Awards and competitions

There are various competitions om a local, national or international level. Dutch Heights is a platform for awards and competitions in the field of arts and culture in the Netherlands. Contest Watchers is a website dedicated to creative challenges and competitions worldwide.

Selection of competitions

Grote Prijs van Nederland
An important national competition for up-and-coming talent. The Grote Prijs scouts are professionals working in the music industry. The scouting teams are split in two for every category: a group of 'core scouts' and several regional scouts all over the country. The scouts in the country tip the core scouts' who go to performances of these recommended bands. Later in the year the so-called core scouts are the jury of the event. The national finals take place at the Paradiso or the Melkweg in Amsterdam. Finalists can win cash prizes worth between € 1,000 and € 5,000, plus studio time, a CD, professional coaching and spots at major festivals.

SENA Performers POPnl Award
Thirteen bands (selected by twelve provinces and the city Amsterdam) of POPnl, perform at the Melkweg for a jury of 45 programmers. They can chose if they want to book one or more bands on their own stage or festival. The ultimate winner of this competition is the band who gets the most bookings.

The Global Battle of the Bands
The biggest band competition in the world with preliminary rounds in 38 countries. The winner will go on  world tour and gets $ 100,000 dollar in cash.

De Amsterdamse Popprijs
Band competition for Amsterdam bands in all styles, organised by Stichting GRAP. Some winners come from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, such as The Brahms (2015), the Silverfaces (2013) and Yori Swart (2010). Other earlier winners are Mister and Mississippi, The Vagary and competitors as Hit Me TV, a balladeer and Alamo Race Track.

Mooie Noten
Mooie Noten is organised by Stichting GRAP (the foundation for Amsterdam pop music). It is the Amsterdam pop song competition for singer-songwriters and (semi-)acoustic acts of maximum 3 people. This has been won, among others, by the CvA pop students Eelke Ankersmit (2016), Pitou (2015), Bixby (2014) and Lucas Hamming (2012). The guiding principle is the pop song itself, with attention paid to the composition, lyrics and musical presentation.

Wanted is the Amsterdam competition for hip-hop acts. GRAP organises Wanted in order to give talented hip-hop artists the opportunity to present themselves to the general public, media and music industry. Wanted has turned out be a breeding ground for hip-hop talent. For example, well-known names have taken part in previous editions of the competition, such as The Partysquad, Makkie & KrankJoram, Ome Omar, Letterlijk & Figuurlijk, Ali B. and Kimo. Acts from outside Amsterdam may also register.

Buma Cultuur-prijzen
These are all annual prizes awarded by Buma Cultuur:

  • Popprijs: Prize for the artist who has made the most important contribution to Dutch pop music in the past year.
  • The Gouden Harp: The Golden Harp is an award for Dutch artists or songwriters who have made a significant contribution to the success of Dutch light music through the years.
  • The Zilveren Harp: The Silver Harps go to artists who in the past year have proved to be promising for the future of light music.
  • The Exportprijs: This prize goes to the artist who sold the most recordings abroad in the past year.
  • The Radio 2 Zendtijd Prijs: The Radio 2 broadcast time prize is awarded  to the 'interpreter of the Dutch song' who has built up the most radio air time and the most appreciation among listeners over the decades.

Artists who have made a sound recording of exceptional quality, or who have built up an extraordinary body of work. The awards ceremony is often broadcast live on tv. This prize is an initiative of the NVPI, the branch organization of the recording industry.

MTV EMA Awards
Annual award for foreign and domestic acts in various categories. The viewers vote to determine who goes home with an Award.