At Forum Music Festivals, we’re thrilled to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary Season in 2020! Thousands of student performers of every age and ability have participated with us for over 2 decades.
Founded by music educators, our focus is to support directors, encourage young musicians, and promote music standards.
Professional adjudicators offer constructive advice to enrich your students’ musical education and reinforce your classroom teaching.
Forum Festivals offers an exceptional quality at an excellent value to both all-in-one-day and overnight student groups.
Your time is valuable. We know that you have many choices. We want your experience with Forum Festivals to exceed your expectations. Discover Forum Music Festivals. We’re dedicated to creating an amazing performing experience for your ensemble.
Here’s to another wonderful year of music!
Our one-day festival packages are budget-friendly, so all schools and ensembles can participate in an area festival.
Every One-Day Forum Festival includes:
- Performance in concert-quality theatre
- Recorded & written comments by leading adjudicators
- Motivating, fun awards ceremony at the venue
- Rated, non-competitive or “comments only” performance
- Customized plaque for each ensemble
- Recognition for student/section from each ensemble
- Admission to major theme parks & attractions
- Meal vouchers add-on option
- Complimentary theme park ticket for each director
- Complimentary recording of group’s performance
- Flexible payment policy
- Scholarship program for returning schools or directors
Our custom overnight packages are designed to reflect your tour goals and interests. We are committed to setting up a wonderful trip for you!
Every Overnight Package includes:
All performance options included in one-day package plus:
- Lodging at a quality hotel near the festival or attractions
- Breakfast at the hotel included in every package
- Complimentary theme park & lodging for each director
- 24-hour phone support during travel
- Your Trip Assistant automated text messaging system
Customize a package just for your group!
Add special activities to make the most of your experience.
- Additional hotel nights
- Attractions, theme parks, cultural events
- Group meals
- Concerts & Shows
- Sightseeing & touring opportunities
Contact us today by phone or website for a no-obligation detailed proposal before registering. Visit our Festival Registration page or call us directly at 1-88-76-FORUM to register for a custom overnight package.
Below are several useful forms and resources that you may need as a festival participant.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Our one-day and overnight packages include theme park admission. You can choose from the following activities, however, we also are happy to arrange other activities if you prefer. Contact us for pricing and availability.
Anaheim/Los Angeles Area:
- Disneyland Resort
- Knott's Berry Farm
- Universal Studios
- Six Flags Magic Mountain
- Medieval Times Dinner Theatre
- Pirates Dinner Adventure
- Museums, Presidential Libraries & Science Centers
- Symphony or music theatre tickets throughout Orange County/LA
San Francisco Area:
- California's Great America
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
- Museums & Science Centers including Exploratorium
- Golden Gate Park
- Bay Cruises or Alcatraz
- San Francisco Symphony or musical theatre tickets
- Step-on guides for personalized city tour
San Diego Area:
- SeaWorld San Diego
- San Diego Zoo or San Diego Safari Park
- USS Midway or Hornblower Cruise of the Bay
- Museums & Science Centers
- Historic Old Town San Diego
- San Diego Symphony or musical theatre tickets
YES! We have many different opportunities for groups to perform outside of the Festival, including theme park performances and workshops as well as public performances in well-trafficked venues. Contact us directly to explore ideas!
You’ll find the latest information on our website. Festival dates, one-day pricing, and answers to the most commonly asked questions can be found at forummusicfestivals.com.
Request a Quote for an overnight trip on our website. And you’ll also find the forms you need to download including the stage set-up form, participant release forms, an electronic Director’s Guide, and the Disney Performing Arts application.
Of course, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone (1-888-763-6786) or email email@example.com at anytime.
We'd love to keep you posted on everything happening with Forum Music Festivals! Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter in the footer below, our mailing list, and follow us on Facebook. Don't forget to tag us using @forummusicfestivals and #2020FMF and post your favorite Festival photos directly to our page!
Your day starts with a warm welcome at the check-in desk. Turn in your original conductor’s scores for the adjudicators. A runner will guide your group to the warm-up room, then onstage for performance. The stage is pre-set according to your instructions.
