Enter WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs Talent Competition

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Think you're the next Lady Gaga or Jay-Z? Now's your chance to prove it.

WNYC has launched Battle of the Boroughs, a new talent competition designed to bring attention to undiscovered artists, bands and ensembles of all genres. It's like the public radio version of American Idol, featuring Terrance McKnight instead of Simon Cowell.

As part of First Fridays in the Jerome L. Greene Space, WNYC plans to host monthly performances of the best and the brightest from each of the five boroughs. Judges and online voters will pick their favorites. Then, finalists from each borough will  compete in the semi-final concert throwdown. In addition to bragging rights, the ultimate winner will get their very own concert in the Greene Space at WNYC this summer.

The performance schedule goes something like this:

  • March 5: Selected artists from Brooklyn
  • April 2: Selected artists from Manhattan
  • April 30: Selected artists from the Bronx
  • May 7: Selected artists from Staten Island
  • June 4: Selected artists from Queens

Wannabe stars need to complete an online entry form, submit audio files or YouTube video and a high-res photo. For more details and to see if you qualify, visit the Greene Space site

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Monday, February 15.


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Comments [31]

Bernard Boroson

Is the Battle of the Bouroughs still open for someone to enter? If so, how do I do it. Please let me know. I can not find it on your site.
Thank you very much.
Bernard Borosin

Dec. 12 2013 01:36 PM
Christopher from Brooklyn, NY

I wanted to submit two artists but the entry form link doesn't go anywhere! How can I apply now, just send an e-mail with the information?

Jan. 31 2012 10:08 PM
Hailey Knox from Putnam

what about upstate NY???? Westchester/ Putnam?

Jan. 20 2012 12:17 PM
ken wade from Manhattan

Is the event open to solo, acoustic guitar playing songsters singing songs from the 1930's & 40's?

Nov. 26 2010 10:47 AM
Jeff G from Manhattan

Are prior broadcasts for Battle archived? Can they be heard as podcasts via WNYC's website?

May. 01 2010 08:35 PM
Sarah Van Arsdale from Manhattan

As April 2 approaches, I assume I didn't get in. When and how do we get the good or bad news?

Mar. 17 2010 09:45 AM
Noah from Brooklyn

Look what I found. It would have been nice for WNYC to send this announcement out.

Feb. 26 2010 08:34 AM
KE from Brooklyn

I thought the notifications for selected acts were to be made on Monday Feb. 22nd.
Has that been changed? I did not receive an email either way.
Please clarify this.

Feb. 23 2010 12:22 PM
Sophie from Astoria

Hi Greenspace Team,

I got an email that said the following;

Hello! It seems that something is wrong with your link to Soundcloud or audio submission- whether you copied the wrong URL or didn’t upload the song or made it private, I’m not sure- if you would like to try again (you can just send the Soundcloud link in an e-mail, no form) to we will be able to enter your material into The Battle of the Boroughs. Please do not worry about the deadline- your initial form is in, so you are qualified as long as I receive the right materials soon.

If you could also re-include an image that would be really helpful.

Thanks and good luck,

The Greene Space Team

but whenever I've tried to write back to the given address the postmaster says I've failed, what should I do?

Feb. 17 2010 02:21 PM

JC - We are not sending out automatic confirmations. Your submission was received.

SawLady - It's possible that the error message you received was for the image URL, not the audio URL. If you're still having trouble, email your application materials to with a description of your trouble.

KE - If your track is slightly longer than seven minutes, you can still submit it, but we will only listen to the first seven minutes.

Deni - If you are the act and you're located in one of the five boroughs, you are eligible for entry.

Peter - We will correct your entry form.

Feb. 15 2010 02:43 PM
Peter Weida from Manhattan

In the entry form's "Type of Performance" section, I typed "Vocalist/Instrumentalist" next to the "Other" option button, but mistakenly had the "Instrumentalist" option button selected. Is there a way to correct my entry so that my performance type is recorded as "Other: Vocalist/Instrumentalist", as I intended?

Feb. 15 2010 01:15 PM
Deni from Manhattan

I am a singer/songwriter with a backing band. Does it matter where they, live as they are not really the 'act'.

