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Song Contests and Music Competitions

Madman Mike's list of Music Contests from songwriting to performing, national and international, annual and special one times.

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

Add or Update a Music Contest, scroll down or → click here


Click names of contests or facebook links for complete info and updates.

Music Contests 2017

John Lennon Songwriting Contest and Maxell Song of the Year – two sessions each year. Annual international contest with over $275,000 in cash and prizes, open to amateur and professional songwriters. Each Session has 12 Grand Prize Winners and 36 Finalists.

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, amateur and professional songwriters and musicians are invited to participate. ISC has a prestigious panel of judges offering exposure and the opportunity to have your songs heard by influential decision-makers in the music industry.  facebook

Paramount Song Contests – multiple contests every year, “Over $125,000 cash & prizes awarded. The Nashville Songwriting Connection for songwriters all over the world.

Country Showdown – annual competition, the largest and longest running County Music Talent Search in the nation. Winner receives a prize package totaling over $100,000.  facebook

Unsigned Only Music Competition – Annual competition for those not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. 2017 Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $20,000 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.

Song of the Year - Song & Lyric Competition – annual, over $80,000 of cash and prizes, plus have their material sent to record labels, publishers, management companies, promoters and other music industry insiders. Judges include individuals from various independent labels, all of the major labels and publishers, Grammy winners and nominees, individuals from Clear Channel radio stations and many other leaders in the music industry.

Indie International Songwriting Contest – annual songwriting competition, over $77,000 in useful prizes.

World Championship Old-time Piano Playing Contest – held annually, Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28, 2017 in Oxford, Mississippi. Youth and adults compete in ragtime and jazz for cash and trophies. Also has concerts, workshops, catered events.

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.

Recording Festival Competition – annual, 3 Bands/Artists can win 14 Days Recording at The Grouse Lodge studios in Ireland.

VocalMatch – annual contest for singers and songwriters. Winners in both categories, cash prizes.

Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands – Annual, cash and other prizes, chance to play live at FLOODFEST in Austin, TX, plus more.

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.

NSAI Song Contest – annual Nashville Songwriters Association International song contest presented CMT. Grand Prize is $5,000 cash and more.

American Accordionists' Association Festival and Competition – Annual AAA Festival Squeeze-Fest, this year July 12-16, 2017 in Princeton, New Jersey. Competition, performances, workshops, exhibits.

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 – annual, emphasis on placement in film, television, and video games.

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!

RiffRumble Song Contests – songwriting and song collaboration contests, several each year.

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 Songwriting Awards – international songwriting competition open to unknowns and working artists.

Hard Rock Rising Global Battle of the Bands – 2016 winner chosen.

TV Shows Music Competitions

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 – annual Eurovision TV Song Contest clips.

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

MTV Making The Band

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


Find More Music Contests

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.

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

SXSW Showcase (South by Southwest Music Conference) – annual, held in March. South by Southwest Music and Media Conference (SXSW), Austin Music Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas. “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.”


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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