Rules

GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

Each contest is open to anyone except the first place winners of that contest from last year. However, those winners may enter and win any other contests in which they did not take first place last year.

Contestants must play only acoustic instruments. No electric instruments will be allowed. Contestants may have one rhythm instrument for accompaniment. A medley of tunes is not acceptable. Contestants may not speak on stage. Violation of any of these rules will result in a disqualification.

In an effort to judge the contestants objectively and equally, the following criteria will be considered by the judges:

First and foremost: rank score 1 through X where X=total number of registrants. In the case of a tie between judges “ranked” scorecards, the point system below will be used as a tiebreaker

Rhythm and Timing (25 points)

The judges will look for even, consistent rhythm. Rushing, dragging, or unevenness in performance will result in lost points.

Execution (25 points)

The judges will look for tone quality, dynamics, pitch, and general command of the instrument. Bad tone and muffled notes will result in lost points.

Creativity (25 points)

The judges will look for variations, improvisations, and “good licks”. Repetitious performance will result in lost points.

Expression (25 points)

The judges will look for the feeling that the contestant puts into the performance. Flat, mechanical, unfeeling performance will result in lost points.

 

SPECIFIC RULES FOR CONTESTS

(also see general rules)
All instrument competitions to take place on the Doug DuBois Harmony Stage (South Stage).
All band contests to take place on Stage 7 (North Stage).

State Banjo Championship

Contestants will play two instrumental numbers, on a five string banjo, in any style.

Band Competition

see full band competition rules and regulations HERE

State Fiddle Championship

Open to contestants of any age. Each contestant will play a hoedown, a waltz and a tune of their choice, in that order. In the event that 15 contestants register for the contest, the waltz will be dropped from the competition. Each contestant will play two tunes, a hoedown and tune of choice.

Youth Fiddle Championship

This is a separate contest for youth (under age 16) fiddlers who do not wish to compete in the open competition. Each contestant will play a hoedown, a waltz and a tune of their choice, in that order. In the event that 15 contestants register for the contest, the waltz will be dropped from the competition. Each contestant will play two tunes, a hoedown and tune of choice.

State Finger-Style Guitar Championship

Contestants will play two instrumental numbers in any traditional style. Alternative tunings are allowed.

State Flat-Pick Guitar Championship

Flat-pick guitar is defined as playing fiddle tunes on a guitar using a flat-pick. Contestants will play two instrumental numbers in any traditional style.

State Mandolin Championship

Contestants will play two instrumental numbers in any traditional style.

State Miscellaneous Acoustic Instruments Championship

Two numbers, on the same instrument, will be played in the contest. Selections should be in a style traditional for the instrument. Contestants may have one rhythm instrument for accompaniment. An individual may enter the Miscellaneous Acoustic Instruments Contest only once per year; a contestant may not enter multiple times in the same year, playing a different instrument each time.

Youth Award

No distinction is made among contestants in regular judging on the basis of age; individuals, under age 16, have the same eligibility requirements as all other contestants in the Championship categories. In addition, individuals, under age 16 are judged for the Youth Award. A special youth judge watches all of the youth contestants as they compete. The contestant in this age group, who did not win the Youth Award last year, and receives the highest score in an instrumental contest, in this separate round of judging, will receive the Youth Award. Scores in the Harmony Singing and Youth Fiddle Contest do not count toward the Youth Award.

*Note: oversight of any of the rules for any individual contest could result in disqualification. Contestants are responsible for their own adherence to the rules as published.

 

CLARIFICATIONS BASED ON QUESTIONS FROM CONTESTANTS

  1. In all instrument contests, only one rhythm instrument in total is allowed for accompaniment.
  2. The back-up player may change instruments between each selection played by the contestant.
  3. The back-up player in the finger-style and flatpicking contests may play a guitar. Back-up players in the mandolin, fiddle and banjo contests may not play the same instrument as the contestant. For example, the accompanist in the fiddle contest may not play another fiddle.

Notable rule change from previous years: Alternative tunings may now be used in the fiddle contests.

Band Competition Rules

Who may enter: To enter, a band needs a Kansas State FidPick Band Competition Ticket. Tickets will be made available at least one month before the competition day. Only the first 8 bands to contact FidPick and express interest in entering the competition will be eligible to purchase. If tickets are sold out, your band can join the waiting list by emailing info@fidpick.org. If any bands that have purchased a ticket cannot make the competition for any reason, bands will be selected from the waitlist at random and will need to buy a ticket before being allowed to enter.

NOTE: when band competition registration is full all further inquiries will be added to the wait list in case of cancellation and the priority list for next year.

Priority for tickets will be given to bands with an established internet or social media presence who have proof of past and future scheduled performances as a professional outfit.

Schedule:

All band competition performances will take place at Stage 7 (formerly South stage)
Preliminary Round (8 bands): Sunday, 1:20-2:55pm
Final Round (2 bands): Sunday, 4:45-5:00pm

Rules and Guidelines:

  1. Please note: Contestants are required to use just a single, large diaphragm condenser stage microphone (provided) for both rounds of the band contest. No monitors are provided. Bass players may plug in if desired.
  2. No more than (8) bands will be registered for the band contest.
  3. Bands may consist of 3-6 members. The music should be “Bluegrass,” “Old Time,” “Western Swing,” “Celtic/Etc,” “Folk” or “New Acoustic/Newgrass.”
  4. Recommended time limit: (4) minutes per song. Judges may mark you down if a selection significantly exceeds (4) minutes.
  5. No electric instruments or pickups allowed, with exception of electric bass and steel guitar (or lap steel). One mic and one DI box will be provided for each band.
  6. Each band plays 2 songs in the preliminaries and selected bands play 2 songs in the finals. Bands can play whichever songs they like.
  7. Bands cannot repeat songs played during the preliminary round in the final round.
  8. Bands entering the contest cannot have common members – each individual can only compete with ONE band in the band contest
  9. Band competition winners from previous years are not eligible to enter the Band competition again.
  10. Contestant order is to be randomly assigned at the contest site prior to the start of the competition. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the competition starts.
  11. Scores from the preliminary round do not affect scores from the final round. The finals are a new contest.
  12. The winner of the final round will be named Kansas State Old Time/Western Swing/Harmony Singing/Americana/Bluegrass/Newgrass Band of the Year! (band can and will have input on what genre they choose to identify as)

Scoring

Bands will be scored as a rank system, 1-8 (or however many bands compete) based on the following judging criteria
• Performance (execution)
• Originality of songs selected
• Cohesiveness as a band (stage presence)

Prize

The winner based on the above criteria will be awarded $500 cash, and be named the 2024 Kansas State Old Time/Bluegrass/Western Swing/Harmony Singing/Newgrass/Acoustic Band of the Year.

The winning band will also have the opportunity to take part in the Champions Concert at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, on September 18, 2024. FidPick Contest Director must notify Walnut Valley Festival immediately if the band intends to take part in the Champions Concert. Walnut Valley Festival does not provide tickets or camping for the band as part of this contest. Walnut Valley Festival does not provide tickets or camping for the band as part of this contest.

Mission

Dedicated to the purpose of providing a platform for participation in the promotion and preservation of traditional acoustic music.

Contact Us

info@fidpick.org