The FreshGrass Award celebrates and rewards innovative artists who offer a fresh take on the tradition of bluegrass music. With four categories and prizes summing over $25,000, our award is proud to be the most ambitious of its kind in bluegrass today. If you are unsigned, have wicked skills, and are performing traditional and original songs that are deeply informed by bluegrass even as they test boundaries – we want to hear you. The categories are: Best Band, Best Duo, Best Banjoist, and Best Fiddler.
Following a video pre-screening, our panel of jurists led by banjo legend Alison Brown will invite finalists in each category to participate in a head-to-head performance onstage at the festival. Each finalist will have to perform a standard or traditional tune and an original composition. The winners – selected on the basis of compositional originality, instrumental and vocal skills, and stage presence – will take home an array of prizes, including the opportunity to perform at the following year’s festival, recording sessions at Compass Records, and hand-crafted instruments.