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8, 9 & 10 May 2020

Tredegar House

Folk Festival






Here’s the important stuff you need to read....



INTRODUCING the first Tredegar House Folk Festival Singer-Songwriter Competition...your big chance to play your own composition on a world-class main stage at the nation’s No.1 folk festival.


This is Wales’ premier songwriting competition and we expect entries of the highest standard - so, as you’d expect, the prizes are big too.


Our WINNER will play his or her song on our main stage over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 8-10, 2020. You’ll be sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in folk.


You’ll also receive £200 CASH in prize money PLUS a three-hour recording session at South Wales’ Shabbey Road Studios, one of this country’s top recording centres, helmed by Al Steele, guitarist with smash hit band The KorgisPLUS you’ll also get FOUR WEEKEND FESTIVAL TICKETS together worth around £200 so your friends and family can come and see you play.


TWO RUNNERS-UP will each receive £100 CASH in prize money PLUS a GUARANTEED SLOT at one of our two famous open-mic concerts, PLUS each will also get TWO WEEKEND FESTIVAL TICKETS





Record a video of yourself singing your song (of not more than five minutes in length at the absolute max) then post it on YouTube. Now email us a link to the video to:

plus your name, address and phone number. Closing date for entries is MIDNIGHT on Sunday, February 16 2020.


We’ll post all the entries on our Tredegar House Folk Festival Facebook page on Friday, February 21 2020 and leave them there until Friday, March 20.  During that time, we’ll watch the number of ‘LIKES’ each video gets ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE ONLY. The top seven ‘LIKED’ videos will go in front of our judging panel, who will decide the winner and runners-up.


Just one MUST, MUST ABSOLUTELY MUST read carefully and follow the T&Cs below. Any entries that don’t conform to the rules may be disqualified.

 So best of luck to you all. We can’t wait to hear your songs.



(Yes, we know it’s tedious, but it’s REALLY IMPORTANT that you read this stuff before you enter)



Your entry song MUST be an original work of no more than FIVE MINUTES in length.


The competition is open to solo singers or duos ONLY. If either the winner or runners-up is a duo, the cash prize, festival tickets and recording time will be shared between you (that is, for example, if a duo were to win, you’d get £100 each, plus two weekend tickets each, three hours plus recording time at which you’d turn up together  etc).


Your song can be unaccompanied if you wish, but if it is accompanied it must be by no more than TWO instruments that you can easily set up and take down within a few minutes on our main stage (for example, guitars, harmonicas, accordions or violins etc would be fine, but a grand piano absolutely wouldn’t be! You get the idea).  Also, you must be able to play your song including any or all of your instruments live...that is, without pre-recorded backing tracks.


Bear in mind that your song is going to be performed at a FOLK festival. The music we offer our audiences covers a wide spectrum but if your song is thrash metal, hip-hop etc, it’s unlikely to fit our programme and the judges may take that into consideration in their deliberations.


To enter, create a YOUTUBE video of your entry song and email a link to Please add your name, address, phone number and the title of your song.


We will accept entries whose links are emailed up to midnight on Sunday, February 16. On the following Friday (February 21) we will upload all the entries to the Tredegar House Festival Facebook site where they will remain until Friday, March 20


The SEVEN videos that gain the most Facebook LIKES on the Festival’s site only during that period will go forward to an independent judging panel comprising significant industry figures. The judges reserve the right to add other songs from the entries if they feel it is appropriate. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.  The judges and/or competition organisers may vary these Terms and Conditions as they feel appropriate.


The winner, in the judges’ opinion, will be invited to play on the main stage at Tredegar House Folk Festival, at a time determined by the festival organisers, some time over the weekend of May 8-10, 2020. (It is likely that your set will be about 15 minutes in duration, so you’ll need to have at least two other suitable original songs to perform). 


It is a fundamental condition of winning that you are available to perform your song at the festival at the time designated - and that you are available for a soundcheck earlier that day. If you cannot perform as required your entry will, sadly, be disqualified.


