Competition details

Prizes in two categories – Soloists/Duos or Groups


One 1st Prize package in each category consists of a $500 Gift Certificate at Main Street Music Studios in Bangor. Prize may go towards a recording session, musicians or iTunes prep. The winners of the first prize will also be awarded a spot to perform live at the Old Port music festival, held in June 2017. Exact details of the date, time and venue to be confirmed as they become available. 


One 2nd Prize package in each category will be awarded. The 2nd Prize package will be a promotional video showing both an interview with the Spokester and live performance. Exact details of the date, time, and venue to be confirmed as they become available.


One 3rd Prize package in each category will be awarded. The 3rd Prize package will be a collection of customized marketing collateral for future use by the winners. 

All winners may also be featured on the Young & Free Maine website with a video, a blog or both. All prizes must be accepted as awarded (with no substitutions). Any costs associated with accepting the Prize shall be the sole responsibility of the winner.

Who can enter

  • Legal residents of Maine who are at least 18 years of age at the time of entry.
  • Solo musicians 18 to 25 years old.
  • Duos or Bands with at least one member who is 18 to 25 years old.

 Your entry

  • Must be original music and lyrics, written and performed by the solo artist, duo or band submitting the entry.
  • May be a music video or audio only recording.
  • Cannot contain objectionable or offensive language or images.
  • Be complete and entered before the deadline at 3:00 p.m. on Monday February 20, 2017.

Quick Video Tips

  • You can use most any camera, whether it’s a point and shoot or a DSLR. Heck, you can even use your tablet or smart phone.

  • Make sure there is no background noise that will interfere. Is anyone walking, talking or otherwise making noise around your location? Ensure the microphone can pick up your voice clearly.

  • Lighting is a vital ingredient to a good video. It’s always best if you can use natural light. Try to record during the day and make sure you have a window or the sun behind the camera. If you’re filming indoors or at night, then make sure you’ve got lots of lights turned on, and again, try to have the light shine from behind the camera.

  • If you are using a smart phone or tablet to film with, then make sure you turn it horizontal before you start shooting. There’s nothing worse than watching a video with two large black bands on either side of it. Use a tripod, or make sure you hold it steady. 

How to enter

  1. Read the official rules.
  2. Meet the requirements.
  3. Complete the entry form and provide a link to your music video or upload an audio recording.

How to win

  • Be sure to tell all your friends, family and fans to vote for you February 22-March 9, 2017. 
  • Get enough votes to be one of the three finalists to move on to the judging round for your chance to be chosen the next Sound Off Champion. 
  • Finalists will be required to perform a live audition on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer. 
  • Finalists will be given all details and instructions.
  • A judging panel will determine the 2017 Sound Off champion and two runners up in each category: Soloists/Duos or Groups. 

The judges

About voting

  • There is a limit of one vote per legitimate email address. 
  • The use of online vote garnering sites or automated vote generating systems is not allowed.
  • Votes suspected of being made via a vote generating site or under multiple identities, or through the use of any method to vote in excess of the permitted number will be disqualified.


Make sure to read the requirements and the official rules—the answer you are looking for may already be there. If not, please send us an email at We’ll get back to you within 24 hours. If you send your question on the weekend, it may be Monday before we get back to you.

Sound Off Information

Key dates

  • Entry deadline:
    Monday, February 20 at 3 pm
  • Public voting:
    Wednesday, February 22 to Thursday, March 9 at 3 pm
  • Finalists announced:
    Friday, March 10
  • Sound Off Showdown:
    Thursday, March 23
  • Winners announced:
    Thursday, March 23

Promotional partners