- Boise State Public Radio/Julia Green
Piggybacking on its popular Tiny Desk Concert series, NPR has hosted a contest each year since 2014 in which musicians from around the country are invited to compete for the chance to play one of the famous mini-concerts at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Bands not currently signed with a recording company must upload a video to YouTube of members playing an original track at a desk (just like a Tiny Desk Concert). In addition, they must fill out an entry form for the contest before midnight (Eastern Time) on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Winners will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 28, by 10 p.m. Contest judges include R&B and gospel musician Anthony Hamilton, R&B singer Miguel, pop singer BANKS, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio and one-half of punk duo PWR BTTM Ben Hopkins.
In addition to street cred accrued from performing a Tiny Desk Concert, the winner will also be invited to appear on a taping of NPR quiz show Ask Me Another and tour the U.S. with Lagunitas Brewing Company. Select participating Idaho bands will also be asked to perform for a broadcast segment on Boise State Public Radio in February or March. According to BSPR General Manager Tom Michael, 23 entries of 6,000 total submissions came from Idaho last year.
"We hope to eclipse that number this year," he wrote in an email.
All members of eligible bands must be 21 years old or older. To see if your band meets the requirements to compete, take NPR's quiz online. A complete list of contest rules is available here.