Contests Now Open For The 2022 John Hartford Memorial Festival

Article Contributed by John Hartford … | Published on Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Call up the band members and tell them to start practicing! We just opened the registration for the John Hartford Memorial Band Contest. Registration will remain open until 11:59pm ET on February 28th. Judges will narrow down the qualified entries to a maximum of up to 12 finalist bands to compete live at the 2022 JHMF. Final contestants will be notified via email by Monday, March 7th.

Make sure you read and understand the rules and guidelines listed on the band contest page and have complied. Understand that failure to comply will result in your entry not being forwarded to the judges. Click here to read the rules.

Bands selected to compete at the 2022 JHMF will be required to pay a $100 entry fee to secure their spot in the contest. This fee must be paid within 7 days of notification or you will forfeit your place in the contest. All selected band members will be provided with full festival passes to the John Hartford Memorial Festival 2022. If selected for the finals, bands must be available and ready to perform at 11:00am, ET, Friday, June 3rd. The top four band will perform again on Saturday, June 4th. All competing band members will receive free primitive tent camping. All entrants will be considered for booking. We have booked several of the bands that competed in previous contests.

If you want to apply for the band contest you must read all the rules by clicking here.

2022 Band Contest Prizes:

1st Place: $1000, a Hartford main stage slot at the 2023 John Hartford Memorial Festival.
2nd Place: $500
3rd Place: $300
4th Place: $200

2022 Band Competition Schedule

• Band meeting 11:00am, CST, Friday, June 3rd at the Boogie Stage.

• Preliminary Round. Noon-3:00pm, ET, Friday, June 3rd at the Boogie Stage.

• Finalists will be selected by 5:00pm, ET, Friday, June 3rd and announced on the Hartford Main Stage.

• Final Round. Noon, ET, Saturday, June 4th. Hartford Main Stage.

• Prizes will awarded around 4:00pm, ET, Saturday, June 4th, on the Hartford Main Stage.

2022 JHMF Band Competition Rules

• Please note: Contestants are required to use just a single microphone for the preliminary and final rounds of the band contest.

• Most electrified instruments, drum sets, and amplifiers will not be allowed.

• Bands will have 1-2 additional channels if needed for electric bass, pedal steel, and or keyboard.

• A Maximum of 12 bands will be selected for the band contest.

• Bands must consist of 3-6 members.

• Any band that was booked at the 2019 festival is ineligible to enter.

• Set time constraints: Each band will have 15 minutes total including set up and breakdown. This will give you 2-3 songs for your set (10-12 minutes performance time). The judges will mark you down significantly if you go over.

• Each band plays 2-3 songs in the preliminaries and 2-3 songs in the finals. (see timing explanation above)

• Repeat of only one song played in the preliminary round is allowed in the finals.

• Bands entering the contest may have no common members.

•The contestant order will be randomly assigned at the contest site prior to the start of the competition at the band meeting on Friday June 3rd, at 11:00am, ET.  Judges may confer to ensure fairness and consistency in the rating process.

• Contestants should not talk to the judges or the clerks concerning their scores during or after the contest. The decision of the judges is final. Completed judging forms are not available to the contestants or the public. If you have a formal protest, bring it to the head clerk first. They will forward it to the right person.

• Scores are not cumulative from the prelims to the finals. The finals are a new contest; everyone starts on a fresh and equal footing.

• Prizes are awarded Saturday, June 4, around 4:00pm, ET, on the Hartford Festival Stage.