We are hoping for a more normal Festival this year but we are committed to ensuring your safety and shall follow all relevant guidelines.

We will be completing risk assessments and operating procedures closer to the time as the level of risk becomes clearer.

Entrants will be sent full instructions.

For reference our 2021 Covid Policy is below,  although we hope that many of these measures will no longer be necessary.

Rest assured our Refund Policy as shown at the bottom of this page will remain in place.

2021 Covid Policy

The Festival is dependent on remaining on Step 3 or better of the government’s road map.  For avoidance of doubt we shall follow the same procedures on both weeks regardless of any relaxation in government guidelines for the second week.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 or you are required to self-isolate because of recent travel or because you have been a contact of someone with Covid-19 please do not come. Entrants will be able to get a refund in these circumstances.

Track and Trace. Unless we already have your contact details (e.g. entrants) you will need to sign in on arrival using either the NHS QR code or a contact details slip which we shall provide, preferably completed in advance.

On arrival you will be directed into a waiting room, then directed into the main hall (the  Chapel) when it is ready. Each hall  will have adequate space and seating to allow households or bubbles to remain socially distanced from each other. There will be a one-way system in operation.  Please follow any directions given by the stewards. We cannot guarantee entry if you do not arrive by the time given to you.

Please observe 2m distance between households or bubbles at all times including when queuing e.g. on arrival or for the toilets.

Ventilation The main hall and waiting room will periodically be  cleared for ventilation and cleaning. When the hall is cleared please exit promptly as the timetable for this is quite tight. It will not be possible to remain in the hall during the lunchtime or early evening breaks.

Accompanist. Unfortunately we cannot allow entrants to bring their own accompanist this year due to the logistics around piano cleaning,  but we have an excellent Official Accompanist available free of charge (music must be sent in advance).

Cashless. We are eliminating the handling of cash this year. For this year only there will be no charge for listeners or programmes.

There will be no refreshments on sale. You may bring your own small bottle of water or other drink if you wish. This year’s venue is in Wantage town centre and there are a number of shops and takeaways nearby where refreshments can be purchased.

Paperless. We aim to eliminate handling of paper by more than one person as far as possible. Accompanist’s and adjudicators’ copies of music must be sent in advance – entrants will be given instructions. Entrants will not be able to hand music to the accompanist or adjudicator on the day. Certificates and mark sheets will be sent to entrants after the Festival, allowing time for these items to be quarantined.

Basic programmes for each day will be emailed to entrants and posted on the web site so that entrants and listeners can either print these out or refer to them on their mobile devices on the day. There will be a few printed programmes available at reception for those who are unable to access them electronically. If you take one of these programmes we ask you to keep it and dispose of it yourself rather than return it for others to handle.

Listeners will be limited to 2 per entrant to enable us to control numbers in the hall but there will be no fee this year. They will be able to stay until the next break after hearing the entrant(s) they are supporting.

Masks must be worn by everyone aged 11 or over unless medically exempt, except while performing, adjudicating or drinking.

Performers will be placed 3m from other people to mitigate any additional virus transmission risks eg from loud singing or from saliva drips while playing. Brass and wind players are asked to bring a cloth to mop up any drips. Please bring your own music stand if you need one. The piano will be cleaned between entrants in the piano classes.

The adjudicators will have microphones so they don’t need to raise their voices.

REFUND POLICY We shall refund your entry fee if:
We cannot accept your entry
OR we cancel your performance
OR you are required to withdraw by government guidance in force at the time, for instance if you have any Covid symptoms or if you are required to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone with Covid-19 or because of recent travel.

We cannot refund your fee if it is your choice to withdraw after entries close.