Entry deadline was December 9th, 2016

* indicates a required field (Incomplete submissions will not be considered)

Calling all bands and musicians who play stringed instruments!

Sign up now for a chance to perform at the 2017 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival.

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 2017 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival lineup. This year we have an acoustic category and an electric category.

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

How It Works:

  • Submit your application completely, including an active Web link to your music, bio and photo or demo CD. *Incomplete applications will not be considered.* ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • 1st round of judging will be the week of December 12th, 2016. 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, bio and photo or demo CD. *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 6th, 2017, in our Play-In Contest at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. *Entrants chosen for the Play-In Contest must be available from 3:00pm – 9:00 pm on Friday January 6th, 2017.*
  • The winner from each category will be given an honorarium 60 -minute slot during the 2017 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival on Saturday, March 4th, 2017, and an opportunity to contract with Kalamazoo Valley Museum for the 2017-2018 Friday Night Highlight Series season at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

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.
  • Entries must have at least one person 21 years or older.
  • Contestants must be available to play for 10 minutes for the contest on Friday, January 6, 5:00-8:00 p.m. and, if they win, to play a 60-minute slot at the 2016 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival on Saturday March 4 2017, between 10 am and 7 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.

Band/Musician Name*:  
Contact Person*:
(must be 21 years or older)
Email Address*:
Phone Number*:
List of stringed instruments that will be used*:
Band Members*:
Bio (One Paragraph Minimum)*:
Press Photo URL*:
Social Media*:
(Facebook, ReverbNation,
Soundcloud etc.)

*A link to the artist's music is necessary for consideration as an entrant in the contest.