Song Competition 2019

Folk song competition 2019

Could you write a new folk song? Well this is your opportunity. Watford Folk Club invites entries for its eighth annual competition for song writers. This year’s theme is

All Creatures, Great and Small
All Creatures Great Small, Kevin Middleton

The competition is open to receive entries until midnight on Tuesday 1st October. The entries will be whittled down to ten finalists who will compete on Friday, 29nd November 2019.
(This is a change to the original date because Steeleye Span are now playing near-by on the 22nd)

Download the entry form and rules
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Competition rules:

Rule 1 

  • Songs must be submitted on CD only with artist/artists’ names and song title written on it to the address below.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by a completed entry form and a lyrics sheet.
  • The deadline for the receipt of submissions is 1st October 2019.

Rule 2 

  • Songs and their tunes submitted as competition entries must be entirely the creation and the property of the entrant(s).
  • Where joint entries are submitted both names must appear on the entry form and the box marked “Joint entry” must be ticked.
  • Songs submitted and recordings thereof remain the property of their creator who shall retain all rights relating to their material (but see rule 10).

Rule 3 

  • The entrant must either be the solo performer or the lead performer where supporting musicians are required, or, in the event that the entrant is not a performing musician they may nominate amateur musicians to deliver their song.
  • The names of these musicians must be recorded on the entry form in the “Supporting musicians” box.
  • The use of professional musicians for this purpose will lead to disqualification.
  • Musicians will not be permitted to appear more than once in the grand final. Therefore where nominated or support musicians are employed, entrants should determine whether musicians are also competitors in their own right. (see rule 5.3).
  • Non-performing songwriters must tick “Non Performing song writer” on the entry form.
  • Songs should not exceed four minutes in duration (entrants are invited to e-mail the judges for an adjudication before submission if they are uncertain about eligibility on the grounds of either theme or length).
  • Live performances at the grand final will not be disqualified in the event that a song exceeds four minutes in length provided that it is the same song as that submitted as a recording in the first round and that any increase in length is due only to the pace of the performance

Rule 4 

  • This is a competition for new songs.
  • A new song shall be defined as follows: The song and its tune will have been completed no earlier than October 1st 2018, that is to say six calendar months prior to the start date of this competition.
  • The song and tune will not have been heard extensively in venues within a twenty mile radius of Watford. Song writers may wish to trial their material and that is acceptable, even to the extent of a single trial performance at a Watford Folk Club sing-around. However, performers must not reveal that their song is to be a competition entry.
  • The song and tune must not have been exploited for commercial gain or charitable purposes.
  • The song and tune must not appear on any album for sale nor be part of a set for any paid performance until after the competition final (Friday 22th November 2019).
  • Songs or tunes written prior to October 1st 2018 may be eligible at the discretion of the judges.
  • Song writers wishing to enter such songs must e-mail the judges to seek an adjudication.
  • It will help the judges if song writers provide a short history of the song, including a record of any performances in local venues.

Rule 5 

  • All entries will be considered by a team of judges in order to select a short list of ten for the final.
  • In the first round the judges will operate “blindfold”. Songs will be judged only upon their lyrical and musical integrity regardless of the quality of the recording. Entrants may make multiple submissions. Each submission must be accompanied by a completed entry form and lyrics sheet.
  • At the end of round one, the identities of the short-listed songwriters and their nominated or supporting musicians will be reviewed. In the event that any entrant has more than one song in the final short list or that their nominated or supporting musicians appear elsewhere in the short list, those songs will be referred back to the judges to select the best to go forward to the final.
  • The judges will then review the previously unselected songs from the remaining unidentified entrants to select additional songs for the final.
  • This selection process will continue until the short list comprises ten songs by ten different songwriters presented by different performers.

Rule 6 

  • Ten selected finalists will be invited to the grand final which will take place on
    Friday 22nd November 2019 at 8pm, at
    The Pump House,
    Local Board Road,
    WD17 2JP       (Map).
  • Prospective entrants should ensure that they can be available to appear at the final should they be short listed.

Rule 7 

  • Entries selected for the final must be performed with live vocals and instrumentation.
  • Electronic reproduction of prepared music in support of a performance is not permitted. There will be no amplification available and prospective entrants are advised that they are not permitted to bring their own amplifiers.
  • The final will be an entirely acoustic event.

Rule 8 

  • A second team of judges will consider the performances at the grand final. From these performances the judges will choose a winner and runner up.

Rule 9 

  • The winner will receive a trophy and a certificate.
  • The runner up will receive a certificate

Rule 10 

  • Watford Folk Club reserves the right to use sound recordings from the final, photographic images from the final and CD submissions from the first round in its publicity materials free of charge.
  • Watford Folk Club will not seek permission for such use nor will it enter into negotiation for payment or reward of any kind.

Rule 11 

  • All decisions and judgements made in the course of the competition are final and will not be the subject of discussion or correspondence.

Send your completed entry form
with accompanying CD and lyrics to:

Watford Folk Club Song Competition,
22 Westlea Avenue,
WD25 9DN

All submissions will be acknowledged to confirm safe receipt.

Note:  This competition is open to everyone except committee members of Watford Folk Club and their immediate families as well as last year’s winners.