Rockygrass Band Contest
Bands perform around a single microphone in the Wildflower Pavilion on Saturday (preliminary round) and Sunday (final round) in the Wildflower Pavilion.
Awards include an invitation to play a set at the 2021 Festival, cash prizes, and more. Past winners of the RockyGrass band contest include Steep Canyon Rangers, Chatham County Line, Town Mountain, Blue Canyon Boys, Front Country, The Railsplitters, RapidGrass, The Wooks, Meadow Mountain and 2019 winners Never Come Down.
Registration for the 2020 band contest is now available online.
- The entry fee is $75 per contest.
- Since the contests are held inside the festival grounds, all contestants must have either a 3-day pass or single-day tickets for Saturday (the preliminary round) and Sunday (final round). If this is a problem for your band, please call our office at 800-624-2422. We may be able to help.
- Preliminaries: Saturday, July 25th in the Wildflower Pavilion. Approx 1:30pm.
- Finals: Sunday, July 26th in the Wildflower Pavilion. Approx 1:30pm.
$750, strings and main stage performance at the 2021 RockyGrass
$500 & strings
$300 & strings
- Prizes awarded immediately following final rounds
- Please note: Contestants are required to use one stage microphone for the preliminary and final rounds of the band contest.
- No more than 12 bands will be registered for the band contest.
- The band contest is held inside the festival grounds, so all band members must have tickets for the festival for the days of the contest (Saturday for the preliminary round, Sunday for the finals).
- Bands may consist of 3-6 members. The music should be “Bluegrass,” “Old Time”, “Western Swing” or “New Acoustic/Newgrass”.
- Recommended time limit: 3 minutes per song. The judges mark you down if a selection significantly exceeds 3 minutes.
- No electric instruments or pickups allowed, with exception of electric bass and steel guitar (or lap steel). Only one mic will be provided for each band.
- Each band plays 3 songs in the preliminaries and 3 songs in the finals. The 3 band selections must be the following types (tempos are relative):
- 1. A slow vocal song
- 2. An instrumental song
- 3. A fast vocal song
- Repeats of songs played in the preliminary round is not allowed in the finals.
- No drum sets or fixed/mounted percussion allowed. (Musicians should be able to stand and move with their instruments. Washboards, shakers, and tambourines are examples of accepted percussion.)
- Bands entering the contest may have no common members.
- 30% Material Selection (taste, difficulty, authenticity/originality…)
- 30% Instrumental Performance (includes ability of soloists and overall instrumental blend)
- 30% Vocal Performance (lead and harmony)
- 10% Stage Presence
Congratulations to the 2019 RockyGrass band contest winners Never Come Down from Portland, OR! They’ll be performing a full main stage set at the 48th Annual RockyGrass (July 24-26, 2020).