Rockygrass Band Contest
Bands compete around a single microphone for fame and glory - as well as cash and a spot on next year’s main stage lineup. In 2021, the band contest finals will be held on the main stage on Sunday afternoon.
Awards include an invitation to play a set at the 2022 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.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 RockyGrass band contest: The Wildmans from Floyd, VA! They’ll be performing a full main stage set at the 50th (!) Annual RockyGrass (July 29-31, 2022).
A hearty congratulations to all 3 of the finalists who competed on the main stage at the 2021 RockyGrass Festival:
- Preliminaries: Saturday, July 24th in the Wildflower Pavilion. Approx 1:30pm.
- Finals: Sunday, July 25th on the Festival main stage (!). Approx noon.
$750, strings and main stage performance at the 2022 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