Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase
|2015 Songwriter Showcase finalists backstage
(photo Benko Photographics)
The Songwriter Showcase is our nationally-recognized singer-songwriter competition, open to anyone who writes and performs original music, and who is not currently signed to a major recording or publishing deal. Contestants are judged on the quality of the song’s composition, vocal delivery, and the overall performance.
Past showcase finalists include Erica Wheeler, Don Conoscenti, Karen Pernick, Deb Talan, Dan Sheridan, Dee Carstensen, Mitch Barrett, Sarah Sample, Chuck E. Costa, Liz Longley, Megan Burtt, Caleb Hawley, Robby Hecht, Caroline Spence, Connor Garvey, and 2015 winner Ben Shannon.
2016 Showcase Finalists
After listening to more than 400 songs from around the world, our committee of music industry professionals were consistently impressed by the originality, craftsmanship, and creativity of this year's entries.
These 10 finalists will perform on the 26th Annual Rocky Mtn Folks Festival main stage on August 19, 2016 and during in-the-round sessions in the Wildflower Pavilion throughout the festival. We'll post a stream of the finalists' songs in the next week.
2016 Honorable Mentions
2016 Songwriter Showcase Prizes
- 1st Place: 2017 Festival Main Stage Set, Taylor Guitar, and $300
- 2nd Place: $500
- 3rd Place: $400
- 4th Place: $300
- 5th Place: $200
- 6th - 10th Place: $100 each
|2012 Showcase winner Robby Hecht
(photo Benko Photographics)
2016 Showcase Rules and Guidelines
- Sorry, no co-writes. Songwriting entries must be entirely written by the entering songwriter.
- We encourage songwriters to submit new / different songs for the Telluride Troubadour and Folks Showcase contests. New songs will be given preference over songs which you have previously submitted to one of the Planet Bluegrass songwriting contests.
- Contestants cannot be signed to a third-party label or publishing deal. This competition is meant for emerging and independent performing songwriters.
- All tapes and CD’s must be postmarked or submitted by June 3, 2016 to be eligible.
- Ten finalists will be chosen for the Songwriter Showcase in Lyons. We will notify finalists by July 8, 2016.
- Each finalist will receive the following:
- a complimentary three day pass to the Folks Festival that includes on-site camping for one
- an “in the round” performance slot in the Wildflower Pavilion during the festival
- Finalists will play 2 original songs on the Festival Main Stage.
- Recommended time limit is 5 minutes per song.
- Points will be deducted for significantly exceeding this limit.
- Acoustic instruments with pickups are permitted as well as EQ devices but no effects.
- Instruments allowed are those that can be carried out to the mics with the performer. A keyboard will be provided if necessary.
- No backup musicians allowed. This is a solo competition.
To select the winners amongst the ten finalists, a panel of judges drawn from different facets of the music industry – songwriters, performers, DJs, producers – independently evaluate the performers’ songs based on our scoring criteria:
- 50% Quality of Composition (depth, insight, cleverness)
- 25% Quality of Vocal Rendering (vocal quality, pitch, tone)
- 25% Quality of Delivery (instrumental technique, induction of charismatic mania)
2016 Songwriter Showcase Schedule
- Entry Deadline: Postmarked by June 3, 2016
- Notification: Finalists will be notified by July 8, 2016.
- Finals: Friday, August 19th, 10:45am-12:30pm on the Festival Main Stage. Prizes are awarded on the main stage shortly after the Showcase performance.
- Showcase Finalists in-the-round. We'll be featuring the Showcase finalists in 3 different in-the-round sessions on Saturday and Sunday in the Wildflower Pavilion (see the Wildflower schedule for specific times).
Entering the Songwriter Showcase
We will begin accepting entries in the 2017 Songwriter Showcase in December 2016. Watch this page for more details later this fall.
We accepted entries for the 2016 Songwriter Showcase from December 1, 2015 thru June 3, 2016. Limit of 2 songs per person.
Songs could be submitted in 2 ways:
- Online: contestants may submit electronically through SonicBids. Online submissions will cost $10/song payable by credit card. Limit 2 songs/person.
- Snail mail: send us a CD (no cassette tapes or vinyl, please) with the songs/tracks for consideration clearly specified. Please enclose checks for $10/song payable to Planet Bluegrass. Limit 2 songs per person. Please do not send any lead sheets, lyrics, publicity, bios, etc. Recordings will not be returned. Send your CD and entrance fee to:
PO Box 769
Lyons, CO 80540
Attn: Folks Showcase Contest
2015 Showcase Winner
A huge congratulations to our 2015 Songwriter Showcase winner Ben Shannon! Ben will be performing a full set on the main stage lineup of the 2016 Rocky Mtn Folks Festival! Congrats to each of these top 5 finalists as chosen by our judges after the finalists on the Folks Festival main stage on August 14:
- Ben Shannon (Pittsburgh, PA)
- Drew Kennedy (New Braunfels, TX)
- Justina Shandler (Coral Gables, FL)
- Jami Lynn (Spearfish, SD)
- Joel Ansett (Denver, CO)