Last week the Committee met by telephone. This week it will meet in person, tomorrow, in Valdosta for the first time.
When: 1PM Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Michael’s Deli, 1307 N Ashley St, Valdosta, GA 31601-4017
To attend by telephone, contact us for the number.
What: Finishing up contest rules, entry form, scorecards for selecting finalists and winners, sponsor application form, and banners for sponsors. Oh, and a date to start accepting submissions and a budget.
Draft sponsor banners: Which one do you like? Here are five sketches: mix and match what you would like to see flying over sponsor businesses and festival booths.
Starting soon (date to be announced) through Sunday May 13
Finalists will be announced Saturday May 19, 2018.
The Contest: 1-5PM, Saturday, June 23, 2018
Where: Community Center, Cedar Key, Florida, with food and beverages
What: Finalists will play, sponsors will be acknowledged, and judges will award prizes.
What to submit: Lyrics and sound (mp3) about one or more of the Suwannee or its tributaries the Little, Black, or Gopher, the Withlacoochee or its tributaries the Little or New, the Alapaha or its tributaries the Alapahoochee, Willacoochee, Little Alapaha, or Dead, or other Rivers, creeks, springs, sinks, swamps, or ponds in the Suwannee River Basin or Estuary. Nature, people, or events, are all good.
Avoid: Not about the Santa Fe River or waterbodies in that sub-basin, because there’s another contest for that. Avoid proselytizing religion. Avoid partisan politics or specific candidates, but issues are OK. Avoid things that don’t exist here (no crocodiles; no flamingos). Explicit lyrics (vulgar or violent) will not be accepted.
Bands: Bands of more than one musician are OK. All finalists be prepared to show up early for sound check. You must be present to win.
Genres: The Committee decided to invite submissions from every genre on this extensive list of music genres, from Art Punk to Zydeco. Hip hop, K-pop, rock, reggae, R&B, and solo cello classical are all invited, among many others, including of course folk and country. If there is only one finalist in a genre, that entry will win a prize for that genre. You can even sing a capella, and if you’re really brave, maybe recite poetry. But remember that while lyrics are the most important aspect, music counts, so playing an instrument would be good.
How to submit: Ready to submit a song? Well, soon, the Committee is still working out the details.
Before the event: Submissions will be narrowed down to half a dozen or so, in two categories: from within the Suwannee River Basin, and from elsewhere. Remember, Stephen C. Foster never saw the Suwannee, so you don’t have to live here to submit a song. If you do live here, you probably can sing a story about your favorite spring, outing, bird, fish, people, etc.
Sponsors: Names of sponsors will be included in our extensive promotion of the contest, so sponsoring the contest is a great way to get your organization or personal name out, through donation of prizes, items for a silent auction, food for the event, a venue for the contestants to play afterwards, or cash. Contact WWALS if you want to sponsor, or stay tuned for more about how to sponsor.
The contest in Cedar Key: Finalists will perform live, sponsors will be acknowledged, and judges will decide. Contestants and especially winners will get prizes. Food, song, sunshine, and a fine time. Do you want to be a judge, or suggest who should be? Let us know.
Judges’ criteria: As the finalists play at the contest, the judges will be marking criteria including originality of lyrics and music, showing the integrity and value of the waters, and more. Extra credit for naming the most rivers (springs, etc.). Even listing them like Tom Lehrer’s Elements song counts; tying them together in a way that shows their value is even better.
Format: We are shamelessly copying the long-running Our Santa Fe River Songwriting Contest, which we recommend you also attend. The rivers are different, and the winners will get prizes. We are modifying the format because our rivers are many. Also, Cedar Key is far to go and people love any reason to stay there for a weekend. We are considering a paddle outing the next day.
You can still apply to join the committee, and there will be many other ways you can help.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!