College music competitions go virtual with social media, online juries, and more -

Photo: Okan Caliskan / Pixabay

If music festivals and gigs can go digital with live streams, music competitions are not too far behind in terms of innovation. College band competitions were a particularly fertile place for artists to showcase their newfound sound and win prize money for it. They found an enthusiastic audience and financed their studio time.

Even cultural events have been held with COVID-19 ravaging the way educational institutions fundamentally serve students. While some festivals have been digitized, it’s the music discovery app Humit that is partnering with institutes to give a new spin on music competitions, including social media, jury voting, and more.

Launched earlier this year, Heal the World is now accepting hip hop / R&B, rock and electronic music entries in the form of 30-second clips of audiovisual material uploaded and opened as Instagram rolls public vote. From the final shortlist of 10 artists, the judges will select the top three for cash prizes of £ 50,000 (first place), £ 30,000 (second place) and £ 20,000 (third place) for each competition. According to Prithvi Sankar, co-founder of Humit, the goal is to “take off the blinders and improve the playing field for passionate indie artists.”

Entries for the first college competition – Rocktaves as part of the BITS Pilani Oasis Festival – are now open to bands, producers, artists and beatboxers until January 3rd. Nishchay Shopurkar, member of the Oasis Festival organizing committee, says: “Given the virtual competition format, this time around we can reach bands from all over the country who offer a lot of variety and make the competition more exciting.” , the singer-songwriter Suraj Mani, the frontman Tejas Shankar of the fusion band Lagori, the singer-guitarist Khalid Ahamed of the rock band Parvaaz and Ashwin Gopakumar of the indie / folk band When Chai Met Toast.

With a total prize pool of £ 7 lakh, the competition will also include festivals such as Searock at BITS Goa in January, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Kharagpur’s Spring Festival in February, and IIT – Madras’ annual Saarang Festival in March.

Entries for ‘Heal the World’ on Rocktaves – BITS Pilani close on January 3rd. Apply here.