(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / January 24, 2019)—Now in its second year, the Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest is open to unsigned and emerging Oklahoma songwriters. The contest is free with a grand prize of $500 and the chance to join the lineup of Bob Childers Gypsy Café, Oklahoma’s largest songwriter festival, on May 1, 2019. Each artist may submit one lyric-driven song online at http://bit.ly/JLFSC2019 by March 1st.

The songwriting contest and festival are organized by the nonprofit Red Dirt Relief Fund that provides a safety net of critical assistance to Oklahoma music people. According to Red Dirt Relief Fund Executive Director Katie Dale, “We were overwhelmed by the quality and depth of songs submitted last year in the contest’s inaugural year. Our winner, Ken Pomeroy, was only 15 years old! Our hope is this contest will become a platform for young and emerging talent to begin a musical journey—the same way Jimmy LaFave did, with the help of Bob Childers, in Stillwater more than 20 years ago.”

 Three contest finalists will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from the Red Dirt Relief Fund, Jimmy LaFave Trust and other respected members of the music industry. Finalists will travel to Stillwater on April 30th to perform an acoustic version of their song for the judges before a live audience. One winner will be selected to perform the next day as part of the lineup at Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café and will also receive a $500 cash prize and a donation for $500 in his/her name to the Red Dirt Relief Fund. Contest rules, judging criteria and entry form can be found at http://bit.ly/JLFSC2019.  

 The Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest highlights the spirit of mentorship and musical discovery that have become hallmarks of the Gypsy Café festival. 2018 Contest finalists included winner, Ken Pomeroy, along with Jason Scott, Sophia Baab (of Annnie Oakley) and Emily Faith.  

 Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café early bird tickets are $15 through January 31st at https://amplitix.com/gypsycafe. Starting February 1st, tickets go up to $20 or $25 at the gate. A limited number of Reserved Seating VIP tickets are available for $50. Tickets are nonrefundable as the show is rain or shine.

 The festival format remains the same as previous years with small songwriter groupings playing 45-minute sets across three venues: Eskimo Joe’s, George’s Stables and Stonewall Tavern. The evening will culminate with the presentation of the 2019 Restless Spirit Award and an all-musician finale on the main stage. 

Red Dirt Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that provides a safety net of critical assistance to Oklahoma musicians, took over management of the festival in the fall of 2013 after Red Bull hosted the event in spring of 2011 and 2012. In 2018, the festival raised more than $30,000 for Oklahoma musicians in need. Since the Red Dirt Relief Fund was founded in 2012, it has provided over $100,000 to musicians across the state.

Visit reddirtrelieffund.org, friend Red Dirt Relief Fund on Facebook or follow @reddirtrelief for festival updates.

For more information, visit www.reddirtrelieffund.org/gypsycafe.  For media or sponsorship inquiries, please contact Katie Dale at reddirtrelieffund@gmail.com or 918-407-4599.