18-Hour Songwriters Challenge

The first 18-Hour Songwriter Challenge is a chance for songwriters to flex their creative muscles, have some fun, share some music and even win prizes. This challenge, which is the focus of day three’s events, is based on the regular monthly songwriters challenge as part of The Local Blend’s weekly Open Mic Nights, but for this special 18-hour event we’re changing it up!

Unlike the regular monthly songwriters challenge, there will be prizes for the 18-Hour Songwriters Challenge, with the top prize being a ukelele donated by our exclusive music store sponsor Hams Music. But remember, songwriting and this challenge isn’t all about winning a prize. While some will win stuff, the grand prize is really the opportunity to explore your creativity as songwriters and try something new. Heck, the biggest winners of the songwriters challenge will be the listeners in the audience who will get to experience music that no one else in the world has ever heard before! This will truly be an afternoon of world premiere performances!

Here’s how it’s going to work:

  • From 4 p.m. Friday through 5 p.m. Saturday, Weekend of Songs attendees can suggest one theme each for the 18-Hour Songwriters Challenge at the ticket booth when they enter.
  • At the end of the Open Mic portion of the Weekend of Songs from 4- 6 p.m. on Saturday, we will draw a suggested theme and announce it on stage, as well as on this site and Facebook. Those who wish to participate will then have about 18 hours to craft a song on said theme. We encourage participating songwriters to stick around for Saturday’s featured performers to get some inspiration. There is also an opportunity for finding some last-minute inspiration during the songwriters meet-up at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
  • Songwriters will premiere their challenge songs during the 18-Hour Songwriters Challenge showcase and Open Mic event at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Participants are encouraged to notify Weekend of Songs organizers in advance to get signed up either in-person at Saturday or Sunday’s events or by e-mailing weekendofsongs@gmail.com. Sign-ups will be first-come first-serve and all 18-Hour Songwriter Challenge participants are expected to be at The Local Blend before the 2 p.m. start time.
  • Each participant can perform two songs — their 18-Hour Songwriters Challenge song and any other song of their choice.
  • Judging to determine the winner of the ukelele and other prizes will be determined by your peers. Listeners, other songwriters challenge participants and some of the weekend’s featured performers will anonymously judge each song using supplied forms on a scale of 1-5 in terms of: Originality, artistic merit, performance and use of theme.
  • After all participants have performed, the numbers will be tallied and prizes will be awarded for the top songs.
  • If time allows, there will be a standard Open Mic following the 18-Hour Songwriters Challenge.

While there is no cost to participate in the 18-Hour Songwriters Challenge, attendees and participants are encouraged to purchase tickets for Sunday’s events for $3 in advance, $5 at the door. Only Weekend of Songs ticketholders will be eligible for door prizes given away throughout the weekend’s events and all ticket sales go to support the Weekend of Songs and its performers so we can continue to build this wonderful event celebrating songs and songwriters!

Listen on KVSC

Check out the interview with Weekend of Songs co-founders Adam Hammer and Dave Cofell as they sat down with 88.1 FM KVSC Assistant News Director Justus Sanchez to talk about the second-annual event coming up this weekend.

Click here to listen to the interview

KVSC is a Weekend of Songs media partner and also donated some swag to be given away as door prizes. Get your tickets in advance now at The Local Blend to be eligible for door prizes and to save a few bucks on the cost of admission by getting your tickets early!

Check out these featured performers

So far for Friday night, we have confirmed: headliners Tom VandenAvond and Soda Gardocki (Knights Ferry, Cali.) in the round, Courtney Yasmineh (Minneapolis), locals John Larson and Chad Wiles in the round, and Jeff and Muggsy of Collective Unconscious. And don’t forget about festival co-founders Adam Hammer and Dave Cofell and Friends set to kick the whole thing off. They’ll be joined by up-and-comers Nathan Ness and Cathy Kongloth along with some other guest musicians to be announced soon.

While you’re waiting for more details on times and performers for Saturday, check out these videos:

Submit to perform

Want to perform at the second annual Weekend of Songs: Songwriters Festival? Fill out our online submission form to be considered: Click here to get started!

Deadline for submissions is Aug. 5.

Our new 2012 logo!

Check out the new Weekend of Songs: Songwriters Festival logo created by ANA Comics editor in chief Anthony Hary based out of Minneapolis!

Weekend of Songs logo design by Athony Hary.

While you’re at it, check out this video of the artist at work (while listening to “Collegeville Bogtown Ripple” from Dave Cofell’s latest CD “No Substitute (For You)“).

Design our new logo and win!

We’re looking for a new logo for the Weekend of Songs: Songwriters Festival and we’re asking all YOU wonderful artists and designers to make it happen.

The winning logo will be used on flyers, promotional materials, swag, etc., and the winning artist will receive a $50 cash prize along with one free weekend pass to the 2nd annual Weekend of Songs: Songwriters Festival, Aug. 24-26 at The Local Blend in St. Joseph.

The logo should express music and the art of songwriting in one cohesive design. The use of color is encouraged.

Final designs must be submitted digitally and be a minimum of 12 inches at its longest dimension and 300 dpi. Accepted formats include .jpg, .tiff, .png, .psd, .ai, .pdf, .eps or .indd.

Initial submissions should be less than 700kb and e-mailed to weekendofsongs@gmail.com with the artist’s name, city where they live, phone number and e-mail address. A maximum of seven finalists will be chosen by festival organizers. Finalists will be asked to submit a hi-res version of their design. Listeners, songwriters and previous and potential festivalgoers will then determine the winning entry by voting for their favorite.

The winning entry will become the property of the Weekend of Songs and its organizers with limited rights reserved for the artist.

Deadline for submissions is April 10. Finalists will be chosen April 17. The winner will be announced in May (official date to be determined).

Let us know what you think

Please take a moment to fill out our survey about the first-annual Weekend of Songs: Songwriters Festival so we can make next year’s festival even better!

Weekend of Songs: Songwriters Festival survey form