Rockygrass Instrument Contests

Rockygrass Instrument Contests

Rockygrass Instrument Contests

Rockygrass Instrument Contests

The RockyGrass Music Competitions are traditional bluegrass competitions that began at the 1st Annual Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival in 1973. Instrumentalists can compete in the following categories: flatpick guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, and fiddle.

The preliminary round is held in the Wildflower Pavilion on Friday and the final rounds are held on the RockyGrass main stage on Saturday morning for all to enjoy — with many of the finalists’ performances broadcast live on KGNU Boulder-Denver.

Check back soon for information on how to enter the 2024 RockyGrass Instrument Contest!

2023 Instrument Contest Results

This year’s instrument contest showcased another dazzling display of virtuosity in the Wildflower Pavilion and the finals on the main stage. Congrats to all the 2023 finalists:

  • 1st place: Luciya Sullivan
  • 2nd place: Corey Clark
  • 3rd place: Elijah Donovan
  • 1st place: Michael Furry
  • 2nd place: Philipp Keck
  • 3rd place: Soraya Sullivan
  • 1st place: Ethan Batan
  • 2nd place: Luke Lovejoy
  • 3rd place: Jack Dunlevie
  • 1st place: Celeste Johnson
  • 2nd place: Mei Lin Heirendt
  • 3rd place: Jackson Earles
  • 1st place: Summers Baker
  • 2nd place: Brian Eyster
  • 3rd place: Dan Buller

2023 Contest Prizes

1st Place:

Banjo - Deering John Hartford 5-String Banjo

Fiddle - Thomas Verdot Paragon Fiddle

Guitar - Preston Thompson D-MA Guitar

Mandolin - Collings Guitar MT2 Mandolin

Dobro - $1000 Cash!

2nd Place:


3rd Place:



Rockygrass Instrument Contests

Banjo 1st Prize

Deering John Hartford 5-String Banjo

Deering’s American-made Hartford model banjo, designed and built for legendary banjoist/performer John Hartford, has the world-renownedDeering Grenadillo (wood) tone ring.

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Rockygrass Instrument Contests

Guitar 1st Prize

Preston Thompson D-MA Guitar with Adirondack top

The Preston Thompson Dreadnought guitars are all crafted to produce the tone and volume that the dreadnought guitar was originally designed to achieve.

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Rockygrass Instrument Contests

Fiddle 1st Prize

Thomas Verdot Paragon Fiddle

Thomas Verdot studied violin construction with the late Karl Roy, former head of the violin making school in Mittenwald, Germany.

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Rockygrass Instrument Contests

Mandolin 1st Prize

Collings Guitars MT2 Mandolin

The MT2 is our fully appointed A-model with a seasoned Red spruce top and premium maple back and sides. With its superb tone, elegant stylings and unmatched playability, the MT2 is sure to please the most discerning eyes and ears.

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