The Festival was founded in 1945 just after the second world war. The first Festival was held in 1946 being organised by Miss Margaret (Peggy) Callis, with a voluntary committee and the Public Halls supplied by the council under the leadership of Alderman John Stirrup. Since then the Blackburn Borough Council have been very helpful in allowing us to use the Halls and the Public Library rooms when they came into use. We do now have to pay for the accommodation but the venues are one of the best a Festival can be held in. Over the years we have had some excellent and well known Adjudicators from all sections of the Arts.
The Festival is still anticipated and enjoyed by performers and audience alike. However, numbers have decreased somewhat since the mid 1970's when on one Adult vocal day we had Miss Marjorie Thomas with five other Adjudicators and there were up to 70 competitors in each class requiring the use of six halls, with classes taking all day. This was followed by the Rose Bowl Final and the Senior Choir Championsships; those were the days!
In addition to adult competitors, the festival includes classes for juniors 18 years and under in all three disciplines and is still run by a voluntary committee and the faithful hand of stewards who give their time each year to help supervise the halls and organise the performers in their appropriate classes. We are always looking for new helpers, as each year goes by we all get a little older! If you would like to help please contact the secretary and she will pass on your details to the appropriate committee member who will contact you before the next festival.
I hope you enjoy perusing our web site and we hope to hear from many competitors who would like to enter and perform before an audience and receive constructive comments from professional Adjudicators who have all worked in some form of the Arts over their working lives and have much to offer a young performer.
Mrs Margaret Wilson
The Festival is affiliated to the
THE BRITISH & INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FESTIVALS
for Music, Dance & Speech
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
Registered Charity No 222789