This year’s judges

To keep things as fair as possible, 50% of the contest scoring is decided by our panel of judges, who are local people we have hand-picked and know to be unbiased, knowledgeable about music and who will give every song a proper listen!

Our esteemed judges are:

LOTTE LYSTER CONNOLLY who, with her husband Miles, runs the much-loved Prince Albert pub in Rodborough, a beacon for music lovers throughout the south west!

MISHA LAW, music therapist at Music Works, a platform for young people in Gloucestershire to access musical apparatus and professional support.

SARAH NICOLLS, a renowned experimental pianist and composer who regularly appears on Radio 3.

RONNIE MCGRATH, a writer, performer and educator. Check out Ronnie’s recent work Watermelon and find out more at

SEAN ROE who runs hip new record shop, Klang Tone on London Road in Stroud and used to co-run Sound Records.

SIMON VINCENT who runs the excellent and long-established Trading Post record shop on Kendrick Street in Stroud.

UTA BALDAUF, an artist and musician who, among other projects, fronts the band The Woolheads in collaboration with Sean Roe.

FERGUS RYAN, local musician, raconteur and cornerstone of Stroud Song Contest, who has taken part in every contest since our beginnings in 2019.

CHAS DE WHALLEY, music journalist, record-company guy, amazing guest contributor to our blog and musician who appeared in last year’s grand final!

FAYE HATCHER much-loved weekend radio host who recently left her role after 23 years at Radio Gloucestershire. Faye will be sorely missed but as a genuine cheerleader for community events, we’re sure we’re going to be hearing more from her in future.

CHRIS BAXTER broadcasts across the south west for BBC Local Radio. His calming tones and broad musical knowledge make for perfect evening listening, every weekday at 10pm.

JONNY FLUFFYPUNK stand-up poet and sustainable nihilist, Jonny takes what you thought you knew about life, laughs at it, and hands it back a little torn and crumpled. And for this experience you may be truly thankful.

Public votes

Voting is now closed. Public votes account for 50% of the scoring.