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Battle of the Boroughs 2015 Submission Rules

All genres of music are welcome, but you must fit into one of the following categories.

  • Bands
  • Chamber Ensembles
  • Vocalists
  • Instrumentalists
  • Performance Artists
  • MC’s
  • DJ’s

Due to technical and space limitations, we are unable to support dancers, orchestras or circus acts at this time.

All performers under the age of 18 must submit a permission form signed by a parent or legal guardian. Artists who are professionally represented (under management) are not eligible to compete, nor are employees of NYPR, their immediate family members, or anyone living in their same household. Bands that made it to the 2014 Ultimate Battle are not eligible to compete this year. (They would, however, be eligible for 2016's talent quest.) Each act must include a majority of residents from the borough in which you compete. Proof of residency may be required if you are selected to perform in a Battle of the Boroughs event, and you may be asked to confirm compliance with all contest rules.

You may audition live or submit an entry online. Online submissions will be accepted from Friday, October 10, 2015 until Wednesday, December 31, 2015 at 11:59 pm ET. Incomplete entries will not be considered.

On Monday, January 7, 2015 at 12 pm ET we will announce here on our website the artists/musical acts who will represent each borough in concerts presented in The Greene Space from February to March 2015. Selected artists will also be notified by email following the announcement. If a selected artist or group does not confirm availability and participation for the Borough Concert and the Ultimate Battle within seven days of notification, a replacement artist will be chosen.

Those artists will then go on to perform in the monthly series of Battles in The Greene Space based on the following schedule and under the following rules for selecting a winner:

Battle of the Boroughs 2015:

  • Manhattan – 2/6/15
  • Bronx – 2/13/15
  • Queens – 2/20/15
  • Staten Island – 2/27/15
  • Brooklyn – 3/6/15
  • Ultimate Battle – 3/27/15

At each of the borough concerts, a panel of judges, in-house audience and online viewers will vote via paper ballots, online voting and texts to determine the top artists of the night. Video clips showing the performances by the top artists will then be posted on The Greene Space website on the following Monday for the general public to vote online and via text messages during the week following the concert. The winning artist or group will be notified by email and announced on The Greene Space website, Facebook and Twitter when voting concludes.

The winner from each borough concert will compete in the Ultimate Battle on Friday, March 27, 2015. The winner of the Ultimate Battle will be selected taking into account the votes from a panel of judges, the in-house audience votes and the online audience votes. The winner of the Ultimate Battle will be announced that same night.

New York Public Radio retains ultimate discretion in choosing winners. Entrants agree that NYPR has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this contest and that all decisions of NYPR (including with respect to winners of each stage) are final and binding.

A team of NYPR staff will view and adjudicate all submissions, whether via live audition or online entry. Artists will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Technical Excellence (a high level of proficiency and skill in the selected art form)
  • Innovation (a uniquely individual approach and style to the work)
  • Artistry (honoring and expanding the genre or discipline)
  • Performance Quality (providing a polished product that achieves all of the aforementioned elements)


  • All digital audio or video submissions must not exceed 5 minutes in length.
  • All audio submissions should be MP3 files uploaded via Soundcloud.
  • All video submissions should be uploaded through third-party websites. We recommend YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Submissions must be original compositions.
  • If chosen to perform in the Battle of the Boroughs, the performance should not exceed five minutes in length, within the guidelines of the technical specs that are detailed below.
  • You must be willing to bring all necessary backline with the exception of the piano, drum kit, mics, and PA system provided by The Greene Space.

At the live audition on Nov. 16, 2014, performers who have signed up in advance will receive first preference and any remaining slots available will be given to performers who arrive without prior registration on a first-come, first-served basis. All online entries must be received by 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, Dec.  31, 2014. Any submissions received after that time will not be considered.

The winner of the Ultimate Battle will receive prizes worth an estimated $10,000 as well as priceless opportunities to showcase your talents with support from New York Public Radio and our partners:

  • a four-hour multi-track recording session at our studio
  • professionally produced music videos
  • a photo shoot
  • the opportunity to present a full concert in The Greene Space that will be video webcast live

**In addition, several performers will be hand-picked by our judges to win priceless prizes like:

  • having award-winning, multi-platinum record producer Bob Power master one of your tracks
  • a private vocal lesson with singer Alicia Olatuja (Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir soloist who performed at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration) and vocalist/performance artist Helga Davis (Einstein on the Beach)
  • an in-studio songwriting session with songwriter/producer/musician Eren Cannata


GENERAL: By participating in The Greene Space’s Battle of the Boroughs, participants agree to the official rules, and that NYPR, its agents and employees will have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind resulting from their use or participation in the call for performances. Prize is nontransferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. There can be no substitutions for a prize of equal or greater value. Copyright for the entries will remain solely with the artists, though by entering this call for art you are giving New York Public Radio permission to use your entry online and in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. Each entrant (including all members of each entrant that is a group) grants permission to NYPR and those acting under its authority to use his/her name, photograph, voice and/or likeness, for advertising and/or publicity purposes, as well as all submissions and performances in any and all media now known or hereinafter invented without territorial or time limitations and without compensation.

RESTRICTIONS: Restrictions may apply. By participating in The Greene Space’s Battle of the Boroughs, a participant agrees to be bound by these official rules, and by all decisions of New York Public Radio staff and contest judges.

Send a note to The Greene Space staff: thegreenespace@nypublicradio.org