Skylands Songwriters Guild to hold Acoustic Open Mic where two songwriters can earn a performance slot at 7th Annual Groove In The Grove - Indie Songwriter Music Festival

Once again, two talented local/area singer-songwriters have an opportunity to get real stage experience at the Groove in the Grove - Indie Songwriter Music Festival (the Festival), now in its 7th year held in Morris County, New Jersey. Skylands Songwriters Guild (SSG) will be hosting the Groove Acoustic Open Mic Challenge (the Challenge) on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 7 PM at Enzo’s Pizzeria, 382 Rt 46, Budd Lake, NJ.

Due to the overwhelming response to the Challenge last year, pre-registration is required. Only artists performing their own original songs will be considered (no covers please) and only acoustic instruments will be permitted. There is a 3 person limit per act (unless a cappella). Aspiring artists will be allowed to play 2 songs (with a 10 minute maximum). Past performers at the Festival are ineligible. Likewise, past winners of the Challenge are ineligible for 3 years. Songwriters may register in one of two categories as follows:

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  • Amateur Category - Someone who is relatively new to songwriting or has limited professional recordings and does not normally play in public as a singer-songwriter. Can be a performing musician who usually does cover songs and is now venturing into working on their own material.
  • Open Category - Somewhat established songwriter with professionally recorded CD, who is known for performing their own original songs on a fairly regular basis.

The Challenge will be judged by a panel of three area industry celebrities to include local legend Patrick Fitzsimmons (From Good Homes), who will also be the feature evening headliner at the Festival, Jeff Rusch, host of The Crow's Nest (WNTI) and Joe Pszonek of Radio Nowhere. Their decision will be final. One act in each category will be awarded the following:

  • 15-minute spot to open at the 7th Annual Groove In The Grove - Indie Songwriter Music Festival
  • Free admission for the performer to the Festival
  • $25.00 compensation for performing at the Festival

Those interested may sign-up at Slots are limited and will be offered on a first-come basis. The Challenge Registration Fees (fee is per act: solo, duo or trio):

  • Current SSG members = $10
  • Non-members = $15
  • Non-performing attendees = $5 at the door (Public welcome to come and support the participants and enjoy great food and song!)

Discounted tickets to the Festival will be available at this event - one night only.


Saturday, June 10, 2017 @ 1:00 PM

Vasa Park, 1 Vasa Drive, Hackettstown ,NJ (Mt. Olive Twp. - Budd Lake)

This intimate Festival, which is a WXPN welcomes event, brings the best regional singer-songwriters to Northwest New Jersey! Offering an afternoon full of original music in a shaded, park-like setting with on-site playground, plenty of parking and interesting craft and service vendors - perfect for the whole family! Always great music, food and FUN! Bask in the sun or relax in the shade while grooving to some awesome tunes! Festival food & adult beverages available for purchase. Sponsorship and vendor opportunities available. Visit the Festival website for up-to-date information and performer details at  

Skylands Songwriters Guild (SSG), based out of Ledgewood, NJ, is a recognized 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing the community of Singer/Songwriters of Northwest New Jersey and the surrounding region. All donations made to SSG are tax deductible.  To learn more about SSG, visit their website at: