The FreshGrass foundation and No Depression Awards celebrate and reward emerging artists who offer innovative interpretations of bluegrass and roots music traditions. With five categories and prizes totaling more than $25,000 cash — plus brand new instruments and studio time at Compass Records — we’re proud that our awards are among the most ambitious of their kind.
Freshgrass Awards. If you are an unsigned band, banjoist, fiddler or mandolinist (new in 2019!), have wicked skills, and are performing music that’s deeply informed by bluegrass even as it tests boundaries, we want to hear you. Once you’ve submitted and been pre-screened, a panel of judges will invite three finalists in each category to participate in a head-to-head performance at the Freshgrass Festival. Each finalist will need to perform one standard or traditional tune and one original composition.
The grand prize winner in each category — selected on the basis of compositional originality, instrumental and vocal skills, stage presence and performance, and proficiency in the tradition — will take home an array of additional prizes, including a large grant, the opportunity to perform at the following year’s festival, recording sessions at Compass Records, and hand-crafted instruments.
No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award. We have been so fortunate to feature some of the best singer-songwriters in the world as part of the No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award at FreshGrass! For 2020, we will be taking the year off from offering this award while we re-imagine how to present it in the future. Stay tuned for updates about the 2021 No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award!
To get more information or submit for consideration (submission window is open March 1 through May 15), please see the Awards page at the Freshgrass Festival website by clicking below.
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