Sound Off!

The Northwest’s premier 21 and under battle of the bands.

  1. Jason McCue snagged first place at Sound Off! 2017 with his inventive lyrics, excellent acoustic technique, and unfailingly melodic sound. As one of his many first place prizes, he will perform at Bumbershoot music festival later this year.

    Photo by Nate Watters. 

  2. Jason McCue snagged first place at Sound Off! 2017 with his inventive lyrics, excellent acoustic technique, and unfailingly melodic sound. As one of his many first place prizes, he will perform at Bumbershoot later this year.

     Photo by Nate Watters.

  3. Winner of Semifinals #3, Falon Sierra's unique sound is a mix of alternative R&B and electric soul. Her winning performance secured her a spot in the Sound Off! Finals on March 11, where she will be joined by Jason McCue (Semifinals #1 winner), The Good Weird (Semifinals #3 winner), and Torpoise (wild card artist selected by MoPOP's Youth Advisory Board).

    Photo by Nate Watters.

  4. The Good Weird brought their weirdly good style of indie rock to the Sky Church stage for Sound Off! 2017 Semifinals #2 and it paid off. The Federal Way trio will advance to Finals on March 11. 

    Photo by Nate Watters.

Now seeking applications for 21 and under bands and solo artists for Sound Off! 2018!

Apply

Semifinal rounds will take place Fridays, February 9, 16, and 23, culminating in finals on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

An annual event since 2001, Sound Off! supports the all-ages scene by giving artists an opportunity to showcase original music on a large platform, launch their music careers, and connect with peers, industry leaders, and other members of the artistic community.


Sound Off! has paved the way for some artists including The Lonely Forest, Dyme Def, Sol, Kithkin, Schoolyard Heroes, Tomten, Brite Futures, as well as members of Beat Connection, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, La Luz, Kairos and more. Northwest musicians playing all genres of music are encouraged to submit original material for consideration.

Sound Off! judges, partners, and mentors include major music festivals, journalists, DJs, venues, bookers, alumni, record labels, recording studios, community organizers, and more. Through its partners, Sound Off! has been able to connect artists with bookings at high-profile venues and partnerships across the region such as Bumbershoot, Sasquatch! Music Festival, KEXP, and the Capitol Hill Block Party.

Sound Off! Info + More

ELIGIBILITY
Participants must be age 21 or under and residents of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or British Columbia.

SELECTION
Three panels review all the applicants, choosing twelve bands to perform live at MoPOP. Panels include MoPOP’s Youth Advisory Board, MoPOP staff, and music industry professionals. Bands are scored based on song composition and arrangement, creativity and originality, technical ability and musicianship. All categories will be weighted equally. Following are examples of questions the judges may consider when rating bands:

COMPOSITION AND ARRANGEMENT
How strong is the songwriting/composition (musical arrangement, lyrics, harmonies, instrumentation, rhythm, use of technology etc)?

CREATIVITY
Does the music sound inspired? Do they have an artistic identity? Are they bringing something interesting to their genre?

TECHNICAL ABILITY AND MUSICIANSHIP
How impressive is the musicianship? Are they proficient with instruments, vocals, and in time and/or in tune?

Band selection criteria subject to change without notice.

Please see Rules and Regulations and FAQ for more information.

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