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What is the “Mississauga Youth Band Challenge”?


The Southside Shuffle Blues & Jazz Festival are looking to provide an opportunity for youth bands from Mississauga to perform in a festival atmosphere, in front of a live audience at its annual event in 2024. The dates of this year’s Shuffle event are September 6th to 8th, 2024 in Memorial Park in Port Credit. Competitors will perform on the Gazebo Stage in the south end of the park in the (Free Zone). Bands are encouraged to bring their families and fans to enjoy the competition and cheer on their favourite bands. (Lawn chairs are recommended). 

The Southside Shuffle Blues & Jazz Festival have teamed up with Metalworks Studios, Canada’s premier recording facility and their new online music platform SoundsUnite, along with Long & McQuade, Canada’s largest music equipment retailer and the Mississauga Arts Council to create this exciting opportunity for the youth in our community interested in music, to experience a music festival environment and win valuable prizes.


Why Compete?


  • An opportunity for your band to perform in front of a live audience at one of Canada’s premiere music festivals.

  • A chance to win a recording session at Metalworks Studios, along with valuable prizes from Long & McQuade! 

  • All entrants will receive a free subscription to SoundsUnite, a new music education, creativity, collaboration & wellness platform!


All bands wishing to register for the Mississauga Youth Band Challenge competition must read and accept the following rules and regulations before completing the registration form.




1.    This Competition is open to all Participants (12) years old and up to age (18) as of January 1st 2024.


2.    If you are a Participant who is below sixteen years old (as of January 1st 2024), you must obtain the consent of your parent or legal guardian before participating in this competition. By submitting your application together with your group, you confirm and represent that the consent of your parent or legal guardian has been obtained.


3.     This competition is free to enter.


4.    The Band must be Mississauga-based. (The majority of members must live in Mississauga)


5.     This competition is open only to participants who have not signed a contract with a     record company, or any contract with any third party record label, any contract for         performance with a live music venue or any other similar arrangement. To avoid doubt:

If you are a participant who is contracted to, and is currently performing live music at any venue on a regular basis, you are disqualified from participating in this competition.




Note: Registrants must have their group information submitted to SoundsUnite 


  1. Entries will be accepted online only, between Wednesday May 1st to Friday, August 2nd, 2024.

     See Upload Instructions below.


2. Each Group will need to submit to :


- ONE (1) a video of the Group performing. (See instructions below)


- The video must be of your Group performing at least one (1) song live in any

genre, and in English.


3. The Submission must be registered on . Multiple Submissions will not be accepted.


4. By registering your Submission:

Your Group agrees that any part of the Submission may be used, reproduced, broadcast or streamed by the Southside Shuffle through whatever media channel or format, without further consultation; and The Southside Shuffle may exercise its sole discretion to use the names, identification, image, and comments of the participants, relating to the competition experience for promotional, marketing and publicity purposes in any media without any fee being paid to the participant.


Artist Video Upload Instructions for SoundsUnite

To submit your video:

  1. Create an account on SoundsUnite

  2. Build your profile! 

  3. Upload a video by selecting Create Post in the sidebar

  4. Click Upload A Video

  5. Add your video, a cover image and title, along with any other information you want to share about your video.

  6. Make sure you select the Submit to Southside Shuffle Youth Band Challenge option.

  7. Click Upload 

  8. Once your track is uploaded, you'll find it on the  Southside Shuffle Youth Band Challenge feed. Be sure to share the link with your friends! The top 10 bands with the most likes will be considered by the live judging panel!

  9. Your fans can register on to like your videos in the Southside Shuffle Youth Band Challenge 

 Band Requirements for the Competition Jury


-    Two (2) photos of the Group, pre-cleared for all media uses;


-    a brief description of the Group, including the proposed genre of music to be performed     in the competition. The description must not be longer than one hundred (100) words and must be pre-cleared for all media uses;


-    Names and contact details of all participants in the Group;


-    Lead contact person of the Group; 


-    Instruments played by the participants in the Group;


-    A stage plot outlining equipment location; and


-    Parental consent for participants under the age of 16 as of January 1st 2024


Please Note:  Bands may bring one roadie to assist them on-stage with set-up and break-down and that person must also be listed on the registration form.


What backline equipment will be provided at the Festival competition?


An electronic Drum-kit, Keyboard, Amplifiers and all necessary plug-ins will be provided, based on your stage plot. This will be a “plug-in and play” scenario in order to keep the competition moving smoothly.


