Information for schools

What are the Barnet Schools Music Festivals?

The Barnet Schools Music Festivals are a series of concerts for Barnet primary schools at artsdepot in Finchley in June, giving children the opportunity to perform both as their school group and as part of a massed choir, in a professional venue, to an audience of family and friends.

This year’s dates are 11th-13th and 17th-20th June.

Who can take part?

The festivals are aimed at upper Key Stage 2. Performance licensing requirements mean that the festival day is suitable only for children who are nine years and over. We do not accept applications for Year 3 children, and Year 4 children will need to have had their 9th birthday by the day of their festival.*

Each school can bring 30 children in the first instance – a class, a choir, a band, a group formed specially for this event, it’s up to you. If you want to bring more than 30 children for an additional charge, please request this on your application form and we will accommodate you if we can.

On Wednesday 12th and Tuesday 18th June there will be British Sign Language interpreted performances. You can select these dates on your application but please tell us if it is important for you to attend a signed performance..

What will we sing?

You will receive a resource pack of six songs to be learned by everyone. These are carefully chosen to be a diverse selection suitable for upper KS2, and the festival materials include online access to high quality learning recordings and other useful supporting resources.

The pack includes comprehensive teaching notes to help you prepare, and supporting activities (including ideas for practical and creative work) linking the repertoire to the KS2 Music Curriculum.

Schools will also be invited to contribute an individual item. It’s not compulsory but it is a great experience for your children. They have their own rehearsal slot in the theatre, supported by BEAT staff, the house band (if requested) and theatre technicians to perform at their best. This gives each school their moment in the spotlight and results in a wonderful, varied programme for the concert.

What happens on the day?

You will be asked to transport your children with supervising adults to artsdepot, 5 Nether Street, Finchley N12 0GA. We ask schools to arrive at 12.45pm, having had lunch. (If you want to arrive early and eat packed lunch in the building, there are spaces where you can do this).

After seating everyone on stage in the Pentland Theatre, we will have a massed choir rehearsal, when we will meet the band, prepare the six shared songs and get excited about our performance!

After the rehearsal, there will be a break for a packed tea. There will be an area for your school in the venue and we are usually able to make a nearby playground available (local schools have the option to go home). During this time each school will have their individual item rehearsal slot in the theatre.

The performance is at 7.00pm and will finish by 8.30pm at the latest. There is no interval in the concert. You may decide to transport your children back to school. Most schools release children to parents at the venue straight after the concert, and we facilitate this.

Will we rehearse before the day?

Yes – you will be asked to come to a Cluster Rehearsal. At these sessions, we bring schools together to rehearse the six shared songs as they will be performed on the day. There will be a number of these rehearsals taking place in schools across Barnet in the weeks commencing 7th and 20th May.

These rehearsals are an essential part of the process – a stepping stone to the experience of singing in the massed choir. We use them to practice harmony singing, learn movements and iron out problems and misconceptions while there is still a bit of time to fix them (on the day, it can be too late!).

Who can see the concert?

Audience seats cost £10. We have a system to ensure a fair allocation for the families / friends of the children that are performing (one ticket per child in the first instance, sold through schools).

After this process, any leftover tickets go on general sale and families have the opportunity to buy these directly from the artsdepot box office.

In addition, each concert is filmed for a DVD / secure video download which families can buy through their school after the event. This means you will need to give us video permission for the children taking part. Please bear this in mind when selecting who to bring to the festivals.

Is training and support available?

There will be a twilight INSET on Monday 15th January, 4-6pm at Woodcroft Primary School. This session is included in the cost of taking part. This CPD is not just a sing-through of the songs; it is training on delivering high quality singing in school and will include a demonstration session with Y5/6 children using the festival repertoire.

You can sign up for the INSET before committing to the festivals. You would still have until 9th February to apply, and we will only charge you for attending the INSET (£25) if you do not go on to make an application. To book a place on the INSET, contact us via the form below.

If you need any further help with teaching any of the shared songs or with choosing or rehearsing your individual item, don’t hesitate to get in touch. BEAT’s singing specialist Ros Savournin can advise you and pay you a visit. Please give us as much notice as you can, though, as it does get busy!

What does it cost?

Taking part costs £380 for 30 children. This is not a “per child” payment – it helps pay for the resource pack, training and support, venue and staging hire, house band, sound and lighting technicians and subsidises the ticket price. For a larger group, there is an additional charge of £50 for each extra 10 children. This will be charged in the first half of the summer term 2024, before the concerts.

Golden Tickets for the BEAT Summer Showcase

This is an extra event for just two students from each school – it’s not part of the festivals themselves.

We want to form a special massed choir of 120 students to perform songs from the festivals at BEAT’s Summer Showcase event, also at artsdepot, on Thursday 11th July 2024, where they will be sharing a programme with BEAT’s other flagship groups and projects.

We are therefore giving each school two golden tickets to be part of this choir. It’s up to you how you choose your two students. Once you have nominated them, we will communicate directly with them and their families so you won’t have to do any more organising (but we will invite you to the concert!)


  • Monday 18th December (2023)

    Applications open

  • Monday 15th January (2024)

    INSET on the songs, 4.00-6.00pm at Woodcroft Primary School

  • Friday 9th February

    Deadline for applications (February half term)

  • ASAP after 9th February

    Festival dates and number confirmed with schools

  • Wednesday 17th April

    INSET for drumming schools, 4.30-5.45pm at Martin Primary School

  • Weeks commencing 7th and 20th May

    Cluster rehearsals (dates and venues to be confirmed)

  • 11th-13th and 17th-20th June

    Festivals at artsdepot

* We are not able to be flexible about this. It relates to our legal obligations under licensing arrangements with the Local Authority. If you want to bring a class, we recommend bringing Year 5 or Year 6. If you want to bring a mixed age choir, only those children aged 9 or over at the time of the festival will be able to attend, so do ensure you check their birthdays.