Our announcer will introduce your group. Plan 2-3 pieces of 12 to 15 minutes of music.
Two adjudicators will assess your ensemble’s performance and provide recorded and written feedback. Part of the benefit of the festival is learning from other ensembles. Your students are encouraged to enjoy & support other festival performers.
Topping off the festival is an exciting Awards Ceremony held at the venue. Your students won’t want to miss it!
Before you leave the festival, stop by the front desk for your scores, the judges’ written comments, and theme park tickets. Judges’ recordings will be air-dropped or emailed to you. You’ll also receive a recording of your festival performance.
Performing in a suitable venue enhances your performance. Festivals are held at well-equipped venues with lighting & sound systems - many are college theatres or recital halls.
Informal attire is fine since most groups enjoy an activity after the festival. Many groups wear concert attire, but it’s not a factor in judging. No dressing rooms are provided at the venue.
No, we do not have a preferred music list. Select literature appropriate to your group’s ability that plays to their strengths. Adjudicators comment that the most frequent error at festivals is music selection that’s too demanding for the group. Performing difficult music poorly doesn’t impress judges.
Yes, bring original scores for the judges. Copied scores are unacceptable unless accompanied by a publisher’s letter.
Choral ensembles have 20 minutes; instrumental groups have 25 minutes. This includes taking the stage, introductions, pausing between selections, and exiting the stage. Plan on 12 to 15 minutes of music, typically about 2 to 3 pieces per ensemble.
We provide the following equipment at our festivals (Other equipment may be available at individual venues. Please ask if you need anything other than what is listed below. No snares, cymbals, drum sets, or bass amps are available.):
- Bass Drum
- Grand Piano
- Choral Risers
- Recorded accompaniment playback
- PA System – up to 6 microphones
A stage set up form is included with your performance schedule. Return the completed form to us before the festival and our stage crew will position your set-up for your performance!
Performances are scheduled approximately 4 to 6 weeks prior to the festival. Directors receive their performance schedule by email.
Directors must inform Forum Festivals 60 days prior of any transportation limits or other concerns that have an effect on your arrival at the festival . A cancellation fee will be assessed for any performing ensemble pulled from the festival after the schedule is distributed.
Forum Music Festivals’ non-competitive, rated format means that directors choose either a rating (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper, Merit) OR a “comments only” non-rated award—Excellence in Performance. All groups receive a plaque at the Awards Ceremony as well as adjudicators comments. Groups are not ranked.
Because our adjudicators hear many groups throughout the year, you may evaluate your group’s rating with groups of similar grade levels from across the country. Gold-rated groups are invited the following year for the Judges’ Invitational, an annual “best of the best” competition.
Your students deserve a great awards ceremony! Our Award Ceremony acknowledges and celebrates your students' hard work and supports other performers. Awards typically last 15 minutes. Each ensemble receives a customized plaque and a musicianship plaque to one student/section from each ensemble.
Awards are held at the festival venue. It’s fun, positive, and motivational. Your group may enjoy the balance of the day with no interruption of your afternoon or evening.
One-day participants receive theme park tickets at the front desk of the festival. Theme park tickets are not at the theme park, unless previously arranged.
Count out and sign for your theme park tickets before you leave the festival. Tickets may be added at the festival. You’ll receive an invoice post-festival. Parents and guests wishing to accompany the group to the park may purchase tickets on a cash-only basis. No tickets are accepted by mail after the festival.
Please note new policy: Changes in participant count must be received 10 days in advance. Festival fees will be assessed for changes at the festival front desk, however we’ll continue to process theme park refunds.
Overnight directors receive all tickets (unless previously agreed upon) in a packet shipped one week prior to the festival. Tickets, maps, the latest itinerary, rooming list and other information are included. Please mail back the confirmation form before the trip so tickets will be activated.
Your students should double check for any possible “black-out days” on their passes. You are required to pay a “festival only” fee for those students, who may then use their passes for admission to the park.
Students participating in Disney Performing Arts will be billed for a park ticket, per Disney policy. Other exceptions may apply depending on the theme park.
