Preparations for 2021 Guild underway

Following on from an extraordinary year for the Guild, which for the first time in its history was conducted ‘virtually’ following the 2020 Festival’s cancellation, organisers have announced it is planning a big return for 2021. 

Preparations are already well underway for next year’s Manx Competitive Music, Speech and Dance Festival, which will be supported once again by award-winning homebuilder Dandara. Due to take place from 24th April – 1st May at the Villa Marina, free copies of the Syllabus - which details new and returning classes as well as requirements for competitors - are now available in outlets Island wide. 

Following a review of the 2019 Guild, the Festival Committee introduced a number of exciting additions for the 2020 event. This included a group mime class in the drama section, a new group ballet class, and a specially-themed class named ‘Anything Goes’, where competitors are given the opportunity to perform their own choice of music and/or dance in-fitting with a selected theme. Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, these will now be introduced for 2021. 

Chairman of the Guild, Anne Clarke, said: ‘Despite having to sadly cancel the 2020 Guild, we were able to organise an online alternative in a very short space of time, attracting almost 90 talented performers from across the Island. The Committee was determined that no matter what, ‘The Guild Goes On’, and we have exactly the same notion for the 2021 Festival! 

‘The Guild usually attracts more than 3,500 performers each year, with numbers continuing to grow. This is something we are very proud of as we are always looking at ways to improve the Festival, attract new people and keep the magic of the 128-year-old event alive. Its success is also largely thanks to the generosity of Dandara, whose continued support has been invaluable over the last five years. We’re looking forward to working with the team once again in the run-up to the 2021 Guild.’ 

Dandara Managing Director Seamus Nugent added: ‘We are pleased to continue our support of the Manx Music, Speech and Dance Festival, which is always a highlight in the Isle of Man’s cultural calendar. We’re really looking forward to seeing what the 2021 event will bring after this unusual year, I’m sure it will be a wonderful celebration of talent in the Island.’ 

There are upwards of 200 classes held during Guild week covering all forms of music, both vocal and instrumental, solo and group, plus a growing dance section and the ever-popular drama competitions. 

The 2021 Manx Competitive Music, Speech and Dance Festival Syllabus is available free-of-charge in newsagents, libraries and other outlets around the Island.