Competition slots are limited so CLICK HERE to Pre-register
The top three individual finalists for each category play-off in the evening finals for first ($100), second ($50) and third ($25) place. The top five Old Time and Bluegrass Bands Preliminary Competition winners play-off in the evening finals for first ($500), second ($400), third ($300), fourth($200), and fifth ($100) place.
Competition Categories/Maximum Enrollment
*Open Category: For individuals who present musical talent reflecting the rich heritage of southern Appalachian music that is not available in other competition categories. Typical areas of competition include: Ballad singing, Harmonica, Mountain Dulcimer, Hammered Dulcimer, Dobro, Bass and Rhythm instruments.
Preliminary Competition Times (Approximate Times)
Final Competition Times
Please Note: The Festival management reserves the right to alter the times based on weather, number of competitors, and other external factors beyond our control.
In addition to the prize money, competitors will
1) receive a participation ribbon
2) have Saturday’s admission fee reimbursed upon request
1) Individual contestants will play either one or two tunes during the day preliminaries (depending on number of entries). Bands and Twin Fiddles will play two tunes in preliminary competition. Competitors may re-tune between songs if two songs are requested. The festival management reserves the right to make exceptions as numbers and extraordinary events dictate.
2) Competition will be “batched” for individuals and bands. No medleys will be allowed.
3) Registration for Music Competition categories will close 15 minutes before that categories scheduled performance (see schedule).
4) Contestants must be backstage at their categories designated time to be included in the music competitions order of performance or forfeit their right to compete.
5) No announcements by contestants will be allowed on stage before or after their performance. Emcee will announce all pertinent information for each contestant.
6) The order of play in each category will be randomly determined.
7) Winners will be posted at the conclusion of the event.
8) Open Category songs must reflect the rich heritage of southern Appalachian music and is not available in other competition categories. The festival management reserves the right to determine if the performance is in keeping with the festival mission and would be eligible for competition. Only acoustic instruments are allowed.
9) All songs must be limited to three minutes. Judges will penalize for going over allotted time.
10) Individual contestants can appear in only one band but can compete in different individual categories.
11) Individual category contestants will be allowed one accompanist of a different instrument. Accompanists may play with more than one individual contestant.
12) In Old Time Fiddle competition, trick tunes such as Listen to the Mockingbird will not be permitted.
13) Twin Fiddlers competition does not allow an accompanist.
14) Bands can compete in only one category, Old Time Band or Bluegrass Band.
15) Old-Time Bands must consist of at least a banjo, a fiddle and one rhythm instrument with no more than seven members. Bands must play heritage tunes characteristic of the old time tradition and style. Only one vocal number is permitted but is not required.
16) Bluegrass Bands must consist of three different instruments with no more than seven members.
17) Judges will determine if a non-traditional instrument qualifies for its category.
18) The same band members who competed in the preliminaries must perform in the finals.
19) During the finals, all individual contestants will play only one tune and Bands and Twin Fiddles will play two tunes.
20) Mountain Flatfoot dance competitions will be approximately 30-45 seconds with live band providing the music. Preliminary competition will determine the top three dancers who will compete in the finals in the evening. No taps allowed. (See Dance Judging issues)
21) Finalists who cannot perform in the evening competition or who do not appear at the designated time will automatically receive last place.
22) Competitors that place first in a category for three consecutive years will no longer be eligible to compete in that Music Competition category. These winners will be honored as Master Musicians for that category and although ineligible to compete, will be recognized and asked to perform as a highlight at the next festival.
23) All judges’ decisions are final.
Dance Judging Issues and Focus
Judges favor traditional performance over technical performance. Mountain Flatfoot dance will be judged on difficulty and variety of steps, natural and comfortable dance presentation, timing, and presentation of smooth old time style. Shoes must be worn. This event should consist of authentic old-time dancing in the “true Flat-foot style”. For example, use of the arms and upper body should be used in a way to support the natural flat-footing rhythm and motions of the feet. Extravagant gestures such as high kicks and rhythms and styles of dance reflecting Clogging, Irish, Break Dancing, Sean-Nos, etc. are subject to penalty or disqualification. No taps are allowed.