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Southern Guitar Festival & CompetitionInspiring Guitarists and Music Lovers Alike with World-Class Performances and Competitions

Rules and Prizes

All festival events and competition finals will take place on September 28th-29th, 2024, at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, downtown Charlotte, NC.  

The registration deadline:

 -June 17th, 2024, for the College/Open Division preliminary round via video.

-June 24th, 2024, for the Guitar Idol Carolina competition division via video. 

-September 10th, 2024, for Divisions II and III.

New Prize!

In honor of Voncille Williams, the Unveiled Prize is awarded for the best performance of a work by a female composer. Up to 3 winners will each receive a cash prize of $250. Competitors from all competition divisions are eligible to compete for the Unveiled Prize.

Solo competitors interested in qualifying for The Unveiled Prize must submit their repertoire by September 20, 2024, to SouthernGuitarFest@gmail.com.

In the spirit of advancing the presentation of guitar pieces by women, please see the below links to begin your journey into the world of female composers:

Please submit your competition repertoire to keishacol4@gmail.com

Guitar Idol Carolina:

  • Open to all non-classical guitar players ages 10-25.
  •  Contestants are allowed to use sheet music. 
  • All guitar styles are welcome. Loop pedals and backing tracks are allowed. 
  • Each competitor in this division is expected to record an unedited video for the preliminary round. The competitor must record up to 10 minutes of music. The videos should be sent via YouTube links by June 17, 2024, to SouthernGuitarFest@gmail.com along with the registration payment.
  •  Each competitor must record an unedited video of up to 5 minutes of music and send it via YouTube link by June 24th, 2024, to SouthernGuitarFest@gmail.com along with the registration payment.
  • The top 3 players will receive prizes and will be invited to perform on Sunday, Sep. 29th, in the afternoon, 2024, at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. 

Prizes:

  • 1 place – $300
  • 2 place – $200
  • 3 place – $100

Division I (College/Open)

  • This category has no age limit.
  • All performance selections must be memorized and performed on a classical guitar.
  • Each competitor in this division is expected to record an unedited video where the competitor is performing up to 10 minutes of music. The videos should be sent via YouTube links by June 17, 2024, to SouthernGuitarFest@gmail.com along with the registration payment.
  • Nine competitors will be chosen to compete for prizes live in Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, downtown Charlotte, NC. The finalists will be required to submit an additional $50 entrance fee to compete in the finals. 

Prizes:

  • 1 place – $2000
  • 2 place – $1500
  • 3 place – $1000

Division II (High School)

  • This competition will be in person and will have only one round. 
  • All selections must be memorized and performed on a classical guitar.
  • Each competitor in Division II must perform up to 7 min of music from memory.

Prizes:

  • 1 place – $500
  • 2 place – $400
  • 3 place – $300

Division III (Elementary)

  • This competition will be in person and will have only one round.
  • All selections must be memorized and performed on a classical guitar.
  • Each competitor in Division III must perform up to 5 min of music from memory.

Prizes:

  • 1 place – $400
  • 2 place – $300
  • 3 place – $250

Each prize winner will also receive an additional prize – a $20 gift certificate from Strings by Mail


Judges’ comments will be made available upon request via email: SouthernGuitarFest@gmail.com


What our judges are looking for:

  • Good stage presence
  • Musicianship
  • Polished performance

All judges’ decisions are final.


All prizes are subject to mandatory 30% federal tax withholding for foreign prize-winners; US prize-winners may be issued an IRS-W9.

All prize amounts are subject to change.