Acoustic Kids – Guitar Town

August 13, 2016, 6-8 p.m. – Guitar Center Stage, Copper Mountain, Colorado

2016 Acoustic Kids - Guitar Town

2016 Photos: Guitar Town
View album on Flickr

Application Instructions   ♦   Online Application   ♦   Printable Application Form    ♦   Flyer   ♦   Press Release


Acoustic Kids, which was born in 1990 at the Midwinter Bluegrass Festival in Fort Collins, returned to Colorado in 2015 for Guitar Town at Copper Mountain. The showcase was enthusiastically received, and in 2016 is expanding to include Acoustic Kids Ambassadors Spotlight sets, which allow some of our more advanced participants to step out a bit.

Important Notes for Applicants:
  1. This is not a contest! It’s an opportunity. Please visit acoustickids.com for more information on the philosophy and history behind Andy May’s Acoustic Kids Showcases.
  2. Each age-eligible performer must fill out an individual application, even if they are only applying as part of a group and not for an individual performance. This gives us their individual info and their parents’ permission to participate.
  3. Since Guitar Town is a celebration of guitars, preference for this Acoustic Kids Showcase will be given to those who play guitars or closely-related instruments (Dobro, pedal steel, electric bass, etc) and to bands whose age-eligible members play these instruments. However, all age-eligible musicians may apply and will be considered if it looks like there will be enough time in the showcase to include them.
  4. Players of electric instruments are always welcome in Acoustic Kids.
  5. Accompanists/bandmates may be any age, as long as it’s the age-eligible performers who are featured.
  6. Your demo is your audition: Each demo should be something you want to perform in the showcase presented exactly as you want to perform it. Please try to keep each demo to 3.5 minutes or less.
  7. New for 2016: Acoustic Kids Ambassadors – Guitar Town. Andy will choose Acoustic Kids Ambassadors to play on the Guitar Center Stage during specific Main Stage set changes on Saturday. These cameo sets will give some of our more advanced participants an opportunity to play for a larger audience and will draw attention to the main showcase later in the day. You don’t need to do anything special to apply to be an Acoustic Kids Ambassador – just apply for Acoustic Kids Showcases – Guitar Town 2016.

Detailed Application Instructions:

Applicants: Please read all parts of these instructions carefully – it will help you when you fill out the application!!

Program Notes

Things you should know about Acoustic Kids Showcases before you apply:

  • Acoustic Kids Showcases are not contests! They are performance opportunities for young musicians of all skill levels to perform before a supportive festival audience.
  • Participation is an opportunity for festival attendees only: There is neither an additional charge nor compensation for participating. Some festivals do have volunteer programs allowing you to volunteer for the festival in exchange for discounted or free admission. You will need to check with the festival directly for information on its volunteer programs.
  • Participants will perform one or more of the demo songs/tunes they provide with their application for the showcase. Andy will let selected applicants know which one(s) he’d like them to perform. Changes are very difficult to accommodate, especially at the last minute, so please choose demo songs/tunes carefully.
  • We have many talented performers to fit into every showcase. In the interest of fairness, each selected performer will perform 1 to 3 pieces ONLY, depending on time available and other factors. Groups may be allotted more time if they have more than one featured performer.
  • Professionalism and mutual support are a big part of Acoustic Kids! Participants, accompanists, and parents are expected to arrive at the showcase stage one hour before their showcase starts for introductions, orientation, last‐minute instructions, and tune‐up/warm‐up – and to stay for the entire showcase.
  • Acoustic Kids are introduced on stage by name, age and hometown.
  • This showcase is a public forum. Photographs and video of Acoustic Kids performances are used in print and electronic media (websites, Facebook, e‐newsletters, Flickr, etc.) related to the Acoustic Kids program and/or the festival hosting the showcase. Audience members and journalists may also post or otherwise share photos or videos of your child(ren).

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Acoustic Kids must be 16 or younger on the first day of the festival.
  • Accompanists, including band-mates, may be any age.
  • Age-eligible musicians of any skill level are welcome to apply. That said,
  • Applicants must be able to confidently perform a coherent tune or song at their skill level in order to qualify for a showcase spot. (If your child is not quite ready, we encourage him or her to come watch the showcase this year, keep practicing, and apply next time around.)

