Applications are now closed

The Bout @ The Hideout is an annual competition designed to bring together talented local musicians, generate support and awareness for live music in Toronto and, most importantly, provide an awesome welcoming atmosphere for artists to come and showcase their music… And, this year we have doubled the prize money! $20,000 in cash prizes will be paid out to the winners, with $12,000 going to 1st place. Don’t miss your opportunity to enter your band and take your shot at winning The Bout 2019 Title.

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Entry is open to bands and solo artists of all genres. Accepted artists will be treated to dinner and drinks the night of their performance as well as having an artist pass, allowing them to attend all other Bout 2019 showcases during the competition (free of charge, subject to capacity).

Registration closes November 30th, 2018
Schedule release December 15th, 2018
The Bout showcases will run on Friday & Saturday nights from January 18th 2019 to April 27th 2019
Returning contenders welcome**

Learn More →

**Only the reigning 2018 Bout Champion is ineligible to apply - Congratulations Shawn Brady & The Northern Sons!

Additional information

The Bout Music Festival & Competition has been designed with the purpose of building a unique community atmosphere that each participating artist can benefit from.

The Opportunity

A chance to perform in a live music venue in front of your own fan base while also benefiting from exposure to other music lovers and industry professionals; and a stab at taking home the grand prize of 12K!

In addition to the 20K prize money, each band/artist will have the opportunity to sell 25 tickets to their own show to family, friends & fans. This ensures each band can make at least $250 for their single showcase to cover their entry fee, promotion, and their expenses for performing.

your showcase

Once selected you will receive a welcome pack with your schedule. Performances will be scheduled at The Hideout on Friday & Saturday nights between 7pm and 3am. Your set will be 30-40 mins with approx 15 mins for change over. A full backline will be provided for every artist to use - exact details of that backline will follow in an update, but it will include 2 guitar amps, a bass rig, drums, mic’s, XLR’s, DI’s, mic stands and full use of The Hideout’s PA system.

Additional Benefits

All participating bands are invited to The Hideout for a complimentary ‘family style’ dinner at 6pm on the night of their show. Each band member (of age) will also receive two drink tickets on the night of their show.

Participating artists receive a festival pass providing them with free access to The Hideout Toronto any night during the festival (subject to capacity) in order to support the other musicians and bands (or check out the competition!)

Road To The Finals

Judges will be present for every showcase and the six finalist will be chosen based on the following criteria: Songs, Performance, professionalism, audience enjoyment, engagement and reaction.


  • Registration is FREE

  • Registration open until November 30, 2018

  • The Bout is open to all genres (original music only!)

  • 135 Bands will be selected to participate based on their songs submitted

  • Festival kicks off January 2019

  • Grand prize of 12k cash + recording opportunities with Trouble Town Records.

  • Any and all unsuccessful applications will have the entry fee returned in full (less any applicable bank charges)


  • 1st place - 12K cash + recording opportunities and other bonuses

  • 2nd place - 3K cash

  • 3rd place - 2K cash

  • 4th / 5th / 6th place - 1K cash

If you require any further information please email Jimmy at

the bout GAllery


Photography: © Gary Munroe

the bout Partners & Sponsors

A very special thanks to all our corporate sponsors and partners and to our home venue The Hideout.
Without all these great companies on board we wouldn’t be able to pull this off.