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 competition is held over three days 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 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 are held towards the end of the year, on two consecutive Saturdays.

On the last Saturday of November, the day begins with junior instrumentalists and solo singers. Young pianists can be heard playing anything from Schubert to Scott Joplin, and young singers will be competing in classes ranging from folk airs to show songs. In the afternoon the choir classes feature youth and school choirs and adult choirs. Colne’s proximity to Yorkshire ensures competition is keen between rival choirs from both sides of the border.

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.


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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.

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