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Rochdale Music Service Festival of Performing Arts

Friday, 31 January 2020 - Saturday, 7 March 2020
Time: 9 AM - 9 PM
Festival of Performing Arts logo.
Venue: Rochdale Town Hall
Address: ​The Esplanade, ​​Rochdale
Postcode: OL16 1AB
Price: FREE
Suitable for: Families, Adults, Teenagers, Children
Facilities: Parking, Wheelchair accessible, Refreshments, Toilets
Event organised by: Rochdale Borough Council

COVID-19. Unfortunately we were unable to go ahead with our celebration concerts in 2020. However, trophies were presented to performers at a later date. We'll update this page when we have details of the next festival.

The Rochdale Music Service Festival of Performing Arts takes place annually. The 2020 festival will mark our 57th year of holding this wonderful event. The festival regularly showcases more than 6,000 performers and celebrates all aspects of performing arts including music, dance and drama.

Formerly known as the Rochdale Youth Festival of Performing Arts, the festival was rebranded in 2019 to reflect the fact that adult performers are also welcome to enter.

Children playing string instruments.

Enter the festival

Anyone can enter to take part in the festival, this includes adults, toddlers, students and more.

How to enter the Festival of Performing Arts

Already entered the festival?
If you've already entered to perform at the festival, you may like to read the key information and advice for performers.


The festival will be held in the iconic Rochdale Town Hall.

This beautiful Grade I listed building at the centre of Rochdale's history is a fitting place for people to perform in front of an audience of friends, family and peers.

Rochdale Town Hall.

Classes and syllabus

The festival's performances have been divided into categories, called classes, which will each be performed on separate days. These classes are sub-divided based on performance type, age and number of performers.

The syllabus lists all the different class you can perform in at the festival.

Performance dates

We've drafted a provisional timetable of the performance dates. Please be aware these dates may change.

Diplodocus Day

The Diplodocus Day is a special addition to the 2020 festival. This special day celebrates the Natural History Museum's Diplodocus visiting Rochdale during the museum's Dippy on Tour event.

On Diplodocus Day, you can watch a variety of different performances which are all dinosaur related.


All performers will be given a certificate along with spoken and written feedback by an independent adjudicator on the day.

In addition, entries in competitive classes will also be given a mark by the adjudicator.

Performer and Councillor Janet Emsley with certificate and trophies.

The festival concert and Music for Youth

Each year the Rochdale Music Service Festival of Performing Arts includes the Festival Concert, which is performed by the Rochdale Youth Wind Band and the Lancashire Artillery.

It also features a Music For Youth regional festival, part of a nationwide series of festivals celebrating the UK's young musicians, aged 21 or under.

Festival concert date and time: Friday, 21 February 2020
Music for Youth dates and time: 10am-6pm, Friday, 6 March 2020 and 9am-5pm, Saturday, 7 March 2020

The celebration concert

Several weeks after the festival has finished, we hold a celebration concert to give out special trophies. We award these to performers who delivered stand-out performances or achieved the highest scores across the whole festival.

55 trophies and awards will be handed out in total. The concert will also feature a wide range of performances from a variety of the talented winners.

Date and time: Thursday, 21 May 2020

Boy playing the piano.

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