Competition Rules & Registration

Rules Governing the Fingerstyle Collective International Guitar Competition  

The Fingerstyle Collective International Guitar Competition is open to anyone except those who are staff members or founding artists of Fretmonkey, are labeled artists of Candyrat Records, who are sponsors or partners of the festival, or are performing as a billed or paid musician at the Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Festival 5th – 7th July 2024 in Torquay, UK.

No purchase of any kind is necessary (apart from your online competition registration fee or 3-day festival ticket for the Live competition) to enter the competition. A purchase of a sponsors production ts will not improve your chances of winning!

SPONSORS: The Fingerstyle Collective Music Competition (the “Competition”) is sponsored by:Fretmonkey, Candyrat Records, Elixir Strings, G7TH CAPOS and others noted on the event website and is subject to the following terms and conditions.

Contestants can apply for either the Fingerstyle Collective LIVE Competition or the Fingerstyle Collective ONLINE Competition, but cannot apply for both competitions during the same year. If an applicant submits to both competitions during the same year, by default the submission will only be considered in the Online Competition category. Previous Fingerstyle Collective LIVE/ONLINE Competition Grand Prize Winners (1st Place) cannot re-apply, however previous Semi-finalists (2nd and 3rd Place Winners), as well as previous Fingerstyle Collective applicants may re-apply.

ELIGIBILITY: An Entrant (Individual) must be sixteen (16) years of age or older at the time of entry, and possess a valid form of identification (no top age limit). An Entrant under the age of eighteen (18) shall require parental consent to participate due to international travel involved in prize winnings. Invalid or ineligible entries shall be excluded from consideration. By their submission of entry, Entrants warrant they are legally entitled and authorized to make such submission on their own behalf. In the event of a dispute as to the winner’s identity, entries will be deemed made by the holder of the email account associated with the entry. Void where prohibited by law or restricted. Subject to all applicable country and local laws and regulations. An Entrant may not be a Professional Musician signed to any major label with world-wide distribution.

The initial preliminary round judging will take place via YouTube/Vimeo video submission and all decisions are final. There is no right granted or opportunity to question or appeal the judging panels decision. 

The LIVE competition will take place Saturday, July 6th, 2024 in front of a public audience at the Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Festival in Torquay (UK) and will be judged by a different panel of experts and/or renowned guitarists who do not have access to scores from the preliminary round.

First, second, and third places prizes are announced on the day and on the festival website. Any supplementary non-cash prizes may be announced at a later date. Due to difficult and continuing worldwide shipping issues, we reserve the right to either deliver any guitar prize within 3 months of the festival date or change for another instrument of similar quality and value in the unlikely event the instruments do not arrive in time for the actual festival.


Friday 14th June 2024 – Deadline for application materials and video. We reserve the right to extend this deadline to allow for adequate participation.

Friday 28th June, 2024 – Early notification of semi-finalists via email. Early applicants may receive a decision before this date. 

Friday 5th July – Online competition winners, Elixir Strings and other competition prizes announced (and distributed where applicable).

Saturday July 6th – Live performance component of the Live guitar competition (please note you must have purchased a full weekend ticket to enter the Live Competition).


Contestants are responsible for their own travel, hotel accommodations, and expenses for the LIVE competition taking place at the Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Festival at TLH Leisure Resort, Torquay, Devon UK.

Contestants must be present at the venue at least half hour (at 09.00 AM) before the stated time of the competition (9:30 AM). Contestants will draw numbers to determine the order of performances. 

INSTRUMENTS ALLOWED FOR VIDEO AND LIVE PERFORMANCE Contestants must bring their own guitar(s) for their performances and remain solely responsible for their instruments. Contestants may bring and use any 6-, 7-, or 12-string acoustic guitar. The only personal pieces of gear a competitor may use is their guitar, cable, pick, slide, and strap. Harp Guitars are permissible. Looping is not allowed. 


  • For acoustic guitars, amplification will be done through the use of a microphone or a direct hook-up (DI) to the console (available on site)
  • Effects pedals should already be fastened and hooked up to a pedal board. 
  • Guitars must be tuned before going on stage, though retuning is allowed between selections. 


  • Please complete the relevant application form at the bottom of this page – please ensure you complete the right application form for Live or Online competition. We will then email you a link to pay the registration fee online (fee only payable for the online competition).
  • Please submit your video by entering the URL within the application form. Should you experience any issues with completing the application form, please email


The online guitar competition registration fee is £50. Once your application form is received, we will email you confirmation and a link to pay your registration fee if you have not already paid via a tickets page. The registration fee is non-refundable 

  • Please note that your registration will only be considered complete once payment has been made and accepted, and the online application form has been completed. After your registration is complete, you will receive an email confirmation. 
  • Please note that if you are selected to participate in the live Guitar Competition, you are required to purchase a full weekend festival ticket. You do not have to attend the entire festival to participate in the competition. You are only required to have a full weekend festival ticket and be present on Saturday 6th July 2024 (the day of the competition) and be available to perform on the live stage that night (if you are the 1st place winner) or Sunday lunchtime (if you are the 2nd place runner-up or 3rd place live competition winner)


  • For the LIVE competition, please submit a link to ONE video of contestant’s choice (can be live or static). The song/tune selection may be an original work or a cover arranged as an instrumental only. 
  • For the ONLINE Competition, you are required to submit a link to TWO videos of contestant’s choice (can be live or static). Again, the song/tune selection may be an original work or a cover arranged as an instrumental only. 
  • The length of any video for both live/online competitions must not exceed five (5) minutes. Any submission over five (5) minutes will not be considered. Only one submission is allowed.


