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 in late April. 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

The No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award recognizes and rewards up-and-coming roots music singer-songwriters from the U.S. and beyond. A preliminary committee will narrow the field of submissions to three finalists, who will travel to the FreshGrass Festival to perform in front of a live audience. A panel comprised of No Depression editors and artist judges will select a winner on the merits of their lyrics, music, instrumentation, and overall performance. All music is original in this competition, and all performances are solo.

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 in April. 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

[/vc_row]

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)