Calculating trip costs has several parts, including lodging, meals, transportation, & activities. If you have a specific budget, let us know right from the start. We’ll sketch out an itinerary to fit your group’s interests and budget.
- Plan early. Students need time to meet fundraising goals. This yields a higher ratio of involvement. Start with a realistic number to avoid returning to students for additional funds. Building in a buffer gives you options — refund money, or plan a special meal or extra outing.
- Create a timeline for collecting funds. Consider holiday breaks and payment processing time. Give specific due dates for payments to coordinate with our payment schedule.
- Transportation is a large part of the travel budget. Determine these costs before giving a per person cost to students. Base these expenses on a realistic number of travelers, so if there’s a drop in numbers, your bus expense will be covered. Other charges may apply— driver’s rooms, parking or toll fees. We’ll make it all clear to you from the get-go!
Breakfast is included on all Forum Music Festival custom overnight trips. Meal vouchers may be added. We’ll also work with your budget to schedule other meals you need at student-friendly restaurants.
Many groups recruit chaperones based on a 1 per 10 ratio. Check with administration for district guidelines to verify requirements for chaperones, i.e. background checks, fingerprinting, etc.
Be specific about chaperone’s expectations before the trip. Although the trip is enjoyable, their job is to supervise students. Responsibilities can include bus counts, room checks, managing equipment, supervising behavior, or enforcing curfews. Chaperones often are in charge of a preset group of students.
Our itineraries are so thorough, you won’t need a tour escort. However, a tour escort helps ensure a seamless and worry-free trip for you! A tour escort can meet your group to handle itinerary details, as your budget will allow.
We are excited to introduce Your Trip Assistant – a fast, convenient, and completely customized alert system for directors of overnight groups! This complimentary automated text messaging system allows Forum Music Festivals to text reminder messages to you throughout your trip. No need for an onsite tour escort - receive reminders via text before your first warm-up time, prompting upcoming bus loading, theatre or concert start times, restaurant reservations and addresses, and more! Director must opt in to Your Trip Assistant. Text messages apply only to your trip. Opt in today with a Forum team member to have Your Trip Assistant in the palm of your hand! Standard text messaging rates may apply – contact your carrier for details.
YES! Forum Music Festivals offers one student scholarship for returning schools or directors for each consecutive year of participation up to five years or 10% off total student balance, whichever is less. Scholarships are deducted on the final invoice once student numbers are confirmed. Scholarships apply to one-day and overnight packages (hotel, festival, breakfast, theme park) and are available to school groups that book directly with Forum Music Festivals, not through outside tour operators or travel planners.
YES! Hotel accommodations are reserved at hotels near your activities. When selecting a hotel for your group, safety and security are of the highest importance. Groups are only lodged at quality hotels with interior corridors. Rooms are requested on the second floor or higher. We do not book student groups in rooms with outdoor access.
Our relationship with specific hotels helps keep your trip within budget. Any specific requests you provide to us is shared with the hotel.
Students usually stay 4 or 5 to a room. Chaperones usually stay 2 to a room. Packages include a complimentary room for each director.
Pricing listed on your itinerary is a per person price based on quad (4/room) or quint (5/suite), triple, double, or single occupancy package with lodging, breakfast, & activities.
Your group’s room block is based on your rooming list. Chaperone rooms are blocked between student rooms. Directors often request boys’ and girls’ rooms be on different floors. We’ll communicate your requests to the hotel.
After registering, you’ll receive an email giving you access to our online rooming list form with your due date indicated. Complete the form for all travelers (students, adults, drivers).
Your rooming list is due to us at least 75 days prior to your trip. Certain hotels require earlier due dates, but our staff will advise you if this applies to your trip.
Changes occur in student travel, so we’re as flexible as possible. Additions are allowed through Forum, based on hotel availability. After submitting your rooming list, you may change the rooming list one time at no additional fee. After that, a charge for each subsequent revision applies. No changes to the rooming list is allowed after the 30-day deadline. Please see our cancellation policy for more details.
Absolutely! We arrange everything from theatre, symphony tickets to bowling parties,museums, sightseeing tours, clinics, workshops, and everything in between.
