It has been a busy 48 hours or so at ASG, since the deadline for submissions for The Bluebird Cafe performing songwriter competition expired. We received an unprecedented number of entries for an ASG performance competition and with only 24 slots available in the competition, the judges had a long couple of days listening to submissions to determine the Top 24 songwriters. We can assure you it was no easy task.
In fact, there were enough qualified songwriters to fill a 3rd night of preliminary competition. However, the published rules for this competition only allowed for 24 slots and to increase the number of songwriters competing would have been to in effect change the rules of the competition. At the end of the day, the ASG Directors had no choice but to adhere to the published rules.
The heartbreaking part is the knowledge that many good songwriters did not make the Top 24. However, this is also cause for celebrating at the same time at the depth and quality of the songwriters who entered and we are extremely proud of the ASG members who have all worked hard to not only improve their craft, but to feel the personal confidence to enter the competition.
A key point that all should hold in their awareness is that this particular competition is not a song contest, but rather a performance competition for songwriters. While there was songwriting excellence demonstrated by virtually every songwriter that submitted, the final points for judging the Top 24 in many cases came down to subtle issues in terms of performance qualities on the demos.
As the competition narrowed, at the end, there were about 12 songwriters competing for the final four slots. This is when the judges work really became difficult. Many of the demos for this group were listened to several times to discern those qualities of performance in order to make a final determination. Each of the judges had songwriters they were advocating for that did not make the final cut, and it was really difficult to make those decisions for a number of reasons.
At the end of the day, the ASG Directors and advisors want to thank everyone that entered the competition and if you did not make the final cut, we want you to know that we are proud of every single entrant who chose to share their talents and take a shot at this competition. We hope that even if you are disappointed in not making the final cut, that you will show your support for those that did by attending the shows and casting your own votes for the top six who will go on to Nashville.
We fully realize that some of you may be disappointed in not making the cut, and we hope that you will keep in mind that we are too. We truly wish that we would have scheduled three nights of competition to begin with, because there were enough of you who applied to have made a third evening not only enjoyable, but competitive as well.
In closing, the ASG Directors wants all of you who did not make the final cut to know that we are working on a special package of considerations exclusively for you all, which will likely include some combination of workshops and/or private mentoring and we will be contacting you all privately once the package is finalized.
In the meantime, we will be adding your names, plus one guest, to the guest list for each of the three performance competition rounds and you and your guest will be able to attend any or all of those events without cover. Just let them know at the door you are on the guest list. If we can be of any further service to you, please let us know.
All of this being said, we hope that you will join us in applauding those that did make the Top 24 and we look forward to seeing you at the events to show our support for them.
Thank you all once again for all of your efforts, participation and support of the Austin Songwriters Group and its programs.