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How are entries judged and what is the prize money?

Entries into Bridgwater Carnival 2023 will enter in one of the classes below. Winning your class is more important to most than the prize money on offer, taking part is what it is all about. The winners in each class have a perpetual cup or trophy to hold for a year. In addition entries in classes 1 – 15 are eligible for the Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals Association Cups.

See Conditions of Entry for further details:

Classes & Prize money

1 - Tableaux Carts (open) class

£400 – £375 – £350 – £325

2 - Tableaux Cart (local) class

Local arrangement

3 - Feature Cart (open) class

£400 – £375 – £350 – £325

4 - Tableaux Cart (local) class

Local arrangement

5 - Comic Feature Cart class

£300 – £280 – £260 – £240

6 - Juvenile Cart class

£300 – £280 – £260 – £240

7 - Walking Group, adult or mixed (6 – 25) class

£80 – £70 – £60 – £55

8 - Walking Group, juvenile (6 – 25) class

£80 – £70 – £60 – £55

9 - Walking Group, any combination (3-7) class

£55 – £45 – £40 – £35

10 - Pairs, any combination class

£55 – £45 – £40 – £35

11 - Single Adult Masquerader class

£45 – £40 – £35 – £30

12 - Juvenile Single Masquerader class

£45 – £40 – £35 – £30

13 - Single or Pairs with Wheeled Props class

£45 – £40 – £35 – £30

14 - Best Decorated Towing Vehicle class

Cup Award Only

15 - Best Dressed Towing Vehicle Driver class

Cup Award Only

All non-winning entries (classes 14 & 15 excepted) are paid appearance money for entering.

Entries in Classes 1 – 15 are awarded points for the Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals Association Cups.

The classes are judged by judges invited by the Carnival Committee each year and come from a wide area, to ensure the job is done properly we will have 66 judges this year who will be using the system below used over recent years to judge the entries, this system was thought by the majority to be an improvement on the previous system.

We review the system used each year and tweak it if felt necessary. The judges; all volunteers are invited to judge each year and to whom the Carnival Committee are very grateful for their help. Judging, a daunting task for anybody as the procession is moving all the time you are judging and with the larger entries there is a lot to take in as the entries in the main are all new to the judges on Carnival day.

The entries in 2023 will be split into four groups with each judge only judging two categories; although they will be judging more entries they will have far more time to study the categories they are judging.

So how will the judging work in 2023, well for the mounted entries (classes 1 – 6) each judge will be judging one of the following pairs of categories: 1) Presentation & General Effect + Music Appropriateness; 2) Stillness, Pose, Routine or Comic Content + Costume & Make Up; 3) Lighting + Cart Build Up; (depending on what classes they are judging).

There will be two groups of 18 judges, one group judging classes 1, 5 & 6 and one group judging classes 2, 3 & 4 with 6 judges in each group judging each one of the above pairs of categories.

As for the walking entries (classes 7 – 13) each judge will be judging one of the following pairs of categories: 1) General Effect & Entertainment Value + Costume & Make Up; 2) Presentation & Routine + Ingenuity.

There will be a group of 12 judges, with again 6 judges judging each of the above pairs of categories.

This leaves classes 14 & 15, the Bass Charrington Cup for the most original mounted entry, the Aquarius Cup for the best costume on a mounted entry and the Geordie Adamson cup for the best decorated third unit (train of three only); this is where the other 18 judges come into the equation, six for class 13 and three for all the others.

Judges are rotated each year to ensure there is movement within the classes to avoid the same judge judging the same class year after year. Judges are issued with guidelines to ensure there is compatibility in the way entries are judged. Click on the link below to see a copy of the guidelines.

The carnival procession in 2023 will be divided into 6 zones and each judge will be allocated a zone to ensure the entries are judged throughout the route, we are mindful that judges, although their work is vital can be seen as an obstruction by the audience at times so please bear with them, they have a lot to do, there should not be more than 11 judges in each zone this year.

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