Contact us for a custom package perfect for your students.
Our relationship with reputable bus companies yields competitive rates and you save money! You will receive a no-obligation quote based on your itinerary. Here are a couple of initial tips to get you started:
- Let’s order buses as soon as you have a confirmed date. We work with bus companies to get a clear picture of costs upfront so you have an accurate quote. A deposit may be required to hold your bus.
- The Department of Transportation determines rules about off-duty hours for drivers. Safety is top priority. Drive time limits are key when planning your return trip.
- Traffic jams, bathroom breaks, and surprises happen. Our itineraries provide drivers with precise destinations. We confirm it all so you don’t have to!
Yes, the venues are 15 to 30 minutes from the hotel or theme park. Inquire about hotel shuttles and other options. We have resources to help you keep costs down.
Yes, we can book a room for your bus drivers at your hotel whether or not we have arranged your charter bus transportation. Driver’s rooms must be listed on the rooming list. Many bus companies require a paid day sleeping room for each driver if the group requires transportation at night. Charges for bus driver’s rooms vary. This information will be listed on your itinerary - no surprises!
Starting with the 2019 festival season, the following policy went into effect:
- While uninterrupted travel during the late night and early morning is not prohibited by law, we recognize that night-time driving can contribute to drowsiness in the driver. We strongly encourage groups to plan alternate itineraries to avoid a late evening departure. For that reason, trips will no longer be booked by Forum Music Festivals that require drivers to drive between the hours of 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM. Drivers must be off the clock during these middle of the night hours.
- Seat belts will be requested and provided unless otherwise notified.
- Please know California law now requires seat belts be worn in buses equipped with them.
- If a district has a list of pre-qualified charter bus companies, we will confer with our client and double check the charter company’s safety record so we may abide by the district’s guidelines.
Federal Regulations mandate that…
- Motorcoach drivers cannot drive more than 10 hours in a 24 hour period.
- Motorcoach drivers may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours.
- Motorcoach drivers must have at least 8 hours off before their next shift can start (some bus companies may require more).
- Motorcoach drivers may not drive after 60 hours on duty over seven days or after 70 hours on duty over eight days.
California regulations mandate that…
- Charter buses and drivers who transport California students must complete SPAB certification. SPAB stands for School Pupil Activity Bus and is certified through the California Highway Patrol (CHP) .
- Effective July 2018, California State Law SB20 requires that both drivers and passengers wear seat belts. Parents, guardians or chartering companies are being held responsible for making sure children 16 and under are buckled up. ANY charter bus manufactured with seat belts traveling through the state of California, regardless of where they originated, must comply with this law. Directors and chaperones must ensure all students are wearing seatbelts. Fines will be written for offenders.
We believe this new policy will enhance the experience for groups who trust us with selecting and planning their charter bus transportation. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Music Festivals will reserve a spot in the performance schedule based on receipt of registration fees. All fees must be paid in full before the festival. Delinquent schools will be removed from schedule. Pay by credit card on our website or submit a check to Forum Music Festivals.
One-Day Packages Payment Schedule:
Payments after the registration fee are divided into two due dates: 60 days prior to festival and 30 days prior to festival. Directors should update student and chaperone numbers no later than 10 days prior to the festival. New invoices will not be issued after that time.
Overnight Packages Payment Schedule:
Payment schedules can be customized to meet the needs of your fundraising activities.
30 Days after Registration –
Registration fee & hotel deposit due. Motor coach deposit, if applicable.
90 Days before First Date of Travel –
1/3rd estimated balance due.
60 Days before First Date of Travel –
1/3rd estimated balance due.
30 Days before First Date of Travel –
Final balance based on final Rooming List. Final motor coach balance due. Scholarships and discounts deducted from this invoice.
Registration after 90 days: Late registrations after 90 days prior to your festival can be accepted based on availability. All payment due dates will be adjusted accordingly.
