2017 Music Contests

The Lil' Smokies performing in the Contest Finals (photo Benko Photographics)
The Lil' Smokies performing in the Contest Finals
(photo Benko Photographics)

Once again, songwriters and bands from around the country will take part in the nationally recognized Telluride Troubadour and band competitions, vying for beautiful instruments, cash prizes and well deserved recognition. Congratulations to 2016 contest winners: Anna Tivel and Fireball Mail!

Be inspired by these fine songwriters and great string bands on Thursday and Friday at Elks Park (free workshop stage in downtown Telluride). Then enjoy the finalists on the Festival main stage on Saturday morning (band contest) and Saturday evening (Troubadour winner).


Telluride Troubadour Contest

The Telluride Troubadour Competition is a nationally recognized 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. Finalists are awarded cash and prizes, as well as critical acclaim, well-deserved recognition, and a chance to perform on the festival main stage!

The Telluride Troubadour Competition has been held in conjunction with the Telluride Bluegrass Festival since 1991. Previous winners include Larry Good (1991), Cosy Sheridan (1992), Dan Sheridan (1993), Catie Curtis (1994), LJ Booth (1995), Michael Lille (1996), Jonathan Kingham (1997), Eugene Ruffolo (1998), Libby Kirkpatrick (1999), Mary Coppin (2000), Kris Delmhorst (2001), Deb Talan (2002), Rachel Davis (2003), Brian Joseph (2004), Keith Greeninger (2005), Nels Andrews (2006), Gregory Alan Isakov (2007), Nathan Moore (2008), Mitch Barrett (2009), Robby Hecht (2010), Matt Harlan (2011), Reed Waddle (2012), Reed Turner (2013), Michael Kirkpatrick (2014), Caitlin Canty (2015), and 2016 winner Anna Tivel.

2015 Troubadour winner Caitlin Canty (photo Benko Photographics)
2015 Troubadour winner Caitlin Canty
(photo Benko Photographics)

Entering the 2017 Troubadour Contest

2017 Troubadour Schedule

2017 Rules and Guidelines

Michael Hornick of Shanti Guitars with Troubadour Reed Waddle (photo Benko Photographics)
Michael Hornick of Shanti Guitars with Troubadour Reed Waddle
(photo Benko Photographics)

2017 Troubadour Prizes

2017 Telluride Band Contest 

2015 Band Contest winners The Lil' Smokies (photo Benko Photographics)
2015 Band Contest winners The Lil' Smokies
(photo Benko Photographics)

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 2018 lineup to perform on the festival main stage.

Past winners include the Dixie Chicks, Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband, Greensky Bluegrass, Spring Creek, Blue Canyon Boys, The Hillbenders, Nora Jane Struthers & the Bootleggers, Run Boy Run, Front Country, Trout Steak Revival, The Lil' Smokies, and 2016 winners Fireball Mail.

2017 Contest Registration

2017 Band Competition Schedule

2017 Telluride Band Competition Prizes

Playing the Main Stage at Telluride Bluegrass
Elks Park stage
(photo Benko Photographics)

Telluride Band Competition Rules

Bands Score in These Categories

2014 Troubadour Finalists (photo Benko Photographics)
2014 Troubadour Finalists & Luthier Michael Hornick
(photo Benko Photographics)

Tips from the Telluride Band Contest Judges

 

2016 Contest Finalists

2016 Troubadour Winners

Congratulations to the 2016 Telluride Troubadour winner: Anna Tivel from Portland, OR. It seems choosing the winning singer-songwriters gets more difficult every year. Great songs and compelling performances made for 2 beautiful afternoons in Elks Park. Congratulations to all 5 of these finalists:

  1. Anna Tivel (Portland, OR)
  2. Nikki Talley (Asheville, NC)
  3. Joel Ansett (Denver, CO)
  4. Tom Meny (Austin, TX)
  5. Hadley Kennary (Nashville, TN)

2016 Band Contest Finalists

Congrats to the 2016 band contest winners Fireball Mail (from Nashville, TN). They are now the first band officially booked to play at the 2017 Telluride Bluegrass Festival! Congrats to the top 4 finalists, who made for a thrilling Saturday morning of bluegrass on the Festival main stage:

  1. Fireball Mail (Nashville, TN)
  2. Ragged Union (Denver, CO)
  3. Chain Station (Boulder, CO)
  4. Mile High Express (Denver, CO)