Young Performer Awards -How to qualify

How does one qualify to enter into this competition?

This competition is open for all recipients of diploma awards in the National Eisteddfod 2020, as well as top achievers who participated in other local eisteddfods / festivals during 2020: (excluding all reading and improvised categories).

Due to the challenges caused by Covid-19 since last year, various options and new opportunities are now available for participation in the FIRST and SECOND ROUNDS:

Diploma recipients in the National Eisteddfod 2020 have already qualified to enter the Young Performer Awards Competition and have TWO options available for participating in the FIRST and SECOND ROUNDS:

  • LIVE PERFORMANCE – You are required to perform live at the venue on the date as to be provided.
  • VIDEO RECORDING – You are required to submit a video recording of your performance.

Is there a way to qualify if I didn’t participate at all in 2020 due to Covid-19?

It has become apparent that some participants now regret the fact that they didn’t participate in 2020. For this reason the NEA has decided to create an alternative opportunity that will soon expire.

Read more

The Preliminary Qualifying Round provides anyone that do not currently qualify to participate in the Young Performer Awards Competition, the opportunity to qualify in any genre by submitting a VIDEO entry for adjudication.

Kindly note that ONLY VIDEO ENTRIES will be accepted for this Qualifying Round for a limited period only. Should you then receive a diploma award, you will qualify to enter for the Young Performer Awards according to the standard entry procedures for live and video entries. For more information about the Special 2020 Late Entry Read more…

2020 Special Late Entry

BEFORE 28 February 2021.

Preliminary Qualifying Round

How does one enter into this competition?

Participants in the annual National Eisteddfod of South Africa®:

All recipients of diploma awards in the preceding year qualifies to compete in this competition (excluding all reading and improvised categories).

Participants can submit their entries ONLINE at a lower entry fee.

Hard copy entries are also accepted (a higher entry fee is charged for hard copy entries.)

  • Since 2020 individual participants are no longer limited to only the exact “approved” items as presented at the Eisteddfod in 2020.
  • Similar items have been grouped together to create new broader categories that require a similar “skill set”. (For example: Lyrical Poetry, Narrative Poetry, Free Verse Poetry etc. have been grouped together in a “Poetry Category“).
  • This approach now opens up new opportunities for the serious performer: If you have received a diploma award for any one item in this category, you may now enter any number of the other items in the same category. For example:  if you only qualified with your performance of a narrative poem, you may now also enter a lyrical poem and/or free verse and/or another narrative poem in the same category.
  • The rationale for this approach is that achievement on diploma level in any category is considered as confirmation that the participant has acquired the higher skills level required in the given category. This now provides for an opportunity to present additional items within the “approved” skill set and is also an incentive for the participant to stretch his/her wings.
  • When submitting entries ONLINE participants will notice that their approved entries include the item(s) that they received diplomas for, as well as all the other available items in the same category that they now may enter for. In addition the items now also reflect their current grades (except for the open section).

Participants in other festivals / events:

  • Any participant that received a diploma or similar award in any other festival or event may qualify.
  • Most performance categories are accepted (except for reading and improvised categories  that are excluded).
  • Proof of the said achievement needs to be submitted for approval.
  • Entries can only be submitted in HARD COPY format at the applicable entry fee.

What is the format of this competition ?

  • This competition is presented over FOUR rounds.
  • The first round comprises of adjudicated events in each genre, where the adjudicator panels nominate  participants to proceed to the quarter final round.
  • The quarter finals take on a similar format: the adjudicator’s panel for each genre will select 15 – 20 participants / groups that will then compete in one of the four semi-final rounds. 

To provide for the challenges of creating a fair approach when adjudicating and ranking live and video performances in the Quarter Final round, live and video performances will be ranked separately. The final Quarter Final ranking order will then comprise of the top achievers from both lists.

