Individual and Band Information


Registration:

  • Pre-registrations must be received by the Thursday before the festival begins.
  • Pre-registered competitors must physically check in at the registration desk.
  • When registering in person, competitors must complete a registration form for each category that they are competing in.
  • Individual competitors are limited to two individual events and one band. Flatfoot dance is an exception. Open to all!
  • Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis in the limited number of slots, until the category is filled or until the designated cut-off time (15 minutes before event).
  • There is no Youth Division. The minimum age for all individual competitions is six years of age. Any child under six years of age and wants to perform should contact the Youth Tent Manager.
  • Once an event is full, a waiting list will be started.
  • Competitors must register a minimum of 15 minutes before scheduled performance time.
  • Number of slots for each category is limited based on history, interests, and available time.
  • Festival management reserves the right to add numbers based on overall time schedule.
  • Open instrumental category is for “individuals” who want to compete with an instrument that is not represented in the other competitions, e.g., Appalachian dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, autoharp, harmonica, bass, dobro, rhythm instruments, etc. The competitor can have one accompanist of a different instrument.
  • Folk Song Category is open to singers who perform an authentic folk song that 1) reflects the traditions of folk music, 2) is in the public domain or 3) is an original composition (no copy written songs).
  • Bands can register for only one category – Old Time or Bluegrass Band.
  • Competitors who place first in a particular category three consecutive years will no longer be eligible to compete in that category. These winners will be recognized as Master Musicians and may be asked to be a featured performer at future festivals.
  • Completing the registration process assumes the registrant is familiar with and agrees to abide by the competition rules.

Competition Information:

  • Competitors must check-in backstage 15 minutes before scheduled category or forfeit their right to compete.
  • Order of play in each category will be randomly determined once competitors check in.
  • Individual contestants will play either one or two tunes during preliminaries, depending on the number of contestants. Twin Fiddles and bands will play two tunes. Competitors may re-tune between songs if two songs are requested.
  • Emcee will announce the name of the contestant or band. Contestants will announce the name of the song on stage before each song begins. No other announcements or comments can be made.
  • Preliminary competitions determine the top 3 finalists for Individual & top 5 finalists for Band competitions, who will play-off in the evening finals. Finalists will be posted on the main tent after completion of each preliminary competition.
  • Competitors will receive a participation ribbon when leaving the stage but no refund of admission tickets.
  • Finalist Contest: If an individual or band cannot perform in the evening finals, they need to inform someone at the registration table and they will automatically receive last place.
  • Order of performance in the Finals is based on the order posted on the Finals Sheet.
  • The same band members who competed in the preliminaries must perform in the finals.
  • Individuals or bands need to be backstage 15 minutes before performing or receive last place. Finals begin at 6:30. This competition moves quickly. Be prepared.
  • The following awards are made after the Individual and Band Finals’ competition:
     

    Individual Competition:

    1st Place – $100,  2nd Place – $50, 3rd Place – $25

    Band Competition:

    1st Place – $600,  2nd Place – $500,  3rd Place – $400, 4th Place – $300, 5th Place  – $200, 6th Place – $100

Note: Prize money will be presented by checks made out to the individual or leader of the band.

Competition Rules and Judging Issues

Judging Issues and Competition Rules

  1. In order to encourage and perpetuate traditional music, judging will be based on the following:
    • Execution – timing, clarity, tuning, tone quality, smoothness of starting and stopping, and level of ability.
    • Authenticity and Presentation – style, balance, sense of melody, arrangement, and overall expression/soul.
  2. Only acoustic instruments are allowed.
  3. Scoring will not be based on age, gender, race, appearance, place of residence, or any other non-musical factor.
  4. The minimum age for all individual competitions is six years of age.  There is no Youth Division. Any child under six years of age should contact the Youth Tent Manager.
  5. Accidents or disturbances beyond the control of the contestant (such as a broken string/noise) may result in a replay, if the judges so merit.
  6. Folk singers will be judged based on feeling, intonation, voice, and appropriateness of the song. Folk Songs must be in the public domain or be an original composition (no copy written songs).  Singers will sing one song for no more than three minutes.  One rhythm accompanying instrument is allowed, played either by the singer or a supporter.  
  7. Individual category contestants will be allowed one accompanist of a different instrument.  Accompanists may play with more than one individual contestant.
  8. Bands must consist of no more than 7 members.  Bands must play heritage tunes in the public domain, characteristic of southern string-band tradition and style.  Only one vocal number is permitted, but is not required.
  9. Judges will determine if a non-traditional instrument qualifies for its category.
  10. Individual contestants will play either one or two tunes during the day preliminaries (depending on the number of entries).  Bands and Twin Fiddles will play two tunes. Competitors may re-tune between songs if two songs are requested.
  11. No medleys will be allowed.
  12. All songs must be limited to 3 minutes.  Judges will penalize for going over allotted time.
  13. Twin Fiddles competition does not allow an accompanist.
  14. The same band members who competed in the preliminaries must perform in the finals.
  15. Competitors who place first in a particular category three consecutive years will no longer be eligible to compete in that category.  These winners will be recognized as Master Musicians and may be asked to be a featured performer at future festivals.
  16. All judging is final and cannot be contested.  Judging sheets will not be available to contestants.
  17. Deviations from the rules will result in disqualification.

