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Concert Tours

World class | Worldwide

ACFEA - The specialist concert tour provider

When it comes to arranging concert tours for amateur choirs, bands and orchestras, ACFEA Tour Consultants has over 60 years of experience (more than any other tour company) which means you are unlikely to find a better partner when planning your music tour.

We start by listening to what you want to achieve and end by producing the best possible tour within your budget. We have thousands of successful tours under our belt and a vast directory of reliable concert venues in our database. Because our speciality is exclusively music, we offer unrivalled venue information across all of Europe and throughout much of the rest of the world. Take a look at our blog to read more about our experience. For more about our team, please click here.

With a worldwide network of offices and representatives, ACFEA Tour Consultants offers a complete service to arrange value-for-money quality concert tours. Small enough to give a completely personal service, but large enough to offer real buying power. The choices we offer you are based on our experience, and we give the all-important reassurance of properly executed risk assessments to recognised standards.

ACFEA Tour Consultants is a division of Specialised Travel, the leading provider of travel services to the professional performing arts world. We understand the difficulties of moving fragile and valuable instruments around the world. Our expertise in this area means this is our forte! We are fully licensed and bonded by IATA, CAA/ATOL and ABTA. Financial reassurance for you, your group, and those contributing to your tour.

We are well aware that taking a group on tour is a huge commitment.  A successful tour can raise standards as well as boost the morale and prestige of both the group and its Director. A less-than-stellar tour can have the opposite effect! Don’t evaluate a proposal just on paper - this could reflect more on who wrote it than on the ability of the company to deliver it.  

We have been told that “we turn new clients into old friends”. Contact us, visit our offices, talk to our many loyal and repeat clients. 

ENQUIRY FORM
Contact our team of accomplished musicians and travel experts
"As ever, professional and caring support was provided by ACFEA... I wouldn’t consider using any other company!"
Rosemary Scales, Leighton Park School tour to Malta

ON THE ROAD
 

All types of concerts can be arranged from service participations to concerts in some of the world's most glorious sacred and secular spaces. Compete in festivals or enjoy joint performances and exchanges with foreign choirs and orchestras – ACFEA can arrange it all.

Click on the panels below and catch up on our latest blog, news and tour destinations.

