Support Us

Battle of the Boroughs 2012: FAQs

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Battle of the Boroughs.

Enter the 2012 Battle of the Boroughs Talent Quest »


If you fit into one of the following categories (ALL genres welcome), you are eligible to submit if you are not professionally represented (under management).

  • 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.


Follow this link and fill out the submission form in its entirety. This will include submitting two pieces of media: (1) uploading a high-resolution photo and (2) an audio or video clip. (See our guidelines for technical specifications.) Any incomplete forms or files that do not adhere to the necessary digital requirements will not be considered.


A)  On Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 12 pm EST on www.thegreenespace.org, we will announce the 8-12 artists that will represent each borough for a total of 40-60 individual artists or groups presented from February through June 2012.  Selected artists will be notified by e-mail following the announcement.

B)  Those artists will then go on to perform in the First Friday’s monthly signature series in The Greene Space based on the following schedule:

  • February 3 @ 7 pm - BROOKLYN: selected artists from Brooklyn will perform
  • March 2 @ 7 pm - QUEENS: selected artists from Queens will perform
  • April 13 @ 7 pm - THE BRONX: selected artists from the Bronx will perform
  • May 4 @ 7 pm - STATEN ISLAND: artists from Staten Island will perform
  • June 1 @ 7pm - MANHATTAN: artists from Manhattan will perform

C) At each of the Battle events listed above, the in-house and webcast audiences will vote to determine the top artists of the night. The performances by the top artists will then be posted on The Greene Space website for the general public to vote.  The final winner—the artist with the most online votes—will be announced on The Greene Space website, Facebook, and Twitter.

D) SEMI-FINAL CONCERT EVENT: The winner from each Battle of the Boroughs events will compete on Friday, June 29th at 7pm.  The featured winner will be selected by tallying the votes from a combination of an esteemed panel of commentators, the in-house audience votes, online voting, and the webcast audience’s text votes.  The winner of the Ultimate Battle will be announced that night, at 10 p.m.


A team of WNYC/WQXR staff and hosts will view and adjudicate all submissions.  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 should not exceed 5 minutes in length.
  • All image submissions should be .JPG, .PNG, or .GIF files.
  • 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.
  • National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have negotiated arrangements with the music licensing societies (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC), whereby we have blanket coverage for musical performances broadcast on air and in our web programming.  A composition may not be covered by our arrangement with the music licensing societies because it is a new work or the music publisher of the work decides not to use the services of the music licensing societies.  In these extremely rare instances, you are responsible to obtain from all necessary parties, (including, but not limited to, other music publishers, recording companies, and songwriters) any and all other licenses and rights required.
  • If chosen to perform in the Battle of the Boroughs, the piece should be between 5-10 minutes in length, within the guidelines of the technical specs that are detailed below.
  • You must be willing, if necessary, to bring all backline (with the exception of a drum kit and a piano).


All entries must be received by 11:59 pm EST, Monday, December 31 2011.  Any submissions received after that time will not be considered.


You will win a featured concert in The Greene Space that will be videocast live on www.thegreenespace.org. You will also receive a four hour multi-track recording session, an HD DVD of your performance, a broadcast quality audio recording, and a professional photo shoot of your performance to support your creative evolution.

ELIGIBILITY: Anyone at least 18 years of age or older can respond to the Battle of the Boroughs.  No employees of WNYC, their immediate family or persons living in the same household are eligible for participation.  Each act must include a majority of New York City residents.  At least one member from the act must live in the borough in which you compete. Proof of residency will be required if you are selected to perform in a Battle of the Boroughs event.

