YOH Fest was established in Mandurah, West Australia in 1988 to equip local young people in making positive lifestyle choices and to build self-confidence and leadership skills. The project was founded by a group of students at Mandurah High School, under the direction of School Nurse Ann Leaver, who went on to become the inaugural Executive Director until 2006.

Now, YOH Fest has grown into one of Australia’s largest celebrations of youth creativity and is a leading forum for health promotion. YOH Fest has empowered thousands of young people across Western Australia and the Northern Territory to share their stories on the issues most relevant to them through drama, dance or visual art. YOH Fest is run by young people, for young people. This ensures that YOH Fest focuses on what matters to young people in the festival and their community.

Does your school have a story to tell? In 2019, YOH Fest is open to all schools across Western Australia. Each year, students perform in front of judges and live audiences in an effort to qualify for the State Final and be crowned as the YOH Fest winner, landing them bragging rights and a cash prize for their school.

Dates and Locations

2019 Heats for WA

  • Goldfields
  • Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie
  • 19th August 2019
  • Midwest
  • Queens Park Theatre, Geraldton
  • 22nd August 2019
  • Pilbara
  • Red Earth Arts Precinct, Karratha
  • 26th August 2019
  • Southwest
  • BREC, Bunbury
  • 29th August 2019
  • Peel
  • Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
  • 2nd - 6th September 2019
  • Perth
  • Subiaco Arts Centre
  • 9th -11th September 2019
  • Great Southern
  • Albany Entertainment Centre
  • 13th September 2019
  • Kimberley
  • Broome Civic Centre
  • 17th September 2019

2019 Grand Final - WA

  • Dance & solo/duo Drama
  • Friday 25th October 2019
  • Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
  • Group Drama
  • Saturday 26th October 2019
  • Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
  • Visual Art Exhibiton
  • Monday 21st - Saturday 26th October, 2019
  • Mandurah Performing Arts Centre Foyer

Category Information

YOH Fest is challenging you and your school to come up with a performance or visual art piece based around the annual YOH Fest health theme, this year's theme being "Belonging". Let your creativity loose and tell your story in your favourite art form. 

There are six categories (click for more information):
Drama (group)
Drama (solo/duo)
Visual Art 
Short Film

There is no limit on entries, you can enter as many times as you like across all YOH Fest categories.


Each year a relevant youth health issue is chosen as the Act-Belong-Commit YOH Fest theme, and participants have the chance to get on stage and show off their talents, and educate themselves, audience members and the wider community about the challenges faced by young people in today’s world.

The Act-Belong-Commit YOH Fest health theme for 2019 is:


The need to feel included is a fundamental part of who we are and is integral to our sense of happiness, well-being and identity. Everyone needs to belong - to one another, to our friends and families, to our culture and country, to our world. So how do you find a sense of belonging? And what impact does loneliness, judgement and isolation have on us?

When exploring this year's theme, think about the coping strategies that can be applied to create a better outcome.   


Stay physically mentally and socially active in as many ways as you can!

Become a member of groups and clubs in the community; keep up friendships and relationships with family!

Engage in activities that bring meaning and purpose to life! Help a cause; volunteer to help others and feel good about yourself at the same time; learn a new skill and challenge yourself; set a goal and feel that wonderful sense of achievement once you reach it.

Keeping mentally healthy is as important as staying physically healthy, and it’s as easy as A-B-C, Act-Belong-Commit. www.actbelongcommit.org.au.

As part of YOH Fest, entrants are required to incorporate the Act-Belong-Commit message into their performance. This can be done visually or verbally, or can be incorporated into this year’s theme of ‘Pushed To The Limit’. Schools will be provided with Act-Belong-Commit resources to help with their message promotion. More information about the campaign can also be found at www.actbelongcommit.org.au or call (08) 9266 4648.

Please find below a link to ABC youth and educational resources that might be of use to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do registrations close for Act-Belong-Commit YOH Fest?
Western Australia: 10/05/2019

When are drama scripts, cast lists amd performance details due?
Western Australia: 26/07/2019

When is the visual art required?
In regional WA (Midwest, Goldfields, Pilbara, Great Southern & Kimblerley) ant NT, Visual Art must be delivered to the venue by 11am on the day of the heat that you have entered and will remain on display for the duration of the event. It is the school’s responsibility to arrange the delivery and collection of the artwork. All WA artwork will then be on display at the YOH Fest Visual Art Exhibition in October as part of the Grand Finals where they will be judged. Please arrange for artwork to be delivered to the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre by 10am on Monday 21st October and collected by the conclusion of the evening on Saturday 26th October.

How much does it cost to enter?
Drama and Dance costs $110 for the first entry and subsequent entires are $88.
Visual Art entries are $50 with subsequent entries $5. 

Can we choose which heats we would like to perform in?
Yes, as long as the preferred heat location has been specified on your Registration Form.

