Dancers, singers and musicians are gearing up for the biggest event in the calendar as The Guild returns this weekend.

There will be last minute rehearsals across the island as performers hone their skills before taking the stage at the event more formerly known as the Manx Music, Speech and Dance Festival.

The festival gets underway at the Villa Marina from Saturday (April 27) to Saturday, May 4 with eight full days of competition packed with all genres of music, speech, drama and dance. There will also be performances at St Thomas’ Church in the shadow of the incredible Gaia art installation.

It also includes the popular staples of brass bands, songs from the shows, choirs and Cleveland medal Test.

New for this year is the Sheffield Medal, designed by Jenny Kissack, which will give the winner of the Sheffield Plate competition - the top award for children's singing - a permanent memento to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The medal will be awarded annually.

The Guild is one of the oldest running festivals in the island at 132 years.

It was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic, but has since made its return, complete with some new classes.

Classes cover all sorts of disciplines, from singing to drama, dance to piano covering every type of music from folk and classical to pop.

This year there will be a ‘have a go’ class for those who have never competed before but have harboured a desire to get on stage.

There is also a similar version for reception-age children called Little Stars.

Festival chairman Anne Clarke said: ‘There is something for everyone to come along to see and enjoy. With an all-day ticket costing only £5 and free entry for children you can just pop in and out throughout the daytime or evening to see your favourite classes.’

For more information about the festival visit while tickets are available from