NPR’s Outstanding Tiny Desk Contest 2024: Here’s How to Enter

NPR Music recently officially announced something huge for unsigned bands and solo artists. Tiny Desk Contest 2024 is on the way, with entries opening in January. And we’re stoked to hopefully see lots of submissions from talented acts representing the Binghamton music scene!

The winner of the Tiny Desk Contest 2024 will travel to Washington DC to perform on the popular NPR Music show, as well as getting featured on NPR Music’s All Things Considered. And as if that isn’t cool enough, the victorious act will headline NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest on the Road Tour, a national major-city tour supported by other unsigned bands around the country.

Winning isn’t everything, of course. Making an entry for the Tiny Desk Contest 2024 should be a fun experience for your band, and your growing fanbase will love seeing this intimate portrait of your music. It’s free to enter, so why not plop that webcam down on a desk and make a video? Let’s see some fun entries from Binghamton’s unsigned bands!

Caviar & Grits entered their song “Why Do I Stay” in the 2023 edition of the NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest. We’ll probably keep sharing this song until it finally gets out of our heads, which might never happen. It’s just really, really catchy!

Here’s how to enter the NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest 2024

Entering the Tiny Desk Contest 2024 is pretty easy. Simply set up your unsigned band someplace, and have literally any desk within the frame. Make a video showing your band performing one entirely original song of yours (you can’t do covers or sample anyone else’s work). Next, upload your video to YouTube. Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to fill out an entry form after 10 AM ET on January 23rd and before 11:59 PM ET on February 21st.

The Tiny Desk Contest 2024 is only open to unsigned bands and unsigned solo artists. You aren’t qualified to enter if you’re signed to any label, no matter how indie or small-time that label may be. You’re also ineligible if any member of your act is under 18 years of age. And again, this has to be an original song written by your group. You’re not allowed to submit covers or anything containing samples of other creative works, including songs, movies, TV shows, or any other form of intellectual property not directly created by you.

A few things to know:

  • You can only submit one song, and it must be less than 10 minutes long. If you attempt to enter two or more songs, you’re out!
  • Everyone in your unsigned band needs to be at least 18 years old and live in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands
  • NPR treats your videographer as a member of the band and they’re beholden to the same rules of entry
  • You can’t submit any video added to YouTube prior to December 12th 2023. That means you can’t use older submissions or share other older videos
  • You should take this eligibility quiz prior to entering

We’d love to see (and share) your entries!

If you’re an act from Upstate New York, we’d love to share your video entries on Parlor City Sound. Just drop us a line via Facebook or use our contact form and give us a link to both your YouTube video and your band’s website or social media profile. We’ll throw a little love to your video on our Facebook page, and we might write an article about the local entries we’ve seen in February as well.

We predominantly focus on the Binghamton music scene, but we’re open to seeing and sharing videos from any Upstate NY band. Ithaca, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, Oneonta, Cortland, Elmira … if you’re from north of Yonkers, we’re down!

Check out the Tiny Desk Contest 2024 FAQ if you have any other questions, and good luck!