Folk Hero Contest

In 2007 we created an innovative way to showcase local talent, fusing our monthly Coffeehouse series with the Annual Delmarva Folk Festival (2018 is its 27th year)! We call it the Delmarva Folk Hero contest; 2018 is the 12th year to put on this contest!

Here’s how it works:

ix finalists are chosen over two rounds at our summer coffee houses in Dover. July 21 & August 18, 2018 - three contestants each date will be chosen! The final is September 28, 2018.

Winners for the 1st Round on July 21st were: Last Chance, Bob Barto & Rick Hudson!


six finalists will be asked to perform on the Main Stage of the Delmarva Folk Festival on Friday evening. The preliminaries begin at 7:00 p.m.

From 2017:

7:00  Hoochi Coochi - last year's winner of the Folk Hero Contest will host - See pictures of all the contestants below 7:20  Doug Liddicoat 7:40  Nancy Huebner
8:00  Mike Miller 8:20  Tom Hench - WINNER 2017 8:40  Butch & Teri Zito 9:00  Nancy Maliwesky
9:20  Hoochi Coochi (plays while votes are counted)

The winner from 2017 was Tom Hench! We really liked him so much, we elected him to our board! LOL

At that Friday evening Festival performance, ballots will be distributed to the audience (get those fans and friends to come out and vote for you!). The best performer will be dubbed the 2018 Delmarva Folk Hero, and will be awarded a prize package which will include:

• $100 cash
• a longer performance slot on the Main Stage on Saturday (the following day)
• $100 to host the 2019 Folk Hero Final
• More prizes may be added still!

There are a few “rules and guidelines” to be mentioned:

• Candidates should present a genre similar to the ones typically presented by the Delaware Friends of Folk – Folk (traditional, new, or “singer songwriter”), Bluegrass, Blues, Celtic, Jazz, New Age, World, Old-Time, Roots, Story-telling.
• Candidates should be solo through 5 performers, with a strong preference toward fewer performers in any act, to simplify changeovers. No drum kits, please - although percussionists are welcome to play a variety of folk rhythm instruments, like cajon, congas, bongo, bodhrans, djembe, tambourines, maracas, etc.
• Ballots will be distributed for the audience to vote for their favorite performer. No proxy, delayed, or internet voting will be allowed – you must be present to vote.
• The Board will review the ballots, and will use them to help make the final programming decision on the finalists, as well as the final winner. The Board does not anticipate overruling the audience vote, but reserves the right to do so.
• The Finalists will each get a performance slot on the Friday night of the Festival. Each slot is anticipated to be 25 minutes long, but this may change depending on the number of Finalists chosen.
• The Finalists must be available to perform at the designated time on Saturday in the event that they win, or will forfeit the entire prize package. (2017, this means if you’re a finalist, reserve the evening of September 28 and arrive by 11 am of September 29, at least)
• The Finalists will be announced here on the website & by the press in September.
• Any finalists or other participants from previous years are eligible with the exception of WINNERS of the contest. Being a participant puts you on our radar as possible acts to book throughout the year of Delaware Friends of Folk Coffee Houses or possibly the Old State House Concert Series we do with First State Heritage Park.

These are the contestants from Round ONE 2017:

  • Tom Hench
  • Mike & Janet Miller
  • Doug Liddicoat

These are the contestants from Round TWO 2017:

  1. Dave Vari
  2. Nancy Huebner - Finalist
  3. Butch & Teri Zito - Finalist
  4. Doyle Campagnini
  5. Nancy Maliwesky - Finalist