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Song Contests and Music Competitions

National and International Music Contests. If current year is not posted, click name of contest or their other links for updates.

This page also has Bonus Info such as contests competitions Just For The Fun Of It, Music Awards, more. scroll down or → click here

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Music Contests

tsū originalOne music competition – Entry/Submit deadline May 20, 2016. To celebrate the launch of video capabilities on tsū, we're running a contest with $22,000 in cash prizes to find the best original songwriters/performers.

indi music challenges – new music label with several music contests with prizes in 2016. Genres include pop, country, rock, rap.

Recording Festival Competition – Submissions are being accepted for 2017 Competition. 3 winning band/artists will be flown out to Ireland for a 14 day recording session at Grouse Lodge Studios.

VocalMatch Contest for singers and songwriters – Entry Deadline July 1, 2016. Winners in both categories entered into the contest of winning $3,000.

World Championship Old-time Piano Playing Contest – annually on Memorial Day Weekend, 42nd season May 26-30, 2016 in Oxford, Mississippi. Vie for over $5,000 and trophies. 1st place $1,500 & trophy, 2nd $1,000, 3rd $750. Our goal is to preserve and showcase musical genres such as ragtime, traditional jazz, honky-tonk, boogie & novelty songs prominent before 1930 while giving youth and adults the opportunity to compete for cash prizes in a contest & festival atmosphere.

John Lennon Songwriting Contest and Maxell Song of the Year – Annual, two sessions each year. Session I begins in January, Deadline in June. Session II begins in June, Deadline in December. International contest with over $275,000 in cash and prizes. The JLSC is open year-round, open to amateur and professional songwriters, and features two Sessions. Each Session has 12 Grand Prize Winners (one in each category) and 36 Finalists (three in each category). Your songs may be entered in any of the following 12 categories: Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, World, Rhythm & Blues, Hip Hop, Gospel/Inspirational, Latin, Electronic, Folk, and Children's. Grand Prize Winners of Session I and Session II will compete head-to-head in an online voting battle to become the Lennon Award Winner in their respective category. 12 Award Winners will compete for the Maxell Song of the Year.  Vote for Lennon Award Winners

International Songwriting Competition – The ISC is an Annual song contest, entries usually accepted starting by early March. “Over $150,000 in cash and prizes shared by 68 winners. All Genres Accepted. Mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena. Amateur and professional songwriters and musicians are invited to participate. ISC has the most prestigious panel of judges of all the songwriting and music contests in the world, offering exposure and the opportunity to have your songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry.”  facebook

Unsigned Only Music Competition – Annual, Entry Deadline is in Mid-March. “Unsigned Only is a unique music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers all over the world who are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. The goal of Unsigned Only is to find an outstanding, talented performer: a band, singer, or solo artist...a newcomer or veteran...raw or polished - the gem - that needs to be discovered. Unsigned Only is looking for the total package. The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $10,000 in cash (plus additional prizes) and one-on-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives.” Judges include many big names in the music biz.

ParamountSong Nashville International Songwriting Competition – Multiple contests throughout the year with “Over $125,000 cash & prizes awarded (every year). We reward all kinds of songs and lyrics equally... including Traditional Country, Today's Hot Country, Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Pop, Rock, AAA, Alternative, Jazz, Blues. The Nashville Songwriting Connection for songwriters all over the world.”

Texaco Country Showdown – Annual, National Final in January. Grand Prize of $100,000. Country Music Talent Search begins each Spring with over 450 local talent contests sponsored by country music radio stations throughout the US. Winners advance to their respective State competitions held at leading fairs and expositions. Acts then compete for a $1,000 prize, the State Title and the opportunity to advance to one of five Regional Finals. It's the last step before the prestigious National Final held in Nashville, TN. A uniform judging system is used at all levels of competition to ensure fairness.

Song of the Year - Song & Lyric Competition (Annual) – Over $80,000 of cash and prizes will be awarded to the top songwriters! The 1st place winner will be awarded $30,000 cash for his/her winning submission. A contest whose "primary focus is to find great songwriters while helping them network with professionals in the music industry. Monthly winners and finalists throughout the year will get their music sent to Record Labels, Music Publishers, management and more. Judges include numerous Grammy Award Winners, Major Record Labels, individuals from Rolling Stone Magazine, professional songwriters and individuals.

Mountain Soul Vocal Competition – Annual, honors the songwriting of Dolly Parton. Entry deadline in April, competition soon after. Winning competitors will take home cash and prizes. Competition is part of Sevierville's Bloomin' Barbeque & Bluegrass event held annually in May.

American Accordionists' Association Competition and Festival – Annual AAA Festival, this year July 6-10, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo Squeeze-Fest has various competitions.

Great American Song Contest – Annual. 50 awards in ten songwriting categories, plus $10,000 in cash & prizes. All participating songwriters receive written evaluations of their songs from contest judges who are experienced music-industry pros.

