Entrants are judged in three rounds of competition. In the first round, all submitted songs are considered by a panel of professionals, who determine the top five entries. Those are then evaluated by a different set of judges to choose the top three, who are then invited to perform their songs during the festival where cash prizes are awarded.
For 2017, the finalists are Kevin T. Hale from Brentwood, TN who has two songs in the final round (Angels from Apple’achia and Are There Hillbilly Bands In Heaven), and Mike Swartzentruber from Centerburg, OH (My Child Welcome Home).
Kevin and Mike will go head-to-head on Saturday, August 12 on the festival’s main stage at 5:45 p.m. for prizes valued at over $600. Hale is a previous winner in the Podunk competition.
In addition to a full lineup of bluegrass entertainment on stage, the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival also hosts a band contest and a kids singing competition during their weekend festival. An interesting twist is that the bands that compete each year are required to learn and perform a version of the previous year’s winning song as part of their judged performance.
Full details about all of the offerings at Podunk can be found online.