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NTMA Rules 

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• Entries must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 14, 2023, to be considered for the 2023 New Times Music Awards (NTMAs).

• $20 entry fee for each song, songwriter, and album entry.

• Participants may enter a maximum of 13 songs (10 genre category, 3 songwriting category) and 1 album.

• Online entries are preferred, except for the Best Album category which must be mailed or entered in person. Please fill out the entry form, upload songs, and pay for your entries with a credit card by clicking the graphic below titled ENTER CONTEST NOW.

• If you wish to pay with cash or check, you may drop off your entries at either the New Times or Sun offices (addresses listed below). Bring your music entries on a CD or USB drive along with your completed entry form. Checks should be made payable to “New Times.”

• All entrants must reside primarily in San Luis Obispo County or Northern Santa Barbara County.

• All entrants must be able to play at the showcase event on Friday, November 3, 2023 at SLO Brew Rock.

• All entrants under 18 years of age must select the Youth category and must have a parent or guardian sign the entry form. Please inquire.

• By entering the contest, all entrants give permission to New Times Media Group to reproduce submissions on compact disc and on the web. All entries remain the property of performers.

• New Times Music Awards is not responsible for lost, damaged, incomplete, or late entries.

• The top 3 songs in each category need to provide high-quality versions of their songs (16 Bit, 44.1 Sample Rate).

• Songs may have multiple co-writers, but please designate one contact name only on entry form.

• Winners will be chosen by a select panel of judges.

• Songs will be judged on overall performance.

• Live performers will share the ‘Back Line’.


• The Youth category is for anyone entering music who is under the age of 18.

• The Open genre includes reggae, world beat, jazz, classical, new age, electronic, etc.

• Each song submission must have a genre selected. If nothing is selected, the song will go into the Open genre.

• If judges determine a song to be a better fit with a different genre category than what was originally submitted, they reserve the right to recategorize it.


• You may enter up to 3 songs in the Songwriting genre, which is being judged separately.

• Upload (or include) a .doc file of lyrics with your entry.


• Albums must have been released between July 1, 2022 and August 14, 2023 to be eligible. Please mail or deliver a hard copy to either the New Times or Sun office along with a completed entry form by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 14, 2023 for consideration. The entire presentation will be judged, including quality of songs, sound, and packaging.
- New Times, 1010 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
- Sun, 2646 Industrial Pkwy #200, Santa Maria, CA 93455

• Only 1 album per entrant total.

For more information contact [email protected].

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