GENERAL:  By participating in The Greene Space’s Battle of the Boroughs, participants agree to the official rules, and that WNYC, 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.  National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have negotiated arrangements with the music licensing societies (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC), whereby we have blanket coverage for musical performances broadcast on air and in our web programming.  A composition may not be covered by our arrangement with the music licensing societies because it is a new work or the music publisher of the work decides not to use the services of the music licensing societies.  In these extremely rare instances, you are responsible to obtain from all necessary parties, (including, but not limited to, other music publishers, recording companies, and songwriters) any and all other licenses and rights required. Copyright for the entries will remain solely with the artists, though by entering this call for art you are giving WNYC permission to use your entry on the website and in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.  Winner’s names may be used for publicity purposes without further 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 the panel.

NOTICE:  WNYC Radio, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the Website or otherwise in violation of the rules.  It further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify any contest not capable of completion as planned, including due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort.


Leave a comment for The Greene Space staff below if it's a general question or email thegreenespace@wnyc.org if it's a question specific to your act.

More in:

Comments [20]


I disagree with people from out of NYC... it's called the Battle of the BOROUGHS for a reason... none of this nonsense about the 6th Borough... I'm from Jersey (originally from NY), and if we want to do something like this, then organize and let's make our own event. We shouldn't obligate anyone to add a state or area... it's ridiculous... You can either:

1. Move to NY and form a band
2. Join a band that represents NY
3. Or like I said before, make an organization in Jersey.

Jun. 03 2012 01:30 PM
Grim reaper from Brooklyn

So it's Jan 10th 2pm EST.
Any news on the this years' selection?

Jan. 10 2012 02:11 PM
Beth from Brooklyn

New Jersey is not a borough, nor does Northern Jersey count as NYC. It is actually, officially a different state. So if you want to be from NYC so badly, move here. Otherwise, accept to fact you live in a different state and start your own battle of the bands.


Native New Yorker who is tired of people from NJ and CT claiming ownership of NYC

Jan. 10 2012 11:55 AM
Robert Gratz from The Bronx

I see that I am not the only artist not able to post their work on your site due to technical issues. I have a spoken word piece ("The Face Of Humanity")in the format that you require, however, like the other artist Mr. Nissen, I am unable to submit the piece. I would appreicate the courtesy of being able to submit my work when your office re-opens.

Dec. 31 2011 09:58 PM
Gregory Nissen from Queens

I know you are probably overwhelmed with e mails. But there are several pitfalls in this technical submission process. These problems should not prevent us from submitting. We are performers, not technicians! Please permit me to resubmit on Monday, otherwise, all this effort from a very worthy band will go to waste.

Dec. 31 2011 02:51 PM
mel foop from Manhattan

How can I find out if I have properly submitted my entry? I ask because since I entered, I have received two notices from thegreenespace@wnyc.org thanking me for entering last year and encouraging me to enter this year. When I entered I thought I saw the deadline as Dec 17, 2011, but the deadline I see now is Dec 31, 2011. Have I entered for the right year? It would be great to get some assurance that my submission has been received with all its proper parts. It would be easy to re-enter; would that disrupt the original entry (or both entries)?

Dec. 27 2011 08:13 PM
Daisy Spencer from Brooklyn

Hi there, a while ago I submitted my band, but since then we have recorded an EP that sounded much better quality wise than what I had originally submitted, so I submitted our name again with an updated audio piece. Is this acceptable? Will the more updated submission be reviewed? Let me know, thanks! Very excited to hear if we made it or not.

Dec. 21 2011 03:29 PM
Billy Rodriguez-Lopez from Connecticut

Totally agree with the other suburbians here. I listen to WNYC everyday, where's the love?

Dec. 14 2011 04:38 PM
Pete Wire from Brooklyn

Just want to know if our submission
"Sabled Sea" by the band "Pete Wire" for Brooklyn entry was received.
Pete Wire

Dec. 12 2011 06:15 PM
Marcos from the Bronx

There is a radio spot airing on WNYC which says the deadline for submission is Dec 31st.

Which is it? Dec 12th or the 31st.

It seems to me WNYC should honor the later date since it has now been so widely announced.

Dec. 12 2011 05:33 PM

the submission form is not loading. have you stopped taking submissions?

