I'm so glad to slowly be exploring various parts of this great forum, and appreciate already how many people have taken the time to comment on pieces I've posted in the composition sub-forum. Looking through this sub-forum, I was curious to see how many of you have willingly entered contests with entrant fees. I have resisted this, as much as I've resisted the idea of "pay to play" and the myriad other ways it seems companies exploit musicians desperate for recognition/opportunities.
I understand the administrative aspects contests require, as well as the inordinate number of hours to assemble juries, evaluate entries, notify people, promote, etc. That said, a recent virtually unknown competition asked for entry fees (I believe they were $20 per piece, but many have been much more). They claimed afterward to have received over 2000 submissions and made their "decision" within a month of closing, and like most competitions, don't offer feedback or even an evaluation form completed for each entrant. I have a hard time believing they sifted through and listened to 2000 submissions...it would have taken so many hours to almost make it impossible to imagine a jury sitting together (or even apart) wading through and narrowing choices.
Of course, the results of that contest, like so many others, seemed to be based on the bios of the composers (the first announced winner was a Latin Grammy nominee, and they seemed to use his name recognition to bolster their own contests' legitimacy). Basically, what I'm asking is: do you feel that the majority of composers that fund these contests do so foolishly, as they'll likely never be considered in the first place due to the sheer quantity of entrants, along with political, and other issues that I'm sure contests cleverly pretend don't exist, but really do?
I'd be happy to hear your thoughts, because I've avoided contests with fees until now, but feel that since the vast majority of them do have fees, if I want to even be considered, I've got to pay to get in the game.
All the best,