Please note: These FAQs pertain to the 2021 competition ONLY. They will be updated before entries to the 2022 competition open. Please check back at a later date to view finalised FAQs for 2022.
How does it all work?
In a nutshell, you submit your original song via the entry form found HERE before the closing date of 28th February 2021 and then sit tight…. If you make it to the finals, you’ll know about it by mid-March, and then you’re off to the final at Fairbridge Festival 2021 to compete amongst a group of 12 finalists in total. Four winners will each receive a dazzling array of prizes including a recording session and performance opportunities.
A recording session and performances, you say? Tell me more about the prizes please!
They are pretty bloody awesome. You can check them out here, as well as below…
Each winning act will receive:
* A performance slot at the following year’s Fairbridge Festival (plus tix & camping);
* A performance opportunity at the 2021 Denmark Festival of Voice (plus tix & subsidised accommodation);
* A full day at Elemental Sound recording studio (with a sound engineer) to record your song;
* Free WAM Song of the Year entry;
* 1x ticket to WAMCon;
* An industry mentoring session with WAM musician, Em Burrows; and,
* A photoshoot provided by HK Photography.
Any other reason I should enter?
You mean, besides the chance to win amazing prizes and help kickstart your music career? Well, if you make it to the finals, you’ll get to attend and perform in the final at Fairbridge Festival, which is super cool in itself. And even if you don’t make it to the finals, entering your song could be a beneficial learning experience for any budding musician. You might also be interested to hear that our new patron is popular West Australian singer-songwriter, Carla Geneve, who just happens to be one of our 2015 Quest winners! You might also recognise the names of some of these other previous winners – Jack Davies, Siobhan Cotchin, Lachy John, Brooke Bugeja and Sofia Hourani, to name just a few.
We’re a band… Can we enter?
Absolutely! You can enter as an individual, a duo or a band of up to six members; however, each person can only enter once, so, for example, you can’t submit an entry as a soloist if you’re also a member of a band that has entered / will be entering.
Ok, I’m sold… So just to clarify, exactly how old do I need to be to enter and can I apply from anywhere in Australia?
The competition is open to West Australians aged between 12 and 18 at the time of the final next year on 10th April 2021. That means, if you’re 11 years old now but you’ll turn 12 before that April date, you can enter! Yay! On the flip side, if you’re 18 now and will turning 19 before April 10th, looks like you’ve missed the boat on this one. There are two age categories – 12-15 and 16-18. Bands are entered into the age category pertaining to the eldest member of their group at the time of the final, i.e. age as of 10th April 2021. So even if your youngest member is 12, if your eldest member will be 17yo at the time of the final, then you must enter the 16 to 18yo age category. Make sense?
I’m under 18. Do I need permission to enter?
Yep, you’ll need to get your parent or guardian’s permission first. But you can assure them that if you do make it to the finals, there’ll be a ticket to the final at the festival provided for them too, so good news – they’ll be able to cheer you on from the crowd whether you like it or not 😉
I don’t know what song to enter. I’ve written lots of good ones! Can I enter them all??
Got more than one good song? That’s ok – Feel free to submit a maximum of two songs in the same entry form, if you want.
In what format can songs be submitted?
Please make sure songs are in MP3, MP4 or M4A format only. We also need a copy of the lyrics, in DOC or PDF form only please! And if your song is written in a language other than English, be sure to include an English translation. Please name all files with performer name and song title.
I am unable to make a professional recording of my song… Can I still enter?
Absolutely! Songs will not be judged on production values. Acoustic recordings, studio recordings, and (audio) recordings of live performances are all accepted. And, provided the recording is clearly audible, you can submit songs you have recorded using as simple a device as the recorder app available on most smart phones these days, or, if you’re more high-tech, a handheld digital recorder of some other kind. Of course, if you do have a fancy studio recording of your song, you’re most welcome to submit that. However you decide to record your song, please ensure all vocals and instrumentation were performed by the entrant/s at the time of recording.
I like to write songs that challenge perceptions and are a little bit cheeky. Is that ok?
