FOOM rules 2023



1.            The aim of the FOOM Song Competition is to encourage the writing of new material. Original songs can be entered in any style.

2.            There is a limit of two songs per songwriter in the Live section only. There is no limit on the number of entries in the Recorded, Instrumental or Lyrics/Libretto sections but each song must be accompanied by an Entry Form correctly completed with the correct entry fee. Collaborators may also enter individually penned songs in conformity with this rule. The same song may not be entered in more than ONE section.

3.            Songs must be original and the entrant must sign the copyright declaration on the entry form. The entrant agrees to indemnify the organisers of the competition from any copyright claims which might arise from infringement of copyright laws. Winning songwriters must also agree to enter into a specific agreement with SCALA for the recording and use of their song.

4.            Songs must not be previously recorded for commercial distribution or radio airplay (including independent release), offered for commercial download, published, be subject to recording or publishing agreements or have won prizes in other competitions.

5.            Entrants must make their own arrangements (at their expense) to take advantage of any prizes won from this competition. Entrants living outside South Australia are STRONGLY advised to consider entering only the Demo Unreleased, Instrumental or Lyrics/Libretto Only Sections. SCALA reserves the right to impose any conditions on recording as it sees fit.

6.            Except in the Lyrics/Libretto Section, songs or music should be no more than 6 minutes long. In taking up recording prizes entrants must agree to meet any costs above the value of prizes offered if completed recordings of songs are longer than 6 minutes.

7.            The songwriter can nominate another person or persons to perform the song. The songwriter of a winning song is responsible for organising suitable musicians to record the song.



8.            All entries to be submitted online via the FOOM Online Entry Portal Song Central site where recordings and lyrics can be uploaded, and entry payment made online.

NB: Online SCALA membership payments can be made through the SCALA website.

9.            The judges are instructed to first judge the quality of the song as it is presented to them. This will include taking into account the overall presentation of the song. Judges reserve the right to not choose a winning song in a section if, in their view, there is insufficient overall quality in that section. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into. The competition organisers reserve the right to interpret these rules as they see fit and these interpretations are final.



Live Performance Section

10.         Live Performance heats will be held at SCALA’s Performance Venue at The Wheatsheaf Hotel, 39 George Street, Thebarton, South Australia on Thursday 24 August, Thursday 31 August, Thursday 7 September, Thursday 14 September, Thursday 21 September 2023 commencing at 7:00pm. SCALA will determine the number of heats depending on the number of entries received.  Finalists will be selected from each heat with the winning songs judged in the Live Performance Final on the evening of Saturday 7 October 2023 @ The Nexus (Nth Tce, Adelaide) commencing at 7:00pm. Entrants in the Live section must be available to perform their songs (or have arranged someone else to perform the song) on any of these dates. Entrants will be advised of the date of their heat via email.  Entrants in each heat and in the final must also comply with registration and running order instructions of the organisers.

11.         For staging reasons there is a maximum of TWO performers on stage per song. Each performer may play any number of instruments and there is no restriction on multi-voice keyboards, loop devices or MIDI equipment but any equipment used must be set up within the time limits outlined in Rule 12. Full drum kits and elaborate keyboard/synthesizer instrumentations are NOT recommended because of the time taken to set up. Excessive instrumentation is not encouraged. Backing audio must not be used. Songwriters with backing audio should consider entering the Recorded section.

12.         Performers have a six and a half minute limit in which to perform their songs including any introduction and setup.


Demo Unreleased Section

13.         Recorded songs must be of a good quality so that they can be judged audibly and clearly. There is no limit on the number of performers or instruments used on the recording. This section will be prejudged and, subject to these conditions, the winner/s will be announced at the Live Performance Final Saturday 7 October 2023.



Instrumental Section

14.         Recordings must be of a good quality so that they can be judged audibly and clearly. There is no limit on the number of performers or instruments used on the recording. Entries in the Instrumental section will not have lyrics. This section will be prejudged and, subject to these conditions, the winner/s will be announced at the Live Performance Final Saturday 7 October 2023.


Lyrics/Libretto Section

15.         Lyrics/Libretto must be original. This section will be prejudged and, subject to these conditions, the winner/s will be announced at the Live Performance Final Saturday 7 October 2023.



The winning songs from the Live, Instrumental and Demo Unreleased sections will be released as digital downloads – subject to Agreement between SCALA and the songwriter/s. See the full list of major prizes below.