2019 Flatfoot Dance Rules and Judging Issues

There are separate judges for Flatfoot dance. Mountain Flatfoot Dance competitions will be approximately 30-45 seconds with a live band providing music. Dance judges favor traditional performance over technical performance. Mountain flatfoot dance will be judged on difficulty and variety of steps, natural and comfortable dance presentation, timing, and presentation of smooth old time style. This event should consist of authentic old-time dancing in the “true Flat-foot style.” For example, use of the arms and upper body should be used in a way to support the natural flat-footing rhythm and motions of the feet. Extravagant gestures such as high kicks and rhythms and styles of dance reflecting Clogging, Irish, Break Dancing, Sean-Nos, etc. are subject to penalty.

  • Shoes must be worn.
  • No taps are allowed.
  • Accidents or disturbances beyond the control of the contestant may result in a replay if the judges so merit.
  • Dance competitions will be approximately 30-45 seconds with a live band providing the pre-selected music to be used by all dancers.
  • All judging is final and cannot be contested.
  • Scoring will not be based on age, gender, race, appearance, place of residence, or any other non-musical/dance factor.
  • Deviations from the rules will result in disqualification.
Category Maximum Competitors
Mandolin
6
Open Instrumental
10
Folk Singing
10
Guitar
10
Fiddle
16
Banjo
16
Dance
10
Twin Fiddle
6
Bands
20

Dance Judging Issues and Focus

Judges favor traditional performance over technical performance. Mountain Flatfoot dance will be judged on difficulty and variety of steps, natural and comfortable dance presentation, timing, and presentation of smooth old time style. Shoes must be worn. This event should consist of authentic old-time dancing in the “true Flat-foot style”. For example, use of the arms and upper body should be used in a way to support the natural flat-footing rhythm and motions of the feet. Extravagant gestures such as high kicks and rhythms and styles of dance reflecting Clogging, Irish, Break Dancing, Sean-Nos, etc. are subject to penalty or disqualification. No taps are allowed.

2018 Winners

Folk Singing

  1. Lily Harwell
  2. David Russell
  3. Christine Blanton
 

Open Instrumental

  1. Christine Olsen
  2. Graham Ferrell
  3. Art Lang
 

Mandolin

  1. Jonah Horton (Master Mandolin) 2016, 17 & 18 Winner
  2. David Wiseman
  3. Caleb Coatney
 

Old Time Banjo

  1. Henry Coatney (2017 and 2018 Winner)
  2. Caleb Coatney
  3. Ashlee Watkins

Flatfoot Dance

  1. Aaron Ratcliffe
  2. Anneli Burnett
  3. Art Lang
 

Old Time Fiddle

  1. Christen Blanton
  2. Willow Dillon
  3. John Hofmann
 

Guitar

  1. Randy Blevins
  2. Graham Ferrell
  3. David Russell
 

Bluegrass Fiddle

  1. Cody Bauer
  2. John Hofmann
  3. Jacob Turnbill

Bluegrass Banjo

  1. Alex Edwards
  2. Judo Aaron Allison
  3. Carter Wilson
 

Twin Fiddle

  1. Andres Small / Bob Herring
  2. Ella Thomas / Kristen Harris
  3. Emily Wait / Ben Riesser
 

Old Time Bands

  1. Tater Hill Mashers (2017 and 2018)
  2. Brushy Mtn. Buddies
  3. Zinc Kings
  4. New Macedon Rangers
 

Bluegrass Bands

  1. The Jakes from State Farm
  2. Turkey Creek
  3. Blue Harvest
  4. Thomas Family Band
  5. Piedmont Mt. Grass

2017 Winners

Open

  1. Kathleen Burnett
  2. Christen Blanton
  3. Mary Holloway

Autoharp

  1. Michael Poole
  2. Doug Pratt
  3. Christine Olsen

Mandolin

  1. Jonah Horton
  2. William Roberts
  3. Zeb Gambill

Old Time Banjo

  1. Henry Coatney
  2. Caleb Coatney
  3. David Burns

 

