Welcome to AFYM – Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians

Rules & Info

Discover all of the essential rules and conditions of entry for performers taking part in the Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians, as well as our policies for safeguarding and protecting children throughout the festival.

AFYM 2024 Festival Dates

The Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians is proud to announce its return to Swansea in 2024. Mark your calendars for an exceptional musical experience, with the festival scheduled to take place during the first weekend of February, from the 2nd to the 5th of February, 2024.

In response to the enthusiastic demand we anticipate for the 2024 festival, we are prepared to extend its commencement to Thursday, 1st February, should the interest warrant such an extension.

At present, while we are refraining from disclosing the precise days and times allocated to each class, we encourage performers to proactively secure their spots by booking the classes they wish to participate in. It is important to note that performance times will fall within the festival weekend. We assure you that the final timetable detailing class performances will be meticulously crafted and subsequently revealed here on the AFYM website as the event draws closer. Performers will receive timely email notifications containing their designated performance dates and times in advance.

Your dedication to musical excellence and participation in the Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians is greatly valued! We eagerly anticipate sharing further updates as we approach the festival dates.

Rules and Condition of Entry

Acceptance of all the rules is a condition of entry
  1. ENTRIES: Those making an entry, and all performers, must agree to abide by the rules. Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians (AFYM) reserves the right to refuse entries from anyone who breaks the rules.  Entries are made via the AFYM website Registration Page.
  2. NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED: All entries must be registered by 23.30 on December 19th 2023. No entries will be possible after this time.
  3. ENTRY FEES: Entry fees are payable during online registration and are non-refundable.
  4. ELIGIBILITY: AFYM is open to performers who are resident or receiving tuition in South Wales.  The Festival Committee shall resolve any dispute regarding eligibility.
  5. AMATEUR STATUS: AFYM is open to amateurs only.  An amateur for these purposes is defined as a person who does not receive the chief part of his/her income from the teaching or practice of the subject in which he/she is competing.  The Festival Committee shall resolve any dispute regarding eligibility.
  6. AGE LIMITS: The age limit for each class is 18 years unless otherwise stated. The age of the performer on the first day of the Live Festival February 2nd 2024 will be deemed to be his or her age for the purpose of entry.
  7. PERFORMER SUBSTITUTION: Performers named in registered entries must perform and no substitution is allowed.  If there is uncertainty about performer availability, you are advised to give your duet/group a general name, e.g.  The Smith Duo.
  8. OWN CHOICE REQUIREMENTS: Performers do not need to state own choice pieces at the time of entry. However TIME LIMITS, WHERE STATED, MUST BE STRICTLY OBSERVED.   A performance which over-runs the time limit may be eliminated.

