Do you have what it takes? PHL LIVE music competition returns

City officials, musicians, and judges gathered at City Hall to discuss the returning PHL LIVE Center Stage competition on Aug. 15, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

City officials, musicians, and judges gathered at City Hall to discuss the returning PHL LIVE Center Stage competition on Aug. 15, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Musicians across Philadelphia will now once again get the opportunity to compete for cash prizes and other perks in this year’s PHL LIVE Center Stage competition.

Artists can compete across 10 music categories including hip-hop, classical, and world music for $1,000 in each award category. One “People’s Choice Winner” will also be selected via a popular fan vote.

During a press conference at City Hall on Monday, City Councilmember David Oh said he wants artists to not be afraid of entering the competition after its two-year hiatus during the pandemic.

“People with talent and ability, people with desire and ambition, people who want to make a change, they make that video and they won’t submit it,” Oh said. “Why? They’re afraid of the rejection before it has happened, so please make that video. Hang on to it. If you’re a little nervous, refine it, but submit it.”

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Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Carvin Haggins said the goal of the competition isn’t just to win, but to provide opportunities.

“The beauty of this is altering, changing the mindsets, the ideas of the youth, showing them that there is opportunity, presenting hope, presenting the doorway to move their families from one level of life to another level of life,” Haggins said.

The award show will take place on Dec. 20 at World Café Live from 7:30-11 p.m.

To register, artists need to record a three-to-five-minute video of their performance, upload it to YouTube, and then copy and paste the link to phlive.org.

Registration for the competition ends Sep. 30.

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The competition is in collaboration with the Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Global Opportunities and Creative/Innovative Economy.

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