  • While we advise all contestants to create the best quality entry possible, both regarding the audio and the video, it need not be at a professional-level production value. 
  • Please do not submit a video with product placements or other commercial intent. No foul language or offensive gestures. 
  • When submitting your video url (example would be YouTube/Vimeo), you must select “Public”” or “Unlisted” in the privacy settings when uploading the video. If the candidate selects “Private,” their submission will be invalid. The candidate must provide the link to their video submission on the application form. For more information on posting videos, we recommend exploring the “Help” section found on the homepage or your video platform of choice. 
  • The candidate’s video must have the artists’ name in the title. 


The deadline for applications is Friday June 14th, 2024, at 11:59 PM (GMT)


All contestants will be judged in the preliminary round by a panel of credible judges who work for Fretmonkey, Candyrat Records, Daylight Music Productions UK. The judges decisions are final and no opportunity for questions or appeals will be permitted. Video submissions will be judged by July 28th, with Live competition Semi-finalists notified and invited to participate in the live competition taking place on Saturday 6th July 2024 at TLH Leisure Resort, Torquay, Devon, UK


Notification to all live competition semi-finalists will consist of an email to the address listed on the application form, as well as posted online no later than July 28th 2024. Early submissions may receive early decisions. Online competition winners will be announced on Friday 5th July during the concert programme. By entering this competition, you agree that the notification methods stated herein are sufficient to give you notice in the event that you are chosen to advance. If any semi-finalist fails to respond by agreeing via email to participate in the next level of the competition within seven (7) days of notification, then that candidate forfeits their right to participate further in this competition. Any runners-up will be notified via email within two (2) business days of the day that any candidate fails to respond or declines the invitation to compete in the next level of competition. If a semi-finalist declines the invitation to compete, then the candidate who received the next-highest final score in the video submission will be invited to compete. 


  • Up to 24 contestants are selected to compete in the live festival competition. Contestants MUST HAVE REGISTERED ONLINE for the guitar competition and be notified that they have been shortlisted to compete at the live guitar competition. Contestants must also purchase a Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Festival Ticket. If selected to participate in the live festival competition, you must present your festival ticket at the time of drawing performance slots. Early bird tickets are currently on sale and are now extended until the competition entry deadline to allow for a discounted ticket purchase.
  • When arriving on stage, the contestant is requested not to talk into any mic or to the audience. Contestants will be prepared to play four instrumental numbers. Two numbers will be played in the first round of competition and the other two in the final round should the contestant be selected as a finalist (up to 5 finalists will be chosen). CONTESTANT MAY PLAY ANY STYLE OF MUSIC. Contestants may use thumb and finger picks. NO FLAT PICK. Contestants may bring and use any 6-, 7-, or 12-string acoustic guitar with steel or nylon strings are allowed. The only personal pieces of gear a candidate may use is their guitar, cable, slide, and strap. Harp Guitars are permissible. Pedal effects and looping are not allowed. Special tunings will be allowed. However, the contestant will NOT be allowed to take two instruments on stage. Recommended maximum playing time is approximately five (5) minutes (total), although competitors will not be disqualified or penalized for going slightly over. Any style of capos may be used. Contestants must be present at the contest stage at 09.00 AM to draw for order of appearance and receive final instructions. Winners will be announced immediately and will receive their awards after the contest.
  • A MEDLEY OF TUNES IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Recommended Maximum playing time is approximately five (5) minutes. In an effort to judge the contest objectively and equally, the following criteria will be considered by the judges and assigned point value in each area.


  • Scoring 1. ARRANGEMENT (40 points) – Contestant’s version of the tune selected. Difficulty and originality will be considered. Scoring 2. EXECUTION, TUNING (40 points) – Fingering, picking and dynamics will be considered. 
  • Scoring 3. SHOW VALUE (10 points) – Would the music resonate with an audience (appeal)? Contribute to the genre of fingerstyle guitar?
  • Scoring 4. OVERALL IMPRESSION (10 points)Is it innovative? Progressive? Modern? Well executed? (In other words…Does it stand out in some way?)


  • Any candidate who fails to abide by the Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Competition Rules & Regulations may be disqualified. 
  • Any application form found to contain false or inaccurate information may result in the candidate’s disqualification. 
  • The Organiser reserves the exclusive right to record, photograph, or disseminate in any manner whatsoever. 
  • Participation in the Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Competition implies the full and clear adherence to these rules, the waiver of all rights and recourse in respect of the submission procedures, their results and the awarding of prizes, and in respect of any physical or material damage sustained by the candidate either during the performances or when traveling to said performances.
  • International competitors will be provided with an official letter of invitation for respective UK entry..  

To enter the ONLINE Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Competition, please complete the application form below and submit – once we have received your application form we will send you a confirmation email and link to pay the registration fee of £50 GBP fee:

To enter the LIVE Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Competition (Finals held on Saturday July 6th 2024 in Torquay), please ensure you have purchased a full 3-day ticket for the Festival from July 5th – 7th 2024 and complete the application form below and submit – once we have received your application form we will send you a confirmation email:

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