2018 JHMF Band Contest Rules and Entry Information

Welcome to The John Hartford Band Contest page. We express our deepest gratitude to each band who entered. Your craft is special to us and your music is enriching and enlightening. John Hartford would be honored to know how his music has inspired you and us.

Contest Registration is now closed.

Band Contest Preliminary Results Are In! We're delighted to announce the twelve bands that were selected from our online preliminary contest. These bands will perform at JHMF8 around a single microphone on the Hippy Hill stage on Friday June 2. The four finalist bands will perform on the Hartford Stage Saturday June 3. Bands will compete for cash prizes totaling $2,000 and an opportunity for a Hartford Stage slot in 2019.

Barbaro: Winona, MN.
GRASS2MOUTH: Murfreesboro, TN.
Hillbilly Revival: Crestwood, KY.
Klondike 5 String Band: Tulsa, OK.
Latresa & the Signal: Mt. Juliet, TN.
Mama Said String Band: Louisville, KY.   
Route 358: Fayetteville, AR.
The Goldsberrys: Gahanna, OH.
The Half Step Sisters: Greenwood, IN.
The Pistol Whippin' Party Penguins: Minneapolis, MN.
The Squarshers: Fayetteville, AR.

To review the 2018 Band Contest rules and guidelines, click here.

Jhmf8 contest band group 1
Jhmf8 contest band group 2


1st Place Prize: $1,000, a John Hartford Memorial Festival main stage slot in 2019 and all band members will have their primitive camping cost reimbursed.
2nd Place: $500
3rd Place: $300
4th Place: $200

2017 John Hartford Band Contest Winners

Ida Clare from Louisville, KY was named the winner in the inaugural band contest held at the 7th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival in Bean Blossom, IN. Ida Clare is Lea Bullock Cockrell on guitar and lead vocals, Jim Wheatley on mandolin and vocals, Robin Thixton on banjo and vocals, and bassist, Mark Miller.  Ida Clare performed three original tunes for each portion of the contest.

2nd place-  Tangleweed, from Chicago, IL.  3rd place- Big Sadie, also from the Chicago area. 4th place-Nashville’s Johnny Campbell and the Bluegrass Drifters.  

To read an interview and watch Ida Clare perform the winning slot on the Hartford Stage, JHMF 2017, click here.



Have a question about our contests? Drop us a line via the contact section on our web site.