Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association


Friday, August 29, 2014 - Duets
Saturday, August 30, 2014 - Guitars
West End Market
Stage - Minnesota State Fair
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Each Day



Eric Christopher & Marty Marrone - winners of 2013 Duet ChampionshipFriday, August 29: Close vocal harmonies, expert instrumental playing and the drive and intensity associated with Bluegrass and Old-Time music are the hallmark of the best duets. In the Minnesota Duet Championship, held at the Minnesota State Fair each year,  up to 15 vocal duets will compete for prizes, performing two selections in bluegrass or old-time style using one or two acoustic string instruments. The top five duets go on to a second round and perform one song. The contestants are judged on the quality of their duet singing, instrumental musicianship and overall presentation. The judges listen and watch the performances from a table in the audience area, where they are able to evaluate the sound of each duet as well as thier impact on the audience.

Both contests take place in a new venue at the Minnesota State Fair - the West End Market, which replaces the old Heritage Square. Look for brand new buildings, including the the Schell’s Stage at Hugh & Margaret Schilling Amphitheater, a gathering place for intimate sets of free music and entertainment all 12 days and nights of the fair.

DUET CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND PRIZE: A pair of Solo Concert Model full size BREEDLOVE guitars from The Podium (Retail value $1199 each!) plus a cash prize of $200. Plus trophies and cash prizes for the next four duets: 2nd place $200, 3rd $100, 4th $75, 5th $50.

Saturday, August 30: In the Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar Championship up to 17 contestants will play two instrumental numbers in the traditional fiddle tune or bluegrass style in the first round. This event is modeled on contests such as the national flatpicking contest held each fall in Winfield, Kansas. The judges are sequestered back stage where they cannot see or identify the contestants. After the first round, the top five-scoring contestants will be announced. In the second round, each will go on to play two additional flatpicking guitar tunes and the Flatpicking Guitar Championship winners are announced.

Congratulations to Clint Birtzer, our 2013 Flatpicking Guitar Champion - shown in photo with his new hand made guitar and its builder, David Vincent.

FLATPICKING GUITAR GRAND PRIZE: A hand made guitar by David Vincent Guitars with a retail value of $2,500 and trophies and cash prizes for the Championship Round: 2nd $350, 3rd $250, 4th $150, 5th $100. Plus trophies and cash prizes for the preliminary round: A) Ages 21 & Under 1st $40, 2nd $20, 3rd trophy, B) Ages 22 to 55: 1st $40, 2nd $20, 3rd trophy, and C) Ages 56 & Up: 1st $40, 2nd $20, 3rd trophy.

The Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar and Duet Championships are sponsored by

      Gold Level Sponsors
The Podium
David Vincent Guitars & Mandolins