Now in its fourth year, the Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest is open to unsigned and emerging Oklahoma songwriters. The contest is free with a grand prize of $500 and feature of the song at Bob Childers Gypsy Café, Oklahoma’s largest songwriter festival held each spring in Stillwater.
Each artist may submit one lyric-driven song online at https://forms.gle/7815oroDTYXEom5H8 by 11:59pm on March 3, 2021.
The songwriting contest and festival are organized by Red Dirt Relief Fund, a nonprofit that has granted $266,000 to more than 700 Oklahoma music people in crisis during pandemic. According to Red Dirt Relief Fund Executive Director Katie Dale, “At a time when the music industry has been devastated by shuttered venues, tour cancellations and loss of income for artists, we hope this contest can provide inspiration and opportunity for songwriters in Oklahoma while keeping the songwriting legacy of Jimmy LaFave alive.”
Three contest finalists will be selected based on lyrics, melody, originality, form and musicality by a panel of judges, including renowned songwriters Tim Easton, Radoslav Lorkovic, Brad Piccolo and Roger Ray. Finalists will be asked to submit a video recording of their song (acoustic) for public voting online April 1-9. This video can by made on a phone as professional production is not required. The judges’ scores of overall performance will be combined with public votes to determine 1st prize of $500 and the song feature at Bob Childers’ Gypsy Cafe, 2nd prize of a virtual songwriting class through the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM@UCO) and People’s Choice prize of $100.
The Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest highlights the spirit of mentorship and musical discovery that have become hallmarks of the Gypsy Café festival. Previous winners include Ken Pomeroy’s “Sidewalk Song” (2018), Dallas Parker aka Faux Draco’s “Abilities” (2019) and Joe Baxter’s “Romeo’s Girl” (2020). For more information, visit www.reddirtrelieffund.org/jlfsongcontest.
Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café, now in its tenth year, is Red Dirt Relief Fund’s longest-running music festival and fundraiser. This year’s fest will be filmed “Live at The Farm” before a limited audience and streamed for free through O’Colly TV. More details on the festival will be released in March.
Red Dirt Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that provides a safety net of critical assistance to Oklahoma musicians, took over management of the festival in the fall of 2013 after Red Bull hosted the event in spring of 2011 and 2012. In 2020 the festival went virtual and still managed to raise $20,000 for Oklahoma musicians in need. Since the Red Dirt Relief Fund was founded in 2012, it has provided more than $450,000 to music professionals in need across the state. Ways to support the cause can be found at www.reddirtrelieffund.org/donate.
Visit reddirtrelieffund.org, friend Red Dirt Relief Fund on Facebook or follow @reddirtrelief for festival updates. For media or sponsorship inquiries, please contact Katie Dale at email@example.com or 918-407-4599.