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.
Travel to and within in Cornwall.
Being in the far south west of the UK, travel to Cornwall takes time! From any of the major London airports, the fastest train journey will take nearly five hours. Coach travel from a ferry or Eurostar / Le Shuttle point of arrival (e.g. Dover or Folkestone) takes seven hours. Newquay Cornwall Airport has limited scheduled services outside the UK. However, choirs have previously chartered aircraft arriving there to participate in the Festival. Exeter, Bristol, and the London airports all have excellent European and worldwide connections. All are served by fast train services to Cornwall.
The Festival’s tour operator, Melody Music, maintains up-to-date links with all relevant transport hubs and travel companies and has access to all necessary timetables and other relevant information. Much of this will also be posted on melodymusic-company.com/cimcf. Melody Music can make all travel arrangements for choirs if required and can also assist choirs in making their own travel arrangements.
Melody Music can also negotiate with local bus and coach companies on behalf of visiting choirs for transport from their accommodation to and between Festival events. Because Melody Music maintains contacts with transport companies they are in a position to obtain favourable rates.
There is no obligation for Choirs to use Melody Music for transport arrangements.
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.
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. Competition entry is entirely optional. However, 20 of the choirs participating in last Festival competed.
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..