General rules for all contests

(Maximum playing time is five [5] minutes for all contests)

GENERAL RULES FOR NC Banjo Championship – 2018

Contest is open to anyone who make 30% or less of their annual income from performing music. Previous winners may enter.

Only 20 entrants may compete in the Championship. This will be the first twenty who register and are present when their names are called from the registration lists one-half hour before the contest begins. Entrants must have a valid festival arm band for the day of the contest.

Contestants must play instruments acoustically into a microphone. An instrument’s electrical capability cannot be used. You may retune your instrument between instrumental numbers using a portable electronic tuner. Be aware that time spent returning your instrument on stage will be included as part of the maximum playing time of 5 minutes.

Contestants may have one rhythm instrument for accompaniment. Contestants will not be allowed to take two instruments on stage. Selection committee reserves the right to eliminate contestants whose style of playing and selection of material are not in keeping with the flavor of the Carolina in the Fall Music and Food Festival.

A medley of tunes is not acceptable!

Maximum playing time is five (5) minutes for all contests.

In an effort to judge the contest objectively and equally, the following criteria will be considered by the judges and assigned point value in each area:

  • 40 points: ARRANGEMENT - Contestant’s version of the tune selected. Is it appropriate to the tune and instrument? Difficulty and originality will be considered.
  • 40 points: EXECUTION, TUNING - Fingering, picking and dynamics will be considered. Is the instrument in tune?
  • 10 points: SHOW VALUE - The music should be played with life and feeling. It should not appear listless nor should it drag.

Specific rules for the contest follow. Entrants may register up until 30 minutes prior to a contest start at the main table located in the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame. The order of appearance will be determined by drawing numbers one-half hour before the contest begins. Contest start times are as follows

Banjo: Saturday Sept. 22nd at 8:30am (cutoff is 8:00am)
Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame Heritage Museum
100 E. Main Street
Wilkesboro, NC 28697

If there are five (5) or less registered - contestants will play three (3) tunes in the first round, with a maximum playing time of seven (7) minutes. Judges will place winners without the additional tunes of a second round.

Score cards will NOT be given out.

The judging will be done behind a curtain and the judges will not know which artist is performing.

Contestants are not allowed to speak on stage!


Contestants will be prepared to play four instrumental numbers. Two numbers will be played in the first round of competition and the other two will be played in the final round should the contestant be selected as a finalist. Maximum playing time is five (5) minutes. Contestants must be registered and present at the NCBC table 30 minutes prior to contest start to draw for order of appearance and receive final instructions. Winners will be announced and will receive their awards on the Foothills Stage at 4:00pm, Saturday, September 22, 2018.