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Songwriting contest to be held at Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

A free songwriters showcase is set for Feb. 5 at the DECC and you could be the one on stage.

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Contributed / North of Nashville
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DULUTH — Looking for an opportunity to showcase your new original song? The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and BoPro Productions might have the opportunity for you.

The DECC will host North of Nashville, a songwriters showcase, in the Harbor Side Ballroom on Feb. 5. The showcase will feature professional songwriters singing their best-known songs while sharing more about the background of each number. The free performance will include performances by:

  • Buffy Lawson, formerly of the country duo Bombshel, known for her duet with Neil Diamond on the Tonight Show and recording songs with Bo Bice, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
  • Heidi Pack, the frontwoman of the Duluth-based Whiskey Trail Band.
  • Shane Nelson, the winner of the 2018 Northland Idol contest and holder of an American Idol silver ticket.
  • Bo Allen will act as host of the event. The singer/songwriter has a lot of Nashville time under his belt, as he's collaborated with Dolly Parton, Ned Beatty, Brooke Hogan and others.

Then the finalists of the North of Nashville songwriters contest will perform. The grand prize winner of the contest will receive one professionally produced music video of the artist and the song, a one-year membership to the Midwest Country Music Organization and a performance slot in front of the big crowd at Duluth's Fourth Fest on July 4, 2022, at Bayfront Festival Park.
“I believe part of the role of the DECC is to showcase artists and not just national acts. We must also use this great facility to uplift and grow local talent,” said Dan Hartman, executive director of the DECC in a news release.

In order to enter the contest, entrants must include a sample of an original song of no more than 1.5 minutes long in MP3 or MP4 format via email to contest@decc.org or via the hashtag #nonDECC. The song can be anywhere in the broad genres of country and folk-style music.

Finalists must be able to perform at the Feb. 5 concert to be eligible to win the prize package. Submissions are due Friday, Jan. 21 at midnight. Only one entry is allowed per participant and winners will be notified via email or social media. All entrants must be 13 years old or older. For the full rules of the contest, visit decc.org/event/north-of-nashville

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Following the event, Whiskey Trail will take the stage at the North of Nashville After Party at Spurs on First, 109 W. First St. at 8 p.m.

If you go

What: North of Nashville

Where: Harbor Side Ballroom, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, 350 Harbor Drive

When: Doors open 5 p.m., show begins at 6 p.m., Feb. 5.

Cost: Free

Teri Cadeau is a general assignment and neighborhood reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. Originally from the Iron Range, Cadeau has worked for several community newspapers in the Duluth area for eight years including: The Duluth Budgeteer News, Western Weekly, Weekly Observer, Lake County News-Chronicle and occasionally, the Cloquet Pine Journal. When not working, she's an avid reader and crafter.
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