International Blues Challenge 2017 (Annual) – January 31 – February 4, 2017, in Memphis, TN. “The IBC represents an international search by The Blues Foundation and its Affiliated Organizations for the Blues Band and Solo/Duo Blues Act ready to perform on a national stage, but just need that extra break.” Annual event, the largest gathering of blues bands in the world.

Music Pipeline International Songwriting Competition 2nd Annual – opens summer 2016, “searching for emerging talent worldwide, all genres, and prepares songwriters for introduction to the entertainment industry, with an emphasis on placement in film, television, and video games.”

Hard Rock Rising 2016 Global Battle of the Bands – a chance at $50,000 and a performance in Ibiza, Spain.

America's Best DJ - annual poll and summer tour presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times. vote for your favorite DJ, has weekly giveaways.

The Next Holiday Classic – Annual. Entry Deadline is in November. Beginning in late November, online voters will determine which songs will advance to the final.

Mid-Atlantic Song Contest (Annual). starts in June. Songwriters Association of Washington (SAW) presents a songwriting contest with 11 different categories to help songwriters receive recognition for their work and to further excellence in songwriting through educational programs. Prizes include up to $1000 cash, paid studio time, registration to Folk Alliance conferences, SAW membership, and more!

Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands – Annual, Free to Enter. Grand Champion wins An All-Expenses Paid trip to Austin, TX to play LIVE at FLOODFEST 2015, includes airfare, lodging, and ground transportation, PLUS $15,000 in music gear.

Ernie Ball Music Man Battle of the Bands to Open at Uproar Festival (Annual) – Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival

RiffRumble Song Contests (several each year) – RiffRumble is an online song contest for users of RiffWorks T4 Free (Mac/Win), RiffWorks Standard (Mac/Win) and FourTrack (iPhone) recording software, sponsored by Taylor Guitars, Disc Makers and Recording Magazine. Contestants worldwide can record a song on their own with RiffWorks or FourTrack, or with friends using RiffWorks' RiffLink online song collaboration. Each contest has total prize values of over $4,000. There is no contest entry fee and no purchase necessary.

NSAI/CMT Song Contest (Annual) – Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and Country Music Television (CMT). Submissions accepted August 1st through November 30th, voting starts February 1st and lasts till early March. No cash prizes. Prizes include 2 tickets to CMT Awards, private tour of CMT studios, one single-song publishing contract by a major publisher, Three-day trip to Nashville for one including airfare and hotel, etc.

OurStage – ongoing monthly contest. upload your music and videos, fans vote, win prizes. OurStage is where music fans can discover, enjoy and reward the best emerging artists – and where the world's artists come to find their fans, get amazing gigs and launch their careers.

American Idol TV Show – usually has auditions from late June through mid September before each upcoming season. Sometimes they allow last minute video autions submitted online in late September.

The X Factor (USA) – Annual Singing Competition TV Show. click link to get complete information including audition info.

Eurovision Song Contest (Vienna 2015) – link is to official website which has current and upcoming information, original Eurovision TV Song Contest clips, backstage materials, exclusive interviews, updates, press centre, and more.

Contests Listed in YouTube – check for DIY Home-Style Music Videos singing contests to Full Production Music Videos competitions to short commercials you make with your music in the background. New contests get added, see past winners.

America's Got Talent – Annual NBC TV show & Talent Search.

MTV Making The Band

Annual SXSW Showcase (South by Southwest Music Conference) – held in March. South by Southwest Music and Media Conference (SXSW), Austin Music Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas. This is HUGE. “Over 1400 acts showcased last year before more than 8000 registrants from all over the world. Pop, jazz, country, blues, reggae, hip hop, electronica – every imaginable style of music, from nearly every continent – is represented each night at over 50 of Austin's premier stages, many within walking distance of one another.”

Fast Track To Fame TV – Internet Music Television for aspiring singers and bands.

Find More Music Contests

Classical Music Competitions listed at MusicaNeo – International music contests for all disciplines. Large list shows upcoming deadlines and prizes, provides links to official sites of contests.

MusicComps – website that lists music contests by category and prize.

Bonus Info

Just for The Fun of It – Contests Competitions

Cover vs. Original – for each song, Public Online Voting decides which is better, the original version or various cover versions and remakes.

Guitar War – where guitarists from all over the world gather to match up in head to head online guitar battles, learn new techniques and exchange tips and tricks.

Music Awards

Grammy Awards – recording industry's most prestigious award, over 100 categories. Awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions.

American Music Awards – annual.

iHeartRadio Music Awards – annual.

Blues Music Awards – annual.

ACM Awards - Academy of Country Music Awards – annual. radio awards, industry awards, studio recording awards, special awards.

CMA Awards - Country Music – annual.  CMT CMA Awards info

MTV VMA – MTV's annual video music awards.

DJ Awards - Electronic Music – annual international electronic dance music DJ awards ceremony in Ibiza.

Native American Music Awards (NAMA) – annual awards show dedicated to music by Native North Americans and American Indians.

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