Dec. 12 2011 03:40 PM


That would be awesome!

Dec. 07 2011 07:34 PM

Where are the winners of each borough from the first BOTB now? I think it'd be pretty cool to see what they have done since winning in '10. Maybe they could even perform a cameo at their borough's night this year (if they are still together). That'd be pretty sweet.

Dec. 03 2011 08:29 PM
Liam from Jersey City

I'd like to echo the comments from my fellow NJ residents. I know alot of great bands in the area, mine included, and it's not like we're particularly asking to have the entirety of New Jersey considered, at least just Hudson County, the fabled 6th borough, which is pure city and shorter train ride away than some parts of Brooklyn and Queens from Manhattan.

I mean, as if it weren't hard enough for a Jersey City band to get any publicity these days, throw us a bone and expand your audience beyond just NYC. You guys serve us too you know...

Dec. 03 2011 04:02 PM
Anirban Chakravarty from Allentown, PA

I would like to perform as solo instumentalist with my own composed tracks. I live in Allentown, PA. Find my videos in Youtube at : anirban747

Dec. 02 2011 02:28 PM
Alan Wright from NJ, of course.

No representation from NJ, CT, Westchester, or Long Island, and beyond? That's bad form, WYNC.

Nov. 30 2011 11:34 AM
Caitlin from Jersey city

There are so many good bands in Jersey City! Why not have a "6th borough" options for those outside the city limits but within the broadcast area?

Nov. 29 2011 11:51 AM

Maybe the musicians in New Jersey and Rockland county etc. could be added to the borough with the least amount of musicians- is it Staten Island? In any case the musicians living in boroughs with a higher percentage of musicians have a steeper competition. So an inter-borough competition, though a fun concept, is inherently skewed.

Then, what do you do with a band that includes members from every borough, and including NJ? (Go Staten Island!)

But, the main point made by Barney, about it being an online popularity contest, is the most telling element. In the end, it becomes for the musician, more about PR and marketing and urging fans and friends to vote online.

The more underground the band, the more time would have to be devoted to public relations and social networking than anything else.

I think there should be a prize for the bands that make it past the initial 'host pick', like a featured live radio interview spot, a free professional promo package, or something like that.

But anyway, since in this contest ultimately the winner wins by getting the most online/audience votes, maybe the name of the contest should be Battle of the Most-Online-Votes Talent Quest.

Nov. 29 2011 10:20 AM
Barney from Rockland County

2 years ago my colleagues and I put in alot of effort entering a jingle contest for a famous hotel in Connecticut. A little while later I entered another jingle contest for a car insurance company. After putting in the time, money, creativity and professional expertise
I've aquired in my decades as a musician, I discovered in both instances that I was involved with a popularity contest.
The contest originators, not concerned with the quality and creativity of the contestants, wanted the contestants to
provide their own voters, viewers and listeners in order to bring more potential customers to their doorstep. I felt this "technique" was a scam ; an insincere
mistreatment of creative talent. And some of this talent - I'm sure - (in my case definitely) is struggling to make a living.

Your contest isn't doing exactly what the aformentioned companies did, but it's in the ballpark.

I also agree witht the previous writer in that you really have to include your entire listening audience....I live in Rockland, am a big fan of WNYC and your station comes in loud and clear.

Barney Griffin

Nov. 28 2011 03:43 PM
Jen from New Jersey

It's totally unfair that you do not include New Jersey, or at least North NJ, as part of this contest as it is practically part of NYC, with so many musicians from NJ playing in the NY music scene. It really should include the entire NYC.org listening area... I can listen because your radio station reaches me, but I don't count because I don't live in one of the five boroughs...not fair! Wait until your next pledge drive-- I had been considering becoming a member, but now for sure not, because I'm not really considered a part of it all. Thanks for clarifying.

Nov. 21 2011 09:52 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.


18 Feb