The Manx Competitive Music, Speech and Dance Festival or The Manx Music Festival, as it is more commonly known, or The Guild as it is known locally, had its origins in The Isle of Man Fine Art and Industrial Guild. It was during the fifth Annual Exhibition of this organisation, held in December 1892, that choir competitions were held for the first time.

These were organised by Miss M L Wood, who became known as “the Mother of Manx Music”, and took place over just one day. Competition was accepted as the motivation for improvement in many spheres. From this humble beginning the “Music Guild” developed.

The Festival is held annually in April at the Villa Marina on Douglas promenade. To see the range and size of competitions check out our results section.

The Festival is run under the guidance of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

If you would like to volunteer at the Manx Music Festival please contact the Festival Secretary on manxguild@gmail.com.

The next Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday, 24th November 2023. All welcome. Call the Company Secretary for further details. 07624 422477

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first Guild*
is held

*originally named Isle of Man Fine Art
and Industrial Guild

  • The first choir competition
  • The first vocal solo classes
  • The Guild expanded to two days

The new
Palace ballroom
opened to a
capacity of 4,000

  • The first Cleveland Medal was awarded to Mr Allan Quirk
  • Dance classes were introduced
  • One-act plays were introduced
  • The Guild moved to
    The Villa Marina

Guild grows
to 3,000 individuals

  • Light Opera introduced
  • Folk-singing with guitar introduced
  • Manx Radio first broadcast of The Guild
  • The Guild extended to seven days
  • Music for Fun was introduced

125th Anniversary

  • McDowell Trophy
  • Dandara becomes the
    first commercial sponsor
  • Battle of the Bands introduced

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