Flatfoot Dance

  1. Dane Summers
  2. Forest Doyle
  3. Aaron Ratcliffe
 

Old Time Fiddle

  1. John Hoffman
  2. Anneli Burnett
  3. Christen Blanton

Guitar

  1. Vincent Bullins
  2. Austin Simonds
  3. Alex Edwards

Bluegrass Fiddle

  1. Ruth Shumway
  2. Emma John
  3. Marissa Colter
 

Bluegrass Banjo

  1. Alex Edwards
  2. Carter Wilson
  3. Jacob Carroll
 

Twin Fiddle

  1. Emma Johns/John Hofmann
  2. Anissa & Kathleen Burnett
  3. Andrew Small/Ashlee Watkins
 

Old Time Bands

  1. Tater Hill Mashers
  2. Suger Top Swains
  3. Zinc Kings
  4. High Ridge Pickers
  5. Bears in the Attic
 

Bluegrass Bands

  1. Blue Harvest
  2. Round Up
  3. Gaining Ground
  4. Carolina Crossroads
  5. Double Duty

2016 Winners

Open

  1. Danny Wicker
  2. Kathleen Burnett
  3. Emma Harwell
 

Autoharp

  1. Christine Olsen
  2. Art Lang
  3. Michael Poole
 

Mandolin

  1. Jonah Horton
  2. Caleb Coatney
  3. William Roberts
 

Old Time Banjo

  1. Caleb Coatney
  2. Henry Coatney
  3. Jared Boyd

Flatfoot Dance

  1. Dane Summers
  2. Cade Vissge
  3. Anneli Burnett
 

Old Time Fiddle

  1. Jacob Bowen
  2. Willow Dillon
  3. Cecil Gurganus
 

Guitar

  1. Presley Barker
  2. Danny Wicker
  3. Daniel Thrailkill
 

Bluegrass Fiddle

  1. Ruth Shumway
  2. Jacob Bowen
  3. Jacob Turnbill

Bluegrass Banjo

  1. Sawyer Whitman
  2. Alex Edwards
  3. David Bruce
 

Twin Fiddle

  1. Kathleen & Anissa Burnett
  2. Willow Dillon & Cecil Gurganus
  3. Tori Jones & Madison Elmore
 

Old Time Bands

  1. Strictly Strings
  2. Zephr Lighting Bolts
  3. Five Points Rounders
  4. Tater Hill Mashers
  5. High Ridge Pickers
 

Bluegrass Bands

  1. Trail Blazers
  2. Double Duty
  3. Forty West
  4. Appalachian Tradition
  5. Blue Moon Bluegrass

2015 Winners

Open

  1. Beth Smith
  2. Rick Ramseur
  3. Chrisin Blanton
 

Autoharp

  1. Doug Pratt
  2. Michael Poole
  3. Art Lang
 

Mandolin

  1. Eric McMurray
  2. Zack Arnold
  3. Caleb Coatney
 

Old Time Banjo

  1. Ben Reisser
  2. John Herrmann
  3. Willow Dillon

Flatfoot Dance

  1. Phoebe Douthwaite
  2. Linda Block
  3. Forest Doyle
 

Old Time Fiddle

  1. David Bass
  2. Kathleen Burnett
  3. Ruth Shumway
 

Guitar

  1. Presley Barker
  2. Tyler Thompson
  3. Zack Arnold
 

Bluegrass Fiddle

  1. Kitty Amaral
  2. Ruth Shumway
  3. Laura Smith

Bluegrass Banjo

  1. Keaton McMillan
  2. Trey Wellington
  3. Carter Wilson
 

Twin Fiddle

  1. Cecil Gurganus & Willow Dillon
  2. Ruth Shumway & John Hoffman
  3. Anessa Burnett & Kathleen Burnett
 

Old Time Bands

  1. Down South Ramblers
  2. Strictly Strings
  3. High Ridge Pickers
  4. Five Points Rounders
  5. Ready Creek Tick Pickers
 

Bluegrass Bands

  1. Turkey Creek
  2. Clay Bank
  3. Shadow Crass
  4. Paddle Creek
  5. Gaining Ground

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