Entry deadline for the 2019 Play-In Contest was
November 1st, 2018


Each year the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival has an open call for all bands and musicians who play stringed instruments to compete in our Play-In Contest. The Play-In Contest determines the final two spots in the 2019 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival lineup. This year the categories are Solo & Ensemble.

Our judges are chosen due to their heavy involvement in the music industry.

How It Works:

  • Submit your application completely, including a bio and photo along with either an active web link to your music or a demo CD. *Incomplete applications will not be considered.* ENTRY DEADLINE: Thursday, November 1st, 2018
  • 1st round of judging will be the week of November 12th, 2018. The 1st round is not a live event. The judging is based partly on a fully- completed application with access to an active Web link to music or demo CD, bio and photo. *Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.*
  • 2nd round of judging includes the top entries chosen in the 1st round. These top entrants will perform live on Friday, January 4th, 2019, in our Play-In Contest at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. *Entrants chosen for the Play-In Contest must be available from 5:00pm - 9:00pm on Friday, January 4th, 2019 (this includes set up and teardown time). *
  • The winner from each category will be given an honorarium and a 60-minute slot during the 2019 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival on Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 .

Entry Rules and Requirements:

  • Bands; and solo, duo, and trio musicians must include at least one stringed instrument.
  • Bands or individuals who have previously contracted with Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the Friday Night Highlight Series are not eligible to enter under the same name for the current season.
  • Contestants must be available to play for 10 minutes for the contest on Friday, January 4th, 2019, 5:00pm - 9:00pm and, if they win, to play a 60-minute slot at the 2019 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival on Saturday, March 2nd, 2019, between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.
  • Entries must have family-friendly lyrics for an audience of all ages.
  • 75% of music content must be original.
  • Entrants must include a demo CD or active web link to their music, bio, and photo.