Payment Details: The registration fee does not apply toward trip balances. Invoices will be emailed to the director prior to each due date. Notify Forum Music Festivals immediately of changes in participant numbers, travel date, or rooming list changes. Forum Music Festivals accepts district purchase orders, but all fees must be paid in full prior to the trip. Students with theme park passes are charged a “festival only” fee for performing in the festival.
Additional Overnight Details
Schools must submit an accurate rooming list 75 days before the festival date so we can forward a final invoice to you at 60 days, but due 30 days before the trip. Most hotels require a room list 30-60 days prior to the reservation or the reservation may be dropped. Some hotels have earlier due dates, but we will advise the director, as needed.
Directors are allowed one change at no charge after the rooming list is submitted to us after the due date. After that that time, a fee will be charged for added changes. Rooming list changes are not accepted within 30 days prior to the trip.
Overnight proposal pricing is subject to hotel availability at the time the group approves the trip which may affect per person pricing from the initial proposal.
- Deposit payment - due 30 days after registering
- 1st payment - Return Contract (sent with first invoice)
- 75 days prior to festival: Submit final rooming list online.
- 4-6 weeks prior to festival: Final performance schedule released
- 2nd payment - due 60 days prior to festival
- 30 days prior to festival: Participant Release forms due for ALL participants (sent with first invoice)
- 30 days prior to festival: Set-up sheets and director comments due (sent with final performance schedule)
- Final payment - due 30 days prior to festival
- 3 weeks prior to travel: Itinerary finalized
- 1 week prior to travel: Pre-trip package shipped to school with tickets, itinerary, and helpful information
- Note: Airfare will be billed separately based on carrier due dates and requirements
Registering your group is easy!
- Register at our website:
Our website walks you through the registration process. Create a new online account or access your current account.
- Give us a call (1-888-763-6786).
We’ll answer your questions and register your group over the phone.
Remember—registration is confirmed once registration fees are paid.
Complete your registration and your ensemble has a tentative spot in the festival line-up. A $100 non-refundable registration fee confirms the date for one or two performing groups. Entries are scheduled on a first come basis upon receipt of the registration fee. Additional ensembles over two from the same director are registered on a space-available basis at a $100 registration fee for each ensemble.
Schools attending on two different dates are required to register for each date and the registration fee is required for both dates. At the time of registration, please note any information that will affect your arrival at the festival.
Registration fees are non-refundable. Theatre tickets are non-refundable. Bus, hotel deposits, and some activities or meal vouchers may not be refundable. Please contact FMF directly for nonrefundable specifics of your package.
Cancellation requests, signed by a school official, must be faxed or mailed to our office. The postmarked date and time reflected on the FAX will be used as the cancellation date. Please allow 30 days after the festival for refunds.
Festival registration fees for both one-day and overnight packages are considered non-refundable and do not apply towards festival balances.
Cancelled one-day packages are subject to the following refund policy:
For packages cancelled 45 days or less prior to the festival date, a time slot has been reserved for your ensemble in the schedule and no refunds will be processed after that time.
Once the performance schedule has been released (approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the festival), a $250 cancellation fee will apply when directors remove an individual performing ensemble from the schedule, but do not cancel the group in its entirety. We are happy to add your additional ensemble as space permits, but directors must inform us when an ensemble will not perform prior to the release of the schedule so other schools may participate.
Cancelled overnight packages (including the hotel deposit) are subject to the following refund policy (applies whether entire group cancels or individual cancellations):
|Prior to 60 days before first day of travel:||Full refund minus registration fee or any non-refundable deposits (theatre, bus, hotel, etc).|
|49-59 days prior to first day of travel:||$50 per person fee will be assessed. All other payments will be refunded unless designated as non-refundable deposits.|
|45 days or less prior to first day of travel:||No refunds approved for group cancellations. No refunds approved for individual cancellations 30 days or less prior. Participants unable to travel may be replaced by another traveler but a $50 change fee may be assessed. Please contact FMF for options.|
A Note on Attrition:
Forum understands changes occur in student travel. We accommodate changes to your package to the best of our ability. Pricing is based on current availability, fees, & taxes based on the total number of participants (students, chaperones, & educators). If that number changes, we may re-price your package to adjust prorated costs, etc. Please note that if the package is re-priced due to attrition, it will likely increase the per person price by just a few dollars.