  • The 4 semi-final rounds of Young Performer Awards competition are presented in  concert format at a theatre.  Each concert is dedicated to a genre (classical and contemporary music, dance and drama. The best participants in the different categories, as decided by the adjudicators’ panel, are then invited to compete in the final round. 
  • In the final round, a panel of experts representative of the different genres finally decide on the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.
  • An auditors’ company oversees the adjudication process in the semi-final and final rounds.

Young Performer Awards Competition – Dates for 2021

Provisional Programme:            

According to preliminary planning the schedule of events for LIVE performances will be published ONLINE by 15 March. The adjudication of LIVE performances will be scheduled for 17 March – 31 March.

(Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the programme of events might be subject to change. )

  • First Round: 17 March – 10 April 2021

A panel of adjudicators will adjudicate all “live” and “recorded” entries. 

  • Quarter Final Round: 12 April  – 23  April  2021

A limited number of participants will be selected in the First Round to compete in the Quarter Final Round, either in a live performance or by submitting a new video recording for adjudication. Invitations to these participants will be forwarded to cell numbers/e-mail addresses as provided on the entry forms. It is therefore important to ensure that this information is provided on the entry from with great care and is clearly legible.

  • Semi-Final Round: 4 – 7 May  2021

Separate events will be presented at the Roodepoort Theatre for Speech & Drama, Classical Music, Contemporary Music and Dance, etc.  The overall junior and senior winners of all sections will also be announced at each of these concerts.

  • Final Event:  8  May 2021

The overall junior and senior winners of all sections will finally compete for the overall awards on 8 May at the Roodepoort Theatre.

Programme for LIVE participation in the Young Performer Awards Competition 2021

The programme of venues and dates for live performances in die First and Quarter Final Rounds will be published online by 15 March 2021.

Closing dates and entry fees for LIVE and VIDEO RECORDED PERFORMANCES:

Entry Fees: Young Performer Awards Competition 2021

Guidelines for submitting video recorded entries

How to submit an entry for the Young Performer Awards Competition

There are TWO categories of participants with different options and fees for for submitting an entry for the Young Performer Award Competition:

Participants in the 2020 season of the National Eisteddfod of SA:

  • Only participants in the National Eisteddfod of South Africa 2020 can submit entries online.  (A discounted entry fee applies to online entries.)
  • Participants in the National Eisteddfod of South Africa 2020 can also submit entries in hard copy format. (Please note: a higher entry fee applies).
  • To qualify for the cheaper online fee, entries should be submitted before the relevant deadlines for entries as provided below.

Participants in other festivals / competitions in the year preceding the current competition.

  • Achievement of 90%+ or on diploma level required and proof of achievement should be submitted with the entry / entries.
  • Individual participants and groups can only submit their entries in“Hard copy” format (by e-mail, fax, paper copy)
  • The entry fee and closing date for “Other Festivals” apply
  • An entry should be submitted on the official entry form. 

Important: Participants in other festivals cannot enter ONLINE.

Once you have downloaded and completed the necessary form, it has to be completed and faxed / e-mailed with the necessary supportive documents  attached (proof of payment and achievement in other festival / eisteddfod) to: or 011-787-3534.

Who are the previous winners of this competition?

Here is some news about of the achievements of about previous top achievers in the Young Performer Awards:  Read here… 

What does others say about this competition?

This is what our adjudicators said about previous events: Read more.. 

What are the Rules and Regulations for the Young Performer Awards Competition?

Special Requests Young Performer Awards Competition

To provide for possible challenges, participants may submit special request pertaining to availability before the closing date for entries to We will attempt to accommodate all requests submitted in advance, but please note that given the particular demands of this competition, we cannot give any guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all requests. 

In order to facilitate the adjudication process, events are scheduled according to the participant’s grade (e.g. it does not make sense to schedule a Gr R participant with a group of Gr. 6 learners). For this reason and in the interest of the participant, we will be reluctant to allow any rescheduling of events.

When do I perform in the Young Performer Awards Competition?


Young Performer Awards Entry fees . . .

Young Performer Awards – How to enter? . .