Q. Who Are the Judges?

A. Over the years we have found great success and efficiency by giving the contestants the responsibility of serving as the judges.  Based on feedback from the first Statewide event in 2018, we found that several were uncomfortable with this setup. We understand that in this small state many people already know each other and have certain biases, and while we do not believe that these biases or perceived biases manifests themselves in the judging process, it’s important that all contestants are as comfortable as possible and that they trust the system.  This year for all rounds we will utilize a number of external judging.  Audience members are also able to judge, but not towards qualifying or finalist awards.  These awards will be announced to give special recognition to the audience favorites.   


Q. How is the judging done?

A. Each contestant plays 3 songs with a 15 minute time limit.  The songs will be printed out for fellow contestants, judges, and audience members to follow along with.  After the conclusion of the last song, judges and voting audience members will rank their top 10 songs assigning point totals.  The top song (according to that judge) will receive a "10".  The next song will be a "9", then an "8", and so on down to a "1", which will be given to the 10th favorite song of that judge.  The reason for this judging system is that it simplifies the counting process and avoids errors.  We add up song points which makes it easy to determine both the "top songs" and the "top singer-songwriters."   


Q. Who advances to the final round?

A. Each qualifying round can have up to 10 contestants at that specific event.  The top 4 contestants for a full event will advance to the finals which will be held in Laramie on the weekend of September 14-16.  If a qualifying event has between 7 and 8 contestants, 3 will advance to the finals. 


Q. What if you have a top song, but are not otherwise in the top QUALIFIERS from your round?

A. In rare instances it has happened that the contestant with the number 1 song did not make the points total needed to advance in their group.  That individual will be invited to the final round, but can only play the one song, and can only compete for the "top song" awards.  


Q. Can I play with a group?

A. No.  You must play by yourself.


Q. What INSTRUMENTS can i use?

A. You can accompany your song with an acoustic instrument, either mic'd or played through a PA system on "clean" setting (without effects).  You can sing without an instrument if you choose.  A small amount of reverb can be added to the PA system only if the majority of contestants for a specific event request it.  Personal pedals and amps are not allowed.


Q. How many Contestants will attend the final?

A. We anticipate that 30 - 40 contestants will attend the finals, and are planning these as a multi-day event spanning two to three days.  We will split the number of qualifying contestants into 3 Semi-final rounds, mixing the contestants as well as we can based on geography.  On Sunday September 22nd the grand finale will consist of no more than 10 finalists.


Q. Can you play harmonica with acoustic guitar?

A.  You cannot as that would count as a second instrument.  This would open the door for other supplemental instruments like foot tambourines, kick drums, etc.    


Q. Do you want lyrics for all songs on a single sheet of paper?

A.  If possible, yes, but you can and should use the front and back of the page.  When the contestants have all shown up before the event, we will draw numbers for the order and at that point will place every stack of lyrics sheets in order to staple for the program  If you bring each song on a separate sheet, it makes this process more complicates as we need to first staple your songs together before placing them in the line to create the program.  It also makes the program much larger.  If you are having difficulties you may bring up to 3 sheets but they must be stapled together ahead of time and in order for each copy.