The FreshGrass 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 $30,000 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, duo (it’s back in 2020!), banjoist, guitarist (new in 2020!), fiddler or mandolinist, have wicked skills, and are performing music that’s deeply informed by bluegrass even as it tests boundaries, we want to hear you.

The submission window opens every year on November 1st. Guitar and duo submissions are due by FEBRUARY 15th. These competitions will take place at FreshGrass Bentonville. The remaining categories’ submissions (band, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and No Depression Singer/Songwriter) are due by MAY 15th and will take place at Freshgrass North Adams.

fresh grass

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 reimagine how to present it in the future. Stay tuned for updates about the 2021 No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award!

Contest rules and more details:

Submissions are open from November 1st – May 15th

Guitar and Duo Submissions are due February 1st as they take place at FreshGrass Bentonville. Band, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and No Depression singer/songwriter submissions are due by May 15th.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at: awards@freshgrass.com

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Past Winners:

BANJO:
2019
Max Allard

2018
Ryan McCauley (1st)
Sam Z (2nd)

2017
Stephen Moore (1st)
Sam Armstrong-Zickefoose (2nd)

2016
Victor Furtado (1st)
Takumi Kodera (2nd)

2015
Catherine Bowness (1st)
Victor Furtado (2nd)

2014
Ricky Mier (1st)
Gabe Hirshfeld (2nd)

NO DEPRESSION SINGER-SONGWRITER:
2019
Anna Tivel

2018
Lauren Pratt (1st)
Clint Alphin (2nd)

2017
Emily Keener (1st)
Rachel Laven (2nd)

FIDDLE:
2019
Josie Toney

2018
Gabe Terraciano (1st)
Natalie Padilla (2nd)

2017
Andrew Vogts (1st)
Shona Carr (2nd)

2016
Julian Pinelli (1st)
Jordan Rast (2nd)

2015
Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (1st)
Kathleen Parks (2nd)