2016 Music Competitions

2015 Instrument Contest Winners
2015 Instrument Contest Winners

We are now accepting entries in the 2016 instrument contests! Enter the instrument contests at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. Sorry, the band contest is completely full.

Since the first Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival in 1973, the band and instrument contests have been a central part of the festival experience. Cheer on the next generation of musicians as they vie for beautiful instruments, cash prizes, well-deserved recognition, and coveted spots on the main stage.

Congratulations to all the 2015 contest winners: band contest winners Rapidgrass and instrument contest winners Mike Coker (banjo), Brett Bass (guitar), Tyler Rennix (mandolin), Natalie Koob (fiddle) and Jesse Friedberg (dobro).

Instrument Contests

Contest finals on the main stage (photo Benko Photographics)
Contest finals on the main stage
(photo Benko Photographics)

The RockyGrass Music Competitions are traditional bluegrass competitions that began at the 1st Annual Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival in 1973. Instrumentalists compete on flatpick guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, and fiddle to receive beautiful instruments and cash prizes. 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.

2016 Contest

The preliminary round is held on Friday, July 29 in the Wildflower Pavilion (inside the Festival grounds). The 3 top contestants on each instrument will advance to the contest finals on the Festival main stage on Saturday, July 31. Here are the schedules for each instrument:

RockyGrass Instrument Contest Rules

Pickers & Fiddlers Score in the Following Categories

Instrument Contest Prizes

In addition, all 3 finalists on each instrument will also receive a commemorative RockyGrass Instrument Contest award ribbon.

2016 RockyGrass Band Competition

2015 band winners RapidGrass (photo Benko Photographics)
2015 band winners RapidGrass
(photo Benko Photographics)

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 2017 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, and 2015 winners RapidGrass.

2016 Band Contest Registration

2009 Band Contest Finalists
2009 Band Contest Finalists
(photo Benko Photographics)

Band Competition Prizes

2016 Band Competition Schedule

2016 Band Competition Rules

Bands Score in These Categories

2015 Contest Winners

2015 Band Contest Winners

2015 Banjo Contest Winner Mike Coker (photo Benko Photographics)
2015 Banjo Contest Winner Mike Coker
(photo Benko Photographics)

Congrats to the winners of the 2015 RockyGrass band contest Rapidgrass, along with other top finalists Twisted Pine (2nd) and The Blackberry Bushes (3rd). For the first time in recent memory, the band contest required an additional 1-song tie-breaker for our judges to select the winning band!

2015 Instrument Contest Finalists

Congratulations to the winners and finalists in each instrument contest. These top 3 musicians on each instrument will perform in the contest finals on the main stage on Saturday, July 25. (Finalists are listed in alphabetical order.)