Zurich Youth Symphony Orchestra on tour
Zurich Youth Symphony Orchestra embarked upon a very successful tour of the UK in October 2018 and I shared their experiences with them throughout as courier. Beginning at the historic Snape Maltings, they performed in a joint concert with Suffolk Youth Orchestra (another regular client of ACFEA) to a sizeable and supportive audience. Both orchestras cheered each other on! As the final concert of Suffolk’s conductor Philip Shaw, a veteran of Suffolk County Music Service, it was a special evening for all! For dinner we hired a private fish and chip van from a local supplier –a great start to the tour! Follow the link for more...
ABTA’s role in the Brexit negotiations
ABTA is working hard with the UK government, and across Europe, to secure the best possible outcome for the travelling public as the UK departs the European Union. ABTA is lobbying to safeguard our transport links, including our air routes, and protect valuable consumer rights. Post-Brexit, it is important that travellers continue to enjoy visa-free travel and access reciprocal healthcare arrangements currently offered by the European Health Insurance Card....
An adventure in Transylvania
Site inspections are always full of excitement and the trip with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) was no different. As a first time visitor I was constantly stunned by the beauty of the landscape, the variety of food and how warm and hospitable the locals were. We landed after midnight at a regional airport (to applause from the plane…) and sped through the streets of Sibiu to the hotel. Early next morning we visited our first concert venue, walking through the Christmas markets of this former European Capital of Culture and arrived to the sound of the Sibiu Philharmonic rehearsing Spartacus by Khachaturian. There followed our first long drive of the trip seeing many a horse and cart along the way.
The Courier Experience
Touring in Spain with Eton College, by Courier turned Tour Manager Paloma Alvar When you accept a job as an ACFEA courier, you know that you are taking on a huge responsibility. Tour Managers work on their tours for months. They know every little detail about the group and about the destination and, when the tour is set for departure, they pass the responsibility onto the courier to ensure all runs smoothly. Eton College was the first UK school group I worked with as a courier, but I was not alone on the tour – I was accompanied by Pilar, an experienced courier who had couriered for many ACFEA tours.
South Africa
Christmas came early when I was given the green light to accompany Schola Cantorum on part of their tour to South Africa in October 2017. 24 hours after leaving the UK and a long journey via Dubai we arrived in Johannesburg and met our courier, Pieter. The group were tired but in good spirits and after a spot of lunch we were revived enough for a guided tour of Soweto. A visit to the Walter Sisulu Square featured the choir in an impromptu performance of Ukuthula in the brick tower (a monument to the Freedom Charter where the full principles of the charter are engraved) together with its beautiful acoustic.
Learning outside the classroom changes lives
In February 2018, ACFEA was proud to be awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge for the 8th year running, as part of being an Assured Member of the School Travel Forum. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom advocates that every young person should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances. The purpose of the Quality Badge is to help schools identify good quality and safe provision, and to reduce red tape for schools when planning educational visits, as it combines learning and safety into one easily recognisable accreditation.
MMA Conference, Eton College
As Tim Johnson, Director of Music at Eton College, said in his opening address, it was thoughtful of the Royal Family to organise Harry and Meghan’s wedding so that it coincided with the MMA Conference. The trade fair venue, Eton College’s magnificent School Hall, would have been splendid enough in its own right, but coupled with the carnival atmosphere in Windsor on May 19, the whole weekend created a very special atmosphere. Inspiring keynote speeches from Tony Little and Will Gompertz, choral evensong sung by delegates in Eton College Chapel, and the opportunity to view the magnificent Eton Choirbook in the College library, added to the unique attraction of the event. ACFEA was proud to sponsor the final dinner in the elegant surroundings of Dorney Lake Boathouse, and the evening was rounded off with a spectacular musical fireworks display.
Travelling Tips
Here at ACFEA we are all aware of the less-glamorous sides to travel: jet lag and the dreaded packing! Eleanor Etherington, one of our experienced tour managers, has travelled more than most and here shares her top tips for beating jet lag and minimising your packing stress
Trailblazing the Ukraine
Boldly going where no ACFEA group has gone before this year the Belfast Philharmonic Chorus undertook a 9 day tour of Poland and Ukraine performing the Mozart C Minor mass and Poulenc’s Stabat Mater accompanied by the Lviv Virtuosos Academic Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Bartosz Żurakowski. First stop on the tour was Opole, a city around 200km west of Krakow on the river Oder. Over 500 people flocked to Opole Cathedral to hear the concert and they weren’t disappointed!
ACFEA Tour Consultants UK Summit in Derbyshire
With a busy touring summer behind us, November saw the team from ACFEA Tour consultants travel up to Derbyshire for our annual review meeting. As Tour Manager Elizabeth Assmann says, “it was the second time the team had met at the cosy East Lodge Hotel in Rowsley so we knew we were in for a treat! Spending this time together, away from our regular office base, is really valuable because it’s an opportunity to meet together to review the past touring season and also an opportunity to re-connect as a team and strengthen our working relationships.
ACFEA Courier Training Day
ACFEA Tour Consultant’s policy is for all of our tours to be accompanied by an experienced courier who acts as Tour Manager for each group. In October we invited 30 couriers for an exclusive ACFEA training day. They travelled to London from all across Europe – Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, Scandinavia & Poland – to learn more about ACFEA and share their experiences with others.
A Diary of Suffolk Youth Orchestra's Tour to Poland, July 2017
Highlights of the tour by members Sasha Campbell, Anton Avis, Isaac Barrow & Sophie Reaville
Queens' College Cambridge concert tour to France
ACFEA Tour Consultants were delighted to facilitate the Queens' College Cambridge concert tour to France in July 2016. Their tour is documented in this excerpt from their own official report as written by members of the Choir!
NYC Nightingales in Spain
Spectacular venues in Seville, Cordoba and Granada combined with appreciative audiences and fun with flamenco. Read more>>>
Glorious Hungary
The Chorus of Westerly performed with the Danube Symphony Orchestra in the glorious Matthias Church >>
'Small' vs 'large' tour operations
Nigel Morley, pianist and conductor of the Lincolnshire Youth Symphony, describes his experience as a 'small' tour operator himself and the perception that small equals cheaper.
Featured on TV in Spain
One of the many choirs that visited Spain in 2015 was London Oratory School Schola Cantorum who were filmed for national Spanish television during their particpation in mass at Toledo Cathedral >>
NYOS' tour to China
The symphony orchestra's packed itinerary included visits to sights such as the Yu Gardens in Shanghai, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall >>
Sell-out concerts in India
This extraordinary and memorable tour to India saw Eton College Chapel Choir perform at a fundraising event for the Maharaja of Jodhpur, participate in workshops with underprivileged children with Songbound and perform two sell-out concerts >>
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