As part of their commitment to music and the development of new artists, The Blackbird Academy, Blackbird Studio, 12th & Porter, and a multitude of industry partners – including Viacom (CMT and MTV) and Lightning 100 – have joined forces to create The Music City Breakthrough contest. The program is uniquely designed to get artists recognized on a regional and national level and to provide music fans a new way to experience and cultivate undiscovered talent. Artists may enter the contest at

“12th & Porter has been a staple in Nashville for decades,” says Keith Hayman, owner of 12th & Porter and Music City Pizza. “With the newly renovated space that boasts superior sound, concert lighting, and state-of-the-art LED video wall, I feel an ever greater responsibility to support and develop artists. The Music City Breakthrough Contest hopes to provide a lucrative platform for artists and the music community alike.”

How Music City Breakthrough works:

  • Submissions are open July 22 – September 2, 2014. Bands may enter the contest via
  • A select Music Council will choose 21 finalists from the entries. 
  • Three finalists perform each night at 12th & Porter for seven consecutive Tuesdays. Finalist performance dates are September 9, 16, 23, 30, and October 7, 14, and 21 at 8 pm.
  • Fans vote online to choose the top three bands to compete at 12 & Porter on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
  • The music council will select the winner and make an announcement on November 7, 2014, at 12th & Porter.

The winner receives:

  • Two days of rehearsal space at The Blackbird Academy’s live facility and five days of studio recording at Blackbird Studio and The Blackbird Academy
  • One week of placement on the home page of MTV Artists or CMT Artists (genre dependent) and featured placement on the artists’ page ( or
  • One slot as the Lighting 100 Local Artist of the Week and on-air interview with Wells Adams
  • A slot at Summerfest in Milwaukee
  • A slot at Musician’s Corner in Nashville
  • A 32-track live recording and 3 camera video shoot of the live performance at 12th & Porter
  • Social media and website promotion of the artists on title sponsors’ online platforms
  • Vinyl Pressing
  • Additional sponsor gifts including photography, hair, makeup and styling, merchandise, web design, and more

About 12th & Porter

12th & Porter is a world-famous music venue located in the heart of Music City. The venue boasts a newly renovated production facility with superior sound, lighting, and a huge LED wall to give music artists and fans the best possible experience. Readers of the Nashville Scene recently voted 12th & Porter as second only to the historic Ryman Auditorium as Nashville’s best place to hear live music. 

About The Blackbird Academy

The Blackbird Academy Professional School of Audio is a post-secondary, mentor-based educational facility offering Studio Engineering & Live Sound Engineering Programs where students are taught by professional instructors and award-winning guest lecturers. Each program is six months in length with four start dates per year. Maximum enrollment is 30 students per class.

The Blackbird Academy is built on the foundation of Blackbird Studio, the Nashville home to a community of engineers, producers, musicians, and technical staff who have taken the art of audio recording to new heights over the years. Under the ownership and leadership of John and Martina McBride, Blackbird Studio has become the leading recording studio in the country. John’s love for Audio and Education led him to create The Blackbird Academy in 2013. The principles and beliefs that guide the Academy’s programs are simple: Challenge and educate students by presenting them with real-life scenarios that an engineer/producer would encounter daily, and train students in studios and labs professionally designed for engineers to hone their craft. 


Blackbird Studio/The Blackbird Academy

Carma Bandstra | 615.385.2423 | 

12th & Porter

Keith Hayman | 914.469.9468. |