1. Competition registration must be completed before 9:15 AM for Junior
Competitors and 10:15 AM for Adult Competitors at the mill site on
festival day. You can register online or wait until the week-end of Sept.
20-21 to register/pay.

2. The competition categories are as follows:

(A) Adult Fiddle, (B) Jr. Fiddle (16 and under), (C) Adult “Wildcat” (open)

(D) “Wildcat” (open), (E) Adult Old Time Banjo, (F) Jr. Old Time
(G) Adult Old Time String Band, (H) Jr. Old Time String
(I) Adult Guitar, and (J) Jr. Guitar.

*Junior competitors are eligible to compete in the Adult category however those who
choose to do so will not be eligible to compete in the in the Jr. category
as well.

3. The judges’ decision is final.

4. The judges will not enter or play in any competition category which is
the same they are judging.

5. No electric instruments will be permitted.

6. For Jr and Adult preliminaries, each contestant will play one-two tunes
(depending on number of registrants) except fiddlers and string bands.
Fiddlers will be asked to play one slow tune and one fast tune.  All
string bands will be asked to play 1-2 tunes to include one vocal
number and one instrumental. If playing in finals, you’ll be asked to
play one to two more tunes. Bands and fiddles may be asked to play 2-
4 more tunes. (No repeat songs please)

7. Each individual contestant (not bands) is required to observe a time
limit of three (3) minutes per tune. Bands may have five (5) minutes
per tune.

8. Each contestant may have one accompanist, but this is not required.
Accompanists may play with as many solo competitors as desired.

9. Contestants may enter as many categories as they wish with the
exception of Jr. fiddlers who choose to compete in the Adult fiddle

10. No category will be judged unless there is a minimum of three entries
competing in that category.

11. Contestants must be present and play when scheduled. Allowances will
be made for broken strings and other things beyond the control of the
contestant. Once a category is closed, late arrivals or no-shows will be

12. With the exception for the Adult and Jr. “Wildcat” categories and the
Hot Licks contest, emphasis will be on old time or traditional music.
Other fiddle styles such as bluegrass, swing, modern, and gypsy are
welcome during the “Wildcat” categories. With all other competition
categories tunes and playing styles should be traditional old time, not
modern, progressive bluegrass, or other styles. “Show off” tunes, such
as Orange Blossom Special, Whoa Mule, etc. should be avoided in all
categories other than the “Wildcat”/Hot Licks categories during the
competition. Original material consistent with the tradition is
acceptable. (See links below for a better understanding of what “Old
Time” music and blues is all about)

13. An “old time string band” must consist of a fiddle, banjo, and at least
one other stringed instrument (guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, etc.) with a
maximum of six instruments. Musicians can only enter in one band.

14. In the event of a tie, there will be a play-off. A contestant may not
repeat the same tune in the play-off that he or she played earlier in the
competition category.

15. Contestants will be judged on tuning, rhythm & timing (even &
consistent- any jerking, rushing, dragging, or unevenness in tempo will
result in loss of points), and execution (tonal quality and clarity of
performance and general command of the instrument). Creativity and
expression will also be judged as well as authenticity of style. Variations
and improvisations will be allowed under creativity, but these should
not be excessive, so as to destroy or change the basic melody line of the
tune. Expression will be judged by the “feeling” expressed in the
contestant’s performance. Flat, mechanical and unfeeling
performances, as well as excessive “showmanship”, will result in loss of
points in all categories other than the “Wildcat”/Hot Licks categories.

Good Luck!!

138 Hagood Mill Rd
Pickens, SC 29671


© 2018 by DesignJOBB

Open Wednesday through Saturday, 10am-4pm, each week – all year long. 

Mill only runs on third Saturdays, rain or shine.

Special thanks to Pickens County Council for partially supporting the Storytelling Festival and the Native American Celebration.



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