Performing at Medieval Music in the Dales
Medieval Music in the Dales is a festival that takes place over three days in and around Bolton Castle in North Yorkshire. We invite a mix of professional and amateur ensembles to take part and give performances. The only rule is that all music performed should be securely sourced to before 1500CE.
CASTLE STAGE PERFORMANCES
Amateur groups need only submit a request to perform (using an online form) and agree to present two 25-30 minute shows on one of our Castle Stages. There’s no fee for this, but all such Castle Stage Performers can attend the Festival for free and if they choose can also receive a discount on the Festival Pass which includes concerts and workshops.
PROFESSIONAL CONCERT PERFORMANCES
Professional groups need to submit a proposal to Gill Page (director) ideally at least a year in advance. The proposal should set out clearly what you would like to offer and the cost of such an offer. It need not include travel costs at this stage, but these will need to be factored in before any contract can be established and agreed. The Festival will provide accommodation for all professional performers. Food and drink vouchers are also provided for the various catering options at the Festival.
Decisions on the professional line-up for each festival are decided by the end of the preceding calendar year and are confirmed by contract.
Each year, the festival will have a broad theme. We require all of our professional performers to offer a programme that deals with this central theme. In 2024, our theme is Ludus: Mystery, Miracle and Mirth. This takes in storytelling, drama, mystery and foolery in medieval music. In 2025, our theme is The Medieval Instrumentarium, which will be all about instruments - history, study, making and playing.
All professional proposals should include:
a 50-55 minute daytime concert. The concert takes place in an adjacent church (St. Oswald’s) that seats up to 100 people.
a 20-25 minute involvement in one of the evening concerts. These also take place in St. Oswald’s Church.
a suggestion for a workshop, demonstration or lecture to accompany your performances. If appropriate, please mention any workshop ideas that you might have and factor these into your price. The festival may choose to go forward with all, some or none of the workshop ideas. These workshops are taster sessions for our visitors and should be around 75-90 minutes duration; you should also state clearly what skill level is ideal from participants. Demonstrations and lectures should aim at 45-60 minutes in length
a commitment to provide at least one piece of music for our festival CD (see below)
Though you may not know all information regarding your proposed repertoire, it will be useful to receive an indication. This way, we can see how it might relate to the festival theme for the year in question.
We anticipate paying fees of approximately £500 per performer for providing these concerts and workshop listed above. On top of this, it is useful to estimate travel costs if you can, but not necessary at this stage. However, before agreeing a contract, we will have to determine exact travel costs.
Our professional performers are also asked to submit at least one piece for our festival souvenir CD. This/these need not be newly recorded item(s) and can come from your back catalogue.
Professional performers are also required to present full programme notes, including any lyrics for songs (in the sung language and – if possible – in English). This is needed no later than 3 months before the festival. Each year, we produce a printed programme that will include all this information for our audience members. Once you have submitted your programme and we have gone to print, we require performers to stick with that declared programme as far as possible.
Professional performers should also be ready to provide several good quality images of themselves for promotional purposes both in the programme, the website and on social media.
Be aware that our festival is not a concert series. It is instead a busy festival scene with many concerts and performances each day. There’s a tavern scene, a luthiers’ gallery, a traders’ row and many of our festival attendees camp on site for the weekend. As a result, be aware that there will be less time between concerts for setting up and tuning up (though we do try to allow at least an hour – we know how tricksome those gut strings can be). Also, our festival is largely staffed by volunteers. They will help you as much as they can and will be on hand to move tables or chairs as necessary.
All proposals should be emailed to Gill Page at email@example.com.