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!


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