This year the Music for Youth Regional Festivals will take place between February and April in almost 50 locations nationwide. The first stop on our annual season, we welcome 40,000 young musicians to take part in the 2020 Regional Festival Series by attending a Regional Festival to perform or submitting a recording.
Everyone’s invited to take part in the UK’s largest youth music festival
The Regional Festival Series is free to take part in and open to any type of group, style of music, and standard of playing. We only ask that you're a group of two or more musicians, aged 21 or under.
The Regional Festivals are a fantastic chance for young musicians to perform and share their music, listen to performances from other groups, meet other musicians and gain expert advice from professional musicians and music educators: our Music Mentors.
If you attend a Regional Festival or submit a recording as part of the Regional Festival Series, you will be invited to attend the 2020 National Festival – look out for more information soon.
FAQs! What you need to know
Who can take part?
The Regional Festival Series (attending a Regional Festival or submitting a recording) are open to any type of group (two or more performers) from any background and of any level. The only requirement is that you are in a group of two or more and aged 21 or under.
Where do they take place?
There are over 50 festivals held in different venues throughout the UK.
How are the festivals structured?
Each festival is usually broken down into a morning and afternoon session, with around eleven groups performing in each session. Music for Youth try to make each session as varied as possible so that the performers can watch a range of musical styles.
How long are the performance slots?
Each group has 10 minutes to perform.
What is the normal standard/style of performers at a Regional Festival?
A Regional Festival is a real mixing pot of different styles and levels of ability. Music for Youth welcome all levels and abilities. A festival can include, for example, an extremely nervous primary school choir performing for the very first time outside of their classroom, followed by a county youth orchestra who have performed at the Royal Albert Hall before, followed by an enthusiastic student led punk band. Whatever level a group is at, the Regional Festivals are a great performance opportunity.
What is the role of the Music for Youth Music Mentors?
Music for Youth send two Music Mentors (music education specialists) to every festival. Their role is to listen to each performance and provide inspirational, constructive feedback and suggestions which will help each group continue on their musical journey.
How are spaces allocated?
Spaces are given on a first-come, first-served basis and we'll only include your first three entries (dependent on space available) unless there is room to include your other groups. Please refer to our Regional Festival Allocation Policy for more information.
How much does it cost to take part?
It's free to take part. Travel subsidies are also available for those groups to whom this might be a barrier, to help with transport costs.
What if I can't get to a festival?
If it's not possible to get to a Regional Festival you can still be involved by submitting a Recorded Entry. You'll receive feedback from a Music Mentor and be eligible for progression through to different events in our season in exactly the same way you would from a physical Regional Festival. When registering, simply select Recorded Entry from the list of festival choices and we will ask you to submit your link along with some other details about your group at a later date.
For more information on the types of groups who are able to apply (hint: it's all of them!) and guidance on content of performances head here
Birmingham Contemporary Regional Festival 08 February
Birmingham Regional Festival 13 March
Bridgend Regional Festival 01 - 02 April
Brighton & Hove Regional Festival 28 March
Camden Regional Festival 28 February
Ealing & Harrow Regional Festival 18 March
Gateshead Regional Festival 09 February
Hampshire Regional Festival 22 March
Huddersfield Regional Festival 14 - 15 March
Hull Regional Festival 12 - 13 March
Oxfordshire Regional Festival 28 March
Rochdale Regional Festival 06 March
Southampton Regional Festival 18 March
If it's not possible to get to a Regional Festival you can still be involved by submitting a recording of your group. You'll receive feedback from a Music Mentor and be eligible for progression through to different events in our season in exactly the same way you would from a physical Regional Festival. Online Mentoring registration is now open, and the closing date is Saturday, 7th March.
Guidelines for submitting for online mentoring are the same as entry for a Regional Festival performance:
Your group must contain 2 or more performers.
All performers must be aged 21 or under.
Your entry should be no longer than 10 minutes in length.
Any style of music is accepted, and welcomed!
Your submission can be in either audio or video format, and will need to be uploaded to a site like Youtube, Soundcloud or Vimeo. Once you've registered, the link will then need to shared with us within your account before the closing date. If you choose to make the file password protected, please remember to include the details we will need in order to be able to access it.