Can a school enter multiple entries?
Yes, schools are most welcome to enter multiple entries. However, depending on the number of performances a school enters, we cannot guarantee that all entries will be schedule on the same day.
Do we submit our entry information and scripts by post?
There is no need to mail any entry information. All entries are processed through your account in the 'teacher's portal' at yohfest.com.au. 

What time do we arrive on the day?
It is imperative that you arrive by the time specified on your rehearsal schedule which will be sent prior to the event. The day is run to a tight schedule and delays are an inconvenience to the organisers and the other schools.

Will the dance and drama entries be scheduled on different days in the heats?
No, all heats are a mixture of all categories, only in the Finals are they seperated.

When will I know my rehearsal and performance time?
You will be supplied with a copy of your rehearsal schedule prior to the event.

How long is our rehearsal time?
Dance: 15 minutes (+ 5mins feedback time)
Group drama: 25 minutes (+ 5mins feedback time)
Solo/duo drama: 15 minutes (+ 5mins feedback time)
All rehearsals are ‘timed’ and watched by the Judging Director.

All performances MUST be rehearsed in FULL to allow the Judging Director the opportunity to view the whole performance and give valuable feedback.

Can other students watch the rehearsals?
No, all rehearsals are closed rehearsals. The only students permitted in the auditorium during rehearsals are the students on stage, and their backstage crew. Students from the same school, but in different performances are not permitted in the auditorium without prior permission from YOH Fest personnel. Please ensure you have enough teacher/parent supervision organised.

How will we know it's our time to perform?
Approximately 15 minutes before you’re due to go on stage, one of the YOH Fest marshals will come and collect you from your dressing room and take you to the holding area side of stage.

I'm planning the lighting for our performance, what lighting options do we have?
All performances must fill out an LX Plot Sheet and bring along with them to their heats. A copy can be found in the 'teachers portal' or in the back of the Production Manual. The lighting grid will be of a standard configuration, consisting of spots and floodlights with various coloured gels.

Roving spotlights are not always available. If your venue has a cyclorama, then this can also be lit for your performance. You may have to adjust small parts of your lighting program on the day; however, we have found that usually the arrangement is more than adequate.

What is required in the performance introduction?
Each performance must provide a scripted introduction of a between 1-2 minutes (1 minute being the minimum), at the start of each piece.  Each introduction should include the name of your school and title of your performance, along with a sentence that includes “tonight, our YOH Fest performance explores…...” These introductions will be judged as part of the judging process and MUST be spoken by a student. All introductions will be conducted as a live voice over, off stage in the wings using a microphone. 

What do we do with our props?
When you arrive, bring all large props to the loading dock of the venue that you will be performing at. Your backstage crew is responsible for working with the venue staff to ensure safe and convenient placement of the props.

Do our students have to go back to school after their rehearsals?
No, your students can stay at the venue for the whole day. We encourage this as it gives the schools a chance to get to know other students and allows for valuable last minute rehearsal time!

Are there things for the students to do during the day?
Formal activities are not organised, however, where possible a selection of giant games are scattered around the venue foyer, which are available for students to use and encourages interaction with other participants.

Will dinner be provided for the students?
The dinner break is usually held between 5:00pm-6.00pm. Students are responsible for all of their meals. We endeavour to secure venues that are close to other facilities, such as food outlets; however, it is best to look at the area for yourself so your school’s needs are met.

How do visual art entries need to be displayed?
Visual Art must be mounted on backing card with sticky velcro dots, or on a canvas that must have picture hanging wire attached at the back. Any sculptures or large-sized art work needs to be specified on the performance detail sheet prior to the event.

Please provide a label for each piece of artwork to be display next to the piece.  This label should have the  name of the Student, School and title of the piece.  If you wish a short description may also be included.

What is expected in the production of the script?
The judging panel expects to be able to pick up a copy of your script and should be able to direct a fully-fledged performance from it. A good idea would be to refer to a professional script for a guide. It is important that teachers proof read the scripts before submitting. Please submit your scripts in pdf file format via the teachers portal on yohfest.com.au. 

What is the YOH Fest talent quest?
The Talent Quest has become an event in its own right. It is held from 5pm, usually in the foyer of the venue. Students are free to dance, sing, do stand-up comedy, play an instrument, and do impersonations - any special talent that they may have!
It’s a great way for everyone to mix together in an informal way, and it gets the performers excited for the big event!

Where do I get tickets from for YOH Fest heats and grand final?
Tickets are available from the venues box office. Please refer to ‘Venue & Ticketing’ page of the Production Manual.

Do performers need to purchase tickets?
Yes, all teachers & performers will be required to purchase a discounted ‘performers’ ticket if they wish to be in the audience at any point during the event. If they choose not to, they are welcome to remain in their allocated dressing rooms, under supervision, for the duration of the show. Discounted tickets are only valid to students who have the current YOH Fest wristband – these are handed out on the day of heats and finals.

When do we pick up our props and visual art entries?
All props need to be removed from the venue on the night of your performance. Visual Art entries can be removed from the venue at the conclusion of the exhibition. Unless prior arrangements have been made.