ROMP hosting virtual bluegrass band contest

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum and Jagoe Homes, both in Owensboro, KY, are hosting a Virtual Band Contest running from now through March of next year, in collaboration with the annual ROMP festival. The winner will get to play on the main stage during the 2021 event, and at an after-party on the Jagoe Homes stage.

ROMP, short for River of Music Party, is held each year as a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame, and brings in bluegrass of every style to Owensboro for a major outdoor festival.

To enter the contest, bands are invited to submit a video of them performing by January 31, along with a band photo and bio, after which time they will be posted online for all to watch and listen. Since the 2020 ROMP was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, organizers decided to give fans the final say in the virtual band contest by having a public vote on the submitted videos.

Chris Joslin, Executive Director of the Hall of Fame, says that they are excited to get the folks who love ROMP best choose the winner.

“This is the perfect opportunity for ROMP fans to choose the band! Engaging directly with the music creates a unique experience, and that’s where we do our best work as an organization, both with ROMP and the Hall of Fame downtown. Last year we hosted people from over forty states and six counties, and now these fans have a new way to get involved to build excitement for ROMP 2021.” 

He and Scott Jagoe created this video with an overview of the contest.

Complete contest rules are as follows:

  • Each band must submit a video up to six minutes that has been uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. 

  • Upon entry, your video and info will be posted on the ROMP Fest website. We’ll send you a link to share with your fans once voting is open to the public. You only win by getting the most votes. Mobilize your fans to vote!

  • The band must acknowledge at the beginning of the video this is a submission for the ROMP Band Contest. Feel free to be creative with this!

  • Bands may consist of 3-6 members.

  • The music must fall under the umbrella of bluegrass or acoustic roots music.

  • Bands must maintain 75% of members highlighted in the video to perform at ROMP in 2021. Failure to comply may result in disqualification.

  • Band members may only be in one participating band.

  • The deadline for video submission is January 31st, but there is a cap on entries. Don’t delay!

  • By entering this contest, you allow ROMP Festival to share and display your video through media outlets.

  • The winning band will receive a performance fee and lodging for ROMP 2021.

  • You only win if you get the most votes for your video. Activate your fans, encouraging them to vote!

  • ROMP Festival is a production of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.

ROMP takes a very expansive view on the question of “what is bluegrass?” So if you play acoustic instruments and sing in a folk or traditional music-based style, your band should qualify.

See all the details, along with an entry form, on the ROMP Virtual Band Contest web site.

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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.