Performing at the Festival

The following advice to performers on platform presentation is based on that issued by The British and International Federation of Festivals.

A Festival is an occasion when you want to do your best in every way and platform deportment is a very important part of your performance. Performers can greatly add to the enjoyment of Sessions by a pleasing and relaxed appearance. A performer who is at ease on the platform puts the audience at ease.

  • A performer who has made the effort to prepare work should use care and thought when selecting clothes to wear at the performance.
  • Smart dress is a courtesy to the audience and unless the performance calls for it (as in some Drama or Dance Classes) flamboyant or very casual clothes should be avoided.
  • Instruments should have been tuned prior to the Class, so that only minor adjustment is required on the platform.
  • Arrive at the Festival venue in good time, so that you feel calm and unflustered, remembering that Music and Speech & Drama Classes may run up to 15 minutes early and Dance classes may run up to 30 minutes early.
  • Skirts always look shorter on a platform, and, especially where the piece relates to a historical setting, or a mature character part, it may be more appropriate to wear a longer skirt. In the Music Discipline, female cellists and guitarists may find trousers more comfortable than skirts.
  • Expensive clothes are not necessary and a white shirt or blouse and dark trousers or skirt are usually ideal.
  • When a music stand is used, it should be placed so that it does not obscure the audience’s view of your playing.
  • Wait quietly until the Adjudicator is ready, taking a few deep breaths, so that you begin your performance feeling comfortable.
  • A performance starts before the first note, word or step and finishes after the last one.
  • As a courtesy to the audience and Adjudicator, when performing ‘own choice’ pieces, please announce these items in a clear voice.
  • A slight bow to the Adjudicators and audience at the end is a courtesy which rounds off your performance; do not forget to acknowledge the accompanist, if you are using one. Leave the platform without hurrying.
  • After your performance, try and sit reasonably close to the Adjudicator, so that it is easy for him/her to address any remarks directly to you.
  • When you are called up to receive a prize, shake hands with the presenter before taking it.

Attention to these points helps a great deal to develop a higher standard of amateur public performance.