Colne Luther Greenwood Memorial Festival is a competitive festival of music and dance, dating from 1900 and held at Colne, Lancashire. We are proud to be known as “the friendly festival”, which is not our own description but a term used by many of our competitors, adjudicators and visitors.

Each year we welcome dozens of competitors, most of them aged 18 and under, who compete for trophies and cash prizes but more importantly to have their performances independently adjudicated, gaining advice and encouragement which helps them to build confidence in their chosen disciplines.

The annual dance competition is held over two or three days, depending on the number of entries, at The Muni, Albert Road, Colne, on the weekend following Spring Bank Holiday Monday; either the last weekend in May or the first weekend in June. Beginning on the Friday afternoon, if numbers demand it, and continuing all day Saturday and Sunday, this competition attracts more than 100 competitors – solos, duets and groups – presenting some 350-400 performances in classes for ballet, national, Greek, character, modern, tap, and song & dance. We invite only the best adjudicators; highly qualified dance exponents with vast experience in top dance academies, theatre and cruise ships.

Music classes, which used to be held on two consecutive Saturdays, have now been concentrated into one full day, the last Saturday in November, combining junior and adult vocal classes and choral classes in a ‘Festival of Song.’ We have reluctantly had to discontinue instrumental classes due to dwindling numbers of young musicians entering. In our new-look music competition, young singers compete in classes ranging from folk airs to show songs. Choir classes are open to youth and school choirs and adult choirs, and Colne’s proximity to Yorkshire ensures competition is keen between rival choirs from both sides of the border.

Adult vocal classes have been widened to include younger vocalists, aged 17 and upwards, in classes that range from oratorio to light opera, and we attract competitors of all ages from all over the North West.

All competitors are free to choose their own competition pieces; we do not prescribe set pieces.
Please look under ‘News’ on our website to find our latest syllabus.

On the first Saturday in December, we welcome adult vocalists, aged 19 and upwards, from all over the North West, in classes that range from oratorio to light opera.

All music competitors, vocal and instrumental, are free to choose their own competition piece; we do not prescribe set pieces.

We are affiliated to ‘The Federation’ – the British and International Federation of Festivals of Music, Speech & Drama and Stage Dance, of which Her Majesty the Queen is Patron. We helped to draw up the Federation’s Child Protection Policy, which is implemented by all affiliated festivals, ourselves included.

Our History

Colne’s annual Luther Greenwood Memorial Festival dates from 1947, but its origins can be traced back to the turn of the 20th century.


Get all the latest news about the Festival, past winners, details of the syllabus and much more!

Get in touch!

Whether you are interested in performing, attending, or have a specific question for the festival organisers we'd love to hear from you.

Luther Greenwood

This festival is named in memory of Luther Greenwood, but who was he? Find out about this inspirational local figure who was born in Colne and destined for a life in music.

Take part in "the friendly festival”!