Emerging Artist Contest


overview | rules and electronic submission


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These finalists are competing for:  

  • Opening for the 10th Annual Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Headline show at the Attucks Theater on Saturday, April 1
  • A solo show at Zeider’s American Dream Theater (part of their songwriter series), including a board recording
  • Star in a promo video from Jpixx PLUS  all finalists are automatically entered into an online contest to win a JPIXX music video
  • Recording time at Soniqual Studio
  • A brand new Paul Reed Smith SE Angelus Acoustic Guitar
  • Radio and TV interview/performance opportunities

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Singer/songwriters, we’ve created a FaceBook Group for you: Singer/Songwriters in the 757.  Go there for inspiration, information and to connect with fellow creatives.

You can also find event updates on Facebook.

Check out last year’s winner, Andy Geels, here:


About the Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Festival:

The 2017 Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Festival, in its 10th year, is a celebration of live, original music and features local and national singer/songwriters, an Emerging Artist Singer/Songwriter Competition , live performance showcases and a custom Paul Reid Smith guitar raffle.

About the Emerging Artist Singer/Songwriter Competition (EAC):

As a major component of the Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Festival, the Emerging Artist Contest is for amateur singer/songwriters hailing from within 100-miles of Norfolk.  Budding singer/songwriters, often those who perform at open mics and local venues, on college campuses, in churches, on sidewalks, in schools, and/or in the privacy of their own homes, are invited to submit digitally recorded song sets containing two (2) original, non-commercialized, songs of their choosing and self-creation. All songwriting genres are permitted, but must be performed without the aid of any computer enhancements, synthesizers, or other instrumental or vocal accompaniment.

The contest begins with a 12-week long submission window (early December to mid-February), followed by a preliminary judging process to select ten (10) top semi-finalists.

  • Entry Fee:
    • $25 Early Bird Entry (December 3-January 15)
    • $35 New Entry (January 16-February 17)
    • $20 prior finalists
  • Deadline: February 17, 2017

The ten (10) semi-finalists will be invited to perform their two-song submissions in front of a devoted listening audience and panel of esteemed judges on Sunday, March 19 at Victorian Station in Hampton, Virginia where they will compete for the 2017 EAC #1 Winner’s slot. The overall Emerging Artist Contest winner will perform at the 2017 Sea Level Festival on Saturday, April 1st, at the Attucks Theatre in Norfolk, in addition to receiving exceptional prizes and opportunities to further promote his/her musical talents.  Winners have received studio time, new acoustic guitars and media spots in the past.  We are putting together and will announce the 2017 prize package soon.  The contest committee promotes the talents of up and coming artists through this event to the larger community.   We look forward to uncovering new talent and witnessing a 2017 contest that features some of the deep, untapped talent in our region.