    For the Live Festival performers must complete a Musical Administration Document (MAD slip) giving titles and composers of their piece/s and attach it to the adjudicator’s copy of their music that they bring to the AFYM on the day of performance.  The MAD slip can be downloaded from the AFYM website.
  9. GRADE CLASSES: Please ensure that selected pieces are of the correct standard. Anyone playing a much more difficult piece than the grade stipulated risks being penalised and/or disqualified.
  10. COPYRIGHT: It is not allowed for a performer to play from a photocopy at the AFYM. Photocopying of music is illegal except when the copy is for the It is permitted for a performer to play from a legal download from the internet. The performer should mark on the adjudicator copy that the performer copy  is a legal download. The Festival reserves the right to ask to see a performer’s music to check that a legal download is being used, not an illegal photocopy.
  11. ADJUDICATOR’S COPIES: At the Live Festival the performer must provide a copy of each own-choice selection for the adjudicator.  This should be clearly marked with the competitor’s name, class and ballot number.  Photocopies will NOT be accepted except in the following circumstance: when an own choice work is selected from a publication containing several different works and which is not available separately, one copy may be made for the use of the adjudicator provided that the competitor has already purchased his/her own copy. The photocopy will be destroyed by the Festival immediately after the event.
  12. ACCOMPANISTS: Performers must provide their own accompanist where appropriate and all pieces incorporating keyboard accompaniment should include that accompaniment in performance. No accompaniment tapes/recordings may be used.
  13. PERFORMERS may perform more than once in any class provided that a different instrument is played each time. Performers are restricted to a maximum of three solos per instrument plus duets/ensembles.  See also Rule 19
  14. DEPORTMENT: Performers are expected to produce a “professional” performance, well prepared and presented.
  15. ADJUDICATOR’S DECISIONS in all matters relating to musical results, are final. No teacher, performer or parent may approach the adjudicator’s table unless invited.
  16. NO VIDEO/PHOTOGRAPH/RECORDING taken at a live AFYM event is to be uploaded
    on to any form of social media, e.g. Facebook. Those responsible for entering performers must agree to abide by all the rules including this one.   AFYM reserves
    the right to refuse entries from any performer who breaks the rules.
  17. The Festival Committee reserves the right:
    (a) to limit, combine, cancel or sub-divide any class;
    (b)       to refuse any entry without assigning a reason;
    (c)       to close classes before the closing date if sufficient entries have been received;
    (d)  to offer additional online classes if the Live Festival is over-subscribed.
  18. The Festival Committee is not responsible for any injuries sustained by any competitor or member of the public whilst on Festival premises. The Festival Committee is not responsible for any loss or damage to instruments, music, mark sheets or any other property at the Festival.

Child Protection Policy

The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech (BIFF) works for amateur festivals everywhere to help create thousands of educational performance opportunities for children and young people each year.

The Federation and our member Festivals are committed to ensuring safe environments for children and young people and believe that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to recommend best practice which protects them. This policy applies to our Board of Trustees, paid staff, Adjudicator members, volunteers, students or anyone working on behalf of the Federation and our member Festivals. It has been drawn up on the basis of relevant law and guidance that seeks to protect children and young people, and its purpose is to set out the overarching principles that guide our approach.

We recognize that:

  • the welfare of the child/young person is paramount
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies
    is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

The purpose of the policy:

  • to provide protection for the children and young people who participate in our festivals, including the children of festival members
  • to provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.

We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • appointing a Federation Head of Safeguarding and, for each festival, at least one Festival Safeguarding Officer
  • adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and safe working practice for staff and volunteers
  • working within the legislation and guidance that specifically addresses the needs of young performers (specifically, the Children and Young People Acts 1933 and 1963, and the Children (Performance and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014
  • adopting a safe and balanced approach to the issue of creating and using photography and images of children and young people at our festivals and in our communications
  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • sharing information about child protection and safe working practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

The Federation will review this policy each year in line with NSPCC guidance or sooner in light of any changes in legislation or guidance.

Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone

The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech (BIFF) and its member Festivals use the following policies and procedures to provide safer festivals for everyone:

