Old-Time Contest Pre-Registration Form

Santa Barbara Old-Time Fiddlers' Festival 2019
Sunday, October 13, 2019
Rancho La Patera & Stow House
304 North Los Carneros, Goleta
Contest Entry Fee: There is no cost to compete but you do need to purchase a ticket to the festival.


Online Registration
All contestants are strongly encouraged to pre-register online as space is limited. 
Online registration closes on Friday, October 11th at 9pm.
Advanced competitors who wish to perform on the Performance Stage MUST pre-register online. (Limited to the first 20 applicants).
Walk-In Registration on the day of the Convention for the Contest Stage may be done in person at the Contest Registration Table from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m (pending spots available). The contest is limited to 70 competitors, maximum.  
All pre-registered contestants MUST CHECK-IN 30min. prior to their assigned performance time slot at the Contest Registration Table upon arrival. 
*Advanced level pre-registered contestants MUST CHECK-IN by 12:30pm. and report to the Performance Stage at 1:05PM.   
IMPORTANT: If you miss your check-in/ performance time slot, you will be moved to the end of the contest as a walk-in (pending space availability). If you are running late or need to cancel your contest entry, please notify the contest registrar as soon as possible. 

Participant Information

Age *

Contest Entry Information & Instructions

Individual and/or group competition is open to interested persons in the following categories:
(Hired Fiddler Festival musicians are prohibited from participating in the contest)  
Old-time Fiddling       
           LEVELS: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced
Old-time Fiddling Youth- Ages 4-12 
           LEVELS: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced
Traditional Banjo (any pre- bluegrass style)
           LEVELS: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced
Old-time Guitar (Flat-pick or fingerpicking)
Traditional Singing
Traditional Singing Youth- Ages 4-12
Traditional Band Performance (playing in traditional styles) 
           LEVELS: Beg/Inter and Advanced
Other Folk Instrument (dulcimer, autoharp, jaw harp, etc.)
Best Backup Instrument
*Note: The judges reserve the right to move a contestant to a higher level, if warranted, with no penalty to the contestant. 
Performance Rules 
Performances are limited to four minutes or less. Time it at home so you won’t run over. Overtime will result in point deductions. Retuning your instrument during your performance will not be counted against the four- minute performance limit.
You may have no more than two backup musicians. The judges must be able to hear and see the contestant clearly, so one backup instrument is usually preferred. The contestant should not be hidden from the judges by the backup musicians. There is no limit to the number of times a backup musician can be on stage.
Contestants will perform and be judged on one song per instrumental category with the exception of "singing," which can be judged simulitaneously on one song (provided that you are not playing a harmonica/instrument requiring the use of your mouth).
 *UPDATED RULE* A single contestant may not enter the contest in more than two categories, with the exception of Band Performance as an additional 3rd category.
(*Additional performance and music rules and information below)

Individual Contest Entry

For Individual Instrument/Singing categories:
--Fill out the CATEGORY, LEVEL (if applicable), SONG TITLE of your choice if you are competing in an individual category.
--Fill out the "2ND CATEGORY" details below if you are competing in a secondary individual category.
(See below for Band Performance Category)

Band Performance Contest Entry

Band Performance Contest Entry Instructions:
--Fill out "BAND PERFORMANCE LEVEL" if you are competing in BAND PERFORMANCE.  Important: Please have only ONE band member register for your group band performance.

Contest Entry Details

Old-Time Contest Rules & Information

The contest will be held on the 'Mel Durham Contest Stage' in the Ranchyard beginning at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (to resume at 2:30 p.m. to completion pending participation)
The first pre-registered 20 contestants in the Advanced Fiddle, Youth Fiddle, Banjo, and Band Performance categories will compete on the Performance Stage on the main lawn beginning at 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
*NOTE: If you miss your performance time slot, you will be moved to the end of the contest pending space availability. If you are performing in both Beginning/Intermediate AND Advanced Level Categories, you will be performing your song(s) on both stages.
  • First, Second, and Third Place prizes may be awarded in the above categories
  • One additional prize will be awarded for Best Backup Instrument
  • One prize for the Frank Javorsek Award for Outstanding Young Musician
 Additional Performance Rules
The music you play must be within the old-time tradition and must be traceable to 1934 or earlier. If your piece is not well known, help the judges by providing some evidence to support its provenance; for instance, tell the judges how you learned it, or when it was first recorded or documented. (You will earn points for this!) You are strongly encouraged to read the section below on “What We Mean by Old-time Music.”

Points are given for authenticity of music and style, musicianship, and stage presence. All judging decisions are final.

If a contestant is an immediate family member of a judge for their category, that judge will not participate in scoring the contestant.
Hired musicians performing at Fiddler's Festival (Oct. 13th) are not allowed to compete on the instrument(s) they are hired to perform with.  Saturday's free concert performers may compete in any category.
 What We Mean by Old-time Music
Old-time music is not just "old." It is a uniquely American music derived mostly from the traditional music of Europe and Africa and the interesting ways in which they combined and developed. While it is now played everywhere in the United States, it originated primarily in rural southeastern America at a time when the only way to hear or learn music was from a musician within hearing distance.
Styles such as bluegrass and country music developed from these roots only after the rise of the recording and broadcast industries. At the Old-time Fiddlers’ Convention we try to avoid these derivative styles by insisting that all contestants play or sing music that dates from 1934 or earlier, in a style and with instrumentation appropriate for that time. Other types of old music such as Native American, Irish, Cajun, New England, Canadian or Mexican, and jazz, to name only a few, are certainly equally compelling but are not what we mean by "oldtime music."
Tunes and songs squarely within the tradition will be given the most weight in the "Authenticity of Style" judging category. Tunes that do not meet our definition and that have made it to the Competition Stage in prior years – for example, Orange Blossom Special (written in 1938) or Ashoken Farewell (written in 1982) – will no longer be considered eligible. 
Powered byFormsiteReport abuse