Official Rules

Download a PDF of 2018 Official Rule

Don Gibson Singer Songwriter Symposium – 2018 Official Rules

  • Send entries via email to dongibsonsingersongwriter@gmail.com, via mail to The Don Gibson Theatre, PO Box 105, Shelby NC 28151 or upload at www.dongibsonsingersongwriter.com. Must include: Lyric sheet, Entry Form, $25 registration fee, and an mp3, wave, dvd or youtube link of you singing your original song. PLEASE NOTE: On your demo entry, make sure your vocals are outfront to allow judges to hear lyrics.

  • Must be 13 years or older

  • May bring one accompanist but the songwriter must sing their own original composition

  • Entries open January 1, 2018 and must be received by March 6, 2018

  • Criteria for Judging:
    •Composition Quality (depth, insight, cleverness, creativity) 45%
    •Vocal Quality (pitch, tone, projection) 20%
    •Overall creativity, difficulty 15%
    •Showmanship/Delivery (personality, charisma, connection with audience)  15%
    •Audience response 5%

  • Winner receives Don Gibson American Music Foundation Award, $1000 cash prize, and an opportunity to open a future show at the Don Gibson Theatre. Second place is awarded $400 cash prize, Third place is awarded $200.

  • $25 entry fee is non-refundable but includes admission into Friday and Saturday events, even if you are not one of the 12 finalists.

  • A Sing Along prior to the April 7th competition will be held in the Don Gibson main stage.

  • The 12 finalists will be notified by March 25, 2018.  Finalists must be able to perform on April 7th to be eligible for prize.

  • Instruments allowed must be carried to mics onstage.  Piano provided. No recorded music.

  • Each song submitted must include entry fee and separate audio files, entry form, lyric sheet.

  • Finalists will play original song and one pre-approved Don Gibson song at the April 7th event.  Judging is based on the performer’s original song.

  • Maximum time limit is 5 minutes per song.

  • Acoustic instruments with pickups permitted as well as EQ but not special effects.