Bangalow Pickers’ Competition

by | 27 Jul, 2014 | 2 comments

banjoHere’s a chance to win $250 in the amateur Pickers Competition at the Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival, Bangalow Showgrounds, Saturday 2 August. Open to everyone, categories include fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo.

It was Bill Monroe’s virtuosity on the mandolin which was credited as defining Bluegrass music as a genre. With improvisation and frenetic tempos characteristic of Bluegrass, its combined energy and style belies the masterful technique of bluegrass picking instrumentalists. So we’ve decided to showcase them!

Each of the contestants in each heat (and the final) will step up to the mic in turn and perform a ‘solo’ over a pre-arranged backing track, performed live by the house band (guitar and upright bass) with a progressive tempo. Finalists will enter the Grand Final, each instrumentalist performing to the same track.

Judging will be industry professionals including musician (fiddle, Emilie Owen (Mr Cassidy), Rod Coe (Freshwater) record producer and music director for the late Slim Dusty, and Steve Berry (former Australian flat picking champion).

Judges will be looking for technique/definition, phrasing and form, cohesion with other players, originality and enthusiasm/spirit.

Music Program Director, Ash Bell says “The pickers’ comp is about pitching the players against each other in their natural habitat, and on an even playing field. Same track, same tempo, same amount of time to impress. It’s as much about mic technique and player awareness as it is about musicianship. ┬áThe best thing about this comp is that it will look and sound just like a bluegrass band playing, but they’ll all be trying to outplay each other. It’s going to be a hoot!”

With a festival line-up including, The Morrisons, The Stetson Family, The Mid North contestants are in good company.

Entry fee $25. Cheaper than general admission and all proceeds go to prize money. Register now at

Bangalow Showgrounds, Saturday 2 August, 2014.

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  1. Tamara

    is there a lesson we can join in on

    • Greg McGrath

      Not this year but certainly a consideration as the festival grows into the future is the reply from organisers.