Frequently Asked Questions about the Festival
What is it?
The Festival takes the form of a series of concerts, events and (optional) competitions over six days in which choirs can participate. The concerts are organised across Cornwall in most major towns of the County. Most concerts are in the evening but a few are organised at lunch time in Truro cathedral.
Where is Cornwall?
Cornwall is a county of England, in the far south west of the United Kingdom (highlighted in dark blue in the map below).
How far is it from London?
Cornwall covers an area of nearly 1400 square miles (3500 sq km). Its population is almost 540000. Truro, the capital town of the County is nearly five hours by train from London or about six hours by coach.
How do we get to Cornwall?
Most choirs come by coach from across the UK and Europe. Transport is essential as concerts and events take place right across the County. The Festival Office can assist in the organisation of all and any transport requirements. Choirs will be responsible for all direct tranport costs.
Do we have to find our own accommodation?
No. The Terms and Conditinos of Festival participation will clearly state that choirs are allocated to hotels by the Festival administration. This is to ensure that best use is made of the hotels avaialble to take large groups of people. The Festival works with over 25 hotels in the County to ensure that everyone gets the accommodation they need. Choirs are not allowed to preselect or book accommodation in advance. However, they can state a preference but with no guarantee that the Festival Office will be able to fulfill it.
Do we have to pay for our accommodation?
Yes. Once choirs are allocated to hotels (in early September of the year preceding the Festival) the contract is directly between the choir and the hotel concerned. Hotels will invoice choirs directly for deposits, interim and final payments. All payments for accommodation must be completed some weeks prior to arrival in Cornwall. Hotels will issue full payment contract conditions to choirs once they are allocated to the relevant hotel.
How long should we come for?
Choirs can stay as long as they like. However, to get the most out of the opportunitites the Festival offers (and without tiring singers too much!), choirs should plan on staying at least four nights. In 2015 some choirs stayed for a complete week (arrive Tuesday and depart the following Tuesday).
What will youth choirs do??
A full programme of activities will include workshops, (optional) competitions, combining with adult choirs in some concerts and an International Youth Gala Concert in the Hall for Cornwall, Truro.
How many events are choirs involved in?
On average, choirs sing in at least two concerts and two other events (e.g. at the Eden Project or another tourist attraction).
Do choirs have to compete?
No. Competetition entry is entirely optional. However, 22 of the choirs participating in the 2015 Festival competed. All choir competitions will be in the Hall for Cornwall, Truro.
How long do we have to sing for?
Because all concerts are shared with other choirs, each choir is normally asked to perform one set of 18 minutes duration. All repertoire must be submitted to the Festival Office well in advance of the Festival for inclusion in the full Festival Programme (see Time Line when published).
How does singing in tourist attractions work?
Choirs have included in their itinerary a scheduled time of arrival and performance (depending on venue 25-45 minutes of performance time). Time is invariably available for looking around the attraction before heading off for an early evening meal at your hotel and then on to a concert somewhere in Cornwall. The full range of these events will be included in the 2017 Festival Schedule which will be published in due course.
Can we choose where we sing?
Choirs can express a preference but the ultimate allocation has to be made by the Festival Director whose decision will have to be final. The Festival Director is well aware of the popular places choirs like to sing and he will always do his best to ensure that choirs (especially those new to the Festival) are allocated itineraries to include those places.
Is there any time when all 60+ choirs sing together?
Sadly not. No undercover arena in Cornwall is big enough to house all 3000+ singers (plus supporters and audience). To organise such an event outdoors is fraught with problems too great for the Festival organisation to manage.
How do choirs register to participate?
The Terms and Conditions, a briefing and the Registration Form will be available shortly and will be downloadable from the website in due course. Registration can be by post or on-line. All Cornish choirs will be invited to participate separately.
What does it cost?
Costs for participation in 2017 are £125 per choir..
Can we camp (youth choirs only)?
Yes, but no equipment is provided other than space in the camping site, shower and toilet blocks. Youth choirs will need to bring everything they need with them. Day time meals (other than breakfasts for which food is avaiualble on site) will be organised by the Festival at a variety of 'eateries' across the County, dependent upon choir itineraries. Youth hostels are also available..