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Chairman’s Introduction


It has been my pleasure to be Acting Chair of our festival since the resignation in June of our previous chairman, Roger Hendy; who owing to family circumstances felt it necessary to leave his position as Chairman of the festival. We are most grateful to Roger for all the hard and devoted work he put in during his 2 years in the post – he is much missed.

We are hoping to appoint a new Chair in due course, but in the meantime I am filling the gap.

This should be our 91st festival; but unfortunately we are currently uncertain that we shall be able to ‘go ahead’ following a decision from Devon County Council with regard to Child Licensing legislation. DCC has made a very broad interpretation of certain specifics of the legislation, and so we shall be unable to apply entry fees for the performers, fees for entrance admission to the various days of the festival, and charge for programmes. It is from these that we gain the majority of our monies to enable us to run the festival; and all of these together have been essential to offset our costs for running the festival in previous years.

We are working hard with advice from Festival House (our umbrella organisation – the British & International Federation of Festivals) to see how we might proceed; particularly as most other authorities across the UK do not appear to be taking the hard line which Devon is.

We, as a committee, do not feel we can risk ‘going ahead’ with the 2018 festival unless these matters can be resolved in the very near future, as our closing date in January is looming. Our website will keep you informed.

Certainly should that be the case we shall endeavour over the ensuing months to pursue the matter further to find a satisfactory conclusion, and so be able to run the 2019 festival.

Assuming that we do go ahead – and that is, of course, our earnest hope, then “Welcome to DPAF 2018’ whether you are a Musical (instrumental and/or singing) or Speech and Drama performer; a teacher, relative, friend or an interested party. We shall look forward to seeing you there where our highly experienced adjudicators will give their valuable feedback to assist the creative development of our performers.

Our festival should take place at South Street Baptist Church in Exeter and we are very grateful to the church for all its support over previous years; and certainly hope to be there in March 2018!

Ann Reed, Acting Chair, Vice Chair