An open class for newcomers and a non-competitive introduction for reception age children are two of the new features for next year’s Guild.

The changes to the schedule were announced as the syllabus for the 2024 Manx Music, Speech and Dance Festival was published.

The festival, in its 132nd year, will take place from April 27 to May 4.

Have A Go! is an open class for any festival newcomer and will take place in the Villa Marina’s Promenade Suite.

Competitors have a time limit of four minutes to perform a song, instrumental solo, drama piece or dance.

Little Stars is for reception age performers (ages four and five). They have two minutes to give it their all with a song, dance, drama piece or solo instrument.

The class is non-competitive and aims to provide an introduction to the festival.

Performers will receive adjudicator comments to help them to develop their talents.

Meanwhile, there’s a chance to have up to eight hands on the piano at the same time in the new piano ensemble class.

It’s open to duets, trios and quartets either juniors, adults or mixed ages. They must perform a piece of their choice.

Modern dance solo classes - up to year six, up to year 10 and year 11 and over - have also been introduced.

The festival will again be held at the Villa Marina’s Royal Hall and Promenade Suite as well as St Thomas’s Church, in Douglas.

There’s a wide range of classes, including choirs, brass bands, Manx folk song and dance as well as stand up comedy and drag performance.

Free copies of the syllabus are available now at outlets across the island, including garages and newsagents.

An entry form is enclosed inside the syllabus or enter online at

The closing date for entries is February 3.