Songs are judged by panels typically consisting of a male and a female music practitioner. Judges are asked to complete a feedback sheet for all entrants. Feedback sheets contain a scale (with explanation) plus space for judges to provide constructive comments on each song as they see fit. Some panels provide combined comments. Whilst we encourage judges to provide feedback they are under no obligation to do so (but most judges do provide some feedback). Feedback sheets for Recorded, Instrumental and Lyrics sections are emailed to each entrant. Live section entrants will receive their feedback sheets at the end of the heat/final. Entrants are reminded that any such feedback represents only the view of the individual judges and usually is offered as a general guide only.

Winning songs from the Live section are recorded in professional studios.  Songs from other sections may be re-recorded depending on availability of sponsor studios.  All songs are mastered before release as digital downloads.

Winners (3) of the Live Performance Section will each receive:

●             $400.00 cash prize

●             Recording and mastering of your winning song for download release.

Winners (3) of the Demo Unreleased Section will each receive:

●             $350.00 cash prize

●             Mastering (and re-recording subject to studio availability) of winning songs for download release.

Winner (1) of the Instrumental Section will receive:

●             $350.00 cash prize

●             Mastering (and re-recording subject to studio availability) of winning songs for download release.

Winner (1) of the Lyrics/Libretto Section will receive:

●             $200.00 cash prize

●             Lyrics printed in SCALA Newsletter.



Q:           Is there a limit on the number of songs I can enter?

A:            No, you can enter as many songs as you like but you cannot enter the same song in more than one section.

Q:           Can a song be entered into more than one category?

A:            No, a song can only be entered into one category (not multiple categories).

Q:           How do I submit my song(s) to Song Central’s online entry site?

A:            You complete the entry form on the Song Central platform ( and submit your MP3 file and/or you upload your lyrics in PDF format. Once you have completed your entries your payment will be processed via PayPal (credit cards are fine if you don’t have a PayPal account).  Once your payment has processed your entries to the contest will be saved on the platform ready for judging.

Q:           What is required (MP3 / Lyrics?) to enter this competition?

A:            The Live category requires the submission of lyrics (PDF) only. The Demo Unreleased category requires the submission of an MP3 file and lyrics (PDF).  The Instrumental category requires the submission of an MP3 file only. The Lyrics/Libretto category requires the submission of lyrics (PDF) only.

Q:           Who do I contact if I experience problems entering/uploading songs to the competition?

A:            If you experience any technical problems entering, uploading songs etc. using this site then please contact for assistance. Please include a description of your problem and your phone number.

Q:           What should I do if my songs are not in the right format?

A:            If your songs are not in the right format then you will need to convert them to MP3-128kbps files. There are MP3 apps available on the internet that you can use to convert your files.

Q:           Who should I contact if I have questions about the competition e.g. deadlines, rules, category queries, judging etc.?

A:            If you have any questions to do with the competition itself, then you will need to contact

Q:           When should I expect to receive my feedback?

A:            All judges’ feedback will be available upon completion of judging.

Q:           Can I become a member of SCALA upon entering the competition online?

A:            No. You will need to organise and pay for your membership directly with SCALA.

Q:           Do I have to be a member of SCALA to enter?

A:            No, non-members of SCALA are welcome to enter the contest although membership is most definitely encouraged.

Q:           Do the judges know whose song(s) they are judging?

A:            No. The judges listen to your entries without knowing who the songwriter(s) is/are.

Q:           What are the options for payment to enter the FOOM songwriting competition?

A:            The Payment options are:

1.            Payment via PayPal either via (a) PayPal account or (b) Credit Card (Amex, MasterCard or Visa)

Q:           What happens to my songs once the competition is over?

A:            All songs entered into the competition will be deleted from Song Central’s server once the competition (and all judging) is complete.

Q:           What file format is required?

A:            The Song Central site will only accept MP3 files.

 Q             I have put words to a traditional tune. Does that qualify as ‘original’?


A:            The intention of the competition is to encourage new material. You should enter such a song in the Lyrics/Libretto Only section.

Q:           My song has been sent to radio stations, and a few have been sold at gigs etc. can I enter them in FOOM?

A:            Please refer to Rule 4. Original musicians who have the means to offer their songs to the public through sales or radio airplay can choose to not distribute their material before the competition is completed for the year. Note also that the aim of the FOOM song competition is to encourage the writing of new material.