About Us

The Committee is led by Julia Kerby who founded the festival in 1997 along with a group of like-minded friends who all lived in, or near, Colsterworth village in Lincolnshire. There are still three founder members on the Committee.

The current Committee consists of;

  • 5 Teachers,
  • A Senior Nurse,
  • An ex-Publican,
  • A senior Local Government Auditor and

So we represent a wide cross-section of society!


All are DBS certified and have extensive experience of running (and performing) Festivals over many years.

Our Committee members and volunteers receive no income from Festival funds, except for direct expenses.


The Friendly Festival 

The Colsterworth Festival of Performing Arts (also known as the Colsterworth Festival) first took place in February 1997. The aim of the Festival, which is open to performers of any age and ability, is to encourage talent and raise standards in all our disciplines, by providing a friendly yet competitive forum.

The Festival takes place over 3 weeks during February each year. From small beginnings, it now attracts 3000+ performances from across the East Midlands regions.

The Dance section takes place in Grantham over 5 days of the spring half-term break. The Schools’ Showcase, provides the opportunity for local schools to take part in musical ensembles, choral speaking, drama & educational dance.  This takes place in Grantham during the day on a Friday, usually within two weeks of the Dance Section. The Music, Drama and Film-making sections follow on from the Schools’ Showcase.  Over that evening and the weekend, there is an opportunity for local (and some not so local) people of all ages to demonstrate their various talents and abilities across three venues in Colsterworth Village, with classes for individuals, duets, trios and groups.

The Festival has become known as ‘The Friendly Festival’, a title we are very proud of. We are insistent that our competitors are made to feel welcome and at ease. For many of them, it is their first taste of competition, and we want it to be a memorable day. Every performance receives a certificate and a hand-written report from the adjudicator. Medals are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and competitors in all the youngest classes receive ‘Well done’ medals. The majority of classes have trophies attached and from 2013, we have awarded 3 Bursary prizes annually to Dance pupils which goes towards their tuition costs.

The Festival is a Registered Charity (ref 1088946). Each year, we plan our Festival finances to create a small surplus, which is used to fund the following year’s festival and periodically to fund community projects. Over the years, we have purchased 2 pianos, music stands, sound equipment, stage curtains and other items for the benefit of the venues that we use.

We are affiliated to the British Federation of Festivals for Music Drama and Speech.

We would welcome any voluntary support during the Festival, and/or sponsorship by advertising in our Schedule and Programme.  Please contact any member of the Committee.