BRISTOL, Va.-Tenn., (Dec. 13, 2023) – The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) has announced it will again partner with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development to host a qualifying round for Tennessee Songwriters Week in 2024. The event will be held on Jan. 27, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET, at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol. From there, songwriters will compete for the chance to earn a coveted gig at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. Applications open on Dec.15; there is no fee to enter.
Twenty (20) songwriters will be chosen from the pool of applicants to perform for judges during the Bristol qualifying round competition. From there, four (4) semi-finalists will advance to compete in the Tennessee Songwriters showcase event at The Down Home in Johnson City, Tenn. on Feb. 22. One finalist from The Down Home will be chosen to perform at the legendary Bluebird Cafe on March 24, along with five other finalists from across the state.
Last year veteran singer-songwriter, musician and playwright Ron Short, a Bristol qualifying round contestant, advanced all the way to The Bluebird Cafe – along with six other finalists from across the state – where he performed his winning song, “France.”
The public is invited to be part of the audience at the museum to cheer on participants competing in the Bristol event. Tickets for spectators are $10 and go on sale Dec. 15. To purchase, visit the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.
Other qualifying rounds in East Tennessee will be held at Boones Creek Opry in Johnson City, the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Model City Tap House in Kingsport, and Bonnie Kate Theater in Elizabethton. Check venue websites for dates.
During qualifying, songwriters will perform one original song they wrote or co-wrote. Songwriters must own the rights to the song they will perform. Entrant may sing acapella or have live accompaniment with up to two performers; only light percussion is allowed. Back up tracks are not permitted.
To enter, songwriters must submit their contact information, song lyrics for the song they plan to perform, and a YouTube link to a video of the song they will perform during the competition. Songwriters will be judged based on their overall performance, originality and connection to the audience. Songs deemed inappropriate or inflammatory will not be considered. Songwriters are only permitted to register with one venue during qualifying rounds. Internet access is required to enter, with no purchase necessary. The deadline to enter the qualifying round in Bristol is Jan. 12.
Legal residents of the United States, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, qualify to enter. To enter the Tennessee Songwriters Week qualifying round at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, visit the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org where you’ll also find complete rules of entry and more details.
Tennessee Songwriters Week supports music venues, songwriters with live performances in all genres of music, drives visitation and inspires travelers to experience the state’s music stories, history, attractions and venues.
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development partners with The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Taylor Guitars, and music venues and local convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce and partners across the state, all committed to make sure songwriters can share their original work onstage with other writers.
Follow along with Tennessee Songwriters Week by following @tnvacation and #madeinTN, #NowPlayingTN
For more information about BCM, visit BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.