Performance Details:

The jury will select 10 entrants from all submissions, who will perform at the Southside Shuffle Blues & Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 7th 2024 from11:00 am until 4:00 pm in 30 minute intervals.  From this group, three will be selected by the jury to move on to the final performance on Sunday, September 8th 2024, directly after the Induction Ceremony for the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. The winner will then be invited to receive their recognition in front of the Main Stage audience immediately prior to the final performance of the Festival by the legendary Downchild Blues Band.


Awards and Prizes:


  • All 10 finalists who perform on Saturday will receive a framed certificate acknowledging their participation in the competition.

  • On Sunday, the three finalists will also receive a framed certificate along with the following:


    -  3rd place: Equipment and/or rental equipment from Long & McQuade

    -  Runner-up: Equipment and/or rental equipment from Long & McQuade

    -  Winner: Recording session at Metalworks Studios


Details of two-day event:


• Each band will be given the opportunity to play up to 3 songs.


• Bands may not use pre-recorded sound material. All bands must play live.


• All songs may be original or cover songs by other artists.


-  There will be a strict time limit of 15 minutes performance for each band on stage. Please plan your songs accordingly. You may have one long song and two short songs but no more than 15 minutes will be allowed for the 3 songs.


-  Prior to their performance, each band will be given 10 minutes to set up and do a quick sound check and 5 minutes to break down their equipment after their performance to vacate the stage. Bands may bring one adult (roadie) to assist them with set-up and break-down and that person must also be listed on the registration form. The Shuffle will also have an additional qualified technical person available to assist.


-   On the day of the performance, band members must be dressed in clothing free from                                     obscenities. This is a family oriented event and therefore only activities suitable for families will  be permitted.


  • Band name and lyrics of performance songs should not contain any obscenities if possible. Judges can deduct points for any use of obscenities not necessary.


  • The entire performance must be violence-free and suitable for families.


  • If a band incites moshing or any other sort of violence in the crowd, the band will be immediately disqualified and the performance will be stopped.


-  The use of any illegal substances will not be tolerated. If any band member is suspected

to be under the influence of an illegal substance, the entire band will be disqualified and

the proper authorities will be notified.


-  All band members are required to be present at least 30 minutes prior to their performance

time to check in with the coordinator. If all band members are not present and ready to set

up for performance 15 minutes before going on stage, the band will be disqualified.


-  While one band is playing, the next band may start getting ready to set up backstage. However, please do not be disruptive so that the band on stage can be the focus of the judges and the crowd.


-  All participants are required to be courteous and respectful toward other participating musicians.


-  Band members are responsible for the security of their equipment and the Southside Shuffle cannot be held liable for any lost, damaged, or stolen equipment. Fog machines, pyrotechnics, etc. are not allowed.


  • Each judge will be given a scoring sheet for each band. There will be a place for judges to write comments. Once the competition is over, bands will have the opportunity to obtain the scoring forms snd comments from the event coordinator.



Judges will score the competition based upon a set criteria: Stage presentation, band 

synchronization, time management, song quality, stage management, audience interaction, and originality. Points are awarded in each category using a point system of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.


Need more information?




Frequently Asked Questions:


1. How can we enter the competition?

(See registration details)


2. Can I enter the competition more than once?

Each participant can only enter the competition once.


3. Are we allowed to do our own original songs?

Yes, although cover songs are recommended.


4. Can we re-perform a song in the finals that we submitted during our initial applications if we get through?

Yes you can. However, you are encouraged to perform other songs to showcase your vocal range and versatility in song choices.


5. How can I find out if I have been shortlisted for the competition?

We will contact you using the contact details you have given us via email during your submission.


6. Can we audition in person instead?

No, all audition video clips must be submitted online.


7. I have participated in televised music competitions; can I still enter the competition?              

Yes you can, as long as you’ve never been, or are not currently contracted to any recording label or have resident gigs at any venues. 


8. Can we use previously recorded footage or performances as our audition video?

    You may submit (i) an original video recorded and made specifically for this competition             or (ii) a previously recorded video performance provided that it was recorded within the             past 2 (two) months and it captures your band’s current image and sound of a live             performance.


9. What are the specifications of the components provided at the festival performance? 

Electronic Dum Kit, Keyboard, Amplifiers etc. will all be provided. A complete “plug in and play” set, based on your stage plot will be provided

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