Rules & Policies

FESTIVAL RULES – Please read carefully


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, a 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.

Performers who have studied with the Adjudicator may not compete.



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.



Entries to be made online by following a link from our website  by 1st October 2022

Fees are not returnable.

The Committee reserves the right to refuse entry.

ADMISSION:  An additional charge has been made to all entry fees to provide for admission to the classes for family and friends.  There will be no further charges at the venue during the competition, except for printed programmes.



4.     MARKING

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

MARK Up to 74 75 to 79 80 to 83 84 to 86 87 to 89 90+
CATEGORY Participant Satisfactory Good Very good Distinction Outstanding
    Certificates will be awarded for each category

5.     AWARDS

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, provided 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 marks total 170 or over in the two classes involved.

6.     MUSIC

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

 Accompaniment:  If a selected piece has been composed and published with an accompaniment, must be performed with that accompaniment in order to qualify for adjudication.  Recorded accompaniments are not 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 1st October. 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 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 to 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 and 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 items 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 is not available separately, or when one copy is made for the use of the adjudicator provided that the performer has already purchased his/her copy.
  • The photocopy will be retained and destroyed by the Festival immediately after the event.


These, where set, will be strictly adhered to.  Any performers who overrun the time will be stopped and will not be considered for a place amongst the winners.  Their mark/category may also 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.



On the recommendation of the adjudicators, selected Prizewinners will be invited to perform in the Prizewinners’ Concert.  They will be notified in writing 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.



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 enters the event. Please refer to our Child Protection Policy and Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone, published on our website:    



Please refer to the PHOTOGRAPHY AND FILMING POLICY published on our website:


15.     PRIVACY

Please refer to the PRIVACY POLICY published on our website:  



It is a condition of entry to the Festival NOT to admit any Entrants/Performers/Audience to the venue that are under the age of 16 years unless accompanied by their parent/guardian/carer.

The Festival does not operate a chaperone service.



The Festival cannot take responsibility for any property left unattended.



Sutton Music Festival




This policy was approved by the Executive Committee of the Sutton Music Festival on 23 April 2015 and is reviewed and updated by that Committee from time to time. The date of the most recent approval is given below.  The policy 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 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.

Permission for photographs will be sought when registering for entry online 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’.




  1. This agreement is between the Sutton Music Festival (SMF) and the Officially Registered Photographer (ORP), and covers the Sutton Music Festival for the current year.
  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 (for up to one year) and on the Festival website for the Festival archive by the website manager (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 wear 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 Executive Committee

April 2022








Child Protection Policy

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.

The Sutton Music Festival, 2022

This document is reviewed annually and updated if required



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.

Unaccompanied Entrants or children under the age of 16 will NOT be admitted to the Festival.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


The Sutton Music Festival, 2022

This document is reviewed annually and updated if required


Privacy Notice



Privacy Notice

 The Sutton Music Festival takes great care to preserve your privacy and safeguard any personal data you provide to us. This Privacy Notice explains how we will collect and use your personal data.

We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time so please check regularly to ensure that you are happy with any changes.


  1. Who we are

We are the Sutton Music Festival. We are a registered charity (Registered Charity Number 298820).

Our contact email address is


  1. What personal data do we collect?

We may collect personal data from such as:

  • Your name
  • Your full address (aged 18+)
  • Your date of birth (aged under 18)
  • Your telephone number (aged 18+)
  • Your email address (aged 18+)


  1. How do we use your personal data?

We will use your personal data in a number of ways which may include:

  • processing your entry form to take part in the festival
  • keeping you updated about your entry to the festival
  • sending you copies of our syllabus
  • keeping you updated about future festivals
  • processing any applications for a paid or unpaid role within the festival
  • processing any donations made to us
  • including your name in our printed programme
  • managing any requests for publications or other materials from us
  • processing your application to be involved in our governance
  • responding to a general enquiry made to us
  • dealing with a complaint or concern raised to us about one of our staff/volunteers/contractors
  • adding your photo or name on our website or social media


  1. Who do you share my personal data with?

We will only ever use your personal data to manage your festival involvement with us including keeping you up-to-date with any festival news.

If you are not involved in the festival, then we will only use your personal data to deal with the issue or enquiry that you have raised directly with us.

We will never sell your details to any third party and we do not buy any personal data.

If you have made a Gift Aid declaration, we may need to disclose the information you have provided as part of the Gift Aid declaration to HMRC for the purpose of reclaiming Gift Aid on your donation(s).

We may share or disclose your personal data if we are required to do so by any law or court order.


  1. What is the legal basis for processing my information?

We will only process your personal data where we have your specific consent to do so.

We may also process your personal data because there is a legitimate interest for us to do so as part of our work, and it is reasonable to expect that your information would need to be processed by us to complete this work. For example, it is necessary for us to collect your name, address and contact details to be able to process your festival entry.

Whenever we process your personal data, we will ensure that your legal rights are protected.


  1. How do you keep my information secure?

We have implemented appropriate physical, technical and organisational measures to store your personal data and protect it from improper access, use, alteration, destruction and loss.

We may send communications to you by email. Email is not a fully secure means of communication, and whilst we do our utmost to keep our systems and communications protected we cannot guarantee this.

Our website contains links to other sites which have legitimate connections to the Festival. This privacy statement does not cover the information practices of those websites.


  1. How do you use cookies on your website?  

We do not use cookies on our website


  1. Your legal rights

You have various rights in respect of the personal data we hold about you. These rights are set out in more detail below:

  • the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data
  • the right to access to your personal information
  • the right to object to processing of your personal information
  • the right to restrict the processing of your personal information
  • the right to personal data portability
  • the right to rectify your personal information
  • the right to erase your personal information
  • rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling


If you make a request relating to any of the rights listed above, we will consider each request in accordance with all applicable data protection laws and regulations. No administration fee will be charged for considering and/or complying with such a request unless the request is deemed to be excessive in nature. Upon successful verification of your identity you are entitled to obtain the following information about your own personal information:


  • the purposes of the collection, processing, use and storage of your personal data
  • the categories of personal data stored about you
  • the recipients or categories of recipients to whom your personal data has been or may be transmitted, along with the location of those recipients
  • the envisaged period of storage for your personal data or the rationale for determining the storage period
  • the use of any automated decision-making and/or profiling


If you want to exercise any of these rights or make a complaint, you can email the Festival Data Controller at

You can also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, and the contact details and further information about how to do this can be found at: /


  1. How long do you keep my information for?

Your personal data will not be retained by the Festival for longer than necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was originally collected, or for which it was further processed, subject to certain legal obligations mentioned below. We will retain personal data in accordance with our data retention policy set out below. We review this policy on a regular basis.


We will hold personal data relating to:


  • entry (form) details for FIVE years following the end the Festival
  • trophy winners’ details will be retained until the trophies are returned safely to the Festival
  • entrants’ names, as published in the Festival Programme and recorded on class results sheets, will be retained indefinitely in the Festival archive
  • employees or volunteers for TWO years following the end of your employment or volunteering with us
  • legacies or donations for TWO years after the legacy or donation is received
  • inclusion on our general mailing list, which is held for a maximum of THREE years from the last recorded time you had contact with us. You can unsubscribe at any time from this mailing list.
  • email communications with us will be retained for a maximum of THREE years.

We are legally required to hold some personal data to fulfil statutory obligations, for example the collection and reporting of Gift Aid to HMRC or to support certain financial transactions.

The law allows you to withdraw your consent to any usage of your data at any time without needing to specify a reason. You can withdraw your consent by emailing us at

SMF Privacy Notice – Mar 2022






2021 Prize Winners