The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest presented by MerleFest will start accepting entries October 1. Named after the one-time sidekick of Ricky Skaggs, the contest remembers Chris Austin, a renowned singer and instrumentalist. After losing his life in a tragic plane crash, individuals close to Austin created CASC to keep the memory and music of him alive.
An esteemed contest for aspiring songwriters, CASC is credited for helping up-and-coming Americana talent gain exposure. Aspiring musicians have the opportunity to have their songs heard by some of Nashville’s most prominent music industry professionals, including Grammy-winning American musician Jim Lauderdale. Categories for contestants’ work include bluegrass, general, gospel, and country.
The 2019 MerleFest will take place April 25-28 at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Celebrating the late musician Doc Watson and guitarist Eddy Merle Watson, the festival celebrates music of the past as well as today, including country, American, classic rock, and folk.
The competition’s finalists are invited to perform at a final showcase at MerleFest on Friday, April 26. First place winners receive $600 in cash and performance slots during the festival.d
Interested contestants can fill out an online application or mail entries to MerleFest/CASC, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC, 28697.