2014 FreshGrass Award Open for Submissions
May 17, 2014
The FreshGrass Award, a highlight of the eponymous three-day bluegrass and roots music festival held each fall at MASS MoCA, crowns up-and-coming musicians who offer a fresh take on the genre. Now in its second year, the Award expands from one category to three - giving unsigned bands, duos, and banjo players a chance to compete for cash prizes totaling $15,000, recording time at Compass Records' studio in Nashville, and a main stage slot at FreshGrass 2015. The competition, judged by a panel of industry professionals, is held concurrently with the festival on September 19-21, 2014, and contest performances are open to the festival audience.
To enter, contestants submit two videos via the festival's website freshgrass.com - one live performance of an original composition and one live performance of a bluegrass traditional. Notes festival producer Chris Wadsworth, "We want to hear musicians who know the rules well enough to break them!"
Submission videos are judged by originality, instrumental/vocal skill, and bluegrass proficiency. Award finalists are notified of their Award slot in mid-August. The contest runs on an indoor stage throughout the festival. The winner is announced on the festival main stage on Sunday afternoon, September 21st.
Developed in an effort to boost the careers of promising young musicians, the FreshGrass Award looks for future stars of the bluegrass festival circuit. 2013 Award winner Cricket Tell the Weather has filled clubs around the northeast since its FreshGrass debut last year, and performs at this year's festival. "It's a thrill," Wadsworth continues, "to watch the next generation of music-makers hunker down in this contest while the top bluegrass musicians in the country are playing right outside the doors on festival stages, jamming in workshops, picking in the courtyards, and sometimes popping on to the contest stage to have a listen."
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