COVID-19 was the “final nail in the coffin” for a festival which has seen children perform in Leigh since the 1930’s.

The Leigh Festival of Music and Drama dates back to 1931 but has been completely scrapped after both the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Chairman Drusilla Redman stated a number of other factors were at play, but Covid-19 was the final straw and the festival will not be planned for 2022.

The festival offered young musicians and actors the chance to perform and compete in front of a highly respected judging panel.

Benjamin Grosvenor, now known worldwide for his classical talent, once performed while the likes of Lee Mead and Kara Tointon also took to the stage.


Ms Redman said: “I’ve been with the festival for 38 years now, all the way through from being a volunteer, helping on the door, publicity and then the running and organising of it.

“One of the most rewarding things from it all was seeing how far people who came to have come.

“The kids choirs were also always fantastic, all the children with learning disabilities were always amazing, there was orchestral elements, solo singing, group acting, drama and so much more.

“You name it we did it, so it is very sad to see it go.”

Alongside complications caused by Covid-19, a lack of volunteering, dwindling visitor numbers and venue trouble also contributed to scrapping the once popular event.

Ms Redman is now thanking everyone who supported the festival over the years and helped to make it a thriving success for so long.

She added: “We had some volunteering problems that started a few years back, whether people were working longer or looking after the kids and grandkids.

“The numbers of visitors have also been falling.

“And the timing, with our festival running in June near exams was never great, but we couldn’t do it any other time.

“After we lost our venue, we moved to Highlands Methodist Church and Leigh Road Baptist Church, but had to have music in one space and drama in the other which didn’t really work.

“But we can’t thank everyone enough for their support, we have so many memories to hold onto and it’s been very fun.”