.strandberg* Guitars & Uppsala International Guitar Festival competition 2020

The winners can be found here!

The .strandberg* Guitar competition is a collaboration between the Uppsala International Guitar Festival and Strandberg Guitars and offers an online interaction opportunity to complement the festival that takes place in Uppsala, Sweden, in October each year.

In light of the 2020 pandemic, the format is changed slightly, but we are equally excited to announce our competition, which will be open not only to guitarists, but also to bassists!
We have a long standing relationship with the festival, which has featured performances and workshops by .strandberg* artists Jose Macario, Sarah Longfield, Jacky Bastek and Gustavo Assis-Brasil. For full details on the festival, visit http://www.uppsalagitarrfestival.se/

The Competition

New for 2020 is that instead of a free format performance, we want to you interpret a traditional Swedish folk song with a connection to the town of Boden, which has given the name to our now iconic guitar model. How you do it, and in which music style the result ends up in, is totally up to you! But we want to be able to hear traces of the original in there. Solo bass, solo guitar, ensemble – all is allowed!

The song can be found here: http://www.folkwiki.se/Musik/3400 as a PDF, or MIDI file. Please note that we don’t expect you to use the MIDI file (although you are allowed to, of course) – it is only provided for your reference and starting point.

The song is a “Polska”, and if you want to do some research, you may want to search for the Swedish phrase “svensk folkmusik polska” in your favorite search engine.

Here is Jonas Isaksson playing a straightforward traditional version of it: https://youtu.be/qFDoRskFJ58


Entries will be judged on originality, musicality and how the contribution reflects Strandberg Guitars core values of innovation, quality, reliability, credibility and open communication.

We will pick one guitar winner and one bass winner, who each gets to choose a  .strandberg* guitar/bass as the first prize. We reserve the right to pick additional winners and to honor worthy runner-ups.

The finalists and winner will be selected by a jury consisting of Ola Strandberg, previous winners Jose Macario, Poh Hock and Adam Rafowitz and a representative of Uppsala International Guitar Festival, but the global internet community will have votes equal to one jury member, so make sure to collect as many likes as you can!

The Timeline – Important Dates

The competition closes for new submissions on 27 September 2020, and the voting runs between 28th September and 4th October. The winner will be announced on 7th of October. (Be prepared to record a “Thank You” video in that timeframe!)

The steps to participate are:

  1. Create your video entry, which should be between 30 and 60 seconds long (excluding intro), and must include our provided splash screen and your name at the start. The video must show you playing the entry live and you are strongly encouraged to illustrate this to the best of your ability. Your submission can be a solo performance, or played against a backing track – the result just has to be a recognizable interpretation of original.
    Click HERE to download the splash screen.
  2. Upload the video to YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook
  3. Submit your entry on the competition page no later than midnight 27th September, 2020. In the field called Title, enter your name and in the Description field, enter a short description of yourself and the entry. NOTE: we are moderating the entries, so it might be a few hours before your entry appears on the site. You are only allowed to enter once, even if you have multiple e-mail addresses.
  4. Promote your competition page link via Social Media etc (using hashtags or whatever!) You may start promoting your entry at any time, but actual voting opens on the 28th September.
  5. On or after the 28th September and until the 4th of October, get as many people as possible to vote for your video on the competition page. We have taken some measures this year to minimize the risk of inflated vote numbers.

The Fine Print

If the winner is unable to collect the prize in person, we will ship it to the winner free of charge, as long as the destination is in the list of countries where .strandberg* guitars are sold at the time of the competition. Any resulting taxes, duties, or fees must be paid by the winner. Employees of Strandberg Guitars, and Uppsala International Guitar Festival as well as their family members, and already endorsed .strandberg* artists are ineligible to participate. Participants with exclusive endorsement relationships with other guitar or bass brands are welcome to participate, but will be ineligible to collect the 1st prize.

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