Durango Bluegrass Meltdown Band Contest 

General Rules

  • 10 bands will participate.
  • The entry fee is $25 per band to be paid at the event and all band members must purchase weekend passes or Saturday pass to compete.  If a band moves on to the next round they will be comped free Sunday passes.
  • Every band will give a single mic performance with a DI available for the bass.
  • No drums, percussion, or electric will be allowed to participate.
  • All bands must consist of no less than 3 members and no more than 6.
  • All Bands in the contest may have no common members including festival performers.
  • Alternate bands will be considered if there is a cancellation
  • Registration is first-come, first-served.

Preliminary round: Saturday, 3-5 pm, at the Elks Lodge

  • 10 bands will have a set of three songs.
  • There is a time limit of 10 minutes for the set and there is no time limit for individual songs
  • Each set should consist of one instrumental song, one fast song with vocals and one slow song with vocals.

Finals round: Sunday morning Henry Strater Theatre, 10 am – 11 am

  • Three bands will be selected for the final round.
  • The same rules apply from the preliminary round to the final round with no repeats


There will be a panel of 3 judges that will score using the following scoring structure.

  • Stage presence (10%)
  • Material selection/originality (30%)
  • Instrumentation skills (30%)
  • Vocal performance (30%)
  • Song time (go over, lose points)
  • Keep in mind, this is a traditional Bluegrass festival
  • All scoring will be confidential, so the band will not know which judge gave them which score.

1st place

  • Main stage set for the following Meltdown
  • 8 hours recording time at Scooter’s Place in Durango, CO
  • $500 w/ reimbursed passes

2nd place

  • Strings (excluding bass and fiddle strings)
  • $250

3rd place

  • Strings (excluding bass and fiddle strings)
  • $150