2019 Big Island Open Mic Songwriting Contest: Hilo


Every year the Hawaii Songwriting Festival presents a series of open mic contests on Kauai, Oahu, and the Big Island with the opportunity to win free attendance to the three-day music festival/conference at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.

The process is fairly easy: sign-up at one of the venues, provide the judges three copies of your song’s lyrics, and perform one original song. There’s no admission or entry fee, and at the end of the performances, one grand-prize winner is announced along with two runners-up. The contestant’s songs are judged on lyrics, song structure, music, and if the song’s hook is compelling.

Last night at the Hilo Town Tavern (the fifth annual Big Island contest), nineteen participants performed their songs and at the end the judges announced the winners: Marrianne Bacon, Selah Solt, and grand-prize winner Drew Daniels.

The participants included (in order of appearance): Victor Solt, Selah Solt, Elejah Solt, (Senator) Russel Ruderman, Kauila Haumea, Lisa Wee, Telesa Young, Joe Star, Robert Savery, Mark Panek, Marrianne Bacon, Ricky Alvarez, Millicent Cummings, James Gusse, Alexander Bentes, Deonna Young, Drew Daniels, Christian Ohey, Lenox Romero, and Harry (last name not given).

You can listen to a podcast of the event here.

The next open mic contests will take place at the Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea on Wednesday May 15 at 6:30 PM, and at the Kona Brew Pub on Thursday May 16 at 6:30 PM. And another contest night in Hilo will take place at Kukuau Studio (Hilo) on Sunday May 19 at 5:30 PM.

The 17th annual Hawaii Songwriting Festival will take place at the Westin Hapuna Beach Hotel on the Big Island and runs from June 20-22. If you’d like to register for the Festival, you can find the details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hawaii-songwriting-festival-2019-registration-52699975044


The Hawai’i Songwriting Festival is for songwriters from all walks of life and at all levels of their careers. Come learn about the craft and business of songwriting from professional songwriters and music industry executives, develop new relationships with songwriters from around the world, and get your creative batteries charged up in a beautiful setting surrounded by people who all share your passion for music.

Registration for the three-day conference includes one non-transferrable ticket to the “Hit Makers” Concert on June 22, 2019. Kenny Loggins will be the headliner this year.

You can also apply for a scholarship to attend the Festival. The deadline is May 15, 2019. Details here: http://www.hawaiisongwritingfestival.com/scholarships.html.


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