The winner’s recording session at Shabbey Road Studios in Caerphilly, South Wales, will take place at a mutually acceptable time.


Besides the cash prizes of £100, runners-up will be offered one-song slots in our open-mic sessions on either Saturday, May 9,  or Sunday, May 10.


Copyright of all entries remains, of course, with the writers, but the Festival reserves its absolute right to broadcast those entries on any and all media at its discretion. 


Entrants must be aged 16 or over at the date entries open. The judges reserve the right to seek proof of age if so required.


There are no substitutes to these prizes. Nor can the Festival, or Shabbey Road Studios, be responsible for any expenses incurred in taking up the prizes.


Winners will be notified by Monday, April 6 at the latest.


Entrants’ data (name, address, phone number, email address) will be held by the Festival for no longer than is necessary to run and complete this competition.


You may, if you wish, enter more than one song BUT each entry must be on separate YouTube videos and, even if more than one of your entries is in the top seven liked videos, ONLY ONE of your entries (the one with the higher number of likes) will go though to final judging.


Entry assumes acceptance of these terms and conditions. 



Our award-winning judges are at the pinnacle of folk music, songwriting and performance. The Tredegar House Folk Festival is privileged to gather so many greats to judge our singer/songwriter competition and we thank them all.



THE godfather of Welsh folk music, all-round national treasure and presenter of BBC Radio Wales' folk, roots and acoustic music show, Celtic Heartbeat every Sunday at 7pm. Frank, a member of the legendary Hennessys folk group, has also presented a range of BBC TV music series including Way Out West - tracing the roots of Cajun, Appalachian and Cape Breton folk.


The world-class singer and bassist with Show Of Hands, arguably the biggest folk band in Britain, has a career spanning 20 years performing with the greatest names and finest songwriters in the business.


One of the greatest songwriters in British folk and one third of The Young’Uns, winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Group in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, their seminal album Strangers, with songs written by Sean, won the Awards’ Best Album trophy. 


Singer, poet and playwright, Gwyneth is at the pinnacle of her powers. An Urdd Eisteddfod crown winner and Welsh Children’s Poet Laureate , she has sung to rave reviews worldwide.  Gwyneth also featured in the album Songs Of Separation which won Best Album award at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards


The internationally-renowned drumming genius and master of the kora, a type of Senegalese harp. He was crowned Musician of the Year in the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. His work with the great Welsh harpist Catrin Finch also won Best Duo/Album.


Prodigious singer (in both Welsh and English) and instrumentalist with all-conquering Calan, one of Wales’ greatest folk bands and stars of the 2019 Tredegar House Festival. Bethan has appeared as a music commentator on radio and television and developed and delivered music and dance workshops for young people across the country.


One of Britains top music producers and lead guitarist with The Korgis, Al has worked with stars as diverse as Elvis Costello, David Soul, Bonnie Tyler, The Divas, Paul Potts and hundreds more. His cutting-edge Shabbey Road Studios in Caerphilly is generously sponsoring studio time for our winner.


The hottest new trio in Welsh folk, the boys will judge collectively and count as one vote. Their debut album, Hide And Hair, remains a triumph, winning Best Album at the 2019 Radio 2 Folk Awards. In 2019, too, they were crowned Best Emerging Artists at the inaugural Wales Folk Awards.

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The Tredegar House Folk Festival Singer-Songwriter Competition is co-sponsored by Greg and Lindsay Rowlands who say: “We’re delighted to be part of this initiative. We support live music and want to encourage songwriters and singers to give us new material in live music venues.”

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and while you’re here.. 


We believe the world of folk music is a precious community of friends. And while we are immensely proud of our festival and our new singer/songwriter competition, we are happy to draw your attention to another such competition which we have been privileged to help judge in the past. It takes place in June in West Wales. Just search for the Lazzmatazz festival on Facebook



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