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A New Guide

Stewarding at festivals

The person acting as steward must be thoroughly acquainted with all aspects of Festival organisation and procedures. The role of the steward is to liaise between the organising committee and the adjudicator during the run of the Festival, to keep the adjudicator informed as to local circumstances and to be prepared to answer any questions which he/she might have. The steward should meet the adjudicator at his/her hotel, bring him/her to the theatre and accompany him/her back at the end of the evening unless otherwise arranged.

The Festival Secretary should ensure that the steward is provided with:

  • Festival Rules & Guidelines (to advise adjudicator if requested)
  • tickets for the theatre
  • adjudicator’s board/light/programme
  • a note of the teams requiring private adjudications
  • the order of private adjudication
  • the time allowed for the private adjudications


The steward should not question or criticise the adjudicator or discuss the performances.


The steward should:

  • on first arrival take the adjudicator to the area designated for him/her
  • take the adjudicator on stage and introduce him/her to the Festival Director and appropriate technical personnel
  • accompany the adjudicator into the theatre before each play and remain in the theatre with him/her
  • make the necessary arrangements for the adjudicator’s preferred refreshments
  • diplomatically protect the adjudicator from inappropriate contact with members of the audience or competing teams
  • accompany the adjudicator to the designated area during interval
  • accompany the adjudicator to the stage for the public adjudication and remain back stage
  • take the adjudicator to the appropriate areas for the private adjudications and remain with him/her


At the private adjudications the steward should:

  • ensure that relationships do not become strained or overheated
  • ensure that unfair comments are not directed at the adjudicator
  • ensure the time allocated by the organising committee is adhered to
  • be prepared to halt the private adjudication at any time if any of these circumstances should occur.


At the end of the festival the steward should collect the scripts from the Adjudicator and pass to the organising secretary.