Telluride Band Contest

Telluride Band Contest

Telluride Band Contest

Telluride Band Contest

The Telluride Band Contest is a nationally-recognized bluegrass contest.

Finalists are awarded cash and prizes, as well as critical acclaim, well-deserved recognition, and a spot on the 2019 lineup to perform on the festival main stage.

2019 Contest Bands

The 2019 Telluride Band Contest features these bands from around the country:

Bands will perform in a randomly selected order.

Entering the Band Contest

  • The 2019 Telluride Band Contest is now sold-out. But if your band is attending the Festival, you’re welcome to stop by the contest on Thursday morning to check for last-minute contest openings.
  • Registration for the 2020 contest will open in December. Watch our website for more details.


  • 1st Place Prize:
    • $750 and strings
    • a main stage slot on the 2020 Telluride Bluegrass lineup
    • an EP recording package from The Studio at eTown Hall and Airshow Boulder (see details below).
  • 2nd Place: $450 and strings
  • 3rd Place: $300 and strings
  • 4th Place: $150 and strings
  • All band finalists will receive strings courtesy of J. D’Addario and Co.

EP Recording Package Details

Telluride Band Contest

Thanks to our recording partners: The Studio at eTown Hall and Airshow Mastering Boulder.

To make sure the winning band has something great-sounding to sell at their 2020 main stage debut, the winning band will receive an EP recording package from two complementary Boulder studios. They’ll track and mix at The Studio at eTown Hall and finish up with mastering at Airshow Boulder.

  • The winning band will get to track in The Studio at eTown Hall and mix with eTown Radio engineer James Tuttle in the The Studio at eTown Hall.
  • The band’s mixes will be mastered by David Glasser or Anna Frick at Airshow Mastering’s studio in the Boulder foothills.

*An EP is defined as “up to 20 minutes, up to 5 songs.” The prize includes up to 12 hours of tracking time and six hours of mix time, and up to 4 hours of mastering plus master parts. Mastering includes a master for CD manufacturing and a set of 24-bit master files for digital distribution or vinyl pressing. This prize may be applied to a larger work, with the band paying the studios’ customary rates for additional time or parts. The prize must be used by Mar 30, 2020.


Rules & Guidelines


Tips from the Telluride Band Contest Judges

Past Winners