Detailed Instructions

  • Performance demos of up to three pieces are a required part of the application. (See Demo Nitty-Gritty, below, for tips on demo selection, formats, and delivery.)
  • Groups:
    • Group performances should feature only the age-eligible members of the group (16 or younger on the first day of the festival).
    • Accompanists/band‐mates may be any age.
    • Each age-eligible performer in the group must fill out an individual application, even if they are only applying as part of the group. This gives us their info and their parents’ permission to participate.
    • You can apply for an individual performance spot even if you are also applying as part of a group. Just check “Both” in the appropriate section on your individual application and provide your group’s name.
  • Communications/Contact Info:
    • Please make sure all phone numbers and email addresses you provide are accurate and legible. Andy will need to be able to contact parents of all applicants.
    • We rely heavily on email for communication, and we will add all email addresses you provide as contact emails to our Acoustic Kids eNews list. This allows us to send group emails to all our applicants’ contacts  leading up to the festival. These Insiders’ News Flash! mailings include things like showcase rosters, last-minute changes, interesting resources, etc., and help keep everyone current. Each email address owner will need to confirm their subscription and may, of course, unsubscribe at any time.
    • Be sure to add acoustickids@andymay.com to your address book or you may not get our emails – including acceptance emails and showcase assignments!
  • If you are using the printed application form:
    • You may email a PDF (preferred) or jpeg of your completed printed application to acoustickids@andymay.com. Please provide any URLs in the body of the email so that we don’t have to retype them. (We’d really appreciate this – we get LOTS of links!)
    • Please make the subject line of any email very clear, for example: FestivalName – Acoustic Kids Application – Jane Doe.
    • Or, you can mail printed applications to the address below. Please get them in the mail by the application deadline at the latest.
    • If you are not submitting everything together (emailing part and postal-mailing part, for example), make sure we can match them up: Put the applicant’s name & your preferred contact info on both.
  • Questions? Please email acoustickids@andymay.com
  • All materials must be submitted or postmarked by the application deadline!
  • Submit to:

Demo Nitty-Gritty

(In this section, “you” and “your” refer to the applicant.)

  • Your demos are your audition. One to three performance demos are a required part of this application.
    • If you have three or more pieces ready to perform, we encourage you to provide three to give Andy greater flexibility in setting up the showcase.
    • Andy will let selected performers know which of their audition pieces he’d like them to perform in the showcase.
  • Demo/Performance Requirements: Andy plans the showcases based upon the demos he receives.
    • It typically works best to record a demo specifically for your Acoustic Kids application, though it’s not essential. It is essential to:
      • Submit pieces you would actually like to perform in the showcase, arranged as you would like to perform them.
      • Use recent recordings so Andy will see your current skill level and can plan the showcase accordingly.
      • Provide demos that include any and all accompanists who you want to have play with you in the showcase.
        • Accompanists may be any age. If they are 16 or younger, they need to fill out an application, too.
        • Accompanists MUST be included in the demo and identified on the application (there is a space for this) in order to perform in the showcase.
        • If you plan to perform solo, please provide a solo demo.
    • Keep the length of each demo to 3 1/2 minutes or less.
    • Commit to your demo(s): Please do not ask to change your performance pieces, accompanists, arrangements, etc., after you have submitted your application. It just gets entirely too confusing. (Of course, if you need to make a change for some reason you could not have foreseen, we will work with you.)
    • For Groups:
      • Please identify all performers who appear in the demo. There is a space for this in the Group section of the application form.
      • Only one set of demos is needed for the group.
  • Demo Specs:
    • Use a standard format (MP3, MP4, etc.) for demos, please!!
    • Maximum file size for uploads via the application form is 50MB. Larger files may be uploaded to YouTube or elsewhere.
    • If you are providing URLs, please be sure you don’t have the video set to “Private.” If it’s private, Andy can’t access it.
  • Demo Submission – You may:
    • Provide URLs for online audio or video (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, SoundCloud, your website, etc.). This is our preferred method. It has has proven to be, hands down, the least troublesome demo delivery method – for applicants and for us!
    • Upload to dropbox.com and share with acoustickids@andymay.com. Please give your name, the song/tune name, and the venue name in the subject line of your email.
    • Upload via the online application form 50MB maximum file size), or
    • Send by postal mail on CD or DVD.

 

 

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