SHREVEPORT, La.— Louisiana Music Prize, the GRAMMY-affiliated competition for rising musicians, announced its 2021 Top 10 finalists who will compete for a $10,000 grand prize. The announcement was made during a virtual broadcast on August 19 viewed by musicians, industry pros and music lovers alike. The competition will return in person to downtown Shreveport during Prize Fest’s first weekend, September 24 and 25. Each night will feature a showcase of 5 finalists, with the grand prize winner being determined by a combination of voting from the audience and a panel of music industry judges. For 2021, attendees and Music Prize artists will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
“We are so proud of the diversity of faces, genres and geographies of this year’s Music Prize Finalists,” said Gregory Kallenberg, founder and executive director of the Prize Foundation. “Music Prize has always prided itself in helping the world discover the next big music act, so we are incredibly excited to see who wins Music Prize 2021.”
In order to qualify for the Louisiana Music Prize, aspiring performers submitted short recorded sets of live performances. The registration pool was narrowed to 42 musical acts from across the country, curated by a panel of industry veterans. These bands then vied for the coveted Top 10 status during the Music Prize Qualifier which ran from July 23 through August 1, a 50/50 vote between online viewers and music industry professionals determining the Final Top 10.
This year’s performers are coming to play from Louisiana, Michigan, Tennessee, and as far away as Arizona and New York. Also, for the first time, the Music Prize Finalists include 40% female acts. The genres are also diverse this year. Rock, hip hop, Americana, pop and metal will all be featured over the two nights of showcases.
In addition to the competition showcases, Music Prize will host its inaugural Music Prize Conference (MPCon), which will also take place September 24 and 25. The conference, taking place at Shreveport’s historic Municipal Auditorium, will feature two half-day sessions of mentor-led panels and roundtables geared toward career advancement in the music industry — including topics such as management, representation, and signing with labels — and also celebrate Shreveport’s rich music history. Music Prize Finalists are required to attend, as industry mentors are instructed to use these interactions with musicians to inform their decision on the grand prize winner.
In addition to the $10,000 grand prize winner, for the first time, Music Prize will also award second and third place cash prizes of $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. To learn more about the Top 10 finalists and to purchase tickets for the event, visit www.prizefest.com/music.