Feb. 15 2010 11:52 AM
KE from Brooklyn

The song I would like to perform and upload is
7 minutes 20 seconds.
Is the 7 minutes an absolute cutoff point, or is 20 seconds additional OK.
I am submitting my form today so would appreciate your feedback asap. Thanks!

Feb. 15 2010 10:52 AM
SawLady from Queens

I am having trouble uploading the application form. I uploaded a track to SoundCloud (and got confirmation that it was sent to WNYC). But when filling up the application form it asks for the MP3's URL. I can't find the MP3's URL, so, in accordance with the instructions at the top of the application form, I put "SOUNDCLOUD" in the space for the MP3's URL. The form doesn't let me send it - it keeps telling me "Enter a valid URL.".
Please help.
It also says at the top of the application form NOT to enter your SoundCloud account URL. Do you mean for us to enter our SoundCloud PROFILE URL for the MP3 URL?
It's very confusing.

Thank you for your expedient help.

Feb. 12 2010 09:26 PM
JC from Staten Island

Is there any way to acknowledge receipt of my entry? No confirm was received.

Thanks so much.

Feb. 12 2010 01:22 PM

Paul - The contest deadline was originally February 12th but was recently extended until February 15th. Sorry for the confusion.

Val - We are not sending out automatic confirmations. Your submission was received.

Joan - Make sure you're providing a URL for your image. If you're still having trouble, contact

Feb. 12 2010 09:49 AM
Val Kinzler from New York City

I submitted a track via Soundcloud
Filled out form and pasted jpg code.
When I clicked the submit button, I got no confirmation. How do I know my submission was received or not?

Feb. 12 2010 04:38 AM
Joan Caddell from Staten Island

I can't seem to upload a picture.
Is that essential?
What am I doing wrong?

Feb. 11 2010 10:48 PM
Paul from Flushing, Queens

I'm confused - on this page, it says that the submission deadline is February 12th. On the Greene space webpage, it says February 15th. Which is correct?

Feb. 11 2010 07:09 PM

Adina - Due to differing contest rules in different states, all entrants must be New York residents.

LJ - We request that artists limit their work to one selection so that each artist is judged on a single piece rather than a body of their work.

Feb. 11 2010 12:11 PM
L J Murphy from Brooklyn

Can a performer perform more than one song in during their performance if it fits into the seven minute time frame?

Feb. 10 2010 08:43 PM
Adina Genn

why just the boroughs?

Feb. 09 2010 04:28 PM


We will be unable to provide two pianos, but we hope that the performance can be equally amazing on one piano and encourage your friends to enter.

Feb. 09 2010 02:53 PM

Is there any possibility of getting two pianos? I have some friends who are an amazing piano duo. They could work with one but two would be best.

Feb. 09 2010 11:53 AM

Talking about boroughs, please check out the Five Boroughs Music Festival, now in its third season. Every season: five concerts, each in a different borough, each with different artists and musical themes.

The next 5BMF concert is this Sunday, Valentines Day at 4pm, at South Oxford Space, Fort Greene. Brooklyn residents only $15.00

Feb. 08 2010 04:39 PM


One (either audio or video) is sufficient. We ask that all performers submit a jpeg too.

Feb. 08 2010 04:26 PM
mereubu from brooklyn

your entry form asks for the "work that you will perform" and then offers the space to upload both audio and video documentation of it. is one sufficient or should both be submitted (e.g. if one uploads a video of the song is the audio file redundant?)


Feb. 08 2010 02:20 PM
Truth&Beauty from Brooklyn

I see that all the borough performance dates are on Friday evenings, which means that observant Jews, including myself, will be excluded. You might rethink those.

Feb. 08 2010 06:44 AM

Anna - Unfortunately, due to differing contest rules in different states, all entrants must currently be New York residents.

Gale - Unfortunately, we will not be accepting submissions from comedians.

Feb. 04 2010 12:19 PM
Anna Fiszman from Jersey City

Is this competition open to WNYC members who used to live in Brooklyn, but are now in Jersey City?

Feb. 03 2010 11:45 PM
Gale Galant from Manhattan

Re Battle of the Boroughs Talent Competition. Is this competition also open to stand-up comedians?

Feb. 01 2010 04:50 PM

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