East Troy Bluegrass Festival Contest Information
previous Bluegrass Festival Homepage

Contest Information

  • Registration until 15 min. before contest
  • Saturday: Fiddle Contests
  • Sunday: Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin and Guitar Contests

Cash Prizes for all Classes

Open Junior Children

Fiddle Contests (Saturday)

1st Place $100 $25 $15
2nd Place $50 $15 $10
3rd Place $25 $10 $5

Banjo, Mandolin & Guitar (Sunday)

1st Place $100
2nd Place $50
3rd Place $25

Photo credits: Mike Morbeck, Eric Kramer


  • A maximum of 120 points is possible for each tune. The specific categories appear below. Each category is worth 20 points.
  • Rhythm and Timing: Judges will look for even, consistent rhythm. Rushing, dragging or unevenness in the performance will result in lost points.
  • Creativity: Judges will look for variations, improvisations and “good licks”.
  • Authenticity and Taste: Judges will look for selections of authentic performance styles in each category. Indiscriminate use of variations that make the basic tune unclear will result in lost points.
  • Expression: Judges will look for the feeling that the contestant puts into his/her performance. Flat, mechanical, unfeeling performances will result in lost points, as will “excessive showmanship”.
  • Execution: Judges will look for tone quality and clarity. Bad tone and muffled notes will result in lost points.
  • Command: Judges will look for strength and confidence in execution.

In the Fiddle contest only, the judges will consider strength and confidence in bowing technique, maintenance of bow position with respect to strings and bridge, and use of appropriate amount of bow and bowing dynamics.

Contest Schedule


10am Open Stage
11:30am Children’s Class Competition
following Junior Class Competition
following Open Class Competition


10am Gospel Service
11:30amBanjo Competition
following Mandolin Competition
following Guitar Competition (acoustic only)

Official Rules

  • All rules and regulations are governed by the Festival Committee.
  • Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar contests will each have one (1) Open division.
    Fiddle Contest will have three (3) divisions.
    Fiddle contestant may enter one division only:
    Children Ages 8 years and under
    Junior Ages 9 years to 16 years
    Open Any age
  • One accompanist is allowed. (Please note: There is no piano available.)
  • Contests are restricted to acoustic instruments only.
  • Two tunes are to be played from memory. Both are subject to judging.
    There will be no warm up time on stage. Contestants are advised to vary their selections in order to provide the judges with the best overview of their abilities.
  • First Place Winners in each category may be asked to play a brief encore if time permits.
  • Three judges will officiate for each contest.
  • Contest times: Fiddle: 11:30 AM Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sep. 9
    Banjo/Mandolin/Guitar: 11:30 AM Sunday, Sept. 10
  • Applications will be taken until 15 minutes before the start of the contests.

Special Thanks to our Chairman level Corporate Partner and longest standing member of over 47 years. Wisconsin Oven Corpooration

easttroy.org  •   News  •   Tourism  •   Business  •   Events  •   Chamber  •   Contact