Yes. But please remember that we are an inclusive, family-friendly festival. By all means, feel free to throw in a mild swear word or four, and of course, it’s absolutely fine to tackle sensitive subject matter in your songs, like politics or sexuality – that’s all totally cool with us; but please keep the profanities fairly mild please – we’re sure you’ll know where to draw the line… Also, please don’t include any discriminatory language at all – we ain’t cool with that.
I heard that Fairbridge Festival is traditionally a “folk, roots and world” music festival. I don’t write songs in any of those genres…. Can I still enter?
Sure, you can if you like, but it’s important for you to know that the judges will consider how well songs fit into the ‘vibe’ of Fairbridge Festival when assessing entries, so songs that fall within the traditional Fairbridge genres above will stand a higher chance of making it through to the finals. If you’re familiar with the festival you might be wondering why the Backlot program often hosts acts which fall somewhat outside of these genres. The Backlot stage offers a less traditional Fairbridge experience, but the Quest itself strives to be as close fitting to the traditional festival genres as possible, to introduce them to a new generation of music-makers and listeners, and thus keep them alive!
My brother / mum / teacher helped me write the song… Can I still enter it?
Depends what you mean by ‘helped’? It’s ok if you’ve gotten some general guidance or feedback from someone else – maybe you’ve even come along to one of our songwriting workshops? – but the song must essentially be your own work.
Songwriting workshops? What are those?
To help support our young songwriters, we will be running workshops in January and February in Fremantle, Claremont, Mandurah, Denmark and Karratha. The workshops are a series of 2x 3-hour sessions run by two facilitators – all talented, experienced, local songwriters. Participating in a workshop costs $40 and this gets you entry to both sessions. The workshops will introduce you to the basic building blocks of songwriting and get you working on writing songs. Even if you’ve already written some songs, you may pick up some good tips by coming along. Check out our workshop locations, times and facilitators HERE. You don’t have to join a workshop to enter the competition, and similarly, joining a workshop does not mean you necessarily have to enter the competition… but you can if you want 🙂
What happens after the competition closes? How will I know if I’ve made it into the final?
After the competition closes on 28th February 2021, the judges will get down to work, selecting 12 finalists from the pool of entries, using a set of standard criteria. The 12 finalists will be informed of their position in the final by email on or before 15th March 2021. Don’t worry – if we don’t hear from you, we will chase you up via phone!
I can’t attend the final. Can I still enter?
Sorry, no. It is a condition of entry that you must be able to attend the final at Fairbridge Festival on Saturday 10th April 2021. Getting there is your own responsibility, and if you live far away from the festival site (Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra just over an hour south of the Perth CBD) we may ask you to provide proof that you’ll definitely make it.
I can’t afford to buy tickets to the festival :/ What now?
No stress, we’ve got that covered, and will provide each finalist (including every band member in the case of groups) with two weekend tickets including camping, so when you’re not performing in the final you’ll be free to enjoy the festival good times. Just a reminder – If you’re under 18yo, you’ll need to use that ticket to bring along a parent or guardian. But it’s all good – you can purchase additional tickets for friends and other family here.
What happens at the final?
Our 12 finalists will perform the song that got them into the final… All vocals and instrumentation must be performed LIVE – i.e. no backing tracks. Afterwards, the judges will confer, and then the four winners will be announced. There are four winner categories:
12 to 15 year olds for Song Craft
12 to 15 year olds for Song Performance
16 to 18 year olds for Song Craft
16 to 18 year olds for Song Performance
Finalists are automatically entered into both the Song Craft and Song Performance categories for their age category. The reason we separate the Song Craft and Song Performance categories is because sometimes nerves may get the better of our performers; a really well-crafted song might not shine up to its full potential, but in cases such as this, that performer might still win in their Song Craft age category. Similarly, sometimes the best performers aren’t always necessarily those with the most well-crafted song, and we like to give credit to great performers where credit is due. We feel this distinction between the categories is the most fair way to determine our four winners. The winner from each of the four categories will receive the same prize package.
I’ve got another question…
Okidoki. Check out our Terms and Conditions – what you’re looking for may be found there. If there’s something we haven’t covered or that you need more clarification on, you’ll find our contact details here.