For your security, we do not have access to your password. Please use your username or email associated with the account and request a new password on the log-in screen in the orange box. From there, you can create a new password and access your account.
Forum Festivals of Music, Inc. (dba Forum Music Festivals), its employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors and assigns (collectively “Forum Music Festivals”) does not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip, including, for example, lodging facilities, transportation companies, local ground handlers, food service or entertainment providers, etc. As a result, Forum Music Festivals is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person, or any other third party not under its control. Without limiting the foregoing, Forum Music Festivals accepts no responsibility for any risk or injury, delay, inconvenience, damage, or death which results from criminal activity, terrorism or the threat thereof, weather or other acts of God, accidents, disease, epidemics or the threat thereof, illness, the provision of inappropriate or no medical attention, the demands of indoor or outdoor activities, attacks by animals, strikes, political or civil unrest, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, structural or other defective conditions in hotels or other lodging facilities, insurrection or revolt, or any other event beyond its direct control. Participant hereby agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Forum Music Festivals from any financial liability or obligation incurred by that individual participant and from any injury or damage to the person or property of others which that participant causes, or contributes to while participating in a Forum Music Festivals Program. Forum Music Festivals retains the right to expel any participant from the Program at the participant’s expense (and with no refund) if it believes that person’s continuation in the Program exposes him or herself or others to a risk of harm.
Forum Music Festivals is not responsible for personal injury and/or physical damage arising from acts of negligence of any member of a group attending a Forum Music Festivals event. If it becomes necessary or adviseable to cancel or alter the schedule of events, Forum Music Festivals may do so in its discretion. By registering for the festival or program, the School agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Forum Music Festivals from any financial liability or obligation incurred by either the School, or any individual participant, and from any injury or damage to the person or property of others which any participant causes, or contributes to, while participating in a Forum Music Festivals event. The School, by submitting the application, releases Forum Music Festivals from any and all causes of actions, claims and damages of any kind, or nature, whatsoever, arising from any injury, loss, damage, cost, accident, delay, irregularity, or expense arising out of, or in any way connected with, the performance or operation of a Forum Music Festivals program. Forum Music Festivals disclaims all liability in actions resulting from the unlawful reproduction of parts and/or entire scores of music.
Any dispute concerning this Agreement, the brochure or any other material concerning the trip or the trip itself must be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration in Santa Ana, California pursuant to the current commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association then existent. In any such arbitration, substantive (but not procedural) California law will apply without regard to the California Arbitration Act.
State of California Registered Seller of Travel: CST 2098512-40. (Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.)
For California Consumers:Upon cancellation of the transportation or travel services, where the passenger is not at fault and has not cancelled in violation of any terms and conditions previously disclosed and agreed to by the passenger, all sums paid to the seller of travel for services not provided will be promptly paid to the passenger, unless the passenger advises the seller of travel in writing, after cancellation. This providision does not apply where the seller of travel has remitted the payment to another registered wholesale seller of travel or a carrier, without obtaining a refund, and where the wholesaler or provider defaults in providing the agreed-upon transportation or service.
This transaction is covered by the California Travel Consumer Restitution Fund (TCRF) if the seller of travel was registered and participating in the TCRF at the time of sale and the passenger is located in California at the time of payment. Eligible passengers may file a claim with TCRF if the passenger is owed a refund of more than $50 for travel services which the seller of travel failed to forward to a proper provider or such money was not refunded to you when required. A claim must be submitted to the TCRF within 12 mos. after the scheduled completion date of the travel. A claim must include sufficient documentation to prove your claim and a $35 processing fee. Claimants must agree to waive their right to other civil remedies against a registered participating seller of travel for matters arising out of a sale for which you file a TCRF claim. Request a claim form by writing to: Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation, P.O. Box 6001, Larkspur, CA. 94977-6001.
California law requires certain sellers of travel to have a trust account or bond. Forum Music Festivals has a trust account.
Forum Music Festivals is registered with the State of Florida as a Seller of Travel, Registration No. ST41187.