Time to submit for the 2018 KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest

2017 KSMU Youth In Bluegrass winners, The Sowell Family Pickers

It’s time once again for young bluegrass bands to get ready for the KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest, held each year at Silver Dollar City during their annual Bluegrass & BBQ festival in Branson, MO.

Silver Dollar City was given a Distinguished Achievement Award by the IBMA this year for their continuing support of bluegrass music, and their strong encouragement of young bluegrass artists.

This is an invitational contest, with a $1500 first prize, and as many as 20 bands will be chosen to perform in the competition. Each selected group will play two brief sets in the contest, where they will be judged on instrumental and vocal ability, professionalism, and audience response.

To be considered as a contestant, bands must complete the official entry form, and send it along with a recording (CD, DVD, or YouTube link) before March 16, 2018. The competition will be held on May 26, and to be eligible, all band members must be 21 years old or younger as of that date. Parents are also allowed to be a part of the group, but are cautioned that the young pickers should be the focus of the act.

Only acoustic instruments are allowed, and all contestants will use a single microphone for their performance.

Prizes are awarded down to five places, as follows:

  1. $1500
  2. $1000
  3. $750
  4. $500
  5. $250

This is a prestigious competition, and several previous winners have gone on to greater success in the bluegrass world. Not all entries are family bands, but a great many are, and a wholesome family atmosphere is expected.

The official rules can also be found online, along with more information about the contest.

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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.