top of page


Applications for the 2024 Milkmaid Songwriting Competition are now open.  Once you have read the information on this page, to apply to take part, click on the button below.

The competition includes live recordings of each entry from the heats;  workshops before the heats; a guaranteed mainstage slot at Bury Folk Festival for the winner and a slot on the Greenstage at the festival for the runner up.


We have also created a Songwriter's Circle for artists to share their work and build a community of creative artists.



HEAT 1 : Wed 13th March 2024

HEAT 2 : Thu  14th March 2024

HEAT 3 : Wed 10th April 2024

HEAT 4 : Thu  11th April 2024

FINAL :   Fri 26th April 2024


Please do not enter the competition unless you are sure that you will be able to attend.   We typically have more applicants than there are places and so that means you will have prevented someone else from taking part if you do not turn up.

Of course there may be unavoidable circumstances (illness, etc.) in which case we ask you to let us know that you will not be able to attend.



2024 Showcase at the Milkmaid Folk Club

2024 set on the Mainstage at Bury Folk Festival

£50  online music shop voucher

Featured artist on the 2024 Milkmaid Songwriting Competition album


2024 Showcase at the Milkmaid Folk Club

2024 set on the Greenstage at Bury Folk Festival

£25 online music shop voucher

Featured artist on the 2024 Milkmaid Songwriting Competition album




The 6 songs that get the highest scores from the heats going through to the final.   This will mean that you will have to wait to see if you make the final until all the heats are completed. 


Please note that this is a songwriting competition so do not be put off if you feel that you are not the best performer in the world. You can ask a friend to perform your song for you if you prefer, but rest assured that its the quality of the writing and music that matter more than the quality of the performance!


There will be 4 judges 

The songs will be judged based on criteria (lyrical content, tune, pertinence to folk, performance and je ne sais quoi!) 

Criteria will be set out for judges and a joint decision made after the final act. 

 A copy of lyrics for the competition entry, if any, to be provided to judges. 

The Judges decision is final.



The closing date for entries is Friday 1st March 2024.  


Songs can be performed by solo artists or bands.  


The competition will be split into 4 heats with up to 7 acts in each heat.  


Every act gets to perform 2 songs, a warm up (can be a cover) followed by the competition entry song.  The 
main song must be an original composition.

sound system and engineer will be provided but there will not be individual sound checks prior to performance.


A basic recording (can simply be a one take smartphone recording) of your song should be submitted together with a lyric sheet and any additional notes on the background to the song


There is a £5 Entry fee for all acts.  

Audience will be charged £4 to attend the heats.  £8 for the final.    

Milkmaid organisers and staff are ineligible.


The heats and final will be held at the Risbygate Sports Club, Bury St Edmunds.  

bottom of page