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February 21st, 2020

The 7th Annual NewSong LEAF Competition is now accepting entries



UPDATE: Due to public health concerns regarding Covid-19, the LEAF Competition Live Performance Finals will now take place Oct. 22-25. Submission deadline is Monday, May 4, 2020. 


February 18, 2020 (Asheville, NC)LEAF Community Arts (LEAF) and NewSong Music are proud to announce the launch of the 7th Annual NewSong Presents: LEAF Singer-Songwriter Competition. With a mission to identify and celebrate exceptional performers and songwriters from across North America, the competition aims to bring some of the continent’s most accomplished emerging artists to showcase and compete at the 50th LEAF Festival, which takes place Oct. 22-25, 2020. The LEAF winner will also earn a spot as one of only eight finalists in the 2020 annual, international NewSong Competition held in Asheville, NC. 

“The LEAF Competition continually attracts and recognizes some of North America’s most talented performing songwriters, across a wide array of genres,” says NewSong co-founder and director Gar Ragland. “This program – and the LEAF – NewSong Music partnership behind it – cultivates and supports a community of exceptional artists from across North America, connecting them not only with one another, but to the deep-rooted LEAF community as well as the local community of talented musicians here in Asheville and Western NC.”


The contest is currently accepting online song submissions, and the final deadline to enter is 11:59 PM EST on Monday, May 4, 2020. The deadline for  ‘Early Bird’ has been extended through the final deadline. 

Judges will select eight finalists from advance online submissions, who will then perform in the live showcase and competition finals at the Fall LEAF Festival during the weekend of Oct. 22-25, 2020. A panel of music industry judges will select the overall winner of the competition.

“Entering into our seventh year, LEAF is thrilled to continue a flourishing partnership with Newsong,” says Ehren Cruz, LEAF Artistic Director. “NewSong has an uncanny ability to attract and curate a selection as diverse as it is talented who are united through a powerful shared passion to perform.  We are grateful to provide an opportunity for singer songwriters to expand their audience and receive professional resources helping to build a powerful bridge into new career opportunities. We can’t wait to host this Spring’s finalists at our big 50th LEAF Festival Celebration!” 

The overall LEAF winner will advance to perform and compete as one of only eight international finalists at the annual, international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition held in Asheville in the fall of 2020.

All eight finalists will each receive a complimentary LEAF Festival performer pass for the day of the performance.



$35 – 1 SONG ENTRY

$60 – 2 SONG ENTRY


Submit your songs safely and securely online at A portion of the contest proceeds will support LEAF Schools & Streets’ local cultural arts education programming.




Tuesday, February 18

– Online mp3 submission platform opens for entries

Monday, May 4

– Final deadline to enter

Monday, June 1

– Finalists Announced

Saturday Oct. 24

– LIVE PERFORMANCE FINALS at the Spring LEAF Festival (Oct. 22-25); Black Mountain, NC (near Asheville)


About LEAF Community Arts

LEAF Community Arts (lovingly called LEAF) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization with a mission to connect cultures and create community through music and arts. LEAF is comprised of two key cultural arts education programs – LEAF Schools & Streets and LEAF International as well as two signature events – LEAF Festival (the event that started it all) and LEAF Downtown.  Attendance at LEAF Festival provides a family-friendly weekend experience infused with music and arts while supporting the long-term vision of the organization. Since 1995, LEAF has served over 200,000+ youth with programs in over 15 community locations and in 10 countries worldwide.  Learn more at


About NewSong Music

NewSong Music is an independent artist development company headquartered in Asheville, NC.

NewSong’s mission is to build and support a community of performers and songwriters across all genres and levels of skill, and to identify the truly exceptional artists to introduce their music to a broader, international audience. Its programs include a boutique record label (NewSong Recordings), artist management services, concert production and the annual, international NewSong performance and songwriting competition.

Its presenting partners include Arts Brookfield and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, the ASCAP Music Café at the Sundance Film Festival.