Northwest String Summit

Band Competition

Thank you for your interest in entering the Band Competition. We will open the application beginning in the fall until the last week of April 2020. Please check back soon for the application. Everyone who entered will be notified one way or the other. Finalists will be drawn by the second week of May 2020.

Participation in NWSS Band Competition has become a highly regarded showcase for up-and-coming and well-established bands alike. Nearly all of our competitors have gone on to successful national touring careers. We encourage everyone who has songwriting and instrumental talents to consider entering the NWSS Band Competition, whether or not you have tour history in the PNW market/region. While we encourage you to enter, we take all entries very seriously and ask that you enter with the intention to participate.

We understand touring artists’ life and schedules, we also understand that bookings happen well in advance, yet one of the first qualifications we impart is to determine if you are free on the weekend of the event. If you are booked we will likely disqualify your entry. Our selections do not occur until early May, which should provide time to book the date if you are not selected as one of the four or five finalists. If selected there are likely more playing opportunities at the event, possibly for pay as well although nothing is promised. We appreciate all the hard work and heart that is put into making music and it shows through very vividly!

Previous Winners:

2019 Winner: One Way Traffic
2018 Winner: Five Letter Word
2017 Winner: Talbott Brothers
2016 Winner: Ginstrings
2015 Winner: John Craigie
2014 Winner: Left Coast Country
2013 Winner: The Lil Smokies
2012 Winner: Betty & The Boy
2011 Winner: Windy Hill
2010 Winner: Pert Near Sandstone
2009 Winner: Jessica Kilroy
2008 Winner: Head For The Hills
2007 Winner: Flat Mountain Girls


The 2020 Northwest String Summit will again feature a band competition on Friday, July 17th, 2020 on Main Stage exact time is TBD. Please come to the amphitheater early to support these up-and-coming artists!

  1. Entry Forms must be received by April 17, 2020. Click here for Band Contest Entry Form. Notification will be on or before the week of May 1st, 2020.
  2. The competition will take place on Friday, July 17, 2020 time is TBA. (We understand the life of a touring musician needing to book gigs in plenty of time, but part of the selection process is to see if whether the entrant has kept the weekend of NWSS available or not.)
  3. Each band will perform for 10 – 15 minutes on the main stage.
  4. A lottery will determine the order in which bands perform.
  5. Each performing band member in the competition will receive weekend admission into the festival free of charge.
  6. Each band must be present for a pre-competition meeting held backstage one hour before the competition begins. Time is TBD.
  7. Judges for the competition will include members of performing acts and the String Summit staff.
  8. The band finishing in first place will perform on Sunday, July 19th, 2020 and receive an offer for next year’s event (2021).
  9. Each band in the competition will be permitted to sell their CD’s and other goods at the Band Merchandise area.
  10. Single mic Only acoustic instruments. No DI or drums.
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