Songwriting and Performance Contest

lauraJoy4_350 2017 songwriting Contest winner, Laura Joy of Oak Park, IL performs on the main stage during Sunday’s concert.
Blaine Howard Photo_J_Weigel
2016 Songwriting Contest winner, Blaine Howard of Fairchild, WI performs during the contest. (Photo Jerry Weigel).
MichaelMonroe_2015 (12K) 2015 Songwriting Contest winner, Michael Monroe of Grand Marais, MN, performs from the Main State at the Sunday Concert (Photo Jerry Weigel).
DerekOlson_2014_350 (26K) 2014 Songwriting Contest Winner Derek Olson Performs at the Sunday Concert (photo Jerry Weigel)
Aric Sampson) Aric Sampson performs during the Sunday Closing Concert after winning the 2013 Great River Folk Fest Songwriters and Performers Contest earlier in the day.

Casey Yeager and Joe Danielson
2011 winners Casey Yeager and Joe Danielson perform their winning songs.

2017 Winners

  1. Laura Joy, Oak Park, IL
  2. Randy Adams, Chippewa Falls, WI
  3. Rick Thompson, La Crescent, MN
  4. Jim Armstrong & Pippa Armstrong, Winona, MN

2017 Contest Finalists

The following Twelve finalists have been selected to perform two original songs each at the Great River Folk Festival on Sunday, August 27. The Finals begin at 11:30 at Site A.

About the Contest

Twelve finalists will be selected to perform two songs each at the Great River Folk Festival on Sunday, Aug ust 27. Songwriters will be evaluated on songwriting and performance by a panel of Great River Folk Festival judges.

All entries will receive a free pass to the festival for Sunday. The first place act will receive a cash prize, a day in a recording studio at Grammy Award-winning Sound Strations, and will perform as the opening act on the main stage later Sunday afternoon. Second and Third places will also receive a cash prize.

Sound_Strations (12K)


All entrants

receive one free Festival pass for Sunday August 27.

1st Place :

2nd Place:

$ 75 cash

3rd Place:

$ 50 cash

Judging will be calculated by the following criteria:

Past Winners