potential risks associated with the intended type, use and distribution of the images.

The following policy has been adopted:

  1. No photography[1] during the festival with the exception of the Prizewinners’ Concert, or other events by agreement of the Executive Committee
  2. Photography to be permitted by the Official Registered Photographer, to be registered with the Executive Committee at least three months before the event.
  3. A written agreement with the Official Registered Photographer (approved by email exchange) to be in place one month before the event, using the model in the Appendix.
  4. The Official Registered Photographer will have a name badge which will also say ‘Official Photographer’
  5. Written permission from parents/guardians of performers under the age of 18 to be obtained, together with the performer’s permission if aged over 11, for individual photographs.
  6. Photographs of young people under the age of 18 will not be identified publicly by name. Where there are a number of young performers, the photograph should focus on the whole group rather than individual children.
  7. The Photographs to be used for the web site, in social media, for the press, and for general publicity only
  8. Photograph retention to be specified in the agreement
  9. All photographs to be taken in the main performance hall
  10. Any concerns that parents/guardian have should be reported to the Festival Organiser.

Sutton Music Festival and others will take wide angle, more general photos of festival activities (e.g. Prizewinners’ Concert group performances / presentations etc). Specific written consents for the use of such photographs will not be required. Parents and children should understand that these types of images will be taken during, or at specific points during and at the end of the Concert. It is not reasonable, practical or proportionate to require parental consents for taking these general types of images, or to preclude it on the basis of the concerns of a small number of parents.

Written permission for photographs will be sought at the Registration for the Prizewinners’ Concert, and this consent will be kept with the Festival Records for three years.

The following wording shall be used in the Syllabus, in the Festival Programme and the Prizewinners’ Concert Programme, and shall be displayed and announced at the beginning of the Prizewinners’ Concert:

‘No unauthorised photography or video recording is allowed at our Festival. Where parents, guardians or carers do not wish photos to be taken at all, then the responsible adult attending should ensure that their child/pupil/ vulnerable adult is not included in official authorised photos.

‘If anyone has a concern about any photography/filming taking place at the Festival, then contact the Festival Organiser who will be pleased to discuss this matter with you’

Sutton Music Festival Executive Committee

April 2015



  1. This agreement is between the Sutton Music Festival (SMF) and the Officially Registered Photographer (ORP), and covers the Sutton Music Festival for 2017.
  2. The ORP shall be the only person permitted to take images during the Festival.
  3. Photography will be still images only and will only be taken at the Prizewinners Concert.
  4. Photographs can be taken discreetly during the performances and at the end of the performance. All photographs must be taken in the performance hall.
  5. Photographs shall remain the copyright of the ORP but may be used by the Festival for publicity purposes – on the web site, through social media and for the press.
  6. Photographs may only be retained by the Festival’s Publicity and Marketing Officer and the web site manager (for up to one year) and in the Festival archive by the Festival Organiser (indefinitely).
  7. The ORP shall be made aware of the Festival’s Photography and Filming policy, and shall be kept informed of any changes to the policy.
  8. Where there are a number of young performers, the photograph should focus on the whole group rather than individual children
  9. The ORP shall bear an identification badge at all times during the event.
[1] ‘Photography’ includes filming using cameras and any digital device including laptops, tablets, phones or other mobile devices




Sutton Music Festival 2017

The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech work for amateur festivals everywhere to help create thousands of educational performance opportunities for children and young people each year.

The Federation, and our member Festivals, are committed to ensuring safe environments for children and young people and believe that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to recommend best practice which protects them.

This policy applies to our Board of Trustees, paid staff, Adjudicator members, volunteers, students or anyone working on behalf of the Federation and our member Festivals.

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child/young person is paramount
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

The purpose of the policy:

  • to provide protection for the children and young people who participate in our festivals, including the children of festival members
  • to provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm

We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and safe working practice for staff and volunteers
  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • sharing information about child protection and safe working practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

The Federation will review this policy each year in November in line with Safe Network guidance or sooner in light of any changes in legislation or guidance. All changes will be communicated to our member Festivals in time for the start of the new Festival year.

Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone

The Federation and its member Festivals use the following policies and procedures to create Safer Festivals for everyone:

  1. A single, definitive Child Protection Policy adopted by all Federation Festivals.
  2. One or more designated Festival Safeguarding Officers (FSO) appointed for each Federation Festival.

The Sutton Music Festival Safeguarding Officer is Mr Alan Caddick

  1. Best practice advice in the form of Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection leaflets, with support and training for all Festival staff and volunteers. Including clear reporting procedures for anyone with a concern about a child.
  2. Appropriate recruitment and induction procedures for all new Festival staff and volunteers responsible for providing safe environments for everyone attending / performing at a Federation Festival.
  3. All Festival volunteers wear a Festival badge and may be approached with any problem. All teachers/parents/ guardians/carers are asked to report all incidents of any nature to anyone wearing a badge. All reported incidents will be handled in accordance with the Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection best practice advice. In addition we will ensure the availability of a quiet area / room where concerns can be expressed in private.
  4. For the duration of a Festival all teachers/parents/guardians/carers are responsible for the continuous care and supervision of their own children/pupils. If they are unable to attend personally, they must delegate their responsibilities to an identified adult and ensure that their children/pupils are aware of the identity and name of the person responsible for their care. This includes supervision throughout all Festival venues, practice and changing rooms that may be provided. The Festival cannot take responsibility for any property left unattended.
  5. No unauthorised photography, audio or video recording of children and young people is allowed in the performance areas at our Festivals. Where parents/guardians/carers do not wish photos to be taken at all, then the responsible adult attending should ensure that their child is not included in official photos.
  6. Some children and vulnerable adults may have specific needs in order to take part. If this is the case we ask the responsible teachers/parents/guardians/carers to contact the Festival organisers prior to arrival. The Festival actively seeks wherever possible to meet these needs, but must know beforehand in order to prepare support – or to advise that help cannot be provided on this occasion.
  7. The Festival’s Child Protection Policy and approach to Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone is published explicitly in our Syllabus, Programme and on our website. By completing and signing the entry form all parents / guardians / carers and teachers of competitors under 18 (or vulnerable adults of any age) confirm that they give (or have obtained) the necessary consents for the competitors to take part in the Festival. Without consent the entry to the Festival cannot be accepted.


Entry Form