The Future of American Roots Music

The Youth Talent Competition encourages a new generation of American roots musicians by offering performance opportunities and exposure at the festival. The tradition began more than 19 years ago when three-time GRAMMY Winner Sarah Jarosz took first place. The competition continues to be a fertile ground for the development of young artists. Sarah Grace, semi finalist on Season 15 of the Voice, won the Youth Talent Competition in 2018.

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, the nine finalists selected to compete in 2020 will get a chance to earn the first place title.

2020 Finalists

Charlotte Blackmon, Austin, TX
Shannon, Emily, Daniel, & Molly Voeller,  San Antonio, TX
Ellie Adrean, Victoria, TX
Elle Townley,  Georgetown, TX
Riley Edwards, Jazz Aguilar, Isabella Desmos, Austin, TX
Gabriella Rose, Houston, TX
Izzy Jane, Leander, TX
Kendale Walker, Cypress, TX
Madi Meeks, Austin, TX

2019 Winners

1st place   |  Elijah Delgado, Austin, Texas
2nd place  |  Madi Meeks, Austin, Texas
3rd place   |  Giri & Uma Peters, Nashville, Tennessee

Entry Information

Eligibility

  • Age limit is 18 years old and younger
  • Bands or vocal groups (maximum of five members per group) and solo acts

What to bring

A two-song performance set of one cover and one original–10 minutes maximum performance set). Songs should be in the American roots music tradition–bluegrass, country, blues, gospel or traditional. Only acoustic instruments are permitted–no amplifiers, electronics or drum sets.

Content Fee

There is no additional fee to register for the contest. Festival ticket rules apply. Each participant must be accompanied by an adult. With the exception of the competition participant, kids 13 and over are charged the same fee as adults.

All guidelines are subject to change without prior notice.

Entry Limit

The competition is limited to 10 contestants. A band or vocal group is considered one contestant.

The first 10 qualified applicants and 3 alternates will be selected. Applicants selected to perform will be notified no later than 45 days prior to the competition.

Prizes

A team of music professionals select three winners. The judges’ decisions are final.

First Place

  • $250
  • 45-minute showcase spot on the following year’s festival
  • 20-minute show on Saturday
  • Professional feedback on contest performance
  • Special mention from the main stage:  The Original Black’s Barbecue Stage

Second Place

  • $150
  • Professional feedback on contest performance
  • Special mention from the main stage:   The Original Black’s Barbecue Stage

Third Place

  • $100
  • Professional feedback on contest performance
  • Special mention from the main stage:  The Original Black’s Barbecue Stage

Past Winners

2019 – Elijah Delgado

2018 – Sarah Grace and the Soul

2017 – Sophie Scott

2016 – Griffin Carter

2015 – Joelton Mayfield

2014 – Alexander Nobles

2013 – Katy Kirby

2012 – Kimberly Zielnicki

2011 – Grace London

2010 – Minnie & Ella Jordan

2009 – Sara Mueller

2008 – The Fireants

2007 – Emily Elbert

2006 – Samantha Miller

2005 – Justine Blakely & Charlie Pomroy

2004 – Ashlee Rose

2003 – Isaac-Bryant Kids

2002 – Spurs of the Moment, featuring Sarah Jarosz