BCM to Host Qualifying for TN Songwriters Week

Competition will be held Saturday, February 1, 2020

Bristol, Va./Tenn. (December 10, 2019) – The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is thrilled to announce its partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) to host qualifying rounds leading up to the 2nd annual Tennessee Songwriters Week February 23-29, 2020. TDTD announced plans last week to expand the Tennessee Songwriters Week by adding qualifying rounds across the state. Top songwriters from official Qualifying Rounds will perform during one of the six Tennessee Songwriters Week showcases. Finalists from the showcases get the opportunity to share their original songs on the historic stage at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. 

Now through Tuesday, December 31, BCM is inviting songwriters from across the region to submit a YouTube video and lyrics to an original song. From those submissions, a panel of judges will narrow down the competition to 20 (twenty) songwriters who will perform their songs live for the judges during the Qualifying Round at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee on Saturday, February 1 at 1:00 p.m. EST. One winner will be chosen and announced by January 17.  

Songwriters are asked to complete a registration form, which includes submitting lyrics and YouTube video link to one song. The song submission must be written and performed by the artist registered for the contest. Submission forms are available on the Events page of BCM’s website at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

Songs will be evaluated and scored on a numerical scale considering both the song and the performance. Judges look at originality, vocal and/or instrumental talent and the ability to create an emotional connection to the audience. 

Top songwriters from the official qualifying rounds will perform during one of six “Tennessee Songwriters Week” showcases in the following cities:

  • Sunday, February 23, 2020 – Puckett’s in Franklin
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020 – LaFayette’s Music Room in Memphis
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020 – The Bijou in Knoxville
  • Thursday, February 27, 2020 – Songbirds Guitar Museum in Chattanooga
  • Friday, February 28, 2020 – Ole Red in Gatlinburg
  • Saturday, February 29, 2020 – The Down Home in Johnson City

Finalists from the showcases get the opportunity to share their original songs on the historic stage at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. The Bluebird Cafe’s long-time open mic night host and songwriter Barbara Cloyd will serve as emcee at the showcases, and a panel of local judges will select the top songwriter from each event. Six total finalists (1 from each showcase event) will receive a prize pack and perform their original material during the finale event at The Bluebird Cafe on Sunday, March 29, 2020.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development partnered with the Bluebird Cafe for the showcase events, which emphasize a state statute honoring songwriters passed in 2018. It annually designates the last full week of February as “Tennessee Songwriters Week.” The week is designed to celebrate the foundation of the craft, recognize past and present songwriters and pave the way for future artists. 

For more information on qualifying venues and ongoing updates, visit TennesseeSongwritersWeek.com. Join the conversation on social using #TNsongwritersweek. 

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