  1. A single, definitive Child Protection Policy adopted by all Federation Festivals.
  2. One or more designated Festival Safeguarding Officers (FSO) appointed for each Federation Festival.
  3. Best practice advice in the form of Safe Working Practice leaflet, Festival Child Protection leaflet, and any other guidance produced by the Federation. This advice is supported by support and training for all Festival staff and volunteers. Guidance includes clear reporting procedures for anyone with concern about a child.
  4. Appropriate recruitment and induction procedures for all new staff and volunteers responsible for providing safe environments for everyone attending/performing at a Federation Festival.
  5. All Festival personnel wear a badge to identify their roles and AFYM committee members wear a YELLOW lanyard. All teachers/parents/guardians/carers are asked to report all incidents of any nature to anyone wearing a YELLOW lanyard. All reported incidents will be handled in accordance with the Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection best practice advice. In addition, we will ensure the availability of a quiet area / room where concerns can be expressed in private.
  6. For the duration of a Festival all teachers/parents/guardians/carers are responsible for the continuous care and supervision of their own children/pupils. If they are unable to attend personally, they must delegate their responsibilities to an identified adult and ensure that their children/pupils are aware of the identity and name of the person responsible for their care. This includes supervision throughout all Festival venues, practice and changing areas that may be provided. The Festival cannot take any responsibility for property left unattended.
  7. We do not permit any unauthorised photography at our Federation Festivals. For further information on what is and is not authorised, please contact the Festival Safeguarding Officer or anyone wearing a YELLOW lanyard. If any child, young person or parent/carer is concerned about any photography or recording taking place at an event, please contact the Festival Safeguarding Officer, who will be pleased to discuss this matter with you.
  8. Some children and adults with support needs may need help in order to take part. If this is the case, we ask the responsible teachers/parents/guardians/carers to contact the Festival Organisers prior to arrival. The Festival aims to meet these needs wherever possible but must know beforehand in order to prepare support – or to advise that help cannot be provided on this occasion.
  9. The Festival’s Child Protection Policy and its approach to Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone are published explicitly in our Syllabus, Programme and Website. By completing and signing the entry form all parents / guardians / carers and teachers of entrants under 18 (or any adults who may require additional support) confirm that they give (or have obtained) the necessary consents for the entrants to take part in the Festival. Without consent the entry to the Festival cannot be accepted.

Guidance for Registering Your Entries

  • Visit the AFYM Registration Page to start your online registration for the classes you want to enter, and to check latest news and information.
  • Registration for AFYM 2024 opens on August 1st 2023; the AFYM website will have up-to-date news and guidance.
  • Registration closes at 23.30 on December 17th 2023. No entries will be possible after this time.
  • It will be helpful to have the current syllabus with you when you select your classes and pay for your entries.
  • All payments are made online by credit or debit card. There are no additional costs beyond the class entry fees. There are no refunds.
  • Performers under 18 years of age must be registered by a ‘Responsible Adult’; by default this is the card holder paying for the entries online.
  • When registering you are required to complete information necessary for each performer to enter each class. For multiple entries you may find it easiest to group transactions either by class (entering multiple performers) or by performer (entering multiple classes). You can register additional entries as many times as you like until registration closes.
  • You are not required, when registering, to state which music you are going to play, but you must notify it and provide an adjudicator copy when you perform.
  • Once you have registered and paid, a confirmation email will show the details you have entered. This email is sent only to the ‘Responsible Adult’.
  • Scheduled classes will be posted on the AFYM website, and a notification email sent advising specific details of your classes. This email is sent only to the ‘Responsible Adult’.
  • Programmes will be available to download from the website, and at the Live Festival.

Bursary Awards

AFYM is once again pleased to offer a range of bursaries, made possible by the generosity of our sponsors to assist your progress in music. This typically includes support for music-related costs such as attendance at summer schools, orchestral courses, county or national music courses, purchase of books or music lessons.

Applications for 2023 bursaries are welcome from all AFYM performers. Find out more HERE.


AFYM does not provide an official accompanist. Listed below are pianists who may be available. Please make EARLY contact with an accompanist if you do not have your own, to make sure that you can be accommodated, particularly with difficult pieces, which the pianist will need to practise. Any arrangement made between you and the accompanist is a private one, not involving the Festival. You are advised to check with accompanists that music you send to them has been received.

Rachel Ramos
Tel: 07964 386673
Email: [email protected]
Dorothy Singh
Tel: 07766 714211
Email: [email protected]
Robert Marshall BA(Hons) ADRWCMD FISM FMAS
Tel: 07973 835337
Email: [email protected]
Chris Samuel
Tel: 01792 299 993 / 07795 033 232
Email: [email protected]

Practice Facilities

The Guildhall is a very busy public and working building. We regret that we cannot offer practice facilities to AFYM performers.

Stewards' Handbook

Download the stewards handbook HERE.