Wildflower Festival

Wildflower Festival

Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest

Al Johnson

The award-winning Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest encourages the growth of the art of independent performing singer songwriters. Genres include Acoustic, Americana, Blues, Celtic, Country, Folk, Rock, Indie,  and Pop. Some of our past finalists include Ruthie Foster, Beth Wood, Rj Cowdery, Drew Kennedy, Tom Faulkner and many more. 10 finalists are selected through a blind screening process and are invited to perform at the finals on the Singer Songwriter Stage in the Eisemann Center. 

“In keeping with our philosophy, the songs selected reflect the artistic integrity of the artist. They represent a great diversity of musical genres and will provide our Wildflower! audiences an opportunity to join us in recognizing excellence in songwriting.” ~ Al Johnson

Contest Rules

Entrants Will Be Competing For one of three prizes:

First Place Grand Prize – $1000
Second Place – $500
Michael Terry People’s Choice AWard – $500

  • An invitation to perform on the Singer Songwriter Stage and an additional set on the Courtyard Stage
  • Lodging for 2 nights
  • Festival passes for you and a guest
  • Green Room hospitality during performance time
  • Opportunity of a lifetime to spend a weekend sharing songs with some of the best performing songwriters in the Songwriting Contest Showcase at Wildflower!


  • Maximum One (1) entry per person. One entry = two songs.
  • Participants must be at least 18 years old.
  • A maximum of 300 entries will be accepted on a first submitted basis.
  • A total of ten finalists will be selected and invited to perform on the Singer Songwriter Stage in the contest finals.
  • All finalists must provide their own transportation to Wildflower! (Located in Richardson, TX).
  • Recordings submitted must be representative of the artist’s live performance and include only one instrument, the songwriter’s vocal and no backup harmonies.
  • Produced recordings or instrumental only songs are NOT accepted.
  • Co-written songs are accepted; however, only one of the writers may submit an application and perform the song on the recording.
  • Artist’s name, biographical information, or credits can NOT be included on the recordings/mp3 metadata, (title, artist, track number, and other identifying information).
  • A submission of the entry certifies that the songwriter has all rights to the songs and that the songs have not been sold or contractually assigned to another entity.
  • Songs that have been previously recorded and released under contract on a label are NOT ELIGIBLE.
  • Songs must have been written within the last two (2) years (after December 2018).
  • Each song must NOT exceed five (5) minutes.
  • Finalist live performances at Wildflower! are limited to one (1) songwriter/vocalist who must perform the songs submitted in the contest. During the performance the vocalist can provide instrumentation or have a single accompanist (with no backup harmony or effects).
  • Each finalist must attend the contest finals at Wildflower! and be available to play a set in the Songwriting Contest Showcase as one of the winners.
  • Prior to the contest, finalists may not appear on any stage at the Festival with any artist(s) booked for the Booked artists may not accompany a finalist during the contest.
  • The finalists will be given an opportunity to perform an additional set on the Courtyard stage during the Festival.
  • All previous finalists and winners are invited to submit with the exception of the 2018 winners and the 2019 finalists and winners.
  • Finalists must attend a pre-festival meeting. to learn the order of final performances at the Festival.

Fair Screening Process:

  • All entries are subjected to a blind and independent screening by several experienced music promoters, songwriters and educators familiar with original songwriting and performing techniques.
  • The 10 finalists are selected based on the rankings and scores compiled from the results of the independent screeners.
  • The contest is a performing songwriting contest. The entries will be judged based on the quality of the songs (50%) and the artist’s presentation of the songs (50%).

2019 Finalist

Click here to view a history of the Al Johnson Performing Songwriter Contest Winners.

Blog & News


Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival salutes rock with a concert by Back In Black AC/DC Tribute band on May 15. This high-voltage set will be streamed at 7 p.m. from the Hill Hall stage inside the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, Texas. The Eisemann Center is one of the leading performing arts facilities in the metroplex and provides two of the six stages fans experience during the annual Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival.

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Jack-fm presents Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival Over The Air on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Richardson native and radio personality JT will host the Over The Air mini sets that will include music by the artists that would have rocked at Wildflower! during the three-day weekend May 15-17. The decision to cancel was announced in March and ticket holders received refund notifications.

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