Bluegrass Island Band Competition

Bluegrass Island Festival 2016The Bluegrass Island Festival on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may be the fastest growing event in bluegrass. Just a few years out from their 2013 debut as the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, the Hemilright family of Manteo has continued to operate their main festival in late summer, and expanded to include a big Christmas bluegrass fest, an Opry-style country concert series, and a beach music show over Memorial Day weekend.

Though a dose of rough weather shortened last year’s event, things are full speed ahead for 2016, September 21-24.

Just added for this year is a band competition on Wednesday hosted in conjunction with Mountain Fever Records. There is no entry fee or immediate cash prize, but the winning group will be invited back to perform in 2017 with a $2,000 fee. They will also receive a 10-hour demo session at Mountain Fever Studio in Willis, VA (engineer and producer included), with radio distribution for the resulting track.

The contest information is not yet posted on the festival web site, so anyone interested in competing is invited to send an email to to receive the complete rules.

To apply, simply send by email the following:

  • Color band photo
  • Website link
  • Social Media Links
  • YouTube video links
  • Band Bio
  • Contact information

The band competition winner will also be invited to perform two songs on the main stage show Wednesday evening during the Bluegrass Island Festival.

Bluegrass beach trip in September? Sounds like fun!

Rhonda Vincent portrait by Brain Bain at the Bluegrass island Box Office and Store in Manteo, NCAnd speaking of Bluegrass Island…

Cory Hemilright shared this photo of the newest mural portrait to be added to their Box Office wall – a Brian Bain painting of Rhonda Vincent. Brian had already completed a similar mural celebrating Flatt & Scruggs which adorns the wall of their newly-opened facility across from the festival site.

Stop by and say “hi” if you find yourself at OBX this summer.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.