Instrumentalists and bands are invited to submit to compete for the 2022 FreshGrass Awards with its $12,500 in cash prizes. Awards are offered for banjo, fiddle, guitar, and full band, with the band winner also receiving a day of recording at the Compass Records studio in Nashville.
Three finalists will be chosen in each category based on video submissions, and unlike most competitions of this sort, FreshGrass gives a cash grant to each finalist to help them cover expenses to pit themselves against each other in the finals at the FreshGrass Festival in North Adams, MA in late September. Instrumental contenders each receive a $500 grant, while band finalists get $1,000.
FreshGrass doesn’t strictly limit what sort of music should be played, though they do suggest that it be “music that’s deeply informed by bluegrass, even as it tests boundaries.”
The winners of the instrumental events will be awarded $2,500, and the winning band gets $5,000. That’s worth taking some trouble and hiking up to Massachusetts. Winners also get time on the main stage, and all finalists are permitted to sell albums at the festival. Free three-day admission to FreshGrass 2022 is also provided for all finalists.
The submission is a bit involved, and requires entrants to provide a video performance of two songs, tunes, or pieces, one of which must be original. FreshGrass Awards are open to all unsigned artists, though self-released recordings with independent distribution are allowed.
Full details can be found online including the online submission form. They must be received by May 15 to be considered.