Fiddlin’ & Pickin’ Contest

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Fourth Annual Fiddlin’ and Pickin’ Contest

October 17th and 18th  

Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival is hosting the Fourth Annual Fiddlin’ and Pickin’ Contest!  Don’t miss your chance to compete in one of the four competitions held within The Roost: Mandolin, Fiddle, Flatpicking, and Banjo.

Advance registrations can be completed online until October 15th. On-site registrations will be accepted until 15 minutes before the competition begins.  If you aren’t a Fiddler or Picker be sure and stop by The Roost to check out all the talent!  Please note that competitions will be held within the Harvest Festival grounds; all contestants must have a Harvest Festival bracelet or credential.


Contest winners will be invited to play a song on stage with one of the following bands: Railroad Earth, Cornmeal or Mountain Sprout!
(One contest winner per band, to be decided at the conclusion of the contests.)

Ron Landis with Railroad Earth

Mandolin Contest Winner, Ron Landis, following his performance with Railroad Earth during Harvest Festival 2013

Winners of each contest will receive a $ CASH PRIZE $ and a SWAG BASKET filled with goodies from vendors and music stores!

Swag Basket Prize 2012 (2013 Swag Basket will differ)

Swag Basket Prize 2012

Contest Rules

Submissions are open to anyone attending Harvest Festival with a paid festival ticket, as well as volunteers and festival support staff. Priority will be given to paid ticket holders who pre-register here. Volunteers and festival staff will ONLY be allowed to register on-site, and ONLY if there are still slots available.  No paid performers will be allowed to enter the contests.

The first 10 contestants who have successfully registered and paid the $10 registration fee prior to the start of the contest (via online or on-site submissions) will be entered into the contest.  On-site fee submissions will be accepted during the contests’ check-in times.  CASH ONLY for on-site submissions.  Online fee submission may be done via CC here. If you have any questions after reading through the submission form and rules, please email

All contestants MUST check in during the designated times for the contest they are entering.  All contestants must be present at the registration table 10 minutes prior to start of contest to draw for order of performance.  If you do not check-in during the time designated for the contest and/or are not present 15 minutes prior to contest, you may be disqualified.

Friday October 17th

–Check-in       10:00am (You may register on-site at this time if slots are available)
–Contest         11:00am
Pre-register for Banjo contest here.


–Check-in        11:00am (You may register on-site at this time if slots are available)
–Contest         Noon
Pre-register for Fiddle contest here.


Saturday October 18th

Flatpicking (Guitar)
–Check-in        10:00am (You may register on-site at this time if slots are available)
–Contest         11:30am
Pre-register for Flatpicking contest here.


–Check-in        11:00am (You may register on-site at this time if slots are available)
–Contest         12:30pm
Pre-register for Mandolin contest here.


2011 Flatpicking Contest

Contestants will be asked to play 2 songs.  In the event of a tie, a third song is required to determine a winner.  Maximum playing time is 5 minutes per contestant.  Contestants still playing after the 5 minute cut-off will be asked to stop, which may affect the overall score.

Songs may be from any genre and do not need to be original. No vocals or lyrics will be allowed.

Contestant must only play one instrument.  Only one accompanist allowed per contestant.  Instruments must be played acoustically into microphone.  Any electrical capability of the instrument is prohibited to be used during performance.

Contestants may not talk on stage.  The emcee will announce the contestant number and song titles to be performed directly prior to contestant entering the stage.  Once the 2 songs are performed or the time limit is up, the contestant must exit the stage.

Judging will be based off of assigned point values in each area:

Execution – 10pts:  Ability to maintain good pitch, dynamics, tone, and overall control of the instrument and piece played.

Rhythm – 10pts:  Ability to keep an even tempo throughout the song.

Difficulty/Uniqueness – 10pts:  Difficulty of the piece played and uniqueness of the piece chosen.

Expression – 10pts:  Ability to express personality and style through performance.  It’s all about the life and feeling put into it!

While judges deliberate the final scores, we welcome the contestants to join together and jam until the results are revealed—this jam session has become a tradition, so come with a few song ideas to jam on!

2011 Contestant Jam

2011 Contestant Jam

Happy fiddling and picking!  Good luck!

Pre-Register for any of the Fiddlin’ and Pickin’ contests here!

Submit your registration fee online here!

YOUR SUBMISSION IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL YOU HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR ENTRY FEE (Via CC ONLY online in advance